Thinking about a solo trip to Vietnam can bring about feelings of excitement and nerves, especially if you haven’t travelled to the Asian continent before. But fear not. Vietnam is an idyllic location for a solo adventure, where you can explore through dense jungles, get an adrenaline rush on a safari, and get a flavour of world-renowned Asian cuisine. 

A solo Vietnam trip is the perfect opportunity to explore everything from the country’s culture and history to the outstanding natural environment that forms the backdrop of so many solo backpackers’ photographs. Vietnam, and Asia in general seems to be a popular destination for solo travellers, with the affordable price being a big appeal.

Venturing to Vietnam may be out of your comfort zone, but this isn’t a bad thing! Travel is more than just seeing new places and taking beautiful pictures. It’s a time to trust yourself in a new location, facing a language barrier, and a different culture from what you’re used to. Many people solo travel Vietnam, and if you’re contemplating a Vietnamese trip, get ready to immerse yourself in this country’s wonderful people and majestic landscape.

How to hit the highlights in Vietnam in 2 1/2 weeks

Everything You Need To Know Before A Solo Trip To Vietnam

Getting ahead and preparing key factors during a solo trip helps me feel more confident when the plane touches down, so I know what to expect and where I’m heading first. I’ve put this comprehensive guide together so you can join in with the 12.6 million international tourists the country experienced last year and see why so many travellers find themselves returning to Vietnam time and time again. 

How To Get To Vietnam As A Solo Traveller 

Getting to Vietnam is the first hurdle you’ll have to get over when crossing to Asia. If you’re flying from the UK, you’ll most likely be on a flight with at least one layover. Don’t let the fear of changing for a second flight put you off! Depending on the length of your layover, this could be the ideal opportunity to freshen up, eat a good meal, and get your head stuck back in your Vietnam guidebook.

 

 

Route With 1 Layover

Route With 2 Layovers

Departure

LHR London Heathrow 

LHR London Heathrow

Layover

SIN Singapore Changi

AUH Zayed International

KUL Kuala Lumpur International

Arrive

SGN Ho Chi Minh City

SGN Ho Chi Minh City

Duration

17hr 30m

20hr 40m

 

Flights to Vietnam take a considerable number of hours, but compared to destinations such as Australia, flights are far cheaper. Once you book your flight, you’ll know the length of your layover, and this can paint a better picture of what you’ll be able to do with your time between connecting flights.

Tips For Finding Cheap Flights To Vietnam

Finding cheap flights for your solo Vietnam trip is a great way to kick off your adventure without making a big dent in your budget. It doesn’t need to take hours to find the best flight deals as websites like Skyscanner can do all the hard work for you! It’s effortless to compare prices in a matter of minutes, so you can find the ideal one to get you across the ocean to Asia.

Pack Light

When I first got the travel bug, I didn’t realise the importance of packing light! Not only does bringing fewer belongings on your trip mean you’ve got less to lose and carry around, but it also means avoiding last-minute baggage fees at the airport. This is a common occurrence with budget airlines and can be quite the unexpected sting if your luggage is a few kgs over the limit. Save a bad surprise and weigh your bag before you leave so you can be sure to keep below the limit and avoid a fee. 

Fly Out Of Peak Season

Flying out of popular travel times can dramatically cut down flight costs, especially if you travel during an inconvenient time such as early morning. I never book a trip during any of the school holidays as these are times when airlines like to put their prices up. When booking your flight to Vietnam, search within date ranges outside of peak times so you know you’re seeing the best deals possible. 

Use Air Miles

Signing up for an airline points card is a must if you’re a regular traveller! Why not transfer the miles you’re covering in the air into savings on your next big international flight? Online memberships are also worthwhile as they can save you money on flights. Some websites may have membership fees, but these can easily be counteracted when you save money on a flight. 

Keep Flexible

Remaining flexible is key to finding the best deals across all areas of your flight plans from the cheapest airline and airport to the best time to fly. Having a rough idea of the month and destination you want to travel to is perfect as you can search within these parameters and unveil the best deals. You can read more of my flight tips here.

How to hit the highlights in Vietnam in 2 1/2 weeks

Do I Need A Visa For My Trip To Vietnam?

Whether you need a visa or not for your trip to solo travel Vietnam depends on the duration of your holiday and what you plan on doing within that time frame. It’s essential to meet the entry requirements before setting off on your trip to Vietnam, so you can be sure all of your papers are correct and you have the right visa.

