Sweltering in Saigon.

Jun 5th, 2017, 04:41 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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I am sure you know that Delhi in the winter while cold for Delhiites is fine for us with temps in 60's roughly.

The only problem going there then is fog as if you flight arrives at night or in the wee hrs. you may get diverted. Once we had to spend 9 hrs. in Bombay for this reason. Most flights from the US arrive quite late so we got around that by flying trans Pacifiic route.
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Jun 11th, 2017, 07:27 PM
  #22  
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OK! I didn't realise that June, July and August are the school holidays in Vietnam. That was clearly the reason we had to queue for 90 mins at Saigon Train Station along with hundreds of others trying to buy tickets. We couldn't get the soft sleeper bottom bunks we craved so had to delay our departure for 4 days - good job we are flexible.

We got on the 10 pm overnight train to Da Nang, settled in with our companions a couple and their two small children, only to find that, joy of joys, the aircon wasn't working! After 15 hot , sweaty hours in this tin can on wheels we arrived in Da Nang station wondering why we enjoy train travel???

Our destination was Hoi An, not so much for the town, but to see My Son which we have always missed on previous visits. I will post separately on that.

Hoi An was even hotter than Saigon and seemed even more crowded. Apparently, they got 1.6 million visitors last year. This year it seemed like much of Korea and the rest of Vietnam had decided to visit at the same time as us. I have never seen so many tour groups anywhere. The edge of the old town was choked with tour buses, especially at night. I seriously wonder if the town, which is relatively small, can continue to cope with this level of visitors.

On the drive from Da Nang along the coast road the building of hotels continues for around 30 kms, almost to Hoi An itself! These are huge hotels for mile after mile. I can't imagine how many rooms are being built here. Can't help thinking that the Vietnamese authorities are making a big mistake here!

The temps were reach 40c (104f) thankfully our hotel had a pool of which we made full use. Supposed to be clear skies but we got heavy thunderstorms most nights (and Donald still tells the world that climate change isn't happening!).

For anyone planning to visit Hoi An, it is still quaint, still home to some excellent, if expensive food, but do plan your sightseeing carefully. The various Clan Houses and Temples were packed when the tour bus were in town which seemed mostly to be in the mornings and Evenings. Midday and early afternoon seemed much quieter, albeit much hotter.
crellston is offline  
Jun 11th, 2017, 08:27 PM
  #23  
 
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You are making me very glad I have already been to Vietnam, three times. Sounds like the timing of any return visit could be critical.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 12th, 2017, 10:16 AM
  #24  
 
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Crellston...
Any Ideas for a nice budget serviced apt in BKK?
Wanting it for 4/5 months starting in Oct.
Will use it as a base.Love Sukhumvit area.
Anyone?
Thank you...
lookingforadventure is offline  
Jun 12th, 2017, 01:09 PM
  #25  
 
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Wow! Too hot for us and that 15 hrs. In the train W/O AC had to be terrible.

Well it's 95F here in the burbs of Chicago so in sympathy I'll water the yard and garden now. Take care and have a 333 or two. .
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Jun 12th, 2017, 04:43 PM
  #26  
 
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What is your idea of "budget serviced apartment?" How much per night?
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Jun 12th, 2017, 04:44 PM
  #27  
 
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You would be better off making this question a separate thread. You will get more and better responses.
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Jun 12th, 2017, 05:40 PM
  #28  
 
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Wow, Crellston, I feel for you. A similar thing happened to us on a train in Morocco, aircon broke, windows locked shut, eventually a guard came with a key to save (somewhat) the drenched foreigners.

Like thursdaysd, I'm glad to have been before, and note to avoid school holidays. I'm interested to hear about your travels to less visited parts, that's where we'd be heading if we go again.
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Jun 12th, 2017, 07:19 PM
  #29  
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Sartoric, As for less visited parts, our plan was orginally to head for the highlands around Buon Ma Thot, Pleiku and Kon Tum, somewhere we had visited some twenty years ago. Still sees relatively few visitors and it is a fascinating place if you like minority people villages, trekking etc. Unfortunately the weather was too wet so we gave it a miss.

Depending on how much we like Taiwan, we will probably return to Vietnam for the last month of our trip to visit Ha Giang in the north and other places in the delta we have not seen (Tra Vinh comes highly recommended by our Vietnamese friends) we will possibly combine that with a different route into Cambodia than the last time.

JW - As a keen fan of the blues, Chicago has long been on my list of places to visit in the US. I have always wanted to check out the Mississippi Blues trail and head north to Chicago for the blues clubs, notably Buddy Guys Legends. May next year but I will make a note to avoid high summer!
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Jun 13th, 2017, 03:12 AM
  #30  
 
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Actually its quite unpredictable. We can get hot spells like the one we have now but then again it can cool off quickly even during the same day. A few days ago the temps dropped by about 20 degrees in one day. There is just no "normal" where you have hot stretches and the spring can be quite chilly and rainy too.

