Solo Travel in Vietnam

Types of Girl about the Globe (GatG) – Cultural GatG, Foodie GatG, Historical GatG, Nature GatG, Tribes GatG

If you're considering solo travel in Asia, Vietnam is such an interesting country to explore. If you are planning a trip, below is our solo travel in Vietnam guide, which includes where to stay, places to visit in Vietnam, must-see places in Vietnam for solos, what to do in Vietnam, solo tours Vietnam, a Vietnam solo travel itinerary, and the best way to travel around Vietnam.

All companies included have been recommended by women who have experienced solo female travel in Vietnam, and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article for your Vietnam solo travel.

N.b. For every booking made through this article, I donate money to projects helping vulnerable girls about the globe. Thank you for helping to make a difference to their lives. 

Tip – If this is your first time to Vietnam solo and you prefer company for your trip. I recommend these G Adventures Vietnam tours. They are perfect for solo travellers of all ages.

Solo Travel in Vietnam


Solo travel in Vietnam

Pham Ngu Lao

Solo Travel in Vietnam

If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia, look no further than Vietnam. Although it’s often overshadowed by Thailand and Cambodia, its Asian neighbours, Vietnam is a surprising country with some areas still relatively untouched.

With natural beauty and diverse terrain, you can spend time sailing on beautiful bays, trekking in the mountains, floating down the Delta, or exploring old French Colonial towns. Enough people speak English here to get by and you’ll have no problem being understood in Ho Chi Minh, the capital.

But there is a reason that Vietnam doesn’t get the volume of travellers as its neighbours. It is not as easy to travel here as the infrastructure isn’t as good. For Hanoi solo travel, for example, you do need a bit of patience. The capital is loud with a lot of traffic so it can be overwhelming.

The Vietnamese are very upfront so expect direct questions and an element of curiosity as to why you are travelling alone. Being a conservative country means that it is respectful to dress modestly when you aren’t laying on the beach. This doesn’t mean having to completely cover yourself but look at what the locals are wearing and follow in their footsteps.

Is Vietnam safe for female travellers? You need to be careful with your belongings in Ho Chi Minh. Bag snatching on motorbikes is common here so make sure you put your money and phone in your pockets and out of sight. Begging can be quite common especially by children in tourist areas. Look at other ways to help such as buying from many of the social impact businesses in Vietnam.

Like anywhere, be respectful when you take pictures and ask a local’s permission. Vietnam is a fascinating country to explore independently, but if you are unsure what to see in Vietnam, and don’t want to miss any of the best places to visit in Vietnam, you may feel more comfortable and find it easier to join a group tour in Vietnam. 

* Before you travel, check what paperwork or visas are required for Vietnam. 

Solo Travel in Vietnam

Hi Chi Minh City

Vietnam Places To Visit

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh is perfect to explore on foot but crossing the road isn’t the easiest task. If you prefer to take transport instead there is nothing more fun than hopping on the back of a motorbike (complete with a driver) to take you on your own tour. HCM is a city wired for action with a growing art and music scene. See the beautiful architecture by day and experience the nightlife when the sun goes down.

The size of the city, the noise and the chaotic traffic can be overwhelming so give yourself time to adjust (and enjoy the gourmet food and street snacks) before moving on. Even though Ho Chi Minh isn't the capital many cheap flights fly here so it is a good base to begin your Vietnam trip.

Spend time visiting old war relics, museums, the red-brick Notre Dame Cathedral, or just relax in one of the guesthouses along the riverfront. You’ll find company in the backpacker area of Le Loi and plenty of rooftops to mingle on.

For great views of the city head to the Panorama Saigon Trade Centre (which was once the highest building) or the Bitexco Financial Tower which is the highest. Close to the palace you can pick up cheap goods at Ben Thanh market.

When you are traveling to Vietnam, the War Remnants Museum is one of the places to see in Vietnam to learn more about the Vietnam war. Although this is one of the tourist attractions in Vietnam, be prepared to get emotional as the narrative and the photographs from the war are very moving. Victims from landmines left from the war work in the souvenir shop.

* Click here to discover all activities and best things to do in Vietnam

Solo travel in Vietnam

The Mekong River, Vietnam

The city is a good base to visit the nearby Cu Chi tunnels used by the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War as a way to transport supplies and as living quarters.  Be ready for some goosebumps while visiting such an important part of the world’s history.

Slow down the pace on the Mekong River on a Mekong Delta tour and visit the floating markets at Can Tho, sailing through canals on a sampan (a flat bottomed wooden boat). You’ll find lush greens, rice paddies, and rivers all beautifully woven together as you canoe or kayak along – a must-do in Vietnam.

