In need of a cheap holiday... Vietnam???

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by wmmartin, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. wmmartin

    wmmartin Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Perth WA
    Hey Guys,

    I'm in need of a holiday, but I really don't know to plan one... I know... you're probably thinking I'm full of shit, but I promise you... I'm not.

    I'm in my early 30's, and have been living in Australia since I was 20. I went home after 9 years living here for a few weeks. And after 10 years married my wife in LA, California. It was great, really enjoyed it. But that is the extent of my holidaying, and I learnt nothing of how to plan travel, let alone on a budget.

    Since getting married life's been pretty "interesting" and highly stressful and I now feel I'm in desperate need of a holiday, on a shoe string budget. I don't want to go through a travel agent, I want to plan and do it myself.

    I saw some return flights to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam going seriously cheap in early May so I'm considering that. I don't want a resort style holiday, and would like to meet people and do things during my stay. I LOVE food, so if I can find my way to one of those awesome food markets you see on the TV with scorpions on sticks and the likes I will be there!

    Any tips for a newb? Things I must see? Places to stay?

    Cheers!
     
  2. doug81

    doug81 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,701
    Location:
    Cambodia
    I can definitely recommend Vietnam - a few direct flight options from Syd & Mel are a nice bonus too! Ho Chi Minh has changed a bit since I was first there 6 years ago, but I would say it would be a more enjoyable place now. Certainly very cheap (can recommend a few hotels that are pretty good for under $40/night) and some amazing food options! I've never booked through an agent as I've found they always stuff something up on my relatives trips. I only ever once booked an incorrect night at a hotel (wasted about $25) and that was during 10 months of travel with flights & hotel stays across a dozen destinations.

    For flights I tend to go straight to the airlines, but I research well before booking (price, times, stopovers etc). I'd check out:

    • Singapore Airlines
    • Air Asia
    • Brunei Airlines
    • Vietnam Airlines
    • Tiger
    • Jetstar

    Should give you a good idea what's going to work best for you. For hotels, I just go for Agoda. Prices are generally competitive or the best, and it's handy to track using the site/app. Yes you can get cheaper just rocking up and finding a place and negotiating, but I'd at least book your first week so you can arrive and know where you're going. hunting around for a hotel after a long-ish flight in a new place isn't ideal.

    Get your visa on arrival sorted online - I've always used https://www.vietnam-visa.com/ but there's plenty of options. Get these guys to book you a car to your hotel as well - so many taxi scams at the airport, it's money well spent IMHO!

    tons of things to see and do in HCMC, but if I can recommend one I would suggest to go to Noir. It's a restaurant that employs blind & deaf people, and you eat in complete darkness (no kidding, you can't see anything at all) - one of the best food experiences ever!

    For the record, I spent 3 months there May-July in 2010 and have been back for holidays and work many times since. My mum has relocated there, and I'm in the process of setting up a tour business. We're just launching our bizarre food tours so might be right up your alley!
     
  3. sanjay

    sanjay Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    16,153
    Location:
    Maribyrnong, Melbourne
  4. NiRdoC

    NiRdoC Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Cairns
    +1 for Vietnam, went there in December 2015 and loved it. I tried a travel agent but their pricing was ridiculous compared to booking yourself. Accom was cheap, food was cheap and drinks you guessed it, cheap.

    Considering you're on a budget then I'd recommend booking any tours you may want to go on when you're there, they're much cheaper than booking in advance and from what I could see you'll end up doing the exact same thing as someone paying more as the Government controls what areas are open to tourism (so one of the tour guides told us).
     
  5. connico

    connico Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Location:
    Sydney
    Fiji is most likely going to be cheaper.... what are you looking to do? Explore a city or just relax?
     
  6. ipv6ready

    ipv6ready Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,842
    Location:
    North Sydney
    With or without the wife great place to visit.
     
  7. SupremeMoFo

    SupremeMoFo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,008
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Did Vietnam in July 2015 and loved it. We did a tour with Intrepid and loved it, took a lot of the hassle out of the trip and the tour guide told us a lot over the course of the 10 day trip.

