List Of Useful Mobile Apps For Travelling In Vietnam
La Sinfonía del Rey
15.04.2021

Travelling to a different country can be an interesting experience yet it always comes with numerous difficulties that travelers have to handle during the journey. These can be booking accommodations, figuring out local experience, language barrier, cultural shocks, navigation, ordering food online, etc. Luckily, most of these problems can be sorted out easily nowadays using technology. People can get access to the Internet all the time, seek information online and handling problems by using some useful apps on the phone. Utilising mobile apps, you can relax and enjoy the travels more instead of spending too much time planning and organizing things.

The list below will equip you with information about some useful mobile apps to prepare for your trip to Vietnam. Don’t forget to install the apps that suit your needs and get ready to explore Vietnam in your own way!

Apps for booking accommodations in Vietnam

Selecting a reliable online platform to book accommodations is an important decision as each channel has a different set of advantages and disadvantages which are formulated to cater to different target segments. The following list demonstrates some noteworthy features of each platform, so you can compare and select the most suited one for your need. 

There are countless online travel apps to choose from
(Source: https://kinhdoanhairbnb.com/2019/10/05/otas-la-gi/)

1. Booking.com

Booking.com is a popular app among regular travelers thanks to its convenience and helpfulness. It currently offers more than 3,800 property listings in Hanoi. Booking.com does not require customers to prepay and offers free cancellation within a certain time period, so it’s perfect for travelers who are not yet sure about their choices of accommodation or prefer paying directly at the place. You can rest assured to use the service on Booking.com as it has a very strict policy to protect customers' benefits under certain circumstances of conflicts and litigations.  

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

2.  Agoda

Agoda is a user-friendly app that offers 6,030 accommodation listings in Hanoi. It also provides a loyalty program by which users can earn points to gain extra benefits. Besides, Agoda provides prepayment methods combined with a bunch of attractive discounts, thus it’s certainly more beneficial for last-minute bookers to book accommodations through Agoda than Booking.com.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

3. Airbnb

Airbnb is the best platform that connects hosts of accommodations and renters with just a few clicks. The platform is designed specifically for those who seek authentic stay experience with the accommodations embedded in local culture and interactions with local people. However, booking accommodations on Airbnb is either very cheap or very expensive depending on the type of accommodation you choose, the number of people, and the area where the place is located. All in all, experiencing homestays for vacations in Vietnam are definitely worth trying and Airbnb is currently the best app that can help you with that.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

4. Expedia:

One more useful app that you can use to book accommodations in Vietnam is Expedia. Expedia provides many discounts and promotions throughout the year for those who want to book early and accept to prepay to reserve the rooms. Expedia is also ideal for travelers who tend to book all-in-one packages at affordable prices rather than separate services.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android 

Apps for transportation in Vietnam

Grab, Gojek, and Be are the three must-have transportation apps in Vietnam. Transportation apps will significantly help first-time travelers to avoid taxi scams and bargains as it provides drivers’ information and upfront prices for each ride. Users can easily book a car or motorbike by filling up the pick-up and drop-off point on the app. In spite of having the similar operation approach, each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages.

A Gojek driver in uniform. 
(Source: https://plo.vn/kinh-te/he-lo-ly-do-mau-ao-gojek-tuong-tu-grab-929232.html)

1. Grab

Grab has the most extensive network of drivers around the city, so it’s quicker for users to find a nearby vehicle. With the integration of the call and chat functions, users can easily keep contact with the driver. Grab provides a diversity of payment methods including e-wallet. It also has special offers associated with payment by certain types of card, so users should make payments using the recommended method to get the extra benefits. The price varies depending on the weather and time of booking but overall it’s still more expensive than the other two. 

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

2. Gojek

Gojek’s network of drivers is not as wide as Grab’s, thus more difficult for users to find a nearby vehicle especially in rush hours. On the good side, the price is more stable and somewhat cheaper compared to Grab’s.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

3. Be

Be’s drivers network is the weakest among the three apps but the price is usually the cheapest. It’s a transportation app that's especially suitable for tourists as it offers a lot of discounts and promotions for even non-members.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

Apps for food delivery in Vietnam

A tight schedule of traveling at daylight can be exhausting and you can get hungry easily, especially at night time. Everyone would agree that there is nothing more convenient than the food delivery services that can solve this problem immediately, anytime and anywhere.

