Backpacking travel is a great way to explore Vietnam, as it allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the country's natural beauty up close. Learn about the 10 best destinations to venture to and get ready for an unforgettable Vietnam travel! Whether you are a seasoned traveler or are on your first backpacking trip, Vietnam is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
1. What is backpacking travel? How many types of backpacking trips are there?
Backpacking travel is a form of traveling that involves carrying all your essential belongings in a backpack while exploring. It is typically associated with longer trips, often lasting weeks or months, where the traveler goes to multiple destinations while trying to stick to a budget.
Nonetheless, backpacking is more than just about budget travel. It is also about immersing oneself in local culture, meeting other travelers from around the world, and experiencing new adventures.
There are many types of backpacking trips that cater to different interests and goals. Some common types include day hikes or overnight backpacking in established campgrounds or trails, while others may involve weeks-long treks through remote wilderness areas or unsupported expeditions, where all supplies must be carried on one's back. There are also cultural backpacking trips that aim to immerse travelers in the local communities’ traditional ways of life.
The type of backpacking trip a person chooses depends on their individual preferences and abilities, but regardless of the type chosen, careful planning and preparation are crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience.
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2. Why is backpacking the best way to travel?
Backpacking is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and rewarding ways to travel. It allows travelers to fully immerse themselves in a new culture, meet locals, and experience adventures that cannot be found through typical tourist activities. Backpackers have the freedom to choose their own paths, make decisions on the fly, and create an itinerary that suits their interests and desires.
Additionally, backpacking is incredibly cost-effective as it forces travelers to only pack essential items, which eliminates unnecessary costs such as baggage fees or expensive accommodations. In essence, backpacking offers an unparalleled opportunity for personal growth, discovery, and adventure, all while leaving a minimal footprint on the environment.
3. What to bring on a backpacking trip?
When you are planning a backpacking trip, it is important to be prepared with the right gear and supplies. First and foremost, you will need a sturdy backpack that fits well and is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. It is also necessary to bring appropriate clothing, including layers for unpredictable weather conditions.
Do not forget essentials, such as food and water or filters/treatment options, sunscreen, insect repellent, a map and compass or GPS device, a first aid kit, and some form of shelter, like a tent or bivy.
Certain items can make your trip more enjoyable and comfortable. For example, trekking poles, a lightweight camping stove/cook set, headlamp/flashlight with extra batteries, hand sanitizer/wipes/toilet paper/trowel for hygiene purposes, hiking boots/trail runners/sandals depending on the terrain, etc.
Plan ahead according to the length of your trip so you will have everything necessary while still keeping your backpack's weight manageable.
4. Top 10 best-rated backpacking travel destinations in Vietnam
4.1. Ho Chi Minh City – one of the cheapest backpacking places to travel
If you are looking for a budget-friendly yet exciting backpacking adventure in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City should be at the top of your list. This bustling metropolis offers an abundance of culture and entertainment options at prices that will not break the bank.
Stroll through vibrant street markets selling local handicrafts and indulge in delicious street food from roadside vendors, all for just a few dollars. Visit historical landmarks like the War Remnants Museum or Reunification Palace to learn about Vietnam's fascinating past, or head to the pedestrian street for a lively nightlife scene filled with backpackers from around the world.
With affordable transportation options and budget-friendly accommodation choices, ranging from hostels to Airbnbs, Ho Chi Minh City is a must-see destination for any frugal traveler looking to explore the city life in Vietnam.
4.2. Hanoi – a suggested place for backpacking trips for beginners
Hanoi is an excellent destination for beginners looking to go on a backpacking trip. The city offers numerous visitor-friendly options for accommodation and food, making it affordable for those who want to experience the local culture without spending lavishly.
Visitors can explore the city's rich history by visiting museums and temples, or take in the busy street markets and exciting nightlife scene. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of natural attractions that provide breathtaking views. With welcoming locals, delicious food, and endless activities, Hanoi travel is ideal for first-time backpackers.
4.3. Nha Trang – one of the best places for backpacking travel
Nha Trang is a truly spectacular place for backpacking travel in Vietnam. Known for its pristine beaches, stunning surroundings, and endless opportunities for exploration, this city is perfect for those seeking an adventurous journey.
From visiting remarkable historical sites such as Long Son Pagoda, to experiencing the local life at Dam Market, there is no shortage of activities to keep you busy during your stay in Nha Trang.
4.4. Da Nang – a great city for backpacking travel in the Central region
Da Nang is a wonderful destination for backpackers exploring Central Vietnam. With beautiful beaches, stunning mountain ranges, and a rich cultural history, there is plenty to do and see in Da Nang. The city itself is a perfect mix of modernity and tradition, with towering skyscrapers blending seamlessly with ancient temples and pagodas.