  • For stays less than 45 days, you don’t need a visa, regardless of whether your trip is for tourism, transit, or unpaid/voluntary business travel.
  • For stays over 45 days, you do need a visa and this can be obtained by booking with a travel agent in Vietnam and asking them for a ‘visa pre-approval letter’, applying for an e-visa to spend 90 days, or requesting a different visa from the Vietnamese Embassy in your country. 

Needing a visa for longer travel in Vietnam isn’t daunting, and with the online process now available, it’s simple to obtain the correct visa so you don’t have any delays when you arrive. There are various websites available which talk about obtaining visas for Vietnam, but if you choose to use one of these sites, be sure you get the visa and it isn’t a scam. I get more into detail about visas for Vietnam travel in this post, so be sure to check it out for more information. 

How to hit the highlights in Vietnam in 2 1/2 weeks

How Do I Book A Solo Trip To Vietnam?

Booking a solo trip to Vietnam is best done using comparison websites that uncover the biggest deals from across the web. It’s also possible to look into group tours where you can join in with other solo travellers and set off on a Vietnamese adventure together, making friends and taking in the magnificent scenery as you go.

Entire Planned Trip:

Planning an entire trip including flights, accommodation, and activities is a great way to travel if you’re somebody who enjoys knowing exactly what you’re going to be doing and when you’re going to be doing it! I prefer to leave a few of my days unplanned when I travel as I love challenging myself to navigate through trips and go into the unknown. To plan an entire trip to Vietnam, check out comparison websites for deals on joined flight and hotel bookings to save money. 

Group Trip:

Group trips can be so much fun, especially if you haven’t done much solo travelling and would rather meet other solo adventurers before tackling too much alone. Group tours can fill your days with activities and give you the perfect opportunity to socialise whilst getting a true experience of Vietnam. These tours can be booked online before you fly to Vietnam, or you can join some when you’re in the country. 

Flight and 1 Night Accommodation:

For ultimate spontaneity and to follow where the road takes you, simply book your outbound flight and first night’s accommodation. This leaves the rest of your trip open to any possibilities! Maybe you’ll meet some friendly backpackers and decide to get a shared room together to save costs, or maybe you’ll treat yourself to a night or two in a hotel at the end of your trip. Read some of my key tips on planning a solo trip to Vietnam and learn more about some of the highlights you won’t want to miss.

How to hit the highlights in Vietnam in 2 1/2 weeks

How To Book Hostels and Hotels In Vietnam

Vietnam is renowned for being an affordable travel destination, and the hostel and hotel prices are a true reflection of this! Both types of accommodation are highly affordable, so you wouldn’t be breaking your budget if you decided to stay in hotels for your entire trip. I like to spend at least a few of my nights in hostels as I love meeting new travellers who, like me, are also out there exploring the world solo! 

When I decide on a destination, I typically jump in straight away to check out flight and accommodation prices. When searching for hotels in Vietnam I always trust booking.com as I find their website user-friendly, and I can read honest reviews from travellers who have stayed in the hotel about what it’s like. For hostels in Vietnam, I look no further than Hostelworld as again, their website is super simple to use and I can find great accommodation within my budget, even if it’s on the smaller side!

The Essentials: Currency, Language and Plugs

Vietnamese Dong is the currency used in Vietnam, and cash is the more commonly used payment. I like to use a combination of cash and a prepaid card when I travel, as this gives me two reliable payment methods, so I have one to fall back on if needed. Vietnamese is the country’s language, and I would highly recommend learning a few key phrases before going there so you can ask basic things about directions and how to get help if you need it. 

As for plugs, the most common types are A and C, so you will likely need to purchase a Vietnam-suitable power adapter to charge items such as laptops. It’s best to buy an adapter before getting to Vietnam as you’ll be prepared and have one less stress when the plane lands! For more packing tips, check out my girl’s packing guide for Asia and Australia here.

The Best Ways To Get Around Vietnam When You’re There

In-country transport in Vietnam varies between taxis, buses, motorcycling, and cycling so there are multiple options to choose from. If you’re planning on staying in Vietnam for a few weeks, it could be an idea to buy a second-hand bike and cycle your way around to cut costs and get a more immersive experience of daily life, though this may not be advisable in highly busy areas! If you prefer to book organised transport and avoid driving, you’ll want to book Vietnam travel with 12go where they have lots of options for bus routes and trips.

Hoi An - the prettiest city in Vietnam

Best Travel Insurance For A Solo Trip To Vietnam

Investing in travel insurance is a must for me whenever I head off abroad. Something I’ve learned from travelling solo over the last 8+ years is that insurance makes me feel more confident and settled when I’m in a different country. You can read all about my top travel insurance options for female travellers here, but I’ll also touch on them now.

