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vietnam? cheap and cheerful?

Old Apr 16th, 2006, 05:34 AM
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vietnam? cheap and cheerful?

have you visited recently? Looking to hear from those of you who have done so without setting foot in a 5 star resort.

This is an invitation to post your recollections. Looking in particular for tips on transport and off the beaten track places to go.

Did you stay somewhere really special that had that "never forget this" sense. Don't care how crumbling or decrepit. Looking for hostelries in old houses with verandah and/or garden. If the bathroom is outside somewhere - don't care - though, of course, if it was ensuite, or down the hall, I wouldn't say no.

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Old Apr 16th, 2006, 05:44 AM
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I am planning a visit.

So far, most commonly heard is a tour operator named Handspan that should be avoided. Their tours are among the best but their prices are unreasonably high, some 2 to 3 times more, avoid it.
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 04:36 AM
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Thank you simple, point noted.

Are you, like me, wondering if it is already too late for Vietnam? I mean I'm sure it will still be wonderful, and I am looking forward to a great trip. But I am always, always, looking out for those small place to stay - family run - and cheap.

When are you planning to go? I am trying to weigh up information re October!!
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 05:20 AM
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Simpletravelling: I used Handspan 2 weks ago, and it was outstanding, and delivered precisely what I paid for - plus more. Use a cheaper one, by all means, but don't whine and complain afterwards. You get what you pay for.
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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don't you think you often get what you pay for?? i do....i love bargains, but generally the proof is in the pudding....
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 09:45 AM
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fuzzylogic,

I think this is the right time to go Vietnam. Not late.
Am told on the low end, quite close to Thailand.
I am planning for around October too.
I wanted to go around this time but a few idiots in Thorn Tree who did nothing but driving off members who seek help and those who offered help on Vietnam budget travel, by telling you all the guesthouses and cheap tours are either scammers, dodgy or not genuine.
At the end, Handspan is again offered.
I cancelled by trip and went Thailand instead.
Visit www.vietnamtourism.com, very informative.
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Mitch,

Thanks for your advice but I heard from many that it's not worth paying so much to Handspan, bulk of the different goes to their profits.
Furthermore, Vietnam is not a place that you must travel in class and style.
If I really got "rippedoff" I rather lose less than to lose more. So I rather go for a cheaper budget and stretch my dollars and holidays time.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 12:28 AM
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Simpletravelling, for someone who's never been to Vietnam and who seems to be reliant entirely on second-hand reports you're pretty good at handing out advice. Judging by your recent posts to this forum you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about Handspan and certain Lonely Planet contributors who've annoyed you. Of what conceivable interest or relevance is this? Please give it a rest.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 03:28 AM
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we spent 3 weeks over the Xmas & new Year period travelling in Vietnam - a mixture of 5* and Local places to stay. - the oworst experience was thew 5* Metropole in Hanoi where we exoerienced pretty poor service for a very high price. Great experiences s included the Ving Hung Merchants house in Hoi An old town - a very quaint and atmospheric place to stay. We also did the Dien Bien Phu from Hanoi travleling overnight of the train from Ha noi to Lai Chau which was great fun. the hotels en route where very basic but the people very friendly and the food was excellent. Perhaps the highlight was our stay in a minority village at Mai Chau where we stayed in a village house and were invited to party organisied by the Local Communist party for some political science students visiting from Hanoi University. Lots of singing dancing % rice wine - must go down as one of my favouite travel experiences. If you take the trouble to seek out the local places to stay rather than the chain type hotels IMO your travel experience will usually be ehnanced as well as benfitiing the local encomy rather than the balnce sheet of a some multi-national coporation
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