Solo Travel in Vietnam


Da Lat

Head to the Central Highlands for a less-trodden area of Vietnam, not part of the usual tourist track. Spend a few days in Da Lat, a charming alpine area with a colonial palace, French-style villas, and the Xuan Huong Lake. Da Lat is a lovely budget-friendly town. From here you can visit three different waterfalls and even abseil down them.

Visit the coffee region of Buon Ma Thout for unique tasting coffee before hiking to the thunderous waterfalls. If you’ve never seen a pepper plantation before, go to Pleiku which is surrounded by these amongst tea, coffee and rubber plantations.

Stay in a longhouse with the local Mnong in Lak Lake. Here you can watch a Mnong gong performance, and watch their tradition of fishing, whilst being surrounded by low-lying hills. The Central Highlands are perfect for the cultural solo who is interested in the traditional ways of life of the highlanders who live here.

One of the unique places to visit in Vietnam is the Crazy House in Da Lat. Designed by a Vietnamese architect, this Gaudi-style building resembles the arty design of Antoni Gaudi that you would find in Barcelona with its colourful design and use of natural elements. Seeing the exterior is one of the free things to do in Vietnam. Although it is a guesthouse (called Hang Nga Guesthouse) you don’t have to be a guest to look inside. For an admission fee, you can wander around its interior and marvel at its fairytale design.

Solo Travel in Vietnam

Nha Trang

Nha Trang

When you are ready for the beach, either head south to the beautiful bay of Ke Ga, or follow the crowd to Nha Trang, a popular beach town. Nha Trang has three lakes or you can head to Doc Let Beach for a white sand beach (just 1.5 hours by bus). To meet others head to the Sailing Club.

Visit Mui Me for a day or two to see the sand dunes. Yellow is best to visit at sunset and white in the early morning. The Fairy Stream will send you into a fairy world with an enchanting red canyon and bamboo forest. 

Phu Quoc Island

The best place to visit in Vietnam if you’re a beach GatG is Phu Quoc Island, a paradise island with white-sand beaches, traditional villages and a UNESCO National Park. Find local markets and street food amongst its resorts, bars and cafes. Long Beach is the place for a beachfront restaurant and luxury resort. It’s a gorgeous place located in the south of the country.

Solo travel in Vietnam

A local Vietnamese seller


Next to Hoi An is Da Nang, a coastal city once a colonial port. Danang is halfway between the south and the north. The French influence is easy to see here amongst its French colonial buildings, and with a coastline of 30 km it's a good place to stop for the beach. Lang Co Beach and My Khe Beach are the most popular and you can also try diving or water-skiing along the coastline. 

Things to do in Da Nang include climbing to the top of the Marble Mountains, limestone and marble hills where you can find Buddhist pagoda temples and craftsmen working. At the top, you can see the beaches in the distance, or visit Son Tra Mountain, a national park where you can hike jungle scenery and spot monkeys.

See the pink Da Nang Cathedral, a unique Vietnam church with views of the city from the tower. See hundreds of stone and terracotta sculptures and learn more about the Cham tribe at the Cham Museum. Go surfing or jet-skiing at Non Nuoc Beach, see the Buddha statue at the Phap Lam Pagoda or take a photo of Dragon Bridge, the longest bridge in the country.

Solo Travel in Vietnam

Hoi An


If you're a history GatG you should definitely stay a night or two in this riverfront town. Hue was once the country's former Royal Capital and is one of the most charming places in Vietnam oozing with Tombs of the Ancient Emperors, pagodas, temples and the gorgeously-names Perfumed River. Visit the Institute of the Blind to support the blind and experience a blind massage. 

Solo travel in Vietnam

Hoi An

Hoi An

Hoi An is the perfect place to learn about local life in Vietnam and see a less “touristy” side of the country.  Take this opportunity to learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese food or go crab-fishing in the coconut groves.

Things to do in Hoi An – Travel from Hue to Hoi An to see beautiful views as you over the Ho An pass. If you are looking for a hand-made silk dress, look no further than the coastal city of Hoi An. The ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a well-preserved port town.

This old French colonial town has hidden gems amongst the Chinese temples, adding to its things to see in Hoi An. See the My Son – a Hindu temple complex, take a culinary cooking class or just sample the local delicacies of banh mi and egg coffee instead. As one of the best places in Vietnam for Vietnamese cuisine, you should definitely come here and sample the noodles which are only sold in Hoi An. There’s also a beach nearby.