Do not miss out on visiting the iconic Marble Mountains or taking a dip at My Khe Beach, known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. For thrill-seekers, Da Nang also offers activities such as bungee jumping and parasailing. Overall, it is easy to see why so many backpackers flock to Da Nang for a memorable trip filled with adventure and culture.
4.5. Phu Quoc – a backpacking travel destination for beachgoers
Phu Quoc is a gem in Vietnam that is waiting to be explored by backpackers who love the sun, sand, and sea. This island paradise is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia, offering crystal-clear blue waters, powdery white sands, and a wide variety of water sports.
If you are feeling more adventurous, there are opportunities for hiking in the lush forests, exploring hidden coves by kayak, and seeing interesting local wildlife, such as hornbills, iguanas, and monkeys. With affordable accommodation options and an abundance of fresh seafood restaurants, Phu Quoc is quickly becoming one of the best places for backpackers seeking a tropical getaway on a budget.
4.6. Hoi An – highly recommended for your backpacking travel list
If you are looking for a backpacking destination that blends history, culture, and natural beauty, Hoi An is highly recommended for your travel list. This charming city boasts ornate ancient architecture, colorful lantern-lined streets, and pristine beaches.
Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with well-preserved attractions. Backpackers can indulge in local specialties while exploring art galleries or tailors shops that sell custom-made clothing at affordable prices.
Whether you are seeking an immersive cultural experience or simply want to unwind on a scenic beach, Hoi An will offer you something memorable.
4.7. Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh
Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh is a backpacker's paradise, offering stunning landscapes and unique cultural experiences.
Backpackers can explore the bay on boats while taking in the breathtaking scenery from every angle. They can also live like the locals by learning to cook traditional seafood dishes using fresh catch. Ha Long Bay affords backpackers an opportunity to get off the beaten path while immersing themselves in Vietnam’s rich culture and natural beauty without breaking their budget.
With far fewer tourist crowds, this hidden gem has maintained its authentic charm and genuinely welcoming atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination for any backpacker seeking a true adventure.
4.8. Sapa – among the best places for backpacking travel in Vietnam
Sapa, located in the mountainous region of Northwestern Vietnam, is a prime destination for backpacking travelers looking to explore the beauty and diversity of Vietnam's landscapes. With its stunning rice terraces, misty mountains, and diverse ethnic groups, Sapa offers visitors an authentic experience that cannot be found elsewhere.
Backpackers can trek through forests and valleys while staying with homestay families and learning about the traditional customs and everyday life in remote mountain villages. The local H’mong people offer various cultural experiences, such as their distinct cuisine, lively markets, dances, or folklore storytelling.
Sapa's natural attractions, combined with its ethnic character, make it a perfect place to unplug from modern society and experience everything that real-life travel has to offer. It is no wonder that many travelers consider it one of the best destinations for backpacking travel in Vietnam!
4.9. Quang Binh
Quang Binh is perfect for backpackers looking to get off the beaten path. The province boasts stunning natural beauty with national parks, beaches, and caves waiting to be explored.
Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park is a must-visit destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts alike, with topography that includes elevated areas, wooded landscapes, and limestone peaks.
Another highlight of Quang Binh is its world-renowned cave systems. Visitors can explore intricate caverns filled with natural wonders like underground waterfalls, stalactites, and stalagmites.
Overall, Quang Binh offers an authentic Vietnamese experience away from crowds while showcasing some of the country’s most unique delights. It portrays both the natural and cultural diversity that everyone will enjoy exploring during their trip.
4.10. Ninh Binh
If you are looking for a quieter, more laid-back destination in Vietnam for your backpacking travel, consider Ninh Binh. This province boasts beautiful natural scenery with towering limestone mountains and tranquil rivers to explore. You can rent a bike or motorbike to navigate through rice paddies or take a boat tour along Tam Coc River.
Another must-visit is Trang An Landscape Complex, which covers over 6,000 hectares of natural beauty filled with temples and pagodas dotted among karst formations. If you are interested in history, visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries.
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Vinpearl offers a unique blend of comfort and adventure, making it the perfect choice for backpackers who want to experience the best of both worlds. With its stunning locations, world-class amenities, and exceptional services, Vinpearl provides all its guests with memories that they can cherish for a lifetime.
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Backpacking travel in Vietnam is an experience like no other. The country boasts amazing scenery, delicious food, and a rich history that can be explored from every corner. From the bustling cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the picturesque landscapes of Ha Long Bay and Sapa, there is plenty to see and do in Vietnam. Embark on your own backpacking trip today!
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