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Has anybody been to....

Vietnam! I would love to hear from anyone who has done this trip as an independant traveller. Hubby and I like to experience local culture and are prepared to backpack as you meet interesting people and see more

Last reply: 7th Dec 2011 / 16 replies / Post by 888shelley

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Benji

Posted by: Benji
Posted: 23rd May 2011

Benji says: We visited Saigon, Mekong area and Hoi An last year. If you are interested I could give you names of restaurants etc ? Reply

888shelley

Posted by: 888shelley
Posted: 24th May 2011

Benji says: We visited Saigon, Mekong area and Hoi An last year. If you are interested I could give you names of restaurants etc ?

888shelley says: hi benji, ok i would be interested in any info on places to stay and booking info, at this stage we are looking at travelling from hanoi by train/bus to hue, hoi an and on to sai gon. we will have approx 2-3 weeks in vietnam Reply

Benji

Posted by: Benji
Posted: 24th May 2011

888shelley says: hi benji, ok i would be interested in any info on places to stay and booking info, at this stage we are looking at travelling from hanoi by train/bus to hue, hoi an and on to sai gon. we will have...

Benji says: I've got a bit busy all of a sudden so will just give you this info about Hue for now. Villa Hue is right in the centre of town and rickshaws are available to travel around in and very cheap. You must visit the Citadel. We booked a very cheap tour (through the hotel) which included a great guide, many places of interest and a lot of time to look around the Citadel and finished with a cruise back down the river to town (lunch included). Villa Hue is a training hotel, not expensive and the staff were charming when we were there (some a bit nervous though - 1st day maybe). The cost included breakfast every morning and other meals were available, very large bedroom and nice bathroom, very clean. From Hue we took the bus to Hoi An. It's a long trip, very scenic and with a stop half way for lunch if needed. Cheap as chips too. (Have a look on Tripadviser to read about Villa Hue). Hoi An has many nice places to stay for budget travellers and word of mouth is a good way to go (we stayed in a resort as it was the end of our holiday and we wanted a bit of luxury!)If you do get to Hoi An (lovely place with a lot of history and great restaurants you shouldn't miss THE SOUL CAFFE on the beach.....very laid back and good food..and a cheap taxi ride from town. I can't remember the address but walk to the left when you are dropped at the beach and someone will point the way. It's run by a Viet/French couple and the beautiful Pierre who I think is their son. Lounges and chairs overlook the beach and meals serves under a thatched roof cafe.
When are you planning to go? Glen Reply

888shelley

Posted by: 888shelley
Posted: 25th May 2011

Benji says: I've got a bit busy all of a sudden so will just give you this info about Hue for now. Villa Hue is right in the centre of town and rickshaws are available to travel around in and very cheap. You...

888shelley says: fabulous, thanks heaps!! we are planning to go mid to end of july and will travel on to bali as we have a family house there...probably stay for 3-4 weeks as we haven't seen family for 4 years! Reply

josh909

Posted by: josh909
Posted: 15th Jun 2011

josh909 says: Check out Jungle Beach - http://www.facebook.com/sylvio.lamarche

I cannot recommend it enough. My wife and I have been twice and cannot wait to go back. Reply

topsypat

Posted by: topsypat
Posted: 15th Jun 2011

topsypat says: Visited Vietnam in April for a wedding. Saigon (or HoChi Minh City) is amazing -motor and scooter bikes everywhere Was very hot in April but most hotels have a pool.
Dalat was amazing, flowers particularly roses, were great and it appeaers to be the garden centre. Heaps of shopping in Saigon but I decided to wait until Hoi An. Unfortunately I caught a bug and spent the 3 days at Hoi An in bed with gastroenteritis!! This is the place to have clothes made apparently - that is according to the local people who are most friendly.
travelled to Hanoi which was different to the south, but equally interestng.
Worth spending two weeks in Vietnam to see part of this country.
Vietnam people quite friendly towards Australians.
Take Australian or US currency. Do not take travellers cheques. Tool me 3 banks and 1 hour with a tour guide to hae travellers cheques cashed and exchange rate not good compared to ash. Other travellers took credit cards and told me they had no trouble.
I beliee you will enjoy Vietnam