Ha Song Doon Cave

This monstrous cave has earned the title of the “largest cave on earth,” and for good reason.  It is absolutely massive and incredibly beautiful.  You have to take a private guided tour to see it, but it is well worth it to be one of the few people who get to experience its glory every year.

Solo travel in Vietnam

Take a tuk tuk ride through the streets of Hanoi

Northern Vietnam


Northern Vietnam has many ethnic minority villages within its highlands and offers the opportunity to stay with local families, cook traditional meals and hike the beautiful highlands.

Things to do in Hanoi You’ll find plenty of company in Northern Vietnam, whether you decide to stay in a homestay or the city of Hanoi, known as the Paris-of-the-East. Hanoi can be chaotic and a bit overwhelming for some but it does have a nice vibe. Learn about its rich history or take a rickshaw ride to fully experience the city.

When you are in Hanoi, one of the top things to see in Vietnam is a water puppet show. This tradition originated in northern Vietnam from flooded rice paddies where the locals would entertain themselves by performing with puppets whilst standing in the flooded water.

It is an art form that dates back to the 11th century and is usually accompanied by traditional music. Watching a show is one of the non-touristy things to do in Vietnam and the Water Puppet shows take place at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and last for about one hour in total.  When in Hanoi, make sure to see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the resting place of Vietnam’s most popular leader.

If Old Quarter Hanoi gets too much head to the lake to watch the locals doing their morning Thai Chai, dancing and downward dogs. Hanoi is walkable and it’s easy to see the main attraction in one day. Check out the Women’s Museum near the lake. Take a street food tour and go on a cruise in Halong Bay, one of the country's amazing places and one of the top things to do in Vietnam but it can be a bit touristy.

How to get around Hanoi – Most of the things to see in Hanoi are close to each other so if you enjoy walking you can take your time seeing the sights. Taking a motorcycle taxi is one of the most common ways and easiest but you do need to haggle and write down the address of where you are going to.

Solo travel in Vietnam

Sapa (photo @ Angst)

Pu Luong Nature Reserve

Another of the places to go in Vietnam when you are in the north is Pu Luong Nature Reserve. It’s an ideal place to get off the beaten track and see one of the unexplored places in Vietnam, away from the tourism. It’s a place for the nature GatG with mountains, valleys and jungle thrown into the Vietnamese mix. Stay in one of the homestays and learn from the White Thai, and Black Thai ethnic communities, creating crafts, swimming in waterfalls and hiking rice paddies. The Reserve is 150 kms from Hanoi and reachable via a private shuttle, stopping in Mai Chau on the way.


Travel even further north and you’ll reach Lao Cai Province, 8 hours by overnight train from Hanoi. Sapa is only 30 minutes away and if you are a trekking GatG, Sapa is a beautiful area to hike. Sapa is an endless sea of green mountains and rice paddies that looks straight out of the movies. Fan Si Pan, the highest mountain in Vietnam, is also located in Sapa and is one of the must-sees in Vietnam in the north. 

From day hikes to multi-day hikes you’ll pass breathtaking views as you trek through rice paddies. Choose a homestay for an authentic and cultural experience. You’ll need to allow a few days to get here and back.

Mai Chau is an area 160 km from Hanoi and is a good alternative to Sapa. Known for their traditional weaving you can also do a homestay here and learn their traditional weaving techniques. If you are travelling around by motorbike Mu Cang Chai is less touristy but can be difficult to get to without your own transport.

Solo Travel in Vietnam

Rice field terraces, near Sapa

Mu Cang Chai

The exploration of gorgeous green mountains and rice paddies continues in Mu Cang Chai. These views never get old but if you only have time to go to one, Sapa and Mu Cang Chai can be interchanged for the same effect pretty easily. This spot is known for its colourful sunsets and the gorgeous yellow that the rice plants turn during harvest.

Ban Gioc-detian Falls

Contrary to public belief, you should in fact go chasing waterfalls.  At least chase down these falls as they are stunning. You can take a raft ride right up to the edge or swim in the turquoise pools below, either way, you can’t go wrong.  Talk about a picturesque moment, it doesn’t get better than this!

Solo Travel in Vietnam

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a really popular area with limestone mountains lining the bay. People come here to scuba dive, kayak and rock climb and take one of the area’s many cruises to see the pristine waters and epic mountains up close.  The beaches here are stunning and there are beautiful islands to spend the night on with views difficult to beat.

Halong Bay can be more pricey than other areas in Vietnam and can get overly busy so take an overnight cruise (2 days 1 night) instead of a day trip to make the most of your experience.

