Single Traveler to Vietnam

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Sep 2nd, 2003, 09:27 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 57
Single Traveler to Vietnam

I'm considering a two-week trek to Vietnam in February or March. First off, if I wanted to visit both Hanoi and HCMC, is this a "good" time to visit (in terms of weather)? My mother, who graduated from high school in 1968, thinks I am trying to kill her with this trip. Does anyone have any thoughts about traveling to Vietnam solo (I'm a 27 y.o. male who trekked to Australia by himself, but they speak English!)? I was thinking about trying either a travel service that matches single travelers OR going with a tour group. I'm not, however, fond of tour groups and their rigidity. Plus, I don't want to pay a ton of money to visit a country that, if I made my own arrangments, would cost a fraction of what the tour company charges. I'd like to spend more time in sleepy-ish Hanoi and less in HCMC (I live in New York City and see enough neon lights). Plus, I'd love to hit some of the beaches. Any thoughts? Thanks!
WhistleHappyTune is offline  
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Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:19 AM
  #2
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I went solo to Vietnam and had one of the greatest trips of my life. (My mom was a tad nervous, too.) I strongly recommend Untours for a good compromise between tour group and complete independence. You're on your own and have your own choices in most respects, but there is a support system in place as well. Plus, the profits from the company help to build businesses in developing countries.

My (long!) trip log for this is
http://www.untours.com/triplogs/logs...2_gillin_1.htm
I am in no way affiliated with Untours, but this is definitely a marvelous company, and the Vietnam Untour has even more flexibility than their other trips.
As far as weather, I would think you'd have some advantages traveling in Feb or March rather than July, but weather varies a great deal from North to South.
Happy travels!
Amy is offline  
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 12:34 PM
  #3
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Thank you for the input. Oddly enough, my best friend's sister works for Untours. I had forgotten that Vietnam was one of their major markets. What are your thoughts about planning ym own itinerary (and booking the necessary flights and hotels), but hiring a guide as needed. Do you think that bilingual guides are (fairly) easy to find?
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Sep 3rd, 2003, 03:03 PM
  #4
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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"Travel cafes" (sorry, don't know how to put the accent mark on that!) are everywhere, arranging English language outings. You can also get a guide and driver for a day to go wherever, but I preferred the little groups that went out--the groups themselves were usually quite a conglomeration of interesting folks. The guides' English abilities did vary, of course, but I never had a problem with understanding. It really helps to be pretty laid-back, though, 'cause you could get shuffled among four different vehicles or so before you really depart.

I didn't do beaches (I get too bored on them when I'm by myself) but the central area is supposed to have some of the best; we saw great beaches from the bus on the hairpin turns on the road from Hue to HoiAn.

I'll be happy to try to answer any questions that I can, either on forum or at the above e-mail address.

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Sep 3rd, 2003, 10:42 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hi there
We travelled through Vietnam in July 2003 and loved Hanoi for its gorgeous lake and wonderful food & shopping, Hue for its history and monuments to the past & Hoi An for the lovely old town and the Hoi An Riverside Resort with it's perfect location and close proximity to the local seafood restaurant 100 mtrs away where prawnd in tamarind are 39,000 dong. Vietnam is a mighty place to visit and I would not hesitate to recommend doing it yourself. We saved heaps by using the internet. Places like vietnamstay.com, the stop & go cafe in Hue for great motorbike tours, food, and transport to Hoi An. The country is very easy to do yourself and if you want any other info email me on [email protected]. Get out there and do it. Your Mum will love it. The climate in Feb should be better than we experienced in July. 38 degrees C and so humid. It did not stop us having a mighty fine time. We are going back in Nov 2003.
Lyndie is offline  
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Oct 25th, 2003, 05:15 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4
I am also traveling solo to Vietnam - I will be traveling a little earlier than you are planning (four weeks - from early Jan to early Feb).....if you are flexible in your travel time and are interested in discussing travel plans email me at [email protected]
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