Baemin is a growing app in Vietnamese food delivery market
(Source: http://hanoitimes.vn/would-baemin-overtake-grab-food-in-vietnam-food-delivery-app-market-315444.html)

1. GrabFood

GrabFood is a food delivery service of Grab. Users can select the “Food” icon on  top of the app and order food in the food stalls nearby. The speed of food delivery from GrabFood is quite impressive as it covers an extensive shipper’s network. It also offers freeship, promotions, and daily special deals in a large number of food stalls. However, the disadvantage of GrabFood is that it doesn’t provide comment sections to display customers’ feedbacks, it only shows the star rate based on the previous experience of the old customers thus it’s impossible for users to have an accurate evaluation of the restaurant. As GrabFood is integrated in Grab transportation app, users can conveniently book vehicles and order food in just one app.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

2.  Baemin

Baemin doesn’t have as many food stalls as GrabFood’s but it does come with a lot of attractive promotions and freeship. Therefore, it will be slightly less expensive on Baemin than GrabFood if you order from the same brand of food stall.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

3. Now

Unlike GrabFood, Now allows users to see feedbacks from old customers thus make better decisions to select the food stores to order. Now also covers a variety of food stalls and restaurants and a wide shippers’ network, so the speed of food delivery is just as good as GrabFood’s. Besides, it provides a scheduled delivery service, which is extremely useful for those who want their food to be shipped at a certain time.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android 

Apps for exploring local experience in Vietnam

Tripadvisor is currently the best app in terms of attractions recommendations
(Source: http://covankhoinghiep.vn/mo-hinh-kinh-doanh-tripadvisor/)
1. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is the best app out there that recommends local experience for tourists. It includes a variety of interesting activities ranging from day trips, overnight tours, popular attractions to food tour, must-try restaurants and spas, etc. The lists always come with estimated prices, truthful detailed reviews, photos, and videos from the community filled with travel lovers and experienced tourists. The platform is extremely helpful especially for seeking travel information and itinerary planning.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android 

2. Klook

Klook focuses more on the side of promotional benefits since its recommendations are packed with organised tours, discounted prices for attractions and much more. Travelers can easily grab good deals on the platform instead of buying through offline channels with complicated procedures. The travel community of Klook is also very active with reliable reviews and pictures streaming in the comment sections all the time.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android 

Apps for maps & navigation in Vietnam

Finding ways in Vietnam can be struggling for first-time tourists
(Source: https://teknologi.id/insight/anti-nyasar-begini-tips-bijak-gunakan-google-maps/)

1. Google Maps

Google Maps is always a go-to app for travelers looking up routes in a foreign country. It’s undeniably easy to use, has great side features, provides additional useful information such as current traffic load, road work, photos of areas, landmarks, weather forecasts, etc. Although it does provide estimated time for each route with each means of transport, the real time still varies a lot, so our advice is don’t rely on Google Maps to plan your routes with regard to time. Moreover, some information on Google Maps may be inaccurate or out-of-date and it’s not rare that the users sometimes are misled to a completely different destination. The suggested routes are also not the most efficient one as it doesn’t consider your other requirements such as avoiding low clearance bridges and overpasses. In spite of the downsides, Google Maps is still convenient as it comes with offline maps and navigation that can go handy, especially in the remote areas.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android 

2. MAPS.ME

MAPS.ME is a formidable competitor of Google Maps but it’s operated with a different principle. MAPS.ME is a community-based map as anyone can freely edit and contribute to the map. You can also download maps from other travelers with marked locations which provides the information about off-the-beaten-path in some locations. Users can considerably benefit from using others’ maps as they are filled with useful information and updates about the routes and destinations. MAPS.ME is also very convenient and handy as it can work offline just like Google Maps. 

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android 

Apps for public transport in Vietnam

BusMap is expected to be widely used by both locals and tourists in Vietnam
(Source: https://sggpnews.org.vn/science_technology/busmap-expected-to-be-widely-popular-in-vietnam-84169.html)

BusMap

Commuting by bus in the city may be challenging for newbies but with BusMap, everything will be sorted out. BusMap is a perfect app that helps users navigate easily here and there in the city. Covering the most up-to-date bus network, the app provides the best route with various choices of bus numbers between two places, the nearest bus tops, arrival time of the buses, and estimated commute time. Even in offline mode, BusMap can still recommend the best routes for users based on its memory of your latest activities. It’s worth note-taking that BusMap is only enabled in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang, where the buses are operated.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

Apps for communication in Vietnam

Language barrier is always one of the top struggles that travelers have in a foreign country where everyone speaks a different language
(Source: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-English-to-Chinese-translation-app)

1. Google Translate

Language barrier is always one of the top struggles that travelers have in a foreign country where everyone speaks a different language. Many people would agree that Google Translate is by far the most useful and easy-to-use app to solve this problem. However, don’t rely too much on this app since Vietnamese is a complicated language and the translations are definitely not 100% accurate, which certainly can lead to misunderstandings, frustrations and even funny incidents. However, just use the app whenever you feel needed because people can still guess what you mean based on the context or your body language.

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

2. Naver Papago 

Naver Papago might sound strange to a lot of people as it's a recently developed  app launched by Naver - a Korean IT company. It's new yet it's an innovative tool that effectively helps you along the way to discover the local culture. Some of the most powerful functions are real-time text translation, image translation (which is extremely useful for tourists to read menu in restaurants or notification boards on the streets), real-time voice translation, and conversation translation. However, just like any other AI translation apps, this platform also has problems with accuracy and translation's quality. Again, our advice is just don't take advantage of translation apps as it can cause big misunderstandings. Instead, try to learn some basic conversational sentences to communicate and the locals can understand you based on the context. 

Free download
Platforms: IOS and Android

We hope you find these apps helpful for your trip and hope you will enjoy your time there!

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