Vietnam travel tips

Discussion in 'Travel' started by penmanila, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    i have some mileage expiring with PAL, so i'm taking my wife to ho chi minh city (saigon) next month. was last there in 1994 but my wife's never been so i thought it would be interesting to have a look. (would have much preferred hanoi but PAL doesn't fly there.) anyone been there recently who can offer some suggestions? am also looking for a decent but not too pricey hotel downtown. thanks!
     
  2. dasaint

    dasaint PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    Hi Sir Butch,

    Let me know your budget ? There is alot of new hotels in District 1 that very are reasonable.

    I work here in Vietnam . I can even book your room for you .
    If you want to fly to Hanoi ,It cheaper to book from flights via Jet star from HCMC to Hanoi for about $90 to 120 USD round trip.
    Or take a side trip to Phan Tiet or Dalat and even Cambodia :)

    I ll can also give you a list of must eat places :)
    Like the best soft shell crab place. at Thuy 97
    Flying Rice Restaurant.
    deliciouses night hawker food stalls around Benh Than Market
    The Pho noodle soup at 260 Pasteur.
    Com Ga (Chicken Rice)
    etc.



    HCMC has changed alot in the last 3 years even more if you went here last 1994.
    Just let me know . I will be in Saigon and Hanoi in the next few weeks.
     
  3. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    terrific! thanks for all the help, dasaint. i already have a ticket with PAL, so your assistance with the hotel reservation is very welcome. deepblue is also lending me a lobely planet guide to vietnam, so i'm all set to go :)
     
  4. LeoCastillo

    LeoCastillo Maestro
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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    I was in Vietnam couple of years back. Some tips...

    - When you cross the street, and you see bikes coming your way, just keep walking. Let them go around you, don't go around them, it'll throw their timing off.
    - speaking of bikes, watch out for your belongings. I had a friend who had more than 100K worth of photo equipment taken from his shoulder when a thief on a bike grabbed it
    - and speaking of bikes again, make sure you go around HCMC on a bike at least once, kahit naka-angkas. That's really the way to do it. Got some great photos that way.

    Finally, the one and only place you must not miss going to is the War Museum. It's very low-end, looks like a school project, but the visit is well worth it.

    Leo
     
  5. AthanWylde

    AthanWylde Active Member

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  6. djwoblely

    djwoblely Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    I would like tips too. I am thinking about after graduating this year to take a trip there for a week or so before moving back to Alaska. I would like some cheap travel tips and also best ways to get around for a MBA grad with no job yet. I also would like to go to the place where they have the famous "cheap suits"
     
  7. dasaint

    dasaint PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?


    djwoblely , I have been living in Vietnam for 2 years now . For the cheap custom suits where I get mine , you can get a set for $150 is in Hoian .

    I strongly suggest backpacking Vietnam which very do able you can start in HCMC and using train or bus stop by major cities like

    Dalat(their version of Bagiuo)
    Nha Trang (
    their version of Phuket)
    Danang/Hoian Unesco hertigae site and custom made suits and shoes
    Hue(Unesco Hertitage Site)
    Hanoi/ Halong Bay(Capital and another Unesco Heritage site)

    This would take you about 2 weeks of leisure travel.

    Food here is cheap if you are very open with your food choices.You can survive on $7 a day on food (3 meals)

    Its pretty safe here . Yes petty crimes do exisist . But it is safe enough that thier police here do not carry guns only night sticks. If you see one carrying a small 22 pistol . He is a special police and there must a event happening around.
    The people carrying AK-47 are military and restricited to guarding embassy and consulate around HCMC.

    Taxi here are cheap and will actuallu try to return your exact change. Just stick to Mai Linh Taxi company and Vinasun ., You are assured of clean and honest cab. TIP : the bigger the car they drive the more experince they are and better thier English.

    While here you can take a bus to Cambodia ($22 USD one way ) and from cambodia headed to Thailand. Thats something I have done before and dont mind doing :) again.
     
