I Went On A 7-Day Trip To Vietnam Under 60k Including Flights, Food, Stay & Spa

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I Went On A 7-Day Trip To Vietnam Under 60k Including Flights, Food, Stay & Spa

Are you running on a tight budget but want to vacation in an international location? Vietnam is the right place to explore! Home to many breathtaking landscapes, modern history, cascading rice terraces, beautiful beaches, thousands of limestone caves, and some amazing street food, it is perfect for a budget trip with or without family. The entire seven-day luxurious trip cost me a total of little less than INR 60,000 inclusive of flights, hotel, sightseeing, visa, food, transfers, local travel, spa, shopping and everything else I spent on during the trip. In case, you are wondering how is that possible here are 6 Ways To Make Every Trip A Budget Trip


With a layover time of less than 2 hours at Changi Airport, Singapore, we opted for late night flights beginning our journey from North To South of Vietnam which is Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city. The round-trip ticket price per person came up to INR 27,000, it was worth the deal. In fact, on our way back we redeemed a Changi Dollar Voucher valued at SGD 20 from iShopChangi by presenting a copy of our ticket!

Intercity flights from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City are priced at approx USD 100 (INR 7000 APPROX). But be careful while you book these as they are subject to change or cancellation anytime. Luckily for us, our flight was delayed just by an hour and we reached from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in less than 3 hours.


The country also allows Visa on arrival at USD 25 (INR 1756) in cash. No other forms of payment are accepted.

Also Read: Thailand Extends Free Visa On Arrival To Oct 31st


The official currency here is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), but US dollars are also widely accepted. Most transactions in Vietnam are conducted in Dong. At the airport, we exchanged USD 200 (INR 14,049) for Vietnamese Dong (VND) and that’s a whopping 4,660,000 VND.

The highest denomination note in Vietnamese dong is 500,000 VND. Other currency notes are: 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 and 200,000 VND. It might take a while to carry out transactions with such high denomination notes, but then just give yourself some time and you’ll be a pro in a day or two.

“10,000 VND equals to 30 INR”, this was the only mathematical equation I used during my 7-days’ travel. And YES, you do feel supremely rich when you’re in Vietnam.

Also Read: Here’s Why I Chose Tokyo Over Paris For My Romantic Getaway With My Husband


Our introduction to Vietnamese food was in Halong Bay. Here’s where we tried out different south-Asian cuisines: Banh Bao (filled bread like dumplings), Khoai Tay curry (a sweeter version of chicken curry), Ca sot (poached tigerfish), Ca Chien (basa fish fry).


On the streets of Hanoi, we tasted the famous food delights such as a Banh Mi sandwich or the city’s signature dish, Bun Cha and also the insanely popular Pho, a bowl of noodle soup, at 20,000 VND.

But mostly we ate Indian food as we had access to an Indian restaurant called Zaika right next to our hotel. We feasted on some scrumptious Chicken Dum Biryani and Tandoori Chicken with Naan. This was because Vietnamese food never really appealed to me, majorly because of the strong aroma that I get from the fish sauce. It might be off-putting for some.

Moreover, Vietnam is known for its excellent coffee, but let me warn you, it is without milk. I am totally a tea person, and it was a big task explaining to the locals to add milk in my tea. So to all chai lovers out there, please take along your tea, milk powder and sugar sachets.

Also Read: 5 Unique Coffees To Try In Dubai

If you want to try crazy stuff there is lots to explore like barbequed frog/quail, sautéed rat with lemongrass, live coconut worms swimming in a bowl of fish sauce, or the even more extreme, duck blood soup!



Beer is really cheap in Vietnam. You can get a tiger beer for 25,000 VND or Heineken beer for 30,000 VND. Sugarcane juice, soft drink or coffee (without milk) for 10,000 VND.

Water prices vary from city to city, priced anywhere between 10,000 – 30,000 VND. You can keep yourself hydrated drinking coconut water which is priced at 50,000 VND.


Halong Bay
With emerald green waters, limestone islands and enormous caves, Halong Bay is to die for. We booked Apricot Cruises, a deluxe room with ocean view for 2 days and 1 night for only 120 USD per person (full board included). You can also go on to some of the online sites such as Expedia, Agoda or booking.com to enjoy this heaven on earth cruise experience.


