Planning a Research Trip to Vietnam?
Have you come up with the idea of traveling to Vietnam, but don’t know how to plan it? The following travel guide may help your idea to go a bit further.
I highly recommend that you take a research trip to Vietnam before you decide to go through the process of moving your life there.
Apply for a 30-day or 90-day visa. You can do this through the Vietnamese U.S. embassy, or it’s often easier to do the process online via an agent.
If you’re keen to see a more local side to many cities, consider using Airbnb or home stay . The hotels below, however, can also make a fantastic central place from which you can explore.
Pick out a good travel insurance policy like World Nomads (I’ve used them since 2008 and fully reviewed them here) to cover you while you’re either in transit visiting your future homes, or their insurance policies can work as long-term expat insurance too, at least until you sort out local providers.
If you’re visiting Ho Chi Minh City, I recommend Tuan Long Hotel as a super budget option, or Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel for mid-range prices and accessibility to the places you’ll likely need to research.
If you’re visiting Hanoi, it’s a small city so you can’t go wrong with most of the central places. I recommend Noibai Family Homestay as a super budget option, or Hanoi La Siesta Hotel Trendy for mid-range prices and good accessibility.
In Hoi An, I recommend Green Garden Homestay as a for budget travelers, or Lantana Hoi An Boutique Hotel for mid-range prices and accessibility.
Recommended Cultural Reading: If you’re hoping to fully immerse in the local culture, then there a few good books you should read. The book Catfish and Mandala is a beautiful memoir of about a Vietnamese-American’s overland bicycle journey. Having learned history from the U.S. point of view, The Girl in the Picture provides a beautiful, haunting look at the war from the Vietnamese perspective. And to round it out, The Sorrow of War is a memoir from a North Vietnamese soldier and provides a different perspective on the war and the impact that the war has even to this day.