Luggage / Laundry

Old May 22nd, 2011, 02:17 PM
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Luggage / Laundry

Hi -

We will be spending ~3 weeks in Vietnam/Thailand/Angkor Wat in late June for our honeymoon (and reading this forum has been super helpful in trip planning). Since we will have 4-5 internal flights among various cities plus Halong Bay side trip, etc, I'd ideally like to pack light and just use carry-on bags and not check in any luggage. I guess I have 3 questions:

- how easy / cheap is it do laundry in Vietnam (particularly in Hanoi and HCMC)? Given we want to maximize our sightseeing time, I was thinking we'd ideally have the hotel do it, hopefully they are generally reasonably priced, unlike the US (we are staying at the Sofitel in Hanoi and Caravel in HCMC)

- are there generally long waits at airports to get checked baggage upon arrival (we will be arriving at airports in Bangkok, Hanoi, Hue, HCMC, and Siem Reap)?

- are the airlines pretty strict about number/size of carryons? We will be flying Vietnam Air, Thai Airways, and Bangkok Airways. I am looking up their stated policies, but any general thoughts would be great

Any thoughts on any of the above would be much appreciated. I also have to convince my fiancé / wife to agree to carryons only, but that’s another story

mscott2010 is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2011, 03:52 PM
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It's easy to do laundry everywhere. Hotels are very easy, but sometimes their prices are just plain silly. If the price is too high, there will be a local laundry within a block who will do it all for you for the price of a single piece at an overpriced hotel.

Airlines generally stick to the luggage limit they publish. Really, the wait for luggage is never long in my experience. Don't confine yourselves to carry-ons only if that isn't the way you to like to travel.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 04:43 PM
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In Vietnam cities, hotel laundry charges can be very low.
Maybe the deluxe hotels charge international rates (did you see that now-famous French politician was paying several thousand dollars a night for his Sofitel suite in New York?)
Three-star Vietnam hotels exist in a far different universe. On a recent trip I had 10 pair of men's underwear with equivalent sets of socks, two shirts, several T-shirts, and two men's dress pants washed and ironed for the equivalent of $6 US. Remember, the hotels are modern but labour is still cheap.
A week later, in Shanghai, China, an equivalent hotel wanted $2 for a single pair of underpants.
So enjoy your vacation time in Vietnam where there is lots more interesting stuff to do than wash clothes in a sink.
Your room sink is probably the only alternative, as coin laundries are rare in Vietnam if they exist at all.
Depending on your nationality, you may need a Vietnam visa at your entry airport. The visa-on-arrival system from private travel agents works and is much cheaper than dealing with Vietnam embassies. But the paperwork can proceed at a leisurely rate so your luggage could well be available by the time you have the visa safely in your passport.
You didn't ask, but most hotels offer a driver to pick you up. Go ahead, splurge -- $15 is the usual rate, competitive with taxis, plus it is comforting to be expected after a long flight.
One further thought about packing light: Asian hotels often supply disposable slippers for their bedrooms so you won't need to pack shower sandals. Flip-flops can be bought dirt-cheap from street vendors if you bargain. And you can get your dress shoes polished on the street for $1.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 04:51 PM
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We spent 3 weeks in VN, Siem Reap and Hong Kong in March. We took 20" carryon size bags with us, although we did always check them ( there's no charge for checking bags on Vietnam Airlines). We had our laundry done once, a little more than half-way through the trip, in Siem Reap - it cost $1.00 USD per kilo, the total was less than $ 5.00. It was done by a family in their home. My watch was mixed in with my laundry ( I didn't know) and they just held it for me and returned it to me with the laundry. Very nice people very nice job. It was in the alley just off the main drag next to a place called "Laundry Bar".
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Old May 28th, 2011, 02:49 PM
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Thanks Kathie, Southam, and sf7307. Sounds like its easy to find reasonably priced laundry - we'll try to travel light and check in bags as necessary
mscott2010 is offline  
Old May 28th, 2011, 04:54 PM
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carry on luggage can be a real problem on the small planes, like some vn air flights and bkk air for sure....check your bags....waits are never that long...

the doorman or front desk will tell you where there are local laundries, or just watch for small signs or ask local merchants... very cheap in vn and thailand...

my wife will not send nice white shirts or slacks to the local laundries....they come back a bit gray...
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