Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

If you're a first time visitor to Vietnam, we'll point you to the Ha Long Bay thread for points to keep in mind when selecting the right Ha Long Bay tour for you. If you've questions about a potential itinerary, do take a look at the itinerary section of the site as well. We'll also apologise in advance for the persistent spamming by Vietnam-based travel agents -- we do try to delete them as quickly as they come in. Sorry!

Sapa Guide

Posted by Unknownsu on 23/10/2007 at 12:27

Hi everyone, I'm making a trip to Sapa during late January and to budget better, I searched the internet for prices of guides on arrival but couldn't find any. I know what to expect with everything else. I'm thinking of getting there and hiring a guide from an agency or hotel. Can anyone tell me what the average cost of a guide is on a day basis? Also, do you have any recommendations for a guide? Thanks in advance. ...

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Viewed 5,773 times, with 9 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 22/2/2008 at 00:14


Whale Island Dilema

Posted by jzar on 14/1/2008 at 01:32

Hi, I catered for 2 nights on whale island for my itinerary as well as 1 night in Nha Trang afterwards(travelling from Hoi An) i have read so many websites that really say "avoid" whale island as places there are very expensive for what they offer.Should I not go to whale island? i was thinking of spending maybe an extra night in Hoi An and maybe 2 nights (instead of one) in Nha Trang as I believe you can do day trips from there?(or maybe 3 nights in nha trang as I will be staying no less ...

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Viewed 3,536 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by jzar on 22/2/2008 at 00:13

Express bus HA TIEN to RACH GIA

Posted by ron67 on 15/1/2008 at 04:48

wanted to know how many express buss's leave from Ha Tien to Rach Gia a day ? and what times ?it will be on a monday,any information much appreciated. Ron. ...

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Viewed 6,151 times, with 4 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 22/2/2008 at 00:08

laundry soap!

Posted by fishtails04 on 18/1/2008 at 16:38

thismay seem like a strange request... but i've never travelled anywhere that doesn't sell bars of laundry soap (much more efficient and less messy than powder/liquid). i can't find it here in cambodia but am headed for vietnam soon - is it available there or should i get a friend to bring a stash when she visits? cheers fishtails ...

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Viewed 1,718 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 22/2/2008 at 00:06

train Hanoi to Hoi An/DaNang on Feb 3

Posted by aodily on 29/1/2008 at 19:12

hello all. we'll arrive to Hanoi on Feb 2 and would like to take the train to Hoi An the following day or so. i contacted several travel agencies. only 1 replied suggesting that everything is sold out in that period. anyone out there with good ideas/better info? thanks! aodily ...

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Viewed 2,496 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 22/2/2008 at 00:04

Language Schools in Hanoi

Posted by stuartheth on 5/2/2008 at 16:34

G'day, Does anyone have a reccomendation for Vietnamese Language Schools in Hanoi? I'm after a two week intensive or something like this. Thanks in advance, Love the site Stu. Stu. ...

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Viewed 1,887 times, with 6 replies. Last reply by stuartheth on 22/2/2008 at 00:00

Full moon festival in Hoi An

Posted by steiny on 11/2/2008 at 02:39

We're going to be in Hoi An in March, and can't work out when the full moon festival will be. If it's on the 'fourteenth day of the lunar calendar' then that must be the full moon, right? Here in Scotland that's the 21st March. This may be a stupid question, but will it be the same in Vietnam? It's difficult to find a list of dates for the festival in 2008. For those of you that have been there, does Hoi An get busy and would you say it's essential to book accommodation in advance around the ...

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Viewed 6,982 times, with 4 replies. Last reply by steiny on 21/2/2008 at 23:57

Hoi An closures Life Resort and The Lounge Bar

Posted by aslocran on 21/2/2008 at 13:01

The Lounge bar in central old town has closed its doors for good. Gypsy, (phillip) has sold the business and moved on. It does not appear that the business will ever surface in its same guise. The life resort has closed for three months starting on Feb. 15th. They took significant damage during the floods and their insurance has kicked in. So... they are doing a complete remodel. its already one of the nicest hotels in down town. I am sure that it will come back better than ever! ...

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Viewed 1,437 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 21/2/2008 at 23:54

Halong Bay Alternatives

Posted by millerhd on 19/2/2008 at 14:49

I would really like to see the famous Halong Bay, but it sounds so difficult and overly touristed that I am afraid I wouldn't end up enjoying it. I understand that Halong bay is just part of the greater bay. Is there some Halong bay alternative, which is equally beautiful, or at least nearly as beautiful, that doesn't have the extensive tourism and all of the ills that go with it? Also, my budget is quite tight so expensive luxury options aren't really options for me. Thanks for the help. ...

