Just back from Vietnam

Jun 11th, 2003, 04:49 AM
  #1  
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Just back from Vietnam

Just returned from a 3 week tour of Vietnam.
We travelled from Wales to London and flew to Bangkok and to Hanoi. Arrived in Hanoi, and stayed at the Galaxy Hotel on the northern edge of the old Quarter. Hotel prices at present throughout Vietnam seem very reasonable as there are very few tourists, and you can negotiate good deals.We stayed 3 nights in Hanoi, and had a great time. We flew down to Hue for 3 days and stayed at the Saigon Morin, this hotel was my favourite as the rooms are huge and the hotel overlooks the Perfume river. A dragon boat trip down the river is a must the views and Pagodas are magnificent.
We then arranged a private minibus transfer down to Hoi An and travelled over the magnificent Hoi Van pass, breathtaking views of winding roads sheer cliff edges, mountain scenery and terrific seaside. We stayed 4 nights at the wonderful Hoi An Riverside Hotel I think we were the only 4 persons there. Fabulous river views great cua dai beach which was secluded, and Hoi An itself is a joy to see.
We then flew to Nha Trang stayed at the Que Huong Hotel and spent 6 days lazing on the beach. We also had a boat trip to some of the neighbouring Islands which was very interesting. Nha Trang I suppose isn't typically Vietnamese but when youve travelled as far as we did and Welsh summer weather isn't always what we would wish for then a bit of beach relaxing helps shorten our winter.
Then on to Saigon again we flew, flights are relatively cheap and very convenient in Vietnam and so easy to organise.
We stayed at the Rex Hotel a wonderful old Hotel in a surprisingly modern City. Saigon is a hustling bustling very busy city. We also arranged a trip to the Cu Chi tunnels which was quite an eye opener.
Alas all holidays come to an end and 3 weeks just didnt seem long enough.
We visited many interesting sites and tours the hotels, flights were all organised by myself in Vietnam either by phone or Internet. I would be glad to e mail any information and details if wanted
jevs is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 06:07 AM
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Thanks so much for this nice report. I am now planning to go to Vietnam in November, as I cancelled my trip to Burma due to the recent abduction and imprisonment of Ang San Suu Kyi by the Burmese government.

I'm planing to go to Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An, and had chosen the hotels you stayed at in Hue and Hoi An. I'm looking at the de Syloia in Hanoi.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 07:47 AM
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I stayed at the de Syloia Hotel in Hanoi in January. Small hotel with great, helpful staff. A nice restaurant in the hotel. Also in the Majestic in Saigon which has alot of old world charm A very helpful staff here also. I was traveling alone so both of these were great places at a reasonable price for me.
Very good report on Vietnam. This was my third year to return to the country. One of my favorite countries in the world with delightful people. I keep returning because of the good friends I have made there.
maryanne1 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2003, 05:44 AM
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Maryanne, Thanks for the endorsement of the de Syloia. It looks good on the web, but it's always nice to hear from someone who has stayed there. I won't be going to Saigon this trip, but I've heard good things about the Majestic from others.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 03:49 AM
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to Jevs or anyone who can help me decide

I only have five days to spend in Vietnam during Christmas, which city would you recommand, Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City? I'm a photographer looking for great landscape and typical Vietanamese architecture and a good night life.
bouzin2 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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Hello. I have just returned from Buenos Aires, where I took my summer holiday. I was supposed to go to Hanoi, Hue, and Phnom Penh, but canceled due to SARS. I will go to Vietnam and Cambodia next July. In Phnom Penh, I will stay at Hotel Le Royal. In Hanoi, I will stay at the Metropole. I must decide where to stay in Hue. Does anyone have any recommendations?? The hotel must be very nice, as my mother, only will stay in 5-star hotels. I would also like a hotel in Hue with a stunning view. Any help would be appreciated. Ciao.
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Jun 19th, 2003, 02:08 PM
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So sorry, darling, but my Hue hotel, whilst it had magnificent carved/mother of pearl inlay furniture, also had wide gaps under the doors through which furry little visitors could, and did, enter. Somehow I don't think it had five stars, but I did book the tremendous bus ride to Hoi An from them for only four dollars.

Happy travels!
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Jun 19th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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In doing my research on hotels, John, it looks to me like the Saigon Morin in Hue would be your hotel of choice.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 07:33 PM
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Thanks, Kathie. I have concluded the same thing after looking at a website of hotels in Vietnam. But, I was hoping someone had actually stayed at this hotel (Siagon Morin), and could give me some input.
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Jun 20th, 2003, 06:08 PM
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My wife and I stayed several days at the Morin in Hue and can give it top ratings. Absolutely spotless, superb service, lovely breakfast under the trees in the garden courtyard. Our room looked out over an intersection and a bridge crossing the Perfume River. Lots of nearby shopping (if you are into that sort of thing) or walk across the bridge, turn right, and you will be inside the central market in minutes. Clothing, foods, handicrafts, you-name-it. We engaged two pedicabs and toured the city on our own after going through the nearby Citadel with a guide. We saw almost no other tourists within Hue once we left our hotel. The people everywhere were helpful, curious, friendly, and always smiling. Just sitting on our balcony overlooking the street traffic was a circus. We hope you enjoy Hue as much as we did. We found it only second to Hanoi as our "favorite city." Saigon or HCMC is too big, too bustling, too "western" for us.
USNR is offline  
Jun 21st, 2003, 01:25 PM
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Thank you, USNR, for your expedient reply to my query. It is nice that someone has actually stayed at the Morin hotel and can give accurate advice. Yes, we will not be travelling to Saigon, as we have been told many times that it is a very charmless city. Cheers, thanks a lot.
ThinGorjus is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 04:25 AM
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BOUZIN2
Sorry about the late reply, but if you have only a few days to spend in Vietnam then I think, Hanoi must be your choice, as for night life there are plenty of bars and restaurants but most have a tendancy to open very early and close around 10.00p.m.
jevs is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 04:36 AM
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ThinGorjus
Sorry for my late reply, but I very much agree with USNR I enjoyed Hue very much, the Saigon Morin is a very nice hotel with great views of the perfume river. The hotel is situated right next to a busy road, but not as hectic as Saigon or Hanoi. The breakfasts are served in a beautiful courtyard garden just as USNR mentions, and the staff are most helpful.We did all that USNR mentions regarding the sighseeing. The boat trip down the river is wonderful.
I hope you enjoy Hue also.
jevs is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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If you are in the market for some quality souvenirs, we can recommend a shop that, as we recall, is almost attached to the Morin. Instead of turning to cross the Perfume River bridge, turn right and walk alongside the hotel, say, 100 ft. The shop is run by some ladies who speak quite good English. Woodcarvings, silks, art goods, etc. We found a beautifully made cast bronze statue of a little Vietnamese dancing girl. You will see a lot of such bronzes if you hunt through the better shops. We suspected they were made from melted-down old shell casings, incidentally. I recall paying at the higher end of the scale, about $15 (VERY cheap by U.S. standards for such quality). Always bargain; offer 60% of the asking price, settle for 75%. They can wrap it for you. You will not be able to carry it in your hand luggage once you board an airline that has tight inspections. It is the size of a hammer and could be used as a weapon. We found this out when we reached Los Angeles!
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