Travelling alone for the first time naturally brings with it some nerves and anxiety but this should never be a reason not to go. Vietnam is a beautiful and fascinating country to visit and what’s more it is easy and safe to travel around. Read on to find out more about why it will be the perfect destination for your first solo trip.
I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a little while as I was lucky enough to be travelling from the South to the North of Vietnam. It wasn’t just a scratch for my itchy feet – Vietnam is a place I’d wanted to visit since learning about it’s history during my university degree. Not only did the experience exceed my expectations, I also found out that it is EASY to travel around independently and that got me thinking – it’s a perfect destination for a first time traveller!
5 reasons that Vietnam is perfect for a first solo trip
1. The people
Most travellers will tell you that the people are the best thing about any place. Vietnamese people went out of their way to make sure I had everything I needed and smiled even when they were woken up at 5am. If you need help with anything while you’re away, you can feel safe that there will be someone there to guide you.
2. Vietnam has it all
Maybe, you don’t quite know what you want from travel yet – you know you want to see the world, but you can’t tell if you’d like a city or a mountain best as you’ve never travelled to a faraway one (yet!). Well, Vietnam does seem to have it all. Exciting, bustling cities; rainforest walks, sandy beaches; windsurfing; mountains; island life; caves; lakes; fascinating history; foodies delights… etc etc. It depends when and where you go, but there will be something here for you.
3. Easy, cheap transport
Wow the trains!! I travelled the distance of the country on overnight trains and they were a great experience. You can book in advance online and print off your e-ticket. EASY! I found the soft sleepers really comfortable, the hard sleepers really fun and the soft seats to be a wonderful close encounter with the locals. There are also hop on and off buses and mopeds if you’re feeling brave!
4. Delicious Asian Food mixed with french style baguettes!
Vietnam has deliciously unusual food – the fish market will show you creatures you may never have imagined existed. The French influence has however also brought with it the awesome baguette. Better than any bread I get at home, it was light and fluffy. Banh mi is usually a meat based sandwich but banh mi chay is with omelette for vegetarians. The mix of delicious asian flavours with this Euro influence means there is something for everyone – even the most food-nervous newbie traveller.
5. Safe and clean
As with all travel, you have to take precautions and be safety conscious. I felt secure in Vietnam. I carried my DSLR in most places without hiding it, didn’t worry about hiding my passport in my underwear* and took taxis with relative ease. Street food is something to take care with, but the markets I visited here seemed clean, with the right kind of water and gloves being used to prepare the food. Feeling safe and comfortable on your first trip will make all the difference to your love of experiencing the globe.
I did my first time travelling solo in Central and South America. It was a life changing experience and one I wouldn’t change for the world. But Vietnam is now top of my list to recommend for people on their first adventure. It’s the perfect place for your wandering feet to find their way.
Watch this space for more on my Vietnam adventure!
*This is another story for another time!
Where would you recommend for a first time independent traveller?