Cat Ba

To avoid the crowds, go to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi instead. You can stay overnight and take the one-day boat trip for less than the price to Halong Bay.

Here you can hike mountain trails, sunbathe on the beach, and walk along the promenade. It is also home to one of the world’s most endangered primates – the golden-headed langur.

Solo travel in Vietnam

Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh contains endless rice paddies and gorgeous mountains to explore. It also has the incredible Dragon Mountain Viewpoint that is a Vietnam must-see. Hike up to the top to see this absolutely breathtaking view for yourself. Solo travel Vietnam for beautiful landscapes, culture and a historical journey. 

Solo travel in Vietnam: Tours in Vietnam

Best Tours in Vietnam For Solos

It can be easy to meet others in Vietnam so you’ll never be short of company travelling here alone. But if you are unsure where to go in Vietnam and feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip or the whole of your Vietnam vacation, below are some of the best Vietnam tours for solos.

G Adventures Vietnam

G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters for budget travellers. Most of their small group tours have an average of 12 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there. 

Their trips to Vietnam range from a 3 day Halong Bay Independent Adventure to a 15 day G Adventures Best of Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City to Sapa. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company. 

Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Intrepid Travel Vietnam

Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people who book their trips are solo travellers and they offer Vietnam tours for solo travellers such as the Vietnam Express Southbound tour. Other Intrepid Tours Vietnam range from 8 days to 15 days and include adventures such as an Essential Vietnam tour and a Vietnam Real Food Adventure. 

Intrepid tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more than G Adventures. With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room. Read our Intrepid Travel Reviews

Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Stray Travel

More for the adventurous GatG, Stray is a hop on hop off bus tour offering bus passes around Asia. Their tours to Vietnam also include Thailand, Cambodia, Laos or Bhutan. They also offer trips to Borneo where you can explore the world’s oldest rainforest, get up close and personal to orang-utans, and dive in some of the world’s top dive sites.

If you’re planning on travelling Southeast Asia in two or more months and want the flexibility to go with the flow and meet lots of other travellers, Stray's tour buses are an ideal choice. If you visit during the peak season you may need to pre-book all sections of your trip before you go. Check the review here.

* Check prices and dates for Stray tour to Vietnam

TruTravels Vietnam

For the backpacker solo, TruTravels offers a 13 day tour to Vietnam. Beginning in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll travel to Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh and Hanoi, trying street food, taking part in cooking classes and egg coffee workshops and getting your heart pumping with basket boat splashing in Hoi An. Trips have a maximum of 20 people with most travellers between the ages of 18 and mid 30’s. Prices start from £975 based on a twin share.

* Check prices & availability for TruTravels tour

Vietnam Day Tours

You don’t need to pre-book day tours of Vietnam as some hostels and tour companies offer these when you arrive. See You At Lilly’s offer a great Sapa tour (opt for the bus instead of the train if you book), or pop into the Real Kangaroo Cafe in Hanoi for more tours. If you are looking for day tours these companies come recommended by solo female travellers.

Hanoi Backstreet Tours – For a fun afternoon of food and culture on the back of a motorbike in Hanoi. Get off the beaten path and for just a couple of hours or a full day. Proceeds of this Vietnamese tour are donated to the October Foundation supporting the education of disadvantaged children in the remote areas of Vietnam. Click here for tours

Easy Riders – If you love motorbikes Easy Riders are motorbike tours through Vietnam. From Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi or Da Lat, and up to the Laos border. It’s a great way to see the countryside, the rural lives of farmers and try lots of yummy cuisine along the way. Ask for Toan Lee if he’s available or email him directly at Click here for tours.

Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day trips in worldwide destinations including Vietnam. Choose from a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels, take a boat ride along the Mekong Delta, or a cruise around Halong Bay visiting the islands and caves. Although some of the tours require a minimum of 2 people, there are plenty to book as a solo including Vietnam tours from Hanoi and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check all tours and prices here

Solo travel in Vietnam: Accommodation in Vietnam

Accommodation in Vietnam

You'll find plenty of Vietnam accommodation from international Vietnam hotels in the main cities, luxury coastal resorts and Vietnam beach resorts to budget hostels. You may need to pay a tax on top of your room cost and expect the accommodation to ask for your passport.

You’ll find local guesthouses along the river which may use an honour system where you write all the food and drink you consume into the guest book and pay when you leave. Rooms generally come with a fan unless you pay more for air-conditioning.

For a more cultural experience, the central highlands and the north of Vietnam offer home-stays in traditional stilt houses within the local communities. They can be quite basic but it definitely an experience.

