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Vietnam forum

First time traveller: NEED HELP S.O.S

Posted by lydiadavey77 on 26/1/2013 at 16:19

Hi everyone,

Looking to travel in June- July-August time for about 3 weeks. I haven't really travelled much before so although i'm going on my own (most likely) i'de like to maybe be part of a tour/company in a group of 15-20? Despite this however, all i've heard so far is about how corrupt the tourist industry is in Vietnam as a whole- which is getting me worried! Has anyone got any recommendations of 1) what to do there/places to go and 2) any fun young companies who would be good to travel with?

I will be 18 at the time of travelling (oh and i'm a girl) so the age range about 18-24 would be great peoplewith similar active, fun loving. Heard of free & easy who look really great so something like that? :)

Thanks!

#1 lydiadavey77 has been a member since 26/1/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by busylizzy on 26/1/2013 at 19:20

You will find that most people on this forum tend to be independent travellers and avoid organised tours. However, there is a wealth of info here that will be useful to you regardless of whether you go on a tour or not.

I'm not a fan of tours but having said that, there are advantages, especially if you haven't travelled much before, are on your own and have limited time (eg 3 weeks). The tour company will focus on sorting out the practicalities like accom and transport and leave you to enjoy the adventure. Plus if you're on your own, you'll have people there to share the experience with.

Vietnam does have a reputation for dodgy tour operators, etc - but it's not really as bad as you will hear. You just need to keep your wits about you and your head screwed on, and do your research. If you're going to do a tour, I'd suggest ones like Intrepid, Gecko or Stray (Stray doesn't seem to go into Vietnam yet, but I've added it in the interests of helping others researching a similar topic). I have had several friends use Intrepid over the years and rave about them.

There are other locally run options that you can look into - Sinh Tourist is probably one of the biggest and most reputable. I used them a couple of times to just get a bus from one town to the next and they were fine. I see on their website they run various tours as well, etc. Just a warning, Vietnam is notorious for shamelessly running scam companies with the similar (or even the same!) name as the more reputable ones. Sinh tourism used to have a different name a few years ago - and there were dozens of counterfeit ones in Hanoi. They were in the process of changing over to the new name/site when I was there at the end of 2009. The website that I linked to is the legit one - take note of their addresses of their offices in different cities to double-check that you are dealing with the correct outfit.

#2 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,153
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Posted by somtam2000 on 26/1/2013 at 19:57 admin

If you're considering doing a tour it need not be with a VN-based company. Allpointseast, Intrepid and G Adventures all run well regarded small group tours to Vietnam.

If you want to do it solo, you'll have no trouble meeting other travellers and a typical top to tail trip to Vietnam is outlined here.

Hope that helps

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,710
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Posted by muskey on 27/1/2013 at 03:22

HELLO LYDIA. I TRAVEL TO HO CHI MINH CITY ON THE 23RD OF MARCH FOR A FEW DAYS, THEN ON TO SIEM REAP. LIKE YOURSELF I'II BE TRAVELLING ALONE, BUT IM 46YRS OLD. IM SURE IF YOU KEEP YOUR WIT'S ABOUT YOU AND TAKE IN THE ADVISE GIVEN, YOU'LL HAVE A FANTASTIC TIME IN WHAT SEEM'S TO BE A FASCINATING COUNTRY. I'VE BEEN AROUND ASIA A FEW TIME'S NOW AND FIND THE LOCAL'S AND OTHER TRAVELLER'S VERY FRIENDLY AND GENUINE. ALL THE BEST ON YOUR ADVENTURE AND ENJOY YOURSELF.

#4 muskey has been a member since 21/2/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 25
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Posted by mago2 on 27/1/2013 at 06:51

Hi Lydia!
There is 3 of us (all students, aged 21-24), 2 Poles and 1 UK and we will be travelling from Saigon all the way via coast to the north (Hanoi and Halong Bay) in July. We do SEA and we plan to spend in Vietnam only 7-10 days, later we will head to Laos and Northern Thailand. We plan to arrive to Saigon from Cambodia. Would be fun to join!

#5 mago2 has been a member since 27/1/2013. Posts: 9

Posted by suzienichols on 28/1/2013 at 09:37

http://www.tucantravel.com/trip-search-result?selRegion=REGRA&selCountry=VN&selDuration=-1&selStyle=&selBudget=-1&hidSearchType=default&hidOrderBy=region&hidOrder=4&hidPage=1
My brother has used Tucan tours in Europe before and really enjoyed it. At 30 he was the oldest- most people were younger! Looks like they do plenty of tours in the area.

#6 suzienichols has been a member since 5/9/2010. Posts: 17


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