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Vietnam forum

To book or not to book?

Posted by stephmccabe on 23/6/2009 at 15:08

My partner and I are traveling from Hanoi to HCMC then across to Cambodia in August this year (2009). We are wondering wether it is necessary to book accommodation via the internet before we go. Do places book out? We are looking at about US$10-30 price range per night. Can you get a better deal if you show up on the night?

Also, any information/ideas on things to do in Vietnam would be greatly appreciated. e.g. we are unsure which overnight junk boat Halong bay tour to do as there are so many to choose from.

Has anyone changed NZ Dollars in Vietnam, is this easy?

Thank you in advance and look forward to your reply :)

#1 stephmccabe has been a member since 2/6/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by Layabout on 23/6/2009 at 19:47

I haven't got any answers for you but will be waiting to see any as I am doing the same thing but the opposite direction in August aswell and am looking for the same advice.
If you have time I am told that SAPA in the northwest is a great place to see.
In Cambodia if you get to Siem Reap a good guest house is The Two Dragons, you may have to book the owner Gordon has a web site "Tales of Asia"

Happy Travels

#2 Layabout has been a member since 17/3/2008. Posts: 27

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Posted by somtam2000 on 24/6/2009 at 08:33 admin

As long as you're willing to be a bit flexible in your requirements, there is little need to book in advance -- especially for budget places. You'll see on Travelfish the vast majority of budget places cannot be booked online, so there is no shortage of places to stay.

No trouble changing NZ cash in bigger centres.

Ha Long Bay is close to a must see -- see the feature stories section for some pieces that give suggestions on picking the right tour -- at the end of the day, don't book in advance and ask around for personal experiences.

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by BruceMoon on 26/6/2009 at 07:48


The answer is yes and no!!!

I'm retired. I like to know that when I've travelled a long distance, and I'm approaching a major city (where I've never been before), I can count on pre-booked accommodation. It just makes the journey so much easier. This is especially important where I won't make the city till after 5pm (for me, that's beer oclock).

That said, if I'm arriving to a smaller place, I don't get so worried, nor if I'm arriving with enough time to look around.

So, my resolve? When coming in from a long distance away, and arriving later in the afternoon, I'll pre-book one night (unless it's peak/festival time and space limited, I'll pre-book the lot).

Then, I'll look around the next am for an alternative. If I'm travelling through, and it's only a night at a small town, I just rock up and get a bed.

I'm reminded that in SE Asia, pre-booking means that I'm paying top dollar. But, the convenience of knowing I've got accommodation is the price I'm willing to pay.

Hope this helps.


#4 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Stalock on 2/7/2009 at 22:10

Grand philosophy BruceMoon! - I concur with that. Roll-on beer o' clock!

#5 Stalock has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 2

Posted by MissJanie on 27/7/2009 at 19:23

There are not much traveller go to Vietnam on August. But if you want to make sure and not much worried about accomodation, i think you should book it now. I just back from Vietnam after a week in Hanoi . The weather is fine. Good luck!

#6 MissJanie has been a member since 10/6/2009. Posts: 7

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