There is also Airbnb where you can stay with locals in a spare room or even book the whole apartment. You can save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link. 

All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement. For all other accommodation Vietnam including budget hotels in Vietnam, Vietnam resorts, or 4 or 5 stars Vietnam, click on the link below. 

Da Lat - Mr Rot’s Secret Hostel

Da Lat – Mr Rot’s Secret Hostel

If you are planning on budget travel to Vietnam, Mr Rot’s Secret Hostel is located a short drive to Xuan Huong Lake. You can hire a bike or a car or book Mr Rots Secret day tour (which is amazing). The rooms are clean and modern and there is a beautiful sun terrace with mountain views.

Mr Rot is really friendly and the staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Choose from a bed in a 4-bed dormitory room, a deluxe single or a deluxe double. Breakfast is included.

  • Prices from £5 for a bed in a 4-bed dormitory room
  • To book, check prices or availability for Mr Rot's Secret Hotel

Hanoi - See You At Lily’s

Hanoi – See You At Lily’s

If you're wondering where to stay in Hanoi, See You At Lily’s is a fabulous hostel. Situated in the Hang Trong District, this friendly hostel is a 15-minute walk to the Opera House. Reception is open 24 hours so it doesn’t matter if you arrive late at night and there is a restaurant on site serving local and Western cuisine and a kitchen to cook your own food (breakfast is included too).

The hostel is colourful and vibrant with friendly staff who can arrange tours for you such as a Sapa tour. Choose from a bed in an 8-bed mixed dorm, a 6-bed female-only dorm, or a twin room or suite.

    • Prices from £5 for a bed in a 8-bed mixed dormitory room
    • To book, check prices or availability for See You At Lily’s

Hanoi - Republik Backpackers

Hanoi – Republik Backpackers

This backpackers is a great place to meet others and socialise with a good vibe. They offer free beers in the early evenings to get you mingling and free walking tours for an overview of the city. Breakfast is fantastic and there’s also a terrace with views of the city. Hoan Kiem Lake is less than 1km away and you only a few minutes from Dong Xuan Market.

The beds have their own curtains and plug sockets and the lockers big enough to fit your bag. If you want to meet others and do some activities in Hanoi this hostel is perfect. Choose from a bed in a 16-bed dorm room, an 8-bed mixed or female-only dorms or upgrade to a double room.

Ho Chi Minh - Cozy House 160

Ho Chi Minh – Cozy House 160

This cosy hostel is in a great location, next to lots of restaurants and bars and walking distance to the Vietnam tourist attractions and the things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. (if you don’t mind walking), yet in a side street away from the noise of the busy streets.

The rooms are spacious, clean and stylish and come in a standard double, superior double or deluxe. You can book tours with the helpful staff and you get a buffet breakfast included too (plus free fruit).

  • Prices from £21 for a standard double room
  • To book, check prices or availability for Cozy House 160

Hoi An - Under The Coconut Tree

Hoi An – Under The Coconut Tree

If you’re in need of somewhere to rejuvenate yourself and are unsure where to stay in Hoi An, this charming homestay is perfect to get back in touch with nature. With a private path that leads to the beach, you’ll definitely leave here ready for your next adventure.

Choose from a bed in a mixed dormitory room, a bungalow with a double bed or a standard double private room. All come with a fan and toiletries and a shower that makes you feel as though you are outside. Breakfast isn’t included but it only costs a little bit extra.

  • Prices from £6 for a single bed in a mixed dormitory room
  • To book, check prices or availability for Under The Coconut Tree 

Hue - Bonjour Hostel

Hue – Bonjour Hostel

This hostel is a great choice if you choose to stay in Hue. Bonjour Hostel is close to bars and restaurants and within walking distance to the citadel. The rooms are clean and come with a fan or air conditioning and hot water. The beds are comfortable and have their own curtain for more privacy.

There is free coffee and tea and banana pancakes for breakfast and the staff are great. The only downside is that you may have to queue for a shower if you are in hurry. Choose from a bed in a 10-bed dormitory, a 6-bed dorm or a double room.

  • Prices from £4 for a single bed in a 10-bed mixed dormitory room
  • To book, check prices or availability for Bonjour Hostel

Solo travel in Vietnam: Travelling Around Vietnam

Travelling In Vietnam

If you are touring Vietnam on your own and are unsure of how to travel in Vietnam, there is a variety of transportation in Vietnam. If you are short on time then consider taking an internal flight. There is a cheap airline called VietJet that fly throughout Vietnam. You can fly from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City in 1 hour 15 minutes then travel onward from Danang Airport to Hoi An.

