HCMC holiday ideas to circumvent expensive air tickets

By Bich Phuong    April 25, 2024 | 02:00 am PT
Without having to struggle with soaring airfares for the five-day holiday late this month, here are five destinations that can be easily reached by road from HCMC.

Tuy Hoa-Song Cau

According to VnExpress surveys, airfares from Ho Chi Minh City to Tuy Hoa, the capital city of Phu Yen Province, between April 28 and May 1 cost VND4 million (US$167) round trip.

Therefore, visitors could consider taking a night-trip coach to Phu Yen that takes around nine hours.

Round-trip bus tickets for the journey cost nearly VND1.7 million, an increase of more than 50% compared to non-holidays, but still much cheaper than airfares.

Visitors could stay in Tuy Hoa for one to two days then go to Song Cau Town, 111 km away, by local bus that runs every 30-45 minutes.


A beach in Song Cau Town, Phu Yen Province. Photo by Quynh Mai

Song Cau is not too popular with most tourists and is surrounded by undulating mountains and plains.

Upon arriving in there, people can enjoy the bustling atmosphere of coastal fishing villages at dawn.

A tour to explore Song Cau takes tourists to visit traditional craft villages, try making coconut rice paper, a specialty in Phu Yen.

In addition, tourists can ride a basket boat and cast a net to catch fish at Cu Mong lagoon to experience life with local fisherman. Coming to Cu Mong lagoon, tourists will go out to sea with fishermen on basket boats to catch seafood and enjoy them afterwards.

Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak

The upcoming holiday will be an ideal chance to enjoy the dry weather in Dak Lak before this place enters the rainy season from May to November.

About 350 km from HCMC, visitors can travel to there by car for eight hours with round-trip tickets costing VND720,000 during the holiday.

From city center within a radius of about 50 km, there are many places to explore.

Popular tourist destinations are located quite far from the city, so it is suitable for a three-day trip or longer if you want to explore more.

Tourist attractions include Buon Don tourist area, Crocodile Pit about 40 km from Buon Don, Dray Nur waterfall - Dray Sap waterfall, ancient pottery village of M'nong Rlam people in Yang Tao Commune.


Dray Nur waterfall in Buon Ma Thuot City, Dak Lak Province. Photo by Du Hy

There are many accommodation options if you stay right in the center of Buon Ma Thuot City such as Muong Thanh Hotel, Thanh Mai Hotel, Nice, Bazan Xanh, Biet Dien, Elephants, Sai Gon Ban Me, Hami Garden with room rates ranging from VND300,000 to 900,000 per night.

Some homestays such as Zan Homestay, Lee's House, Doi Sao offer prices from VND300,000 to 1.2 million per night.

If you travel in a large group, you can stay in Ban Don tourist area or Lak lake to get close to nature. Lak Tented Camp is a famous lakeside resort in Buon Ma Thuot.

Suoi O beach, Ba Ria-Vung Tau

If you are familiar with Vung Tau or Ho Tram beach, visitors can spend time exploring a new destination in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau during this holiday: Suoi O beach located in Xuyen Moc District.

This place is more than 100 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City and about 58 km from Vung Tau City, suitable for traveling by bus or personal vehicle.

The beach there is quiet with few big waves and no reefs, suitable for families with the elderly and children.

Because it remains off the beaten track, there are not yet many tourism services there.

From Suoi O beach, you can move to Binh Chau port area, a gathering place for fresh seafood where visitors can buy to take home or enjoy at the fish cage.


An outdoor swimming pool with view of paddy field inside a resort in Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Photo courtesy of the resort

Currently, there are no overnight accommodation services in Suoi O beach area; therefore, visitors can camp overnight on the beach or stay at resorts in Xuyen Moc.

Binh Duong

From late April to early May, Binh Duong is in fruit harvest season, especially mangosteen fruit. This is a suitable opportunity for tourists to visit the gardens and experience harvesting fruits.

Binh Duong is about 30 km from HCMC and it takes tourists from 45-90 minutes by car depending on traffic situation.

Within a radius of about 40 km from the center of Thu Dau Mot City, there are many places to explore, from eco-tourism sites to historical relics and landscapes.

Destinations suitable for nature-loving tourists include Kawazo Phu Thinh eco-tourism area, Phu An bamboo village, Truc Lam Thanh Nguyen Zen Monastery, Lai Thieu fruit garden, and Dau Tieng Lake.

A visitor goes fishing by Dau Tieng Lake in Binh Duong Province. Photo by Bao Tran

A visitor goes fishing by Dau Tieng Lake in Binh Duong Province. Photo by Bao Tran

Some historical sites to visit include the southwest Ben Cat Tunnels, Dai Hung ancient pottery village, and Tran Van Ho ancient house.

Binh Duong is also home to many accommodation options.

Some luxury accommodations include The Mira, Fairfield by Marriott, Becamex Hotel, Hiive by Fusion, Citadines Central Binh Duong with prices starting from VND1 million per night.

Three-star hotels costing VND400,000 to 600,000 include Long Bao Chau, Saigon Park, Elizabeth, Hoang Hung and serviced apartments.

Tien Giang

A must-try experience when coming to Tien Giang is to visit cocoa gardens and learn about the handmade chocolate production process. Visitors can observe the process firsthand and make their own chocolate bar at Cho Gao garden with prices of VND300,000 per person.

Foreign tourists try eating cocoa fruits at a garden in Tien Giang Province. Photo by Tam Linh

Foreign tourists try eating cocoa fruits at a garden in Tien Giang Province. Photo by Tam Linh

Besides visiting the cocoa garden, visitors can also participate in folk games such as tug of war, fruit picking, and eating pancakes amidst the garden space.

From HCMC, visitors can go to Cho Gao cocoa garden by car or bus for VND85,000, including a shuttle bus to pick up or drop off at the garden. The garden usually operates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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