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Vietnam 2012 ( late Sept - early Oct)

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam 2012 ( late Sept - early Oct)

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1. Posted by wsfl_ (Budding Member, 47 posts) 1 Aug '12 21:46

Hi Guys,its me again.
After my trip around thailand (south-north), i feel so energized and psyched that I want to do a Vietnam this Sept-Oct 2012.
I had a wonderful time in Thailand, except the time I got food poisoning in Bangkok.

So now, I want to know if the travelling experience in Vietnam will be different from Thailand.
How are the local like in Vietnam?
Is 2 weeks enough for me to see through Vietnam? I'm starting from HCMC btw, so any route I should take and places I must go?
I definitely want to take overnight train than bus.
And yes, we come back to the same issue, how safe is vietnam compared to other countries?

Thanks!

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3600 posts) 2 Aug '12 02:29

Vietnam is very vibrant and colourful, and I found the people to be really friendly. The food in Vietnam was the best I had in all of SE Asia, and Hanoi is my favourite Asian city - defintely worth a few days. 2 weeks isn't that long but you could manage the route from HCMC to Hanoi with a few stops. I'd recommend the Cu Chi tunnels when you're in HCMC; it's an easily arranged day trip. From HCMC you could go on to Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue and then Hanoi. You can get a bus or minibus for most stretches of the route, but it's worth getting the sleeper train from Hue to Hanoi. If you have time, I'd recommend 2-3 days in Halong Bay, which can be arranged with various tour operators in Hanoi.

In terms of safety, you shouldn't encounter any problems, but as with anywhere in the world be careful of petty theft. Always agree a price beforehand with cyclo drivers.

3. Posted by iamvagabond (Budding Member, 6 posts) 3 Aug '12 03:05

bex76's post almost gives you all info about the highlights in Vietnam. i think that within 2 weeks you can well cover them all. if you depart from HCMC, you can refer to -snip-about the safety issue, i can confirm that Vietnam is among those safest countries in SEA, with no statistic about terrorism or serious criminal damage. but, as bex76 has mentioned, you should raise awareness of pickpockets, always check out the price before ordering things to get rid of scams, and better keep a tag including your name, your phone, your hotel's address to avoid any risk of lost. and cheers! :-)

Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]

Posts 4 - 6 were removed by moderators
7. Posted by janedylala (Inactive, 6 posts) 4 Aug '12 00:34

Dear you,
Vietnam is a peaceful country with many beauty spots and delicious foods. Maybe 2 weeks is not long but it is interesting for you to have a fun trip in vietnam. You start from ho chi minh city to hanoi. In my opinion, you should visit some destinations such as Dalat- a city of flower, Khanh Hoa with famous beaches, hanoi with temple of liturature, sword lake, etc. Generally, i m sure that you will feel satisfied when planning to Vietnam. Vietnamese people are very friendly and hospitable. In addition, you should notice that the weather in september is quite hot so you should prepare something for this matter.

Hope that you will have the wonderful trip in vietnam.

8. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1940 posts) 5 Aug '12 09:10

Vietnam will be a totally different experience from Thailand for several reasons. 2 weeks is not enough time to see the whole place - you'd need a month. Surface travel is s-l-o-o-o-o-o-w! I recommend air travel for anything really long like Danang-HCMC or Danang-Nha Trang. Please stay off of long distance buses - road travel in VN is on the dangerous side (to say the least).

You will immediately notice how much more aggressive the Vietnamese are vs the Thais - I believe religion has something to do with this? This is especially true of many in the tourist service business - the foreigner here is looked on as a walking ATM!!! This is why I recommend you get off the tourist trail and meet some real people. The free student guide services are the place to look for new friends and wonderful small, local tours (Hanoikids, Saigonhotpot and Danangkids) done for English practice. Book several weeks ahead by email - search for their websites.

My favorite places include Hanoi, Sapa, Dalat and Hoi An (least favorites include Cat Ba Town, Nha Trang and HCMC).

Without a doubt, the best attraction in VN are the people themselves. Not really much nightlife in VN - early to rise/early to bed for the hardworking Vietnamese. You will love it, a wonderful but different experience.

"how safe is vietnam compared to other countries?" - no guns here, but the killers are the drivers - PLEASE STAY OFF OF THE DANGEROUS VN ROADS! I would say that Vietnam is the most dangerous place in Indochina for this reason.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Aug-2012, at 09:16 by Daawgon ]

9. Posted by wsfl_ (Budding Member, 47 posts) 5 Aug '12 21:42

thankyou for the tips. i need these to mentally prepare myself for vietnam.
I will definitely be travelling by plane/overnight train in Vietnam.
Is there any cities that is something like Chiang Mai? not too modern or trashed by tourist.

another issue i would like to ask how do you guys travel within a city? i want to really experience the local lifestyle. definitely not taking taxi or tuktuk. Should i rent a mop, how much is it? or hop into local bus.

10. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3600 posts) 6 Aug '12 09:08

Quoting wsfl_

another issue i would like to ask how do you guys travel within a city? i want to really experience the local lifestyle. definitely not taking taxi or tuktuk. Should i rent a mop, how much is it? or hop into local bus.

Lots of people hire motorbikes, but I hired a cyclo driver for 2 full days in Hanoi and thought it was a lovely, relaxing way to get around and see the city. I wouldn't want to drive my own motorbike in any of the cities in Vietnam- I'd be terrified!