Vietnam Travel by Train – There is also Vietnam train travel and for any places where the trains in Vietnam don't go, you can take minibuses around the country. Vietnam is a long country so distances can be vast. For longer distances, the best way to travel through Vietnam is by taking one of the overnight trains from Sapa to Hanoi, or fly from Hanoi to Danang or Hanoi to Hue instead (which only takes 1 hour 10 minutes).

You may want to ride the Reunification Express when you’re here. The North-South railway connects Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and the term applies to any train that operates along this line. The railway is a symbol of a reunified Vietnam and passes through rice fields and small towns. The trains have different seating and sleeping options such as a hard seat, a hard berth (with 6 beds), or a soft berth (with 4 beds). You can always upgrade to a VIP cabin for more privacy. You can book tickets for the trains online or with a local travel company. Check train times here

Boat transportation in Vietnam – Boats are another form of public transport in Vietnam and there are also overnight boats such as the overnight boat to Halong Bay which are great if you are travelling Vietnam alone. Some destinations are easy to travel to overland such as Hue to Hoi An.

Bus Vietnam – If you are backpacking Vietnam alone, you can travel from the south to the north entirely by bus, choosing sleeper buses for overnight journeys (the best way to travel within Vietnam overnight). They are comfortable and reduce your costs travelling as you the bus ticket is also your accommodation costs. It's easy to book a local bus as you go through hostels or small tour companies in Vietnam. When touring in Vietnam, to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay, for example, you can take a bus for 2 hours 40 minutes then a 30-minute ferry across to Ha Long Bay. PSD Express or Giant Ibis are comfortable buses with air conditioning and free water and snacks. 

How to get around Vietnam by bike – One of the fun things to do in Vietnam and the best way to experience road trips in Vietnam is on the back of a motorbike with a hired driver. This way of traveling in Vietnam is such an experience and you can hire a driver to motorbike the Ha Giang Loop or just travel from Hue to Hoi An for example with Hue Easy Driver

Internal flights – If you are short on time and wondering how to travel around Vietnam quickly, another method of Vietnam transport are Vietnam airlines that operate domestically to the major cities in the country. 

To help you travel through Vietnam, use an offline map such as to get around and download a taxi app such as Grab or Uber to get from the airport to your accommodation. BaoLau is a useful website for booking your Vietnam transportation.

Solo travel in Vietnam: Itinerary for Vietnam

Itinerary For Vietnam

Because of its size, you need at least two weeks to get a taster of the country. Three to four weeks is recommended to see the whole country if you have the time, if not look at spending time in either the south or the north for your Vietnam travel itinerary, or fly internally to maximise your days. You could combine your trip with a neighbouring country and solo travel Vietnam and Cambodia in a month or six weeks for example. Below are examples of Vietnam itineraries, whether you are looking for a Vietnam itinerary 10 days, a week Vietnam itinerary or 14 days in Vietnam.

Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days

Ho Chi Minh City (3 nights), Hoi An (2 nights), Da Lat (2 nights)

Hanoi (3 nights), Ha Long Bay or Cat Ba Island, (1 night), Sapa (3 nights)

10 Days in Vietnam

Hanoi (2 nights), Ha Long Bay (1 night), Hue (2 nights), Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park (2 nights), Ho Chi Minh (3 nights)

2 Weeks in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City (3 nights), Hoi An (2 nights), Da Lat (2 nights), Hanoi (3 nights), Ha Long Bay or Cat Ba Island, (1 night), Sapa (3 nights)

Vietnam Itinerary 3 Weeks

Hanoi (2 nights), Sapa (3 nights), Ha Long Bay (1 night), Ninh Binh (2 nights), Hue (2 nights). Da Nang (2 nights), Hoi An (2 nights), Nha Trang (2 nights), Mui Ne (2 nights), Ho Chi Minh City (3 nights)

* Use Rome2Rio or BaoLau to plan your journeys.

Travel Guide For Vietnam

If you need a guidebook for your travels we recommend the Solo Girl’s Travel Guides. These guides are written specifically for women and cover every travel detail including exclusive access to off-the-beaten-path destinations and secret beaches.

The author, Alexa West, has plenty of experience of Vietnam solo female travel. She lived in Vietnam and shares all her knowledge including local markets and social hotspots. 

