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Getting to the Vinh Moc Tunnels

  • Laki

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2010
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I am presently in Ho Chi Minh City and trying to plan out the rest of my time in Vietnam. Is there a way to get to Vinh Moc from Hue or Dong Ha without an organized tour of the DMZ? Are local buses an option, and if so, where, when and how do I get them? Failing that, how much ought a driver cost me? I'm from the states, so never driven a motorbike before, so I'm not sure if I want to chance that.

    I've been puzzled over the relative lack of solid information on alternate ways to explore Vietnam outside of packaged tours. Thanks for the help!

    #1 Posted: 21/5/2010 - 10:24

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  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2087
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
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    We organised motorbike guides via our hotel in Hue . The driver/guides took us on an all-day trip to the tunnels, and 8-9 other places of historic interested around the DMZ area. It was reasonably priced, definitely worth it - and not too scary on the back of a bike. (Had a sore bum by the end of it though!)

    The tunnels are well worth seeing, too. When we went through, there was no one else there other than a Vietnamese family, including a grandmother who had been in the army in the war. She was a lovely lady, couldn't speak a word of English but was so thrilled that we were taking an interest in their culture. She was sharing her experiences with us as we walked through the tunnels (using our tunnel tour guide as an intrepreter). It was a very special moment for me.

    You will find lots of opportunities in Hue to organise something - and I'm sure you could even find a taxi or car driver willing to drive you there if you didn't want to brave a motorbike.

    #2 Posted: 21/5/2010 - 18:27

  • Laki

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2010
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Would you mind offering a more exact figure for what that cost you? 'Reasonably priced' can vary dramatically depending on budget. Riding on the back of a moto is my favorite form of transit, so no worries there.

    #3 Posted: 22/5/2010 - 14:01

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2087
    Total reviews: 20
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    At least 107

    I had to dig out my old notes -and it looks like to cost us US$30 each for the bike hire and driver, for the entire day. I recall we left at about 8am and returned about 4pm, with lots of stops along the way. It as another US$2 to get into the tunnels and museum.

    I have to admit that in hindsite, it does sound a bit pricey, but it was worthwhile. That was organised through our hotel, and you could probably do a bit better with a bit of shopping around and some negotiating.

    #4 Posted: 22/5/2010 - 20:10

  • Laki

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2010
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    To help future 'packers looking into this, I arranged for a guide on motorbike to take me at $15 earlier today (entrance fee included), leaving around 8 (normally you would leave from between 9-11) and returning earlier than normal (at my request to make a bus connection) somewhere between 2-3. The cost for a tour bus should run you around $8-12 depending on your haggling and the market conditions (high/low season), leaving 6 and returning at 6. I think $5 is worth avoiding being tugged around with a bunch of others at an absurdly early time in the morning.

    #5 Posted: 23/5/2010 - 20:21

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2087
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    US$15 sounds more realisic Laki. I'm wondering if I wrote the costs down wrong, and it was US$30 for two of us, not just one.

    #6 Posted: 24/5/2010 - 03:25

  • Laki

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2010
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    For those of you looking into this... I would definitely recommend it. It of course pissed down after days of beautiful weather, but throw on a disposable rain coat and a little rain never hurt anybody. My guide was named Bill, an ex-Marine aide with the South Vietnamese Army. Nice guy, very friendly, spoke perfect English (though of course obsecenity laden, as one would expect from someone who perfected their linguistic skills with U.S. Marines).

    #7 Posted: 25/5/2010 - 19:30

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2087
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    I'm glad it all worked out well for you, Laki!

    #8 Posted: 26/5/2010 - 03:40

  • roynolan

    Joined Travelfish
    29th January, 2009
    Posts: 47

    we managed to get a car and driver from hue to the tunnels for $20 (two of us)as we didn't want to do the whole DMZ tour, it was easy enough to organise, we just asked a few people and easily got a car and driver.

    #9 Posted: 29/5/2010 - 18:32

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