We witnessed the most beautiful cave in Halong Bay: The Surprise Cave.  It is one of the widest grottoes in Halong Bay with thousands of stalactites and stalagmites.


Then comes the Ti Top Island. The island is named after the Russian astronaut German Titop. Climbing up to the Top of the Island, I could manage to click some of the breathtaking views of Halong Bay. Indeed Paradise on earth! For those who wanted to try out their hands on fishing squids, one could go for it too.


The emerald waters of Halong makes a perfect setting for kayaking. Sitting on a tiny kayak, we wriggled our way into the cave and touched the stalactites. Wow, we were so close to nature!


We cruised on later to the Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, and more. We tried our hands at making fresh Vietnamese spring rolls – a jumble of crunchy raw veggies, eggs, meat, noodles, sprinkled with cilantro all stuffed snugly into a feather-light rice wrapper.

Also Read: Kayak In The Backwaters Of Kerala In Alappuzha


Ho Chi Minh City
Earlier known as Saigon, this city was renamed Ho Chi Minh to celebrate the reunification of north and south post-Vietnamese War. Here, we stayed at the Hotel Prague which cost 1900 INR/night, located centrally in HCMC.


We were only 10 minutes away from the Ben Thanh Market, a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded first copy designer goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. This place is also another street food haven with wok-fried noodles, barbecued fish and meats.

For the city tour, we chose a local travel agency called TNK Travels which is reasonably priced, tour inclusive of lunch (as per our choice). They pick up and drop us at our hotel, so one doesn’t have to bother about booking a cab or bus.

The most interesting part is that the tour is inclusive of an English speaking guide, who accompanies us throughout the trip explaining the Vietnamese history. We booked the Cu Chi Tunnel tour & Mekong Delta tour for 1,465,100 VND (~ 4500 INR) and HCMC half-day city tour for 466,000 VND (~ 1500 INR).

Cu Chi Tunnels is Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic attraction in Vietnam with over 100 km of underground tunnels used by Viet soldiers. They also host a shooting range where you can buy either the M-16 or the AK-47 bullets for 50,000 VND/bullet).


In the city tour, you get to see the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Reunification Palace, Old Central Post Office and ancient buildings influenced by French architectural design. There’s also a fun theme park called Suoi Tien Theme Park with the entrance fee being is 110,000 VND (~341 INR).

ho chi minh

This Buddhist-themed attraction is filled with statues of mythical creatures such as dragons, tortoises and phoenixes. It consists of a water park as well but the main attraction is The Crocodile farm!


The first thing that I noticed in Hanoi is traffic.  Also, it’s very astonishing, how people sit on a child-sized chair and enjoy a bowl of Phở and drink beer on the minuscule tables right in the centre of a city square.

We enjoyed the calm breeze at the Hoan Kiem Lake although it isn’t the friendliest or relaxed place to start your travel, so I’d recommend spending just a day or 2 if you have a tight schedule. The city is more like a central point to connect both Halong Bay and Sapa, as all the transport runs from here.

Vietnam trip is incomplete without treating yourself to a healing spa & massage. We tried out their foot massage (140,000 VND ~430 INR), full body massage (200,000 VND ~620 INR) and pedicure (140,000 VND ~430 INR).

If you wish to travel by your means, one can opt for app-based taxis (both car and motorbike) including Uber and Grab. You can also try the Xe om, a motorbike taxi which you can get for 20,000 VND for a small hop. However, negotiate the price beforehand.  Travelling in and out of the city by Xe om is easy, as long as you don’t have a lot of luggage.

If you wish to stay for a longer time in this country, I suggest you hire a Vespa/scooter for regular travelling. But be very careful, because traffic is really bad in Vietnam. Crossing the road is an adventure, nobody is going to stop, you just have to make your way, dodging between moving vehicles. You can also try the local city buses, but make sure you get your hands on a bus map first.

Also Read: We Travelled To Croatia On A Budget & You Can Too

Now, all there’s left is for you to GO SEE VIETNAM!

This article was contributed to Curly Tales by our reader Reena Rodrigues. If you would like to write or have us write & publish your story, drop us an email to hey@curlytales.com