On a $400 budget, I would choose Thailand over domestic destinations

April 29, 2024 | 03:14 pm PT
On a $400 budget, I would choose Thailand over domestic destinations
A group of Vietnamese tourists in Thailand. Photo by Reuters
A five-day trip to Thailand fits snugly into my VND10 million (US$394) budget while trips to tourist destinations in Vietnam with similar price tags may not be as comfortable.

I am currently on a five-day trip to Thailand. The trip cost me an estimated VND10 million, including everything from airfare and accommodation to food and activities. With that budget, I could certainly travel domestically as well, but I am sure the trip would not be as comfortable as going to Thailand because I would have to worry about being overcharged for lower quality of services and cleanliness.

The above comment was left by reader Anh in response to a recent article on how more Vietnamese tourists are choosing to travel to other Asian countries over domestic destinations.

Other readers have also voiced similar opinions:

Reader Mr Kim:

"In Thailand, I can book a five-star hotel for VND2 million per night, something that is very difficult to do in popular places like Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, and Nha Trang. Additionally, domestic air tickets are also more expensive than flights to Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Therefore, it is clear that traveling in Vietnam is much more expensive than going abroad."

Reader Le Minh:

"As a Vietnamese, I would love to support domestic tourism. However, if you travel domestically right now, transportation costs, either by car or plane, are much higher compared to outbound travel. Additionally, tourism services such as dining, entertainment, and accommodation are often overpriced. We go on vacation to find comfort, not to feel frustrated. Hence, my family in Hanoi will take a Thailand tour that costs VND8 million per person for the upcoming holiday. This price is much cheaper than traveling to destinations like Da Nang, Can Tho, Nha Trang, and Vung Tau."

Reader Bui Louis:

"Vietnamese tourism lags behind neighboring countries due to a combination of these factors: high airfares, crowding, slow services, and price gouging, especially during holidays. I remember when I was traveling domestically during holidays, I was always paying more for worse and slower services. This is very uncomfortable, particularly if you have elderly or young family members."

Reader Vu:

"Firstly, Vietnamese people's natural preference for foreign cultures and products is advantageous for outbound tourism. Secondly, if Vietnamese tourism products are just as good, or at least have the same costs, as foreign ones, people will likely choose to travel domestically more.

Vietnamese people's income is relatively low, so traveling locally must align with this. Vietnamese service providers must accept this reality, or they will continue to see no local customers."

Reader Hieu:

"The Vietnamese tourism industry seems overly greedy to me. It is only looking for short-term gains without considering long-term consequences. For example, after the HCMC-Phan Thiet expressway was built, many issues arose, such as some hotels not allowing guests to book a room for just one night and insisting on a minimum of two. While this has been resolved, this incident shows that when given good opportunities, the tourism industry will often use them to exploit customers instead of developing the industry.

I have traveled to many countries in the Southeast Asia region, and their beaches and natural scenery pale in comparison to Vietnam. However, they know how to utilize what they have to create a worthwhile destination. Meanwhile, Vietnam has many advantages but does not know how to protect the environment, improve food hygiene, and prevent price gouging. This is why Vietnamese people shift their preference to elsewhere."

So what is your viewpoint on this matter?

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