7 Reasons To Travel To Vietnam During Your Gap Year Abroad
Fancy exploring the picturesque Halong Bay? Or wanna take a walk around the Old Quarters of Hanoi while taking some million dollar shots of the street life?
With its 3,000 kilometers of tropical coastline, exquisite food, mind blowing history, and fascinating culture - Vietnam is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations visited by travelers from all over the world. No matter whether you are a beach lover or art buff, foodie or adventure seeker - Vietnam has something to offer everyone.
If you are planning to take a gap year abroad, then here are 7 reasons that'll convince you to explore Vietnam:
1. Vietnam is one of the most affordable destinations in Southeast Asia!
Of course, when you think of spending your gap year abroad, one of the first and foremost things to consider is the budget. As it's widely known, Southeast Asia is the backpacker's hub 'coz of its affordability - and Vietnam, surely, is one of the most budget-friendly destinations. With increasing dependence on the tourism industry for their economy, the Vietnamese have set up the country to be as travel-friendly as possible. You'll get several hostels to crash in the big cities and the local transport will save you from getting doomed! Hostels can cost you under $5 a night and beer will only run you a couple of cents! (Yeah you heard us right!) Each meal can be eaten for under $2 and a nice meal for two people can cost you just about $10. Go for home stays while exploring the countryside, and you'll get a sneak peek of the authentic Vietnamese lifestyle.
2. Get to know more about the country's past.
Vietnam's rich history, that dates back to nearly 2000 years, will leave you spellbound. The country has been influenced by Chinese, Khmer, and Indian cultures, as well as French colonialism for a long time. The Vietnam War of the 1970s immensely affected the countrymen and you can visit the Cu Chi war tunnels to get an insider look at what the war was like for many soldiers. There are several war museums as well, where you can get to know more about the dark days that the nation has seen. Whether you are a history buff or not, the stories of Vietnam's past will surely touch your soul.
3. The natural beauty of the country is absolutely breathtaking!
Be it the towering mountain ranges in the north around Sapa are lined with lush forests and footed by lakes, rivers, and terraced fields of rice or the turquoise waters surrounding the island of Phu Quoc - Vietnam is nothing less than a paradise! The country is home to some of the biggest natural caves in the world in Dong Hoi, and some stunning national parks such as Cuc Phuong around the town of Ninh Binh. And then there are the limestone towers and cliffs amongst the immense Ha Long Bay - which makes it a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The beauty of nature will keep you mesmerized throughout, and you probably can't get enough of it. And if you thought that's it in Vietnam, then let me tell you about the sand dunes in red and white hues covering Central Vietnam, that attract curious travelers to the town of Mui Ne. There's a lot more than this, which you can discover during your gap year adventures in Vietnam.
4. And the Vietnamese cuisine is too good to resist!
From Pho noodle soup, (transparent) spring rolls, banh mi and sticky rice to seafood - Vietnamese food is always tasty, fresh and healthy. No matter whether you're eating at a street-side stall or a fancy restaurant - you'll always get to treat yourself with some delicious meal! My personal favorites are the giant seafood filled pancakes, the grilled corn on the cob or the warm banana cake in a coconut milk sauce - you can try them too
If you are keen on learning how to make a perfect bowl of Pho, then you can also attend one of the many cooking class in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City and brush up your cooking skills. You can go back home and surprise your folks by preparing a Vietnamese supper for them!
5. Sign up for a meaningful volunteering project and make a difference.
What can be more beautiful and enriching than volunteering during your gap year in Vietnam? Considering the fact that it's a developing country and there are several underprivileged people living a hard life, you can be a part of a noble cause and give your valuable time for their wellbeing. You can opt to volunteer for a childcare program and look after the little ones, showering them with utmost love and care, or join a teaching program and help the youth to polish their communicative skills. This will also help you in gaining first-hand work experience and boost your CV/Resume for your career in the days ahead.
6. Endless opportunities for adventure seekers!
There's no end to adventures in this land! You can choose to go for treks and hikes in Northern Vietnam and explore the gorgeous countryside in Sapa. Otherwise, you can rent a motorbike and explore as the locals do! You can opt to go for a thrilling Hiking, Biking & Kayaking Tour in Vietnam with Go Discover Abroad, and meet some crazy travelers from other parts of the world. Thrill seekers can trek deep into the cave system at Dong Hoi as well. Visit the beach towns of Nha Trang and Phu Quoc if you wanna surf or snorkel, or choose to go for scuba diving as well.
7. The location of Vietnam is just too perfect!
You shouldn't be surprised if I tell that you can explore China, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand as well, during your gap year in Vietnam! Yeah - you heard me right! The location of Vietnam is too good to be true - and the connectivity with the neighboring countries absolutely makes this easier. You can actually hop on a bus from Hanoi and travel to Luang Prabang in Laos or Siem Reap in Cambodia. The 'Reunification Express' is connected to China's own rail system, that'll help you to take the train from Hanoi to the Chinese city of Nanning. You can also get buses that connects Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok! All said there, you can also opt to take a short flight to countries like Malaysia or Singapore, which won't cost much.
Well, like I told you before as well, there's no reason to say 'No' to Vietnam! If you've been contemplating traveling abroad this year and wondering where to go, then you can surely consider visiting this beautiful Southeast Asian nation that has abundant cultural richness, impeccable natural beauty, bustling cities with friendly people and lots more to offer you.
For more information and guidance, you can reach out to us at [email protected] and our expert travel advisors will soon get back to you!