Vietnam

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  • Benno 2 Aug 2012 19:03:42 9,844 posts
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    Hello all

    I am traveling to Vietnam for 3 weeks on Sat, cant wait! I tried searching for a thread on this but after 3 pages of Battlefield Vietnam related threads I gave up.

    Anyway, I am making this thread in the hope that some of you fine Gentlemen and Ladies have visited said country before, and have any travel tips, particularly with regards to decent cities and sights to see. We are flying into Ho Chi Min city in the south, and traveling north over the 3 weeks before flying out of Hanoi.

    I have had a little read of the Lonely Planet articles, as you'd expect, but I'd also appreciate some input from the EG collective! Especially any little gems you've found on your adventures!

    Benno
  • White_Shadow 2 Aug 2012 19:26:32 2,537 posts
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    What are you looking to do? Beaches, cultural stuff, going off the typical track into rural Vietnam?
  • Benno 3 Aug 2012 09:42:51 9,844 posts
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    All three probably to be honest! Nha Trang is going to be a definite visit for beach times, and maybe that island in the Gulf of Thailand, Phoc quon or something of similar ilk :p
  • bronzemedal 3 Aug 2012 12:14:59 36 posts
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    Can't recommend Nha Trang for more than one night ... unless you like run down holiday resorts geared towards Russian people. Hanoi is brilliant and, although it has the least "to do", it's the easiest place to immerse yourself and just enjoy being in a unique part of the world. Lots of good street food and genuinely nice restaurants that are still really cheap (about $10 per head, with drinks). Ha Long Bay is totally essential and I'd advise doing a boat trip and staying the night on one of the boats to make the most of it. Saigon feels very Americanised in comparison to the north -- for a start the roads are about six times wider and the drinks curfew is flouted completely. Still fun though, if you meet some people to hang out with. Hoi An is very nice, although a little touristy. Good for couples.
  • Benno 3 Aug 2012 12:55:03 9,844 posts
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    Cool cheers. Did you do a tour at Ha Long Bay then? I hear its very hit and miss with them so wondering if you had a recommendation. We were definitely planning on staying the night in the Bay.
  • Pac-man-ate-my-wife 3 Aug 2012 13:07:07 7,008 posts
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    My missus and I were there in 2005 and I'd recommend the following:

    Mekong Delta tour - whilst on one were were offered a 'homestay' where you get to stay out a family's home, eat with them and experience a bit of what life is like. It was really great experience.

    Easy Riders - taking a multi-day motorcycle tour (you sit on the back, you don't need to be able to ride one) through rural Vietnam was one of the best things I've ever done- breathtaking scenary, amazing food, kind and generous people wherever we went. They are based out of the Da Lat however there appears to have been an explosion in fake Easy Riders offering their services so best to check on travel forums to find out where to book them - we met them in cafe (I think it was the Peace Cafe, but I may be getting false memory while trying to google them!).

    Hoi An - as said it's quite touristy but it's still really lovely part of the world. One word of advice is that if you get clothes made don't go super-cheap as they'll fall apart. My missus' brother did just that whereas we went to a place called Yaly, spent a bit more, and I'm still wearing the suits today I had made 7 years ago.
  • Benno 3 Aug 2012 14:58:49 9,844 posts
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    Thanks for the advice mate, exactly what I am looking for. Does this look legit?
  • graysonavich 3 Aug 2012 15:50:23 7,321 posts
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    Oh benno you are such a student! :)
  • Pac-man-ate-my-wife 3 Aug 2012 16:18:52 7,008 posts
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    Think this is the guys: http://www.dalat-easyrider.com.vn (and oddly here too: http://www.easyrider-tours.com)

    Apparently there are young inexperienced guys who'll jump on travellers the moment they set foot of the bus, so avoid them. We headed to the Peace Cafe and chatted with our potential guys first - we felt really comfortable with them and they didn't pressure or hassle us to book so we felt reassured they were the real deal. Their names were Mr Thau and Mr Thai so perhaps you can track them down!
  • bitch_tits_zero_nine 3 Aug 2012 16:21:47 6,654 posts
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    Clean ladyboys
  • Khanivor 3 Aug 2012 16:50:13 40,559 posts
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    Make sure you try the poon tang.
  • cjb_bjc 3 Aug 2012 16:55:28 1,075 posts
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    Do the tubing in Vang Vieng. Just be carefull jumping off all those rocks. Do what your told. lol
  • Benno 3 Aug 2012 17:02:10 9,844 posts
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    graysonavich wrote:
    Oh benno you are such a student! :)
    Heh, I graduated two years ago and work in consultancy clocking about 45 hours ish a week, so I earn my keep these days :p. I just haven't resigned to cruises and trips camping in Brighton just yet!

    Edited by Benno at 17:05:00 03-08-2012
  • Benno 3 Aug 2012 17:04:19 9,844 posts
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    Pac-man-ate-my-wife wrote:
    Think this is the guys: http://www.dalat-easyrider.com.vn (and oddly here too: http://www.easyrider-tours.com)

    Apparently there are young inexperienced guys who'll jump on travellers the moment they set foot of the bus, so avoid them. We headed to the Peace Cafe and chatted with our potential guys first - we felt really comfortable with them and they didn't pressure or hassle us to book so we felt reassured they were the real deal. Their names were Mr Thau and Mr Thai so perhaps you can track them down!
    Yeah I have had a little peruse, will be heading to the Peace Cafe for definite. I'd consider renting a motorbike myself, but my Mrs is a terrible passenger seat driver, god knows what she'll do when I'm on two wheels.
  • White_Shadow 3 Aug 2012 17:14:15 2,537 posts
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    Benno wrote:
    All three probably to be honest! Nha Trang is going to be a definite visit for beach times, and maybe that island in the Gulf of Thailand, Phoc quon or something of similar ilk :p
    Phu Quoc is really nice but a little quiet, it depends what you're interested in really. Some of the beaches are fantastic, and I'd recommend hiring a moped and biking round as much of the island as you can. I wouldn't expect much to be happening in the evening, but you can get some great food.

    On the mainland, Nha Trang has a nice beach and apparently Mui Ne is even nicer, although I haven't been there personally. Hue and Hoi An (in the middle of the country) are probably worth a visit if you have time. I enjoyed the DMZ tour in Hue although I don't imagine it would be to everyone's liking.

    Hanoi is a cool city, and is also a good base to do some of the more popular excursions. Definitely go to Ha Long Bay, on a two night trip if possible, and look at Sapa too - I wish I had had the time to go there. There's a great hostel in Hanoi called Hanoi Backpackers (if you're ok with hostels obviously) which runs its own tours is by a long way the best hostel I've ever stayed in. It was about $6 a night and that included free internet and free breakfast if you were up before 10. I think there are two hostels run by the same company in Hanoi, and it's the newer of the two which is the better one. It also has a decent bar and is a great place to meet other travellers.

    Edited by White_Shadow at 17:15:48 03-08-2012
  • White_Shadow 3 Aug 2012 17:15:30 2,537 posts
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    And I heard some really good things about the easy rider tours, but they are pricey.
  • Benno 3 Aug 2012 17:46:05 9,844 posts
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    White_Shadow wrote:

    There's a great hostel in Hanoi called Hanoi Backpackers (if you're ok with hostels obviously) which runs its own tours is by a long way the best hostel I've ever stayed in. It was about $6 a night and that included free internet and free breakfast if you were up before 10. I think there are two hostels run by the same company in Hanoi, and it's the newer of the two which is the better one. It also has a decent bar and is a great place to meet other travellers.
    Cheers. Yeah we are planning on staying in Hostels for most of the trip :)
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