Jean
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Jackie

Posted by: Jackie
Posted: 16th Jun 2011

Jackie says: Hi 888shelley, I had a short break in Vietnam in Oct 10, went to Saigon only but had a wonderful time. I travelled on my own and felt perfectly safe. Money exchange rate was much better over there and make sure you pack your bargaining skills. Best place to shop was the Ben Thann Markets but better still go later in the evening as they set up a lot of outdoor markets and they are cheaper with more modern clothing. Don't spend big money going to a lot of resturants as the food in smaller shops is great and fresh. The markets I mentioned above have a lot of food stalls set up at night and you can get a great seafood and noodles for around $3.50 Australian. Watch the cabs always let the hotel call one as some will take you the long way to everywhere. Also watch the cyclops as I hired a guy to take me to the Chinese Markets (not much good) and he stopped halfway back to my hotel and doubled the price before he would return me to my hotel. The cabs are cheaper and more trustworthy. Check out the ward museum and the Choo Choo Tunnels they have a wealth of information. Have a great time. Reply

uruz

Posted by: uruz
Posted: 16th Jun 2011

uruz says: I served with the Australian Army during the war in Vietnam and have a few mate who served with me, who are now living there. They love it and have said they will not be returning to Australia. One mate used to conduct tours and can still arrange great itineraries. If you are interested I can give you his email and let him know you'll be contacting him for advice. From all I've heard it is a great place to visit and the people are wonderful and warm, especially if you let them know you are Aussie. Let me know and I'll give you the relevant details and let Gregg know you'll be contacting him. Reply

Jojo

Posted by: Jojo
Posted: 16th Jun 2011

Jojo says: I have just come back from Vietnam in April - was a great trip and we organised all our own transfers / tours over there. Doing this independently was the by far the best way to travel here. Happy tours in Ho Chi Minh city were surperb!! We did the Full day Chu Chi tunnels and City tour (ask for Jackie hes great!). Dont miss Hoi An either - take your fave clothes along and they can make a copy of this for you and cheap too!
Booked our accommodation in advance but only because I had a travel voucher I had to use through work. We still met amazing people along the way...
We were only here 2 weeks but had absolutely amazing time! And will be going back as there was so many amazing places to see and the food was great! Reply

888shelley

Posted by: 888shelley
Posted: 16th Jun 2011

888shelley says: Thanks heaps everyone.....it is great to have sites to get good info!! We have booked our flight for 17 July to Hanoi and will work our way south over 2 weeks. Does anyone have an idea of the price/details of the Reunification express train, do you need to buy ticket to Hue/Hoi An separate to Hoi An /Saigon? Yes, I am a keen bargainer as we have family in Bali who get cranky when I haven't bargained properly and paid too much!! oops I think I have hit the wrong button, but will post anyway. Will get back to you re guide etc Reply

jools

Posted by: jools
Posted: 16th Jun 2011

jools says: Hi Shelley, No one can prepare you for the traffic in Hanoi but I'll try. The traffic does not stop. This takes nerves off steel. Just walk steady and do not stop bikes, bicycles will go round you. Make sure you do an overnight stay on the boat at Halong Bay. It's just beautiful. Reply

gnome

Posted by: gnome
Posted: 16th Jun 2011

gnome says: Yes I went there in 1971 and it was not a nice place then, BUT, many of my fellow veterans have gone back and have said that it is the place to go for a holiday before it gets too costly. Reply

White Crane

Posted by: White Crane
Posted: 18th Jul 2011

White Crane says: Hi, I went to Vietnam some years ago..I went with 4 other people but we had most things pre-booked so maybe I am not the person to help most. However I was there 3 weeks and travelled from South to North Vietnam. It is a most wonderful country with warm helpful people who have an extremely varied history..my contribution is re crossing roads in the cities! (and that would be VERY carefully..!) We bunched up together and walked slowly but purposefully across, not changing speed or, stopping..its not wise to look at the solid wall of motorbikes bearing down on one..they swerve around the intrepid pedestrians..I have many wonderful memories but would need to write a book! Hoi An is the place of tailors and, I got several outfits made at a reasonable cost and, on and on, and on...have a great time! Reply

White Crane

Posted by: White Crane
Posted: 18th Jul 2011

White Crane says: Hi, I went to Vietnam some years ago..I went with 4 other people but we had most things pre-booked so maybe I am not the person to help most. However I was there 3 weeks and travelled from South to North Vietnam. It is a most wonderful country with warm helpful people who have an extremely varied history..my contribution is re crossing roads in the cities! (and that would be VERY carefully..!) We bunched up together and walked slowly but purposefully across, not changing speed or, stopping..its not wise to look at the solid wall of motorbikes bearing down on one..they swerve around the intrepid pedestrians..I have many wonderful memories but would need to write a book! Hoi An is the place of tailors and, I got several outfits made at a reasonable cost and, on and on, and on...have a great time! Reply

solstice

Posted by: solstice
Posted: 18th Jul 2011

solstice says: we had 3 weeks in Vietnam we did a trip from Sth to Nth up the Mekong River staying with families in villages along the way it was SO Great Reply

Paulie

Posted by: Paulie
Posted: 7th Dec 2011

Paulie says: Some very useful info here... . Thanks!~ Reply

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