Vietnam, one of the cheapest destinations in 2017

Nga Do
A street meal and a beer in Vietnam can cost the same as a coffee from Starbucks, travel writers say. Forbes has interviewed 14 travel experts who make it their business to keep track of the best bargains around the world to make a list of the most affordable destinations to visit in 2017. And Vietnam is ranked as one of cheapest places this year.

In 2015, the US magazine also listed the Southeast Asian country among the 10 coolest places to visit. The country stands out as a low-cost travel destination in South Asia for affordable luxury resorts, healthy food at cheap prices and beautiful sights. “Eat your way through historic Hanoi, kayak in the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay or relax in ancient Hoi An and the nearby beaches,” said Marybeth Bond, National Geographic writer, who has firsthand knowledge of the destinations.

In Hanoi, for just US$20, travelers can go on a city tour with a tour guide on foot or by scooter, according to Forbes travel experts. Affordable accommodation also makes Hanoi as a budget-friendly city where tourists can book a room for less than $70 per night. Hanoi has repeatedly entered lists of best-value destinations. The city has been named the cheapest travel destination by TripAdvisor for the past three years. Budget tourism site Price of Travel also recommended it as the third cheapest tourist spot in Asia for 2017, with daily expenses for a backpacker estimated at US$18.16.

Visitors to Vietnam are advised to learn the names and ingredients in the dishes because there is a very high chance that they will want to order them again, said Bond. Food is serious business in the country where a street meal and a beer can cost the same as a caramel macchiato at Starbucks. With the help of a local tour guide, travelers will be taken on an adventure to taste a variety of street food such as banh mi and pho. Forbes travel experts said foreign travelers should download a handy app for languages to pronounce correctly Vietnam’s national dish pho. “Be sure to take time to sip a bowl of steaming pho noodle soup,” she said.

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