Outbacker

Outbacker insurance appeals to solo travellers as their policies have been constructed to support the needs of long-term backpackers, without costing a fortune. They offer extensive cover for everything from manual labour and over 100 sports and activities to medical expenses covering up to £15 million outside of the UK. When I take out a policy or buy a product from a company, I like to know I’m supporting something good. Outbacker insurance has raised over £50k for Doctors Without Borders which is a huge reason to support this insurance company. They support us while we adventure abroad, and they also help those making significant changes on the planet. 

Read more about Outbacker Insurance here

World Nomads

As suggested in their name, World Nomads insurance is the perfect solution for digital nomads heading abroad and working remotely along the way. World Nomads offer a wide variety of coverage such as medical repatriation and evacuation, travel accidents, trip cancellation, and terrorism. The range of cover instils confidence and peace of mind that there’s a security blanket to fall back on if issues arise. 

Read more about World Nomads here

Safety Wing

Flexible travel insurance is what Safety Wing does best. They offer complete travel security for people all over the world. One of the biggest perks of Safety Wing insurance is the ability to take out a policy either before you set off on your journey, or at any point during it. They offer a unique ‘one global policy’, allowing travellers to pay as they go for coverage in over 180 countries, with the ability to cancel the policy at any time.

Read more about Safety Wing Insurance here

Da Lat | The Place To Get Adventurous | Vietnam

Should I Go To Vietnam On My First Solo Trip?

Tourism in Vietnam is commonplace, especially with solo backpackers, and this is one of the reasons why I found Vietnam the ideal destination for a solo trip. The biggest concern I was aware of during my time in Southeast Asia was pickpocketing in touristy areas, but remain vigilant and you should be fine. There is a well beaten tourist trail in Vietnam and it is easy to stick to if you prefer, I also found the people of Vietnam to be extremely friendly and welcoming.

Being met with smiles from local Vietnamese people warmed me instantly and made me feel at home in the country. I like to explore tourist areas but also head off the beaten track to achieve a more authentic experience when I’m in a foreign country. Asia is ideal for this, and I felt safe during my solo trip to Vietnam whether I was hitting up street food stalls for dinner or taking a walking tour through Hanoi. 

 

How Much Does A Solo Trip To Vietnam Cost?

Vietnam is known for being an affordable place to travel, and it can be surprising how much you can get for your money, especially when exchanging with the pound sterling. The flight to Vietnam will most likely be the biggest expense of your trip, but staying in hostels and eating street food will help keep costs lower for the rest of your days abroad. 

1 Month in Vietnam:

One Way Flight

£350 (from London)

Accommodation

£350 (hostel)

Food

£150 (eating street food)

Activities

£200 (depending on activity type and frequency)

Transport

£80 (buses, taxis)

Total

£1130

 

I’m all about saving money where possible on a trip abroad, and I found this pretty easy during my time in Vietnam. Accommodation is cheap, especially when staying in hostels or affordable hotels, and street food is equally delicious and fairly priced. The total cost of a solo Vietnam trip depends on factors such as the time you’re going, how long you plan on staying, and what you do with your time away. I put together a guide of my top money-saving travel tips which is a great read if you want to learn more about other ways to keep travel costs low!

Da Lat | The Place To Get Adventurous | Vietnam

Is Vietnam Safe For A Solo Female Traveller?

Vietnam is considered safe for solo female travellers as there is a large tourist presence, obtaining a SIM and data can be done easily, and there are simply so many other solo travellers also backpacking around the country. There are always people to turn to, and most of the time these travellers speak English which makes things even simpler. 

Locals are approachable and share a genuine interest in where you have come from and where you are planning on exploring in their country. I found Vietnamese people to be some of the friendliest of any destinations I have travelled to, always greeting me with a smile and practising their English wherever possible.

I understand travelling as a solo female can feel unnerving, but rest assured, many other women are doing the same in Vietnam! If you’re not inclined to share a hostel dorm, hotel rooms are affordable and readily available across the country. I share my tips for solo female travel across these resources, so you can read the key things I’ve learnt after nearly a decade of solo travel.

Da Lat | The Place To Get Adventurous | Vietnam

Which Part of Vietnam Is Best For Solo Female Travellers?

Hanoi and Hoi An strike me as the best locations in Vietnam for solo female travel as they are both equally as stunning in landscape and cuisine whilst being popular with tourists too, which always increases my confidence as a solo female.

