Photo: Fisherman returning to Ko Tarutao.

Trip reports forum

Attention: Those wanting to book open bus tours.

Posted by miaweelow on 4/2/2009 at 13:21

Posted from within Vietnam.

This is my third time in Vietnam and I love the country. But its also regrettable that the quality of service rise and fall like the passing tides. I am writing this to give a heads up to people wishing to make use of the open bus tickets from Hanoi to Saigon and vice versa because we found out through many tough experiences that this isn't the best way to see Vietnam.

We bought an open bus ticket from our hotel at Hello Hotel, 5 Thanh Ha lane, Hoan Kiem district in Hanoi, and were supposed to get a ticket from the office in Hanoi. However, the staff working there said that we will only be issued our ticket at the next stop. But the thing is that they did not stop us at the agreed destination - Ninh Binh and made us go all the way to Hue. Then they told us that there would be no refunds even though it was their fault!

Then when we requested to change our itinerary, we were told to pay more money if we wanted to reshuffle the stops. The staff were rude and nonchalent and preferred talking amongst themselves and lounging in their seats. One of them even flippantly offered to send me back to Ninh Binh when ive already arrived in central Vietnam, a 14hour bus ride back.

I urge travellers to check the prices of Open bus tickets and if possible to avoid them. And to also avoid Camel bus company because they have bad service throughout Vietnam. From Hanoi to Hue, and Hoi An. It was a really bad experience because we could do nothing once our money was given. ALWAYS ALWAYS request for proper documentation in Vietnam.

All in all, just be wise and enjoy the sights and sounds because Vietnam is a beautiful place!

#1 miaweelow has been a member since 26/10/2008. Posts: 4

Posted by roznkaz on 10/2/2010 at 15:43

It is funny coming across a few warnings about Open Bus travel. I didn't realize there are different operators. Last year we went from Hue to Hanoi by sleeper bus with Camel company. To our amazement when we got to the bus the entire windscreen was cracked and they were putting clear gaffer tape across the windscreen. We had a 12 hr trip overnight ahead of us. Also the photos of the advertised 1.8 mtr x 0.8 mtr size sleeper beds were nothing like the much smaller ones we had.
At the time we could not stop laughing as it is all one can do sometimes. During the night they stopped twice for more gaffer tape and the toilet had to be pressure cleaned out. Yuk! We still laugh about it but realize how dangerous it really was. We did live to tell the tale!

#2 roznkaz has been a member since 23/1/2010. Posts: 8

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