Travel in Vietnam has been on the backburner for several months due to the latest COVID wave. But now hope fills the air as would-be travelers are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the acceleration of vaccination and continued efforts of the government to implement strict safety and social distancing measures.
In fact, Booking.com research shows that 66% of global travelers and 82% of Vietnamese travelers* feel more hopeful about traveling once again, when it is safe to do so. That first trip will see many stepping out alone – with research revealing that the solo travel trend is gathering momentum. Pre-pandemic, Booking.com data shows that only 17%** of global travelers were planning a trip on their own; however, this nearly doubled as 30% of global travelers and 29% Vietnamese travelers*** now say that they will be planning a solo trip in the future.
Fortunately, the plans for reopening of some popular local destinations are seeing positive progress. Domestic destinations like Danang, Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam and Quang Ninh have reopened to local tourists and are on track to officially welcome international travelers once again. In celebration of the upcoming Singles’ Day or 11.11 – a day often reserved to celebrate singlehood – Booking.com shares ideas on what travelers can do if they do decide to venture out on a solo adventure in the above-mentioned local destinations that are more than ready to welcome back tourists.
1. Eat like the locals
Little Riverside Hoi An . A Luxury Hotel & Spa, Hoi An, Quang Nam
To really get a taste of a destination, it’s all about experiencing it like a local. And that’s definitely true of local delicacies and immersing yourself by way of what you eat! For 87% of Vietnamese travelers**** local food/cuisine is a top decision factor when picking a destination. For solo-foodies not wanting to be too adventurous while dining alone in a restaurant, street food is a great option to sample a number of local specialties in a relaxed setting. Visit Hoi An in Quang Nam, one of Vietnam’s food capitals, to find the best local street food in the country. Its cuisine is unique and diverse in its range of flavors, offering opportunities to discover interesting insights and anecdotes on food culture and local traditions. Visitors can try local specialties including cao lau noodles, white rose and banh mi.
Top Tip: Wherever the destination, be sure to look up its local delicacy before you set off to start planning your foodie schedule and get an idea of which places (whether a street food stall or fine-dining restaurant) really are a must-try!
2. Get off the beaten track
Aaron Hotel, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa
Going solo means there’s no debate or compromise necessary when it comes to where to go and what to do. So when it’s safe to travel and plan your trip, why not think about roads less-travelled? Over half of global travelers (56%) and 63% of Vietnamese travelers*** will seek out more rural, off the beaten path experiences. These less-travelled destinations offer the chance to meet fellow minded travelers searching for similar travel experience and when traveling off-piste, friendly faces will be welcomed. For that reason, Dam Mon peninsula in Khanh Hoa should be at the top of your list. Travelers can experience the life of coastal dwellers in the rustic fishing village in Dam Mon through activities such as catching their own fish in traditional boats or witnessing the beautiful sunrise every morning. The unspoiled beauty of this hidden gem remains intact through the years and can make nature-loving tourists fall in love at first sight.
Top Tip: Ask your accommodation owner or host for tips on the must-see things to do or places to visit. It might sound obvious, but friendly local intel can ensure you don’t miss the hidden gem your chosen destination has to offer!
3. Seek out solo options for city seekers
Sheraton Grand Danang Resort, Da Nang
Not all solo trips need to be about finding yourself on a mountain top – a short city escape can be just as rewarding and reenergizing! Enjoy the hustle and bustle of a new destination, when it’s safe to do so, and explore a new metropolis. Da Nang is the perfect getaway for those stepping out solo. Known as the capital of Central Vietnam, with a west-coast location that makes for beautiful sunsets against an impressive backdrop of lush mountains, it offers a wide range of fun-filled activities and sightseeing opportunities for solo travelers to enjoy every moment of this trip.
Top Tip: Explore the city on foot to better get your bearings and experience what a new city has to offer. At many destinations you could join a guided walking tour to see all sides of the city too while also learning about the local history and culture.