Hanoi

Hanoi is overflowing with history and as Vietnam’s capital city, it’s no surprise so many solo backpackers head here when they land in the country. Street food is a must when in the city, where you can taste authentic Vietnamese noodle creations and let your taste buds come to life. I fell in love with Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the energy I felt when strolling down the narrow streets. It’s still a busy place to visit, but somewhat alludes to a calmer, more relaxed feel which I enjoyed after spending time in more bustling areas. 

Hoi An

I found the ancient town of Hoi An to be captivating, with well-preserved architecture, and the desirable balance of history, culture, and cuisine all in one incredible place. Hoi An has grown in popularity with tourists, so this has meant the town has lost some of its authentic Vietnamese charm, but it’s still a must-visit destination for solo travellers due to its sheer beauty and depth of history. 

image12-1

Where Is The Best Place To Solo Travel In Vietnam?

Solo travel in Vietnam was a dream come true, and I think I’ll be returning to make more memories in the future. Gathering together my favourite places to solo travel Vietnam is difficult, but I do have a few highlight locations I think you’ll fall in love with too.

Hanoi

Along with the Old Quarter, popular sights in Hanoi also include Hoan Kiem Lake, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. When you visit the city, I would advise diving into as many activities and sights as your budget allows, as admission prices are low, so it’s the perfect time to gain knowledge about Vietnam’s culture and history. 

Halong Bay

My Vietnam trip was exhilarating, exhausting, and inspiring all in one. I feel as though my time was filled with so much that it flew by incredibly fast! One of my fondest memories was a small cruise I took with a group of other travellers around the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay. Picture typical Vietnamese scenery with vibrant blue waters, towering cliffs decorated with rich green life, and a seascape that transported me to another world. 

Hoi An

Wherever I travel, I like to get a taste of the country, and this is exactly what I managed to do during my time in Hoi An. I’d heard nothing but great things about Hoi An, and after exploring the city, I wasn’t disappointed. The sheer depth of history is rich and I enjoyed taking in the stories of times past gone, while keeping fueled up with delicious Vietnamese dishes. 

Dalat

After my time in Hoi An, I hopped on a sleeper bus and headed to Dalat in search of adventure and action! Arriving in Dalat’s mountains was breathtaking and provided such a stark contrast from the streets of Hoi An. The first place we ventured to was Crazy House which lives up to its name perfectly! The architecture is wild and intricate and belongs in an adventure movie. I also got up close with Dalat’s natural environment by free-jumping, abseiling, and rock climbing, pushing through my fears and throwing myself into the excitement!

Ho Chi Minh

The key takeaway from visiting Ho Chi Minh is how accessible it is to navigate around the city compared to other locations such as Hanoi. You still have to be vigilant of vehicles, particularly motorbikes, but it’s possible to still get around and take in the magnificent city on foot. There’s an abundance of things to do in the city, so I would advise carving out 3-4 days in your timetable so you see and do as much as possible in this glorious part of Southeast Asia. 

How to hit the highlights in Vietnam in 2 1/2 weeks

How Do I Make Friends When Solo Travelling Vietnam? 

Trust me when I say making friends when solo travelling Vietnam is effortless. I found tourists to be everywhere, and backpackers typically stay in hostels to keep costs low when travelling, so this is where I managed to meet some people. Travelling by yourself can be intimidating if you don’t have much experience, but a friendly smile usually does the trick for helping initiate conversation and connection with others.

1. Eat At Your Hostel

Vietnam’s street food is some of the best I’ve ever tasted, and although eating in the street provides a close local experience, consider taking your food back to the hostel and eating in a communal area. This means you can spend time with other backpackers enjoying their meals in the hostel, providing the ideal opportunity to engage with new people and make friends. 

2. Join Travel Facebook Groups

Joining online travel groups such as those on Facebook before getting to Vietnam can help build a base of a few people you already know before you land in-country. Making friends can feel awkward, but by knowing a few people online, you can feel more confident and comfortable when you reach your first night’s accommodation. Maybe you can plan to stay in the same hostel together for the first few days until you find your feet in Vietnam?

3. Work on Open Body Language

Folded arms and looking down at the floor don’t invite conversation! Try to have open body language and a smiley face when you’re heading over to talk to new people. This immediately makes you appear friendly and open to engaging in conversation with someone new. If you love taking photos while away and spot someone else with a goal for blog or Instagram pics, this can be a great topic to bond over, and you can even help each other out with taking pictures too!

 

Where are you thinking of heading to in Vietnam? Do you have any bucket list locations in Southeast Asia?