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Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam - How to Spend the Best Year of Your Life

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A gap year could be the best year of your life, and careful planning can help you achieve much more from your memorable year. So, what is the list of objectives you need to know before taking a gap year in Vietnam? Let’s scroll down to find a comprehensive answer!

Why Spending Your Gap Year in Vietnam is a Fantastic Idea

Once choosing Vietnam as your destination, make sure you know what leads you to this decision. Since you will spend a whole precious year in this Southeast Asian country, don’t just randomly pick it due to a random picture online.

Political Stability

In this single-party state, rarely do political conflicts and violent protests happen, so you don’t have to worry about terrorism or violence. Also, citizens are not allowed to own or use guns and army weapons. Thus, generally, Vietnam is a safe country for solo travelers and backpackers from all over the world.

Impressive Nature

Vietnam has a strong reputation for pristine beaches and striking ranges of mountains. It is also gifted with mysterious forests and the fertile Mekong Delta. What makes this country stands out is that no matter which province you are in, you will have no problem finding marvelous presents from nature. If you are a fan of karst terrain, Ha Long Bay will surely satisfy you. For beach lovers, the long coastline of Central Vietnam is exactly what interests you.

Low Cost of Living

For a young student, paying for living expenses is a crucial issue. Luckily, food, housing, and entertainment in Vietnam are offered at a very affordable price. In fact, most goods and services here only cost you half compared to the normal rates in Western countries.

See reviews and prices of top hotels in Vietnam:


The Diversity of Services

Having concerns about the diversity and professionalism of services in Vietnam? No worries, as the local economy rapidly develops, new businesses appear, and they can cater to anyone’s taste. Whether you are fond of cozy bistros or fancy restaurants, search what you need on Google or an authentic Vietnam travel guide, and you will find one that suits you in the blink of an eye.

For more information about traveling to Vietnam, check out:

How to Obtain Vietnam Visa
International and Domestic Flights Updates in Vietnam
Traveling Vietnam during Covid-19

Activities for Your Gap Year in Vietnam

Seeking ways to make the most of your gap year in Vietnam? These suggestions might be helpful to you.

Conquer Spectacular Mountains in Vietnam

Dear hikers, it’s time you got ready for your adventure in Vietnam. As 2/3 of the country is naturally blessed with stunning mountain ranges, you will have no difficulty spotting one to fulfill your passion. Some prominent mountains for hiking are Chua Chan, Black Virgin (Ba Den), and Ta Cu.

gap year in vietnam original mount

Lang Biang Mountain in Da Lat

Immerse in The Crystal-clear Sea Water

With the 3000-km coastline and more than 3000 islands scattered from North to South, it is not exaggerated to say that beaches and islands are Vietnamese “specialties”. Once you have decided to spend your gap year in Vietnam, don’t forget to have getaways to seaside towns like Mui Ne, Nha Trang or Phu Quoc.

gap year in vietnam original nhatrang

The mesmerizing beach of Nha Trang

Travel back to The Old Time

Vietnam’s 2000 years of history could offer you a wonderful trip to the old time. You can come to Hue and discover the royal life of the Nguyen Dynasty or you may opt for Hoi An - a bustling international port from the 15th to 19th century. In case you seek a combination of modernity and history, Saigon and Hanoi are the two commercial hubs that have countless constructions that appeal to you.

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A classic vibe is what you should expect about Hoi An

Explore the Local Cuisine

As each region has its specialties, exploring the local cuisine is one of the must-do things when taking a gap year in this land. You may have heard of our reputable Pho, but that’s just one of many delicious dishes that you ought to try. The best way to taste all you love is by going on a food tour. You can either stroll through a food town in the city center or wander around a market like Ben Thanh or Tan Dinh in Saigon.

gap year in vietnam original vnmeal

A typical Vietnamese meal

Go on a Motorbike Tour

Once coming to the S-shaped country, you cannot miss the chance to sit on our signature vehicle – a motorbike. The authentic street culture in Vietnam also revolves around motorbikes mostly, so we highly recommend you book a motorbike tour or opt for motorbike taxis to observe up-close the local life in Vietnam.

Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
for fun and insightful trips in Ho Chi Minh City!

family outing in ho chi minh city motorcycle

Tips for Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Know The Metric System

Once a French colony, Vietnam is greatly influenced by this European country in terms of measurement units. Vietnamese people use the metric system for everything except precious metals and gems. Therefore, remember to learn about liters, grams, and meters beforehand.

Get Used to Vietnamese Banknotes

The currency of the country is “Vietnamese Dong” (VND). There are 12 banknotes printed in different colors, so it is crucial to identify each one. Coins are no longer in circulation, but you can buy a collection of them in souvenir shops or Saigon Central Post Office.

Learn Basic Vietnamese Phrases

Though it’s not hard to find someone speaking English in Vietnam, you should know some phrases that can help you in case of emergency or shopping at local markets. You can learn basic Vietnamese phrases on translating apps or check out our blog on Vietnamese useful words.

Read more on What to Pack for Vietnam

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Final Thoughts about Enjoying Your Gap Year in Vietnam

As a growing nation, Vietnam is where you will see modern facilities being in harmony with historical sites. Regardless of the region that you reside in, you are guaranteed to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, let’s grab a pen and some papers to map out your gap year plan in Vietnam right away!


© Written by Uyen Ho for



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