I used to work at Univ. of Ill. Medical Center which is a teaching hospital. I recall one of our residents who was from the south, Tennessee and he was bonkers over our weather, especially the winters.

If you ever get here try taking a Chicago river cruise which is 1-2 hrs. The architecture and history are amazing. There is even a building with a large column on its top which was built to anchor Zepplins,
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Jun 15th, 2017, 12:20 AM
  #31  
 
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Case in point today.. Daytime tempt 94F. Evening temp 74F.
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Jun 19th, 2017, 03:15 AM
  #32  
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I am never going to complain about the heat again! We are now in Hanoi's old quarter in the middle of a thunderstorm. Just tried to walk out of the hotel for dinner only to find a river, a foot deep, running down the street!
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Jun 19th, 2017, 04:11 AM
  #33  
 
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OMG! What an adventure. .

It could always be worse. You could be in Palm Springs, CA.
http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/pal...orecast/331971
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Jun 19th, 2017, 12:45 PM
  #34  
 
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But, but, it's a dry heat (7%). Monsoons won't start out there for another month.

When are you leaving the monsoon zone crellston? Still considering Kalimantan or Flores?

I was sorting through my orangutan/proboscis photos and had to do a bit of research to supplement what we didn't get, and found this article. There is some pricing if you click through to orangutantour.id

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-river...ans-1454605998
mlgb is offline  
Jun 19th, 2017, 04:11 PM
  #35  
 
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However low humidity notwithstanding the temps are hitting 120F! Thats dangerous.

I was actually in Palm Springs many moons ago in the month of July visiting relatives. Thank God they had a pool. .

We went shopping one day and I'll never forget a t-shirt I saw. It depicted a skeleton riding a Harley and the caption read "yeah but its a dry heat." .
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Jun 20th, 2017, 07:40 AM
  #36  
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Just been chatting to some Vietnamese friends who tell us that last nights storm brought the worst rain he can remember in 20 years in Hanoi! Paddling to dinner was a new experience!

All back to normal today, streets are clear and dry, temps back down to 28c but still very humid. Good job too as, this morning we went to Ho Chi Minhs mausoleum and the queues were incredible - 1.7kms according to my iPhone. So glad it was relatively cool and not raining.

Bizarrely, back home in London they are in the midst of a 34c heatwave - and still Donald denies global warming and reneges on the Paris accord!

Anyway, tomorrow we leave for Sabah for hopefully clearer weather, before heading off to Taiwan, somewhere we have never been before.

Mlgb - thanks for the link, but have decided on Sulawesi for a couple of weeks at the end of July. Very keen to explore Tanah Toraja, maybe a quick dive trip up near Manado if we can fit it in.
crellston is offline  
Jun 20th, 2017, 07:57 AM
  #37  
 
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Glad it's better now though to wait in such a long line when it's so humid seems daunting.

DT is in his own world.

Follwing!
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Jun 20th, 2017, 08:57 AM
  #38  
 
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Looking forward to those blog updates, crellston... eventually.

When Palm Springs is like that, it's like opening the door to an oven. Fortunate that they are getting overnight temps that drop by 30 degrees or more. So you get up early, spend the afternoon napping, and go out at night. Not a bad way to relax.
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Jun 27th, 2017, 04:44 AM
  #39  
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Forgot to mention, we had a wonderful time visiting the caves at Phong Nha Ke Be. E had planned to do a lot of hiking including the 7 km Paradise cave hike, but an ankle injury put paid to that! Instead we visited Paradise Cave without the hike which was absolutely stunning. The Vietnamese have done an incredible job of lighting the caves. It was very, very busy though, mostly with Vietnamese tourists.

We followed that with a relatively short jungle trek to Tra Ang cave, an undeveloped cave where, after a terrific BBQ we swam 300m into the cave with helmets and head torches and 300m back. A relief to be in 18c water rather than 35c air for a while!

Another day we took a bicycle ride into the Bong Hai valley with one of the guys from Phong Nha Farmstay to visit his family's duck farm we also stopped at the "Pub With Cold Beer" for lunch. The main item on the menu was "kill it yourself Chicken" a Dutch guy we were with made a hash of killing his chicken so we decided to stick with the beer!

His place is close to Dong Hoi, between Hue and Hanoi and is easily accessible by train and plane. I would highly recommend it and wish we could have done a little more cave exploration.
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Jun 27th, 2017, 10:21 AM
  #40  
 
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Sorry to hear of your ankle injury. I hope it's not serious but what a bummer to get sick or injured on vacation.

I'd stick with just the beer too. .

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