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Viewed 4,505 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 20/2/2008 at 21:25

HEATED accomodation: Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay

Posted by suecatwoman on 18/2/2008 at 23:04

Not too sure why the term "heated" is so absurd here..I hear it's the coldest winter in 30 years but surely heat can't be this hard to come by. Does anyone know any HEATED places to stay in Hanoi or companies that do treks to Sapa & Halong bay with HEATED accommodation? As inexpensive as possible... Thanks. ...

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Viewed 2,461 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 20/2/2008 at 21:21

Visiting Ho Chi Minh City? Go Spoil Yourself!

Posted by CatBa on 3/2/2008 at 22:11

Most visitors to HCMC/SaiGon spend only a few days before either departing the country - or heading north. As a result many miss the night markets ... and the nightly dining opportunities instead frequently haunting the tourist feeding holes that offer the same old choice. Break out and taste the difference! Within walking distance of the Backpacker area and the upscale area around Dong Khoi and Hai Ba Trung Streets you could be hard pressed to discover fresh food cooked perfectly than the ...

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Viewed 4,215 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 13/2/2008 at 23:06

halong bay with tropical sails

Posted by fishtails04 on 12/2/2008 at 15:57

has anyone any experience of the company tropical sails for junk trips in halong bay? want to book something classier than the backpacker trips for thisso would appreciate advice. thanks ...

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Viewed 4,348 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 13/2/2008 at 23:02

shoemakers in hanoi?

Posted by fishtails04 on 12/2/2008 at 15:54

missed the chance to get boots made in hoi an and just wondering if there are similar opportunities in hanoi? if so, can anyone recommend a good english speaking shoe maker, who will make to order? thanks ...

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Viewed 2,632 times, with no replies.

Working Around OpenTour Higher Tet Charges

Posted by CatBa on 9/2/2008 at 03:45

True to their nature, many OpenTour operators raise prices so to max their return from these journeys. These raised prices continue for a week to 10 days following Tet and can increase a USD$26 HCMC Ha Noi fare by $14-25 (this year). To minimise the effect of these charges, instead of buying the complete route only buy to the first or second stops of your journey (HCMC to Da Lat or Mui Ne and possibly Nha Trang) (Ha Noi to Hue or Hoi An) and when the prices return to normal buy tickets f ...

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Viewed 1,199 times, with no replies.

Taxi's in VietNam - Getting Simpler, Soon

Posted by CatBa on 17/1/2008 at 22:59

Many visitors to VietNam have been either overcharged or suffered from the hotel switch scam, particularly in Ha Noi, and I have always recommended that people minimise the risk by using DeLuxe, VN or Mai Linh. Whilst poking around in an obscure corner of HCMC earlier this week I saw a mass of taxis parked in a lot getting an open air paint job. Mai Linh is now folding its 13 taxi companies into one name - Mai Linh taxi. The new fleet takes to the road next week in time for the Tet festiva ...

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Viewed 2,643 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 8/2/2008 at 14:17

Hotel in Ha Tien?

Posted by emmryss on 5/2/2008 at 15:31

Does anyone know of a good hotel (air con & hot water; a lift and TV would be nice) in Ha Tien that takes reservations by e-mail? thanks, Murray ...

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Viewed 2,372 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 6/2/2008 at 05:54

Last minute train availability from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang

Posted by chichinic on 28/1/2008 at 19:18

I am flying into Ho Chi Min at 2:30pm on March 3rd and was wondering if it would be possible (and easy) to book a train ticket to Nha Trang that evening (11:00pm). Any chance it will be fully booked? Where would be the best place to buy the tickets - At the train station close to 11 or in town? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. ...

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Viewed 8,296 times, with 7 replies. Last reply by chichinic on 31/1/2008 at 22:13

Elizabeth Hotel sucks, Culi Café rocks!!!

Posted by lifehunter on 30/1/2008 at 02:42

When we were in Hanoi, we stayed in Elizabeth Hotel. The front desk told use there are 2 different cruise tours to Halong Bay: Standard ($79) and Deluxe ($163). We were told that Deluxe would be much better than Standard: Deluxe room, free drinking and special dinner. Actually it turned out no matter how much you pay you simply go same boat. We really hate being cheated. It ruined our whole tour! So DO NOT GO TO Elizabeth Hotel. After Halong cruise, we had dinner at Culi Café. The food th ...

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Viewed 2,019 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 30/1/2008 at 10:39

transport to Da Lat from Saigon

Posted by fishtails04 on 28/1/2008 at 13:36

Can anyone advise on transport options and journey times from Saigon to Da Lat and then Da Lat to Nha Trang? also would liketo visit Cat Tien N. P. from Da Lat so if you know baout travel to there, please fill me in! thanks fishtails ...

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Viewed 6,759 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 29/1/2008 at 07:17

Hue - Ninh Bin transport

Posted by fishtails04 on 28/1/2008 at 13:39

Whoops, forgot to add this to my last query! Can anyone tell me transport situation and time from Hue to Ninh Bin? Thanks a million fishtails ...

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Viewed 1,484 times, with no replies.


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