Vietnam: The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide

If you are planning on travelling to Vietnam for the first time, the Solo Girl’s Travel Guide to Vietnam covers topics such as must-see places in Vietnam, things to see in Vietnam including Vietnam attractions, what to pack, the best beaches and resorts for your budget, and money-saving tips. It also includes how to get to your hotel without paying tourist prices, off-the-beaten-path adventures and local secrets. For any girl planning a solo trip to Vietnam, it’s your travel Bible.

* Buy The Solo Girl's Vietnam Travel Guide

Solo travel in Vietnam: Best time to visit Vietnam

Best Time To Visit Vietnam

Due to the country being so vast the climate varies from region to region so even if it’s hot in one destination it can be colder in another such as the Central Highlands. Ho Chi Minh is hot year-round you can visit anytime but it can be very humid in April.

The rainy season is generally from June to October so if you are travelling during this time just take a raincoat. The rain can sometimes be a welcome respite to the heat and it may only rain heavily for a short while before clearing for the rest of the day or night. You may prefer to avoid the rainy seasons if you are taking a cruise in Ha Long Bay.

November to March are good months to travel here as it can be cooler in the north and not so humid in the south. It is also a good destination for a Christmas break in the south. Try to time your visit with the blossom season in the mountainous areas. September to October is a good period to see the Sapa rice paddies before harvest.

Below is a weather chart showing the annual weather from January to December for solo female travel Hanoi. Click on this link for other regions.

Solo travel in Vietnam: Travel insurance for Vietnam

Travel Insurance For Vietnam

Vietnam is a fascinating country to explore but travel insurance is always recommended if you tour Vietnam to cover you for any travel delays, medical assistance and accidents.

True Traveller and World Nomads are two insurance companies which can cover travel to Vietnam. True Traveller is available to UK and European residents, and World Nomads is available to over 100 countries worldwide, including the USA and UK. For digital nomads, Safety Wing is a nomad insurance that covers people from all over the world.

All companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road and offer different plans depending on your needs including additional adventure cover.

* Check insurance cover and prices for True Traveller

N.b. World Nomads provides travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.

Solo travel in Vietnam: Vietnam Airports

Vietnam Airports

Vietnam has several international airports. One in Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Da Nang International Airport. Here’s how to get to and from each one.

Ho Chi Minh – Tan So Nhat International Airport (SGN) is Vietnam’s largest airport and is very close to the city centre. A taxi costs approx £5 for the 6-minute drive. Cheaper options are Airport bus 119 bus which departs Mien Tay Bus Station every 30 minutes and takes 9 minutes from the airport.

Airport bus 109 also runs to the airport. Shuttle bus 49 runs directly from the airport to your hotel. Click here for details of the buses 

Hanoi – Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) is a 45-minute bus ride from Hanoi. Taxis cost approximately £18 and only take 25 minutes or you can take the bus for just £1. Hanoi Airport Shuttles run every hour and cost £2. Click here for details 

Da Nang – Da Nang International (DAD) is only a 4-minute ride into Danang. There doesn’t seem to be any bus services so you may have to opt for a taxi for £3. If you are travelling from here to Hoi An it’s just a 30-minute ride.

* Feel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.

For other airports use Rome2Rio to plan your journey.

Solo travel in Vietnam: Questions about Vietnam

Questions About Vietnam

  • Can I drink the water? It isn't recommended to drink tap water. Consider taking your own water filter with you.
  • Is tipping expected?  Tipping isn’t expected but it is appreciated
  • Fixed price or barter? You can barter in the markets but people come to the city to sell goods because they don’t make enough money in their villages. Just remember that one dollar is not much to us but a lot to them
  • Any ATMs? Yes, there are ATMs across the country. It can be difficult to find one in Halong Bay so keep some cash on you. If you are changing money try Lily’s Travel Agency in Hanoi. Make sure that your notes have no marks on them before changing them.
  • Which side of the road do they drive? On the right-hand side but the roads can be chaotic with erratic drivers and motorbikes so be careful.
  • Good for vegetarians? Yes, and vegans and if you are gluten-free. Try ‘pho chay’ a soup with tofu which is gluten-free, ‘goi cuon’ Vietnamese rice paper rolls with vegetables or ‘banh mi chay’ a baguette with a vegetarian filling.
  • Any seven wonders of the world? No, but Halong Bay should be.
  • Is Vietnam safe to travel to? Yes but you do need to be careful of bag snatching. When you solo female travel Vietnam, keep your valuables out of sight and your bag tightly on you in the cities in Vietnam. 

Map of Vietnam

Planning Your Vietnam Holidays

If you are ready to solo travel in Vietnam here are some useful links to help you to plan your Vietnam solo trip, including airlines that fly there, vaccinations required and events and festivals.

