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Rice fields on terraced in rainny season at Vietnam.

Despite its growing popularity over the last few years, Vietnam is still undeveloped, unspoiled and most importantly, very affordable. INR 500 can actually see you through a day in this beautiful land – covering comfortable accommodation at a guest house, delicious local food, transport and even some drinking. No jokes here, a pint of the country’s most popular drink, Bia Hoi, costs a delightfully shocking INR 40. Hanoi, the capital city, has undergone many transformations – from being the headquarters of French Indochina to being the administrative center of communist Vietnam.

. But it still retains its French essence from the years past – there are patisseries producing croissants that could be found in the Paris of today, and interestingly – such an establishment may share a common wall with a traditional pho noodle shack! Visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter when you are in the mood for some post-colonial charm and also some peace – locals get together every morning to practice Tai Chi. Head to the erstwhile French mountain resort town of Da Lat for a rural Vietnamese experience complete with flowing rice terraces and lush greenery. The city is a tourist hub, being the base for a number of motorcycle tours. The pretty flower farms, tofu factories and cashew nut plantations are all worth a visit; before you take off for Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon.

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