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Vietnam questions!

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam questions!

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1. Posted by Tittle12 (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

Hello everyone!

Can someone please give me some things that are 'not to be missed' while visiting Ho Chi Minh then Hanoi?

Also ive read that Vietnam is really not a pedestrian friendly place. Any tips about getting around? Are taxi's the best way to go?


2. Posted by CatAttack (Inactive 15 posts) 8y

You can do the usual touristy visits such as Nha Trang, Hue, Hoi An, Hai Phong etc.
Nha Trang has great beaches and Hue is great if you like to learn a little about Vietnamese culture and history.
There are some other towns that not as many tourists try such as Dalat, Danang, Vung Tau etc. which you could try.

Saigon's not really that user friendly for pedestrians, but you can still walk around. If you are just taking a walk to see the city you just need to make sure you are very observant, and look all ways when crossing a street. Walk slowly, not quickly.

Actually as I recall I think you can google something like "walking safely in Vietnam" and there are tips on the internet for doing so.

Car taxi's are cheap, but you'll probably be ripped off, even if there is a metre. Try and find out from your hotel before hand how much a trip from a to b should cost.

I live in hanoi at the moment, and I use motorbike taxi's here all the time, but I have never used a motorbike taxi in Saigon, but I guess it's up to the individual. It's pretty hectic down there.

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

Everyone warns about crossing streets, etc., but I quite enjoyed it - part of the charm of VN in my opinion. You will quickly learn the ropes too - took me about 2 minutes to learn. I'm anti-taxi, but I do enjoy the cyclo rides (bike rickshaw). I walked all over both big cities (just wait till you hit the Old Quarter streets in Hanoi!)

Seriously, for a real fun time, try the free tours of Hanoikids and Saigon Hotpot. I don't have contact info for Saigon H., but here's the one for HK:

4. Posted by linhhuchon (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Things not to miss in Saigon: Cuchi tunnel, Nort Dame cathedral, a dinner on the river cruise and the bar
Things not to miss in Hanoi: Halong bay, Hochiminh complex, Cha Ca dish, a cup of Hanoi beer

5. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

1. Be a mega bitch when trying to get a ride from a motorbike.

and don't walk around with a huge backpack.

Good luck...

the vespa parade is cute for the first two days. Then you realize that crossing the street is an OLYMPIC sport.

6. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 8y

Quoting CatAttack

Actually as I recall I think you can google something like "walking safely in Vietnam" and there are tips on the internet for doing so.

Yes there is. When crossing the road, it is a very weird experience. You need nerves of steel - Just step off the pavement, look straight ahead and walk at a slow but steady pace. DO NOT look at the traffic, they will swerve around you. Keep walking at the same pace looking straight ahead until you reach the other side.

It took a while for us to get used to it but it works. We walked everywhere and never got taxis or motos anywhere.

Not to be missed:
HCMC - Cu Chi tunnels, War Remnants Museum, the Post Office (great building!), Mekhong Delta tour
Hanoi - wandering around the streets, the Lake and Halong Bay overnight cruise

In both places, beer hoi...freshly brewed beer whilst sitting on little kiddie seats with the locals drinking the best beer for about 15p (US 30cents) a litre! Try beef pho and the other fantastic food on offer!

7. Posted by frsydtke (Budding Member 29 posts) 8y

Fab place you will love it.

With the traffic it will freak you out but after a day or too all fine.

Just have to make slow steady movements into the traffic. If you eyeball them you will be fine.

Too much traffic in HCM to dart over the road and few crossings.

Taxi are ok but make sure you get a price or meter. Its soooo cheap any how.

8. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3715 posts) 8y

we met a lovely cylco driver in Hanoi and ended up hiring him for several long jaunts around the city - its a lovely way to get around. Always agree a price before any cyclo ride though - we had a nasty experience with a different cyclo driver where we made the mistake of not agreeing a price beforehand and at the end of the journey the guy tried to rip us off and got quite aggressive. we only got a taxi once in hanoi. in saigon we got motorbike taxis a few times which is crazy but fun!

try and get up to halong bay for a couple of days at least. Further to the above suggestions, the Museum of Ethnography is definitely worth a visit.

[ Edit: Edited on Aug 19, 2008, at 6:47 PM by bex76 ]

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by BlurVision (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

When in Hanoi, do not miss the water puppet. It's really good.
Taxis is a relaible way of transportation.