• Eat delicious street food
The food is usually excellent, really cheap, and you can watch it being cooked in front of you. Stick to the local food and you’ll save money. The street-side pho, bread, meat sandwiches (called banh mi), donuts, and bananas are your best deals all of which can be found for around 20,000 VND.
• Late-night travel
If traveling long journeys, try to take the late night “sleeper” buses or trains as this will save you the cost of a night’s accommodation. Depending on the company, you may even have a chance to comfortably lie flat as you ride through the dark countryside to your next destination.
• Take the tourist bus
It is actually cheaper to take the tourist bus around the country than taking local transportation because of the “tourist” price you get at the bus station. Tickets from one end of the country to another will cost around 1,200,000 VND.
• Fly for cheap
Vietnam’s low-cost airlines VietJet and FlyVietnam are extremely inexpensive and adding luggage to your flight can cost as little as 150,000 VND. This is a great option for people with limited time to explore different regions of Vietnam.
• Bargain hard
Tourists tend to be charged more than locals for everything from cycles (a three-wheel bicycle taxi) to clothes to street food. Bargain harder than you would ordinarily, and don’t underestimate the value of walking away.
• Ask your hostel staff
Before you leave the hostel, ask them to estimate how much what you want to do should cost. How much should a ride to the museum cost? How much should I pay to have a gown like this made? They will be able to give you bargaining guidelines.