This is the 1st time I would like to try and experience the backpacker traveling and Ho Chin Minh City is my first started points. Previously, I am always taking full bound travel package for all the travel trip I have attended. Therefore, I really need some of your valuable advice before I can make it successfully. I will be traveling in Ho Chin Minh City in April 2010 for 4D3N. Just wondering which is the most famous places that I should not missed out and how can I arrange the itinery and also the transportation issue. It must be very easier for you, but this is my 1st time backpacker with my family. And I hope I can get advice from you all. We will be staying nearby Pham Ngu Lao ward. For the transportation, isn't it the taxi fare is cheap or we have to bargin the price with taxi's driver? How much should we bring for this trip?? Estimation? I have no ideas that the expenses in Ho Chi Minh. Some people said expenses and some said cheap. please kindly advice.
You are staying close to the backpacker part of HCMC. I suggest a city tour. It hits most of the things you want to see while in HCM. That is one day. I feel the delta tour is a better option than the Cu Chi Tunnels. More to see and you get out on the Mekong River and its small tributaries. Hit the tunnels if you have the time.
Now taxis. We used Vinasun, but Mai Linh usually gets a good review. Here is an article on HCMC taxis.
Everybody spends differently, but HCM can be very reasonable to visit. I would budget $40/day for room, food, transport. Tours will add to this total, depending on the tour. I use Sinh Cafe for my tours and open tour bus, but there are other companies for a bit less. Hanh Cafe is good, I would avoid TM Brothers.
I have many photos in my gallery of HCM, delta tour, Cu Chi tunnels. Send me a PM if you have questions.
[ Edit: Edited on 09-Mar-2010, at 10:04 by vegasmike6 ]
Thanks for your help, vegas. Just wondering what is the different between the Vinasun and Mai Linh in term of price and services? I think your suggestion is excellent. Do you have any daily tour that could recommend for Mekong river, HCMC tour and Cu Chi Tunnels. It is convenient to take taxi or buses at HCMC? Besides, do we require to bargain the price for taxi? I am not sure about the actual environment there. Thanks a lot. You really help me a lots.
Any additional fees will impose for hotel or airport taxes?
vegas had given you a great advice... it's already cover your whole itinerary when you are here. Sinh Cafe now they have change their name to sinh tourist, their office is jus walking distant to the place you stay. Regarding on the taxi fare, as long as you hop on to vinasun or mailinh, they all run by meters. no nego needed. not like malaysia. :D the only thing that need to remind you is that dont drink the water tap.
Hi, I have few question would like to ask for opinion:
1) Is it advice to take the tour at Vietnam during arrivel or through online or maybe take tour package from my own country?
2) Do you have any recommend cheap daily tour? Is it worth to take daily tour rather than full board package?
3) Any airport taxes or hotel deposit required in Vietnam?
4) What is the ticket price for normal buses eg from Airport to Ngu lao Ward? How many types of taxi in Vietnam? And what is the different?
5) What time the public transport start operation? Because my departure flight was 8.30am. Must reach airport 1 hours earlier. Correct?
6) What is the recommend place to visit in Vietnam for local market shopping buy sovenir? (special local market, not shopping malls)
7) How much money should I bring for this 4D3N trip??
8) Is it safe to book tour through online?
9) Anything need to be careful during traveling in Vietnam?
10) Duc Vuong Hotel and Nga Hoang Hotel, which one is better in term of location and safety.
11) Did the hotel calculate the cost based on how many person? Eg. 4 bed room only allow 4 people sleep in a room. Cannot sleep for 5 people and additional charge will be impose? Please kindly advice.
12) Any recommend for airport pick up? How much will cost frm airport to hotel??
13) Did vietnam exchanger received Ringgit Malaysia or Singapore Dollar for exchange? How much Dong and USD should exchange?
Below is some of the quotation I received from agency.
Day 1: Cu Chi Tour one day
Tay Ninh, head quarter of Cao Dai region. On arrival we attend the fantastic mid-day temple service when the followers fill the hall wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. On the way back a stop for a visit Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground tunnels network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the struggle for independence.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City Tour
Ho Chi Minh City: The Old Colonial Residential, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, the War Crime Exhibition, China Town (Cholon) and a lacquerware factory. (Lunch included)
Day 3: My Tho - Ben Tre (the Upper Mekong River )
My tho city to through Bao Dinh natural canal, take a cruise on the Tien river to the Qui (Tortoise island).
to Ben Tre province - "the country of coconut" , to see a typical agricultal model call "Garden - Pond - Cage" ,
I am going to send some advice to you in a PM.
Mike, you help me a lots. Thanks for your info. How long been you traveling in HCM? It seem like you are very familiar with HCMC. Do you have been travel Cambodia too? I felt warm with you advice. I will PM you for those things I would like to know more. Thanks...
I use the FREE Saigon Hotpot tours - they're excellent and you get to meet university students - more friends than pros!