4. Enjoy some TLC
Dusit Princess Moonrise Beach Resort, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang
Solo travel is the perfect opportunity to put yourself first and take some ‘me time’ to relax and unwind. If you want to spend the whole day on the beach with your head stuck in a book or taking leisurely coastal walks solo to breathe in that fresh sea air, so be it! Phu Quoc in Kien Giang really dazzles when it comes to relaxing beach days with its idyllic white sandy beaches and delightfully fresh seafood. This triangular-shaped island will also catch the attention of solo travelers who want to indulge their love for nature with recreational activities such as hiking, camping and photography. As for accommodation, solo travelers looking for some TLC time should also seek out one of Phu Quoc’s luxurious spa hotels.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to research the beach type, such as avoiding pebble beach destinations if you prefer the feeling of soft sand between your toes.
5. Do something you’ll never forget
BBQ HOSTEL, Ha Long, Quang Ninh
Solo travel is also a great opportunity to be adventurous and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Make me-time memories you will cherish forever. Quang Ninh attracts travelers from all over the world to embark in an unforgettable experience, whether it is to explore majestic caves with mysterious folk anecdotes or to go paragliding over the rolling hills. Nature has endowed Quang Ninh with many beautiful places and bestows its visitors with amazing adventurous moments. It is no surprise that solo travelers are spoiled for choice on their adventure itinerary here!
Top Tip: Even if it is just a photo of the tiny details you notice about a place, get snap happy so you can look back and remember your perspective of a destination. Bring a selfie stick to help get some angles where you can be in the photos.
6. Choose the right accommodation
Comfort is key when traveling solo so it’s important to pick the right property as your temporary home away from home. Consider the amenities needed to ensure you feel connected to those at home; such as free Wi-Fi, which is the most important amenity for 60% of Vietnamese travelers. Or consider seeking out the stays with hosts that will help make your stay unforgettable – look for those properties that have won Traveller Review Awards from Booking.com.
Top Tip: Booking.com has more than 207 million verified reviews from real guests, so make sure to read the previous reviews to find the stay that’s right for you. Solo travelers can also maximize various search filters to find an accommodation to suit their preferences
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who are planning to travel in the next 12 months. In total 28,042 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including 1003 from Argentina, 1002 from Australia, 1000 from Brazil, 1001 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1002 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 1003 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1005 from Germany, 1004 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 1002 from Israel, 1000 from Italy, 1000 from Japan, 1002 from Mexico, 1000 from Netherlands, 1000 from New Zealand, 1003 from Russia, 1000 from Singapore, 1003 from South Korea, 1005 from Spain, 1001 from Sweden, 1000 from Taiwan, 1003 from Thailand, 1000 from UK, 1000 from USA and 1000 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in January 2021.
**Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 22,000 respondents were polled (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Respondents completed an online survey between 9th August to 28th August 2019.
***Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who have traveled for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including from 999 USA, 496 from Canada, 497 from Mexico, 997 from Colombia, 999 from Brazil, 499 from Argentina, 995 from Australia, 499 from New Zealand, 999 from Spain, 996 from Italy, 996 from France, 999 from UK, 996 from Germany, 498 from Netherlands, 499 from Denmark, 499 from Sweden, 498 from Croatia, 1001 from Russia, 498 from Israel, 997 from India, 994 from China, 499 from Hong Kong, 497 from Thailand, 496 from Singapore, 499 from Taiwan, 997 from South Korea, 500 from Vietnam and 995 from Japan). Respondents completed an online survey in July 2020.
****Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 47,728 respondents across 28 markets (1,997 from USA, 1,987 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 1,996 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,994 from Australia, 985 from New Zealand, 1,993 from Spain, 1,993 from Italy, 1,993 from France, 1,984 from UK, 1,989 from Germany, 1,977 from Netherlands, 983 from Denmark, 986 from Sweden, 998 from Croatia, 1,997 from Russia, 999 from Israel, 1,997 from India, 1,992 from China, 991 from Hong Kong, 1,991 from Thailand, 1,977 from Singapore, 998 from Taiwan, 953 from Vietnam, 1,990 from South Korea, 1,987 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in