A country with over 50 sub-cultures, awesome landscapes with sandy beaches, tropical weather and friendly hosts aren’t found everywhere. Sure, you can enjoy these travel attractions by joining an organized tour or even hiring a private guide to escort you around the country, but both of these options create a barrier between you and the friendly locals.
Vietnam has over 86 million people and is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. The two main concerns of travelers – heat and monsoon rains have been addressed in recent years. Modern accommodations and transportation with air conditioning are prevalent and many Vietnam travelers have decided to brave the inclement weather of the monsoons to enjoy some of the benefits the rains – mainly better “beach” weather when the rains of the day have passed.
A large variety of Vietnam hotels has emerged in the past few years – small family run “mini-hotels” to 5-star luxury resorts – make comfortable accommodations available to every travel budget. The “Backpacker Telegraph” provides access to bargain hotels by way of the internet and word-of-mouth. Spend a little time “surfing the web” and you’ll find a wide range of places to spend a night or two to fit any budget.
Transportation “to and through” Vietnam can be financially managed by conducting a bit of research on the web. The large international carriers often offer great fares to various hubs in Asia. And the recent emergence of Asia’s regional bargain carriers will provide that last “hop” into Vietnam if you can’t manage to land in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or Hanoi. Danang is now an arrival point for regional carriers from Thailand and other nearby countries.
In-country transportation can be arranged for a reasonable price by utilizing the “open tour” private tour bus industry, and if you’re really adventurous you can try Vietnam’s public bus system. Vietnam’s railroads provide excellent transportation from one end of the country to the other. Both the private tour bus companies and the railroad provide a number of choices in the area of comfort. “Hard” and “soft” are the adjectives used to describe the levels of service available on the train. You might even chance a local trip on motorcycle or enjoy a trip around town on a cyclo.
If you’re wondering what you do when you get to Vietnam, take a look at any Vietnam travel guide. There are “adventures” to meet the requirements of any traveler’s abilities and desires. Providers of local tour services can be found “online”, in travel guides, or “on the street” when you arrive in town. Waiting to arrange your tour until you’re “on-site” will allow you to make last minute changes to your plans, stay a few extra days at someplace that catches your fancy or spend your money on something else. If you’re on an organized tour you may end spending most of your time sitting near someone who’s a pain.