  8. djwoblely

    djwoblely Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    Thanks, My brother and cousin went there 2 years ago to teach and they pretty much said the same thing as you about it. I'm worried about the communication there since from what im told english will not be understood so well traveling. I'm really looking forward to eating Pho all day for around one dollar.

    Could you recommend the tailors and pricing for them?
    How do you go about negotiating there?
     
  9. dasaint

    dasaint PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    There is boom in learning English now . Vietnam is moving rapidly forward and will not be suprise if they surpass the Philippines in 5 to 10 years time.

    If you will be traveling in HCMC or the major cities English is more or less understood these days.

    I dont speak Vietnamese that much but I was pretty much traveled around Vietnam on public transport just plan ahead like having your hotel's name care or have the hotel staff write on paper saying "please bring me to ....."

    Plus there is an Ipod touch/Iphone app of a Lonely Planet Phrasebook. Which is very handy.

    I can give you a number of tailors in Hoian . But Golden Silk comes to mind . They have lots of tailors there and more sprout everyday. Just walk around and choose. Then have them make you one then if it's ok with you order 3 more.
     
  10. djwoblely

    djwoblely Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    Thanks, ill make the trip after april. Ill bring what I always bring to every country, a Lonely Planet guide. now all i need to know now is where to get and how much they should be for "north face" products. You can just PM that. ill probably backpack the place also. What kinda budget would you recommend me have if im going to backpack it like a student like transpo costs, accomodations at hostel type settings or cheap hotels and cheap food but also the good food if its famous. So a backpacking food trip. More emphasis on food for me than accommodation.
     
  11. dasaint

    dasaint PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    PM sent to you
     
  12. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    just returned from HCMC--great little trip, with loads of thanks to dasaint (who booked my hotel and gave all kinds of helpful tips) and to deepblue (whose lonely planet guide proved invaluable). my wife and i stayed at the lavender, a cozy, clean, and inexpensive bourtique-type hotel right next to ben thanh market (saigon's greenhills) and to the antique shops and within walkign distance of the city's best attractions. thanks a bunch, guys! we had a blast!
     
  13. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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  14. dasaint

    dasaint PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    Wow Sir I have been living here over 2 years na but your shots made me see HCMC in a another perspective.


    Anyways happy to hear that you and your wife had a great time here in Vietnam. Too bad I was tied up with work to fly to HCMC and to have personally guided you .
     
  15. pilgrim28

    pilgrim28 Active Member

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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    Hi dasaint, can you also PM the message for the budget and where to go. TIA.
     
  16. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    the expanded version: penmanila's weekend in vietnam
     
  17. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    hi, roland! am on the road again--in detroit, on my way to DC. thanks for posting the link.
     
  18. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    oh, yeah! you must be on your way to your ultimate destination: the world voices festival!

    i got excited weeks ago when i read your blog about it! now that i am reminded, i'm ecstatic all over again.

    hey, fellas! (a bit OT, i know) check out our very own, penmanila, our country's sole representative in PEN World Voices Festival, which features 160 of the world's best writers.

    i actually thought of posting this event and your participation on this forum, but couldn't find an iWriters thread. :( why not, when there are threads for iMusicians, iPhotographers, etc.? perhaps, other mods may find merit in it, in spite of my digression.

    then again, this wasn't so OT. i mean, literature lets us iTravel to places. and then some.

    have a blast, butch! am thrilled for you. looking forward to your chronicles.
     
  19. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    thanks, roland! the WVF will be exciting, but on a more personal, albeit more trivial, agenda, i'm splurging the rest of my air mileage on a sidetrip to the chicago pen show right after NYC. it'll be an honor to meet and to read with salman rushdie, but i wanna see vintage pens even more ;)
     
  20. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    Re: HCMC/saigon travel tips?

    well, i certainly appreciate your candor and penthusiam! ;)
     

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