The best things in life are always free. With this thought in mind, we have come up with a curated list of the things you could do in Vietnam which are totally free of cost. Since the two main tourist cities in Vietnam are Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, we have decided to keep this list short and include five best things to do for free in both these above mentioned cities. This list should appeal to all those backpackers and budget-conscious travellers who want to enjoy to the fullest, without burning a hole in their pockets.
Things you can do in Vietnam for free:
Look around Buddhist Temples: Temples in Vietnam are free for all, and have a number of breathtaking sites which are scattered all around the place. The prime time for visiting these temples are during the Lunar New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival and Lord Buddha’s Birthday.
2. Take a walking tour: If you are someone who is keenly interested about the history, art and culture of Vietnam, then taking a walking tour around the city is the best option available. You can ask any local to accompany you in the entire sight-seeing process, if a local is not available, there are a lot of non-profit organizations or university students around who would love to show you around.
3. Window shopping at Ben Thanh: Shopping at Ho Chi Minh can be a costly affair, but window shopping necessarily does not mean you have to buy anything. The flea market at Ben Thanh is a really great place to have a look at Vietnamese art, local handicrafts and crafts. This market also has innumerable street food stalls, so, you can have a glass of cold drink to soothe your throat when the bargaining takes a toll on you.
4. Watch a concert for free: The opera house situated in Ho Chi Minh city is a regal and elegant building reeking of the city’s colonial past. This House stands exactly at the intersecting point of Le Loi and Dong Khoi streets. This house has a provision for expensive tickets, but don’t worry, every Saturday around 9am, the Opera House holds free performances in front of its building. The performing arts which includes Vietnamese traditional plays and dances apart from ballets and musicals is not to be missed at all.
5. Witness a songbird singing competition: That is absolutely right, the Tao Dan Park, which is located in District number 1, is a recreational spot offering the people a terribly-needed recluse from the hubbub of the city. This is an ideal place to relax with some great coffee. You can see a variety of songbirds in cages in and around the cafes. The cafe owners take a lot of pride in these birds and a singing competition is held among them on a weekly basis.
6. Stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake: This Hoan Kiem Lake is a central point of legends and history that has a huge hand in shaping the culture of Hanoi. You can see elderly couples walking hand in hand, kids playing around and you can have a memorable time sitting by the lake in peace.
7. Fun Street performances in the local parks: The most favourite thing to do in the local parks at 4am is zumba. Did you know that? You can also see a few local musicians around the parks of Hanoi, scattered here and there. Outdoor sports are a fun activity too.
8. Hanoi Night Market: Every week from Friday to Sunday, there is an impeccable night market at the Old Quarter. The places are swarmed by pedestrians and it becomes a fun activity with numerous food stalls and drinking joints. Grab a beer, and go exploring the plethora of choices which lay in front of you in the market.
9. Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh: Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Minh) has his remains in the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh. The entry fee of the mausoleum can be a little costly, but a walk around the perimeter of it is absolutely free of cost. There are a few dressing guides that are to be followed here. Short skirts and short blouses are generally to be avoided.
10. Check out Don Xuan Market: The Don Xuan market is a 4 storeyed market which has literally everything you can think of. But, this market is mainly meant for wholesale purchase and retail shopping is not very welcomed by the sellers.
We at PickYourTrails and our Vietnam packages would take extra care to see that your budget does not stretch far and wide to accommodate all the fun activities in and around Vietnam. The cities of Vietnam can be a little costly but there is a scope for enjoyment all around. Like we said, the best and most peaceful things in life are free.