    Loved everywhere we went except Nha Trang, which has been overrun by Russians.

    Where does Fiji come from when discussing Vietnam...
     
  8. connico

    connico Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Location:
    Sydney
    I took Vietnam as a question... not a confirmed destination
     
  9. the_fuzz

    the_fuzz Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    9,766
    Location:
    Sydney
    Fiji is expensive compared to SEA

    If you can get a cheap flight to SEA - you end up way in front
     
  10. NiRdoC

    NiRdoC Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Cairns
    Japan could be an option if you're a foodie. Flights are pretty cheap, no idea on Accom there thou, planning a trip there myself soon but I'm not on a budget.
     
  11. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    8,416
    Location:
    3844
    Why do you need to leave the country to have a holiday?
     
  12. connico

    connico Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Location:
    Sydney
    You can fly to Fiji for under 300 each way...and stay in a resort for under 200 a night... then you can do food markets and tourist things during the day and night... its a good option either way

    Food is just as cheap in Fiji and really you don't have to organise anything... if his looking for a cheap easy holiday. I'd recommend Fiji.

    If his looking for a travelling holiday with plenty of visits then yes SEA is the place to be but its not cheaper..
     
  13. SupremeMoFo

    SupremeMoFo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,008
    Location:
    Adelaide
    $600/return? Airasia have flights from Perth to Ho Chi Minh City for $241 return.
    $200/night for a resort? I think most of the accommodation we stayed at in Vietnam was $30-50/night. 1 week trip, $50/night accommodation, that's $1400 saved already. But... flights from Perth to Fiji in May start at $884 return, so it's actually almost $1700 difference straight up.
    You're in Sydney, OP is in Perth. It's typically far cheaper for Perthites to head north to SE Asia, not east.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  14. connico

    connico Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Location:
    Sydney
    Ahh perth, yes those are good points. From Perth its definitely cheaper to fly to asia
     
  15. _slappy_dn

    _slappy_dn Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    719
    Fiji is in no way comparable to SEA in price once there. Nothing wrong with the destination but its just not the same.
     
  16. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    10,157
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Vietnam/Thailand leaps and bounds better than Fiji. Personally I wouldnt go back there yet been to Thailand 7 times now. Vietnam very similar to Thailand so I have heard just that much cheaper again.

    Back to Thailand this July, can't wait.
     
  17. the_fuzz

    the_fuzz Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    9,766
    Location:
    Sydney
    Looking at May - it's approx $75 more expensive to fly to Vietnam from Sydney when compared to Nadi.

    The $75 saving would be eaten away in the first night stay in Fiji

    Vietnam is crazy cheap to live - where as Fiji is just like being in Sydney
     
  18. supasaiyan

    supasaiyan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Messages:
    5,595
    Location:
    3000
    Went to fiji over xmas, while the people were nice and the weather was damned hot, the food wasn't particularity good

    I prefer it to Bali though, hated that place
     
  19. insular

    insular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    994
    Location:
    Adelaide
    food poisoning is the worst in vietnam. just saying.
     
  20. Diode

    Diode Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,736
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I did an intrepid travel to Vietnam last year too. I would say for the inexperienced traveller this is a good option. Even experienced like myself I just like it because you do meet people and you get to stay with them for the journey. It also takes a lot of the hard work out of organising everything and part of the reason of taking a holiday is just to be able to relax a little without having to organise all the details.

    I personally choose Intrepid's Basix tours as they are cheap and give you lots of free time to do the things you want to do but armed with the knowledge your tour guide gives you. Your tour will likely have a more diverse group of people on basix from young to old. Comfort is designed obviously for people that want a slightly slower pace, nicer hotels and a bit more money to spend, generally the groups are made up of an older mix of people (according to my Vietnam guide). Terms of value, our guide also said Intrepid make the least margin from Basix and apparently they don't make money if less than 6 book a basix, so I guess that means you're getting the better deal for your money.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: