I have been travelling around Vietnam for 4 months and have even been given the chance to write about my experiences for a local magazine.
Some tour groups are bad. They will charge whatever they want and if you query it, they will insult you and tell you to leave Vietnam. Kim Tours is one. Sinh Tours seems to be everywhere and it is impossible to tell which is the real one! Be careful and only use their official website. Most hotels will book your a trip but be careful, Sapa is easily done for less than $100 from Hanoi, don't let anyone charge you more.
Be brave and use the local bus services, especially to nearby places. A bus from My Dinh to Tuyen Quang or Thai Nguyen should cost less than $10 on a local bus and the experience is fun.
Vietnam is great for budget travel but go with your gut feeling. Lots of people will rip you off and that includes westerners based here. Always check reviews online and avoid Camel Tours openbus, really bad!
#1 SeaninHanoi has been a member since 27/11/2011. Posts: 3
I agree, there are plenty of crooks to take your Dong in this country. I've been here 4 times, and there is one travel agent who is 100% honest and very helpful (so much so, that he has become a trusted friend). Diep (David) Tran runs the Vietnamtour Travel Agency in Hanoi - you can't go wrong with this man or one of his assistants.