Vietnam??

Jun 11th, 1999, 06:04 PM
  #1  
jenpalex
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Vietnam??

Am interested in experiences traveling through Vietnam. Am considering trip May 2000 - should we do a tour? Where should we go? Any info would be great....
 
Jun 17th, 1999, 12:13 AM
  #2  
Richard Goss
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Vietnam is wonderful. Great people, very interesting culture, but hard travelling some time. You definitely should get to Hanoi---it's so much more interesting than Ho Chi Minh City. There's also a place called Halong Bay that's worth seeing, but make sure you stay on Kat Pha Island if you do, and make your trip for at least two days. Otherwise, it's not worth the trip on rough roads just to see Halong Bay itself, which is a nice but fairly boring little town.
The highlight of the trip is Hoi An, a little town south of Da Nang (which is an armpit) that is very, very beautiful and charming. Also Nha Trang is a lot of fun if you like the nightlife. Beautiful beach, and lots of action. Well worth seeing.
Plan to spend more of your trip in Hanoi than Ho Chi Minh City. Trust me, it's much more beautiful and fun.
 
Jun 17th, 1999, 12:15 AM
  #3  
Richard Goss
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Vietnam is wonderful. Great people, very interesting culture, but hard travelling some time. You definitely should get to Hanoi---it's so much more interesting than Ho Chi Minh City. There's also a place called Halong Bay that's worth seeing, but make sure you stay on Kat Pha Island if you do, and make your trip for at least two days. Otherwise, it's not worth the trip on rough roads just to see Halong Bay itself, which is a nice but fairly boring little town.
The highlight of the trip is Hoi An, a little town south of Da Nang (which is an armpit) that is very, very beautiful and charming. Also Nha Trang is a lot of fun if you like the nightlife. Beautiful beach, and lots of action. Well worth seeing.
Plan to spend more of your trip in Hanoi than Ho Chi Minh City. Trust me, it's much more beautiful and fun.
 
Jun 17th, 1999, 08:15 AM
  #4  
Keith
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Jenpalex,
Last year, I did a 2 week independent (ie backpacker) trip with a friend through Viet Nam. I agree with previous post that Ha Noi is a must see. I also think every traveler to Viet Nam should take a trip on the train. You will always remember it.
The country is "easier" to travel in than I had anticipated and you can easily do it without being part of a tour herd. There are a some individual sites, though, that you will need to be part of a licensed tour to see. The are easy to find or organize.
In deference to the previous post, though, I hope you take one's description of a town as an armpit with a grain of salt. Sure, Da Nang is not a glittery tourist town. My fondest memories are of the people there. More outgoing and genuine with foreigners than other cities.
Good luck. Keith
 
Jul 1st, 1999, 12:21 PM
  #5  
Susan
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I disagree with the previous postings about Vietnam. I was very disappointed in my trip there. I traveled through the country from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on my own for approximately a month last summer. Its pretty easy to get around and not dangerous (although I had small items stolen on several occasions).

I suppose it depends on what you are looking for. If your priority is seeing traditional, non-urban Asian culture, then Vietnam might be interesting (although it can be difficult to learn about the culture because of language barriers). Likewise, if you are interested in seeing sites from our war with Vietnam it is a good place to visit. But if you are interested in dramatic scenery, tropical beaches, different landscapes, or if you want to do active things like bike, ride elephants, etc.--you could do much better. I have traveled in the third world fairly extensively, and almost always enjoy the experience, but I have to say that I was bored much of the time in Vietnam.

I'm surprised the author of the previous post liked Hanoi better than Saigon. If you go, I think you should devote a decent amount of time to Saigon and the Mekong Delta region. Also plan to spend a fair amount of time in and around Hue. From Hue you can take an organized tour of the Demilitarized Zone and see a number of war sites. (I had no particular pre-existing interest in seeing war sites and still thought this was the highlight of the trip.) But choose your tour company carefully--I ended up sitting by the side of a deserted Vietnamese mountain road for over four hours with three japanese tourists who didn't speak any english because our tour van broke down.

Skip Dalat (which is on every pre-organized tour) unless you really like Vietnamese kitsch--a four story high concrete chicken, a fake Eiffel Tower, Vietnamese men dressed up as cowboys, etc.

Practical tips: if you like coffee, bring along plenty of Folger's coffee bags. You will not be able to get drinkable coffee in Vietnam. Do not have any clothes made by the multitude of Vietnamese tailors who will stitch something together overnight. Instead buy the material in Vietnam and have it made into clothes once you get home. Bring two guidebooks and keep one with your luggage. They are a hot commodity and are frequently stolen and cannot be easily replaced. (Yes, I found this out the hard way.) If you want something to give as small presents, children like any type of American coin, and everyone seems to want ballpoint pens--there may be a shortage of them over there.

On hotels: The Bong Sen in Saigon is a great deal. Its comfortable, right on the old Rue Catinat and is very affordably priced. Avoid the Vien Dong in Nha Trang.

Sorry for the length of this post.
 
Jul 13th, 1999, 07:53 PM
  #6  
Giang Hoang
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Hi there
I was born in VN and just back from VN in april 99, here some tips:

Start from Ha Noi take tour to HA LONG BAY , can buy tour ticket from Sinh Cafe tour at 52 HANG BAC (where backpaker crow).From here you can buy Open Tour Bus: Ha Noi - Hue - Hoi An - Nha Trang - Da Lat - Saigon, open ticket means you can stay as long as you like in those city , they pick you up at your hotel room, open ticket price 43 USD one way, can be canceled or refuned before its departure.

where to see in HUE: boat trip on the PERFUMe RIVER cost 3.50 USD included beakfast and lunch , DMZ tour.price 18 USD

where to see in HOI AN: old city, China Beach in DA NANG ( on the way open bus tour)

where to see in NHA TRANG: islands and beach
where to see in DA LAT: THIEN VIEN TRUC LAM Temple (must be seen)

Where to see in Saigon: go to SINH CAFE TOUR at 246 DE THAM Street asked tour packets like Delta Mekong, CAO DAI Temple and CU CHI Tunnels.

If you need mini hotel send at my email.
bye
 
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