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.