Budget = £30 per day (based on travelling Vietnam on a budget and staying in hostels)

Local Currency – Vietnamese dong (VND) 

Do I need a visa? On a British passport, you can get an e-visa before you travel. Check your country's visa requirement and apply for a Vietnam visa here.

Vaccinations Required 

Useful Info

Airlines & Flights to Vietnam 

The Best Time to Go

Which Plug Do I Need?

UNESCO Sites in Vietnam 

Events and Festivals in Vietnam 

Local Cost Guide

Local Customs & Etiquette

Lingo – Useful Vietnamese phrases 

Social Impact Program

Blue Dragon Children's Foundation – This amazing foundation works with 1,500 children and youth throughout Vietnam. In the last year alone they rescued 247 people from slavery and trafficking, including girls, boys, and women.

4 thoughts on “Solo Travel in Vietnam

  1. Sneha Maru

    I read your article and loved it. But I was wondering if you have a much more details itinerary that breaks down the entire trip starting Day 1 of the trip to the last day, also with the timings to start the day and the places that you stayed at. It would be very helpful if you could also let me the know the airlines used, hotels/hostel you stayed at etc.


    1. Girl about the Globe Post author

      Hi Sneha, thanks for your comment. I’m just working on a comprehensive guide for Vietnam which will cover everything and will include this itinerary. I recommend joining our Girls about the Globe Facebook group too and searching for Vietnam there. I hope this itinerary helps:

      Day One: Arrive Ho Chi Minh city – Arrive in Vietnam and transfer to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh city.Stay overnight in a guest house/hotel by the river.

      Day Two: Ho Chi Minh – With a local guide take a trip to the Cu Chi tunnels before learning about the Vietnamese war at the War Museum. In the afternoon take a trip along the Mekong river. Stay overnight in a guest house/hotel by the river.

      Day Three: Ho Chi Minh – Nha Trang. In the morning visit a pottery village to learn how to make clay pots? From the city to the beach. Relax on Vietnam’s coastline or take a boat trip with Mama Linh. Stay overnight here

      Day Four: Nha Trang – Hoi An. Visit Hoian silk village and watch how silk is made. Visit the Kim Bong Carpentry Village

      Day Five: Hoi An – Marble Mountains – Danang. Leave Hoi An to travel to Danang stopping enroute at the Marble Mountains before arriving at the French town of Danang. Stroll around its picturesque lake then visit the Cao Dai temple and the Phap lam Pagoda.
      Stay overnight

      Day Six: Danang – Hue. Travel by train to Hue? There’s so much to see in this Vietnamese town: tombs, pagodas and citadels. See the Tomb of Minh Mang and the Royal Tombs. Stay overnight in a guest house/hotel by the river.

      Day Seven: Hue – Hanoi. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and explore the narrow alleys of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Hike to a hilltribe village in the afternoon. Have dinner at Hoa Sua, a local project for the disadvantaged youth. Stay overnight

      Day Eight: Hanoi – Halong Bay. Drive to the port before boarding your accommodation for the night as you sail overnight to the beautiful bay.
      Stay overnight on board the Pelican Boat

      Day Nine: Halong Bay – Hanoi. Visit the hiding place of Viet Cong in the afternoon before departing back to Hanoi for the evening.

      Day Ten: Hanoi – Sapa? tribes in the North. Travel from Hanoi to a tribal village in north Vietnam and hike through local villages and lush scenery before arriving at a local tribe. Take the night train from Hanoi? Stay overnight in a tribal village in the north / or a hotel in Sapa

      Day Eleven: Halong Bay – Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh

  2. Olga L

    I’d say you need to be very careful in Vietnam. Especially, for Europeans or Americans who are used to just straight honest business. Starting from the moment you step out of the airport you need to be vigilant in terms of being scammed. I’m talking about taxis to start with. It is especially prominent in big cities such as HCMC and Hanoi. You also need to be extremely careful when crossing roads and traveling by public transport. The country is gorgeous, nature is beautiful and many people are very friendly and nice. But for some reason some people who are involved in the tourist business tend to think that foreigners owe something extra to them. They overcharge you for everything – from clothes and magnets to tours and food. The thing that stroke me the most was the women in How An who carried big fruit baskets offering those to the tourists to take pictures with. The baskets were full of rocks underneath! What is the point of doing that? Why give these super heavy baskets to the tourists and then charge them for the picture? Anyway, this is an advice from a Russian who spent 4 weeks in Vietnam (HCMC, Mekong Delta, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Phong Nha, Ninh Binh, Halong, Hanoi).


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