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!

WARNING: re Ha Long Bay cruise touts Sticky!

Posted by somtam2000 on 22/12/2009 at 13:32

We're having ongoing issues banning accounts that belong to Vietnamese travel agents that are spamming the forum pretending to be customers either asking for advice or supposedly giving advice regarding boat tours on Ha Long Bay. The boats most commonly touted are: Columbus Bhaya Phoenix I would treat any comments or advice given concerning any of the above operators with EXTREME CAUTION -- especially if it is from a relatively new site member. As far as I am concerned, if a business ...

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Viewed 75,321 times, with 1 reply.

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Welcome and Terms of Use Sticky!

Posted by somtam2000 on 22/1/2006 at 16:30

Hi, I'm somtam2000 and I'll be moderating the Travelfish travel board. I'm here to answer all your questions -- or at least the ones I know the answer to -- as for those that are mysteries to me, perhaps other Travelfish members will be able to answer. You'll see you need to be a member to post a new question or answer an existing one, but if you're already a Travelfish member, you don't need to join again. Your existing login works just fine. A few of general pointers; 1) I do have to ...

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Viewed 19,840 times, with no replies.

Warning! Violence against tourists on PHU QUOC ISLAND Vietnam

Posted by fairall on 13/12/2019 at 07:31

Last month, November 2019, I visited Phu Quoc Island Vietnam, and was driving slowly through the night market around 11.15 pm one night. I had only just come out and was totally sober and driving on the right side, correct side of the road when two Vietnamese men blocked me driving on the wrong side of the road. The driver looked angry, as if I had blocked him, not him me. Then shockingly, he punched me on the side of the head! I asked some taxi drivers at the end of the road 'What ...

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Viewed 81 times, with no replies.

HCMC to PHNOM PENH by boat

Posted by rosita on 1/12/2019 at 00:45

I'm looking for a reliable travel agency to arrange a trip from HCMC to PHNOM PEHN by boat. Does anyone has a suggestion/experience? Other idea would be to do it by ourselves. Is it possible to do this route by your own, without reservations? What would be the best itinerary? I could spend 4-5 days - no need to rush.. thanks! ...

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Viewed 206 times, with no replies.

Grey Haired Gap Year

Posted by Shepwell on 23/11/2019 at 13:35

Hi - we are two 65+ intrepid travelers who are about to embark on our grey haired gap year. For the first part of the journey we plan to fly into Saigon and make our way across southern SE Asia- Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and then fly to Darwin for the second part of our journey. We have travelled in SE Asia before, so have covered the main tourist areas. Looking for any suggestions for an interesting route that will take about four to six weeks???? ...

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Viewed 475 times, with 2 replies.

Help for rookies! Hanoi vs Saigon in Dec

Posted by fennellj on 8/11/2019 at 16:59

Hi and help: We'll have a week in Vietnam from Dec. 16-22/23. We are in a quandary whether to visit Hanoi and Halong Bay, or go to Saigon, spend a few days in the city and then try to tour either an island or the Mekong Delta area. Based on advice here, we're told to not to attempt both north and south, and based on a previous trip to Cambodia, we agree. Weather can be dicy in the north, we read, but better south, so that's a factor. Question is: Hanoi or Saigon? If we do Saigon, can anyone ...

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Viewed 700 times, with 3 replies.

Daily direct bus service between Sam Neua and Thanh Hoa

Posted by tf_geckozy on 19/5/2010 at 01:39

Now there exist several direct bus services beteween Sam Neua and Thanh Hoa , and the massages at Sam Neua East & South bus stations & Luang Prabang North bus station & Nong Khiaw bus station are telling us about those direct bus services, but all of them are not daily service but 3~4 buses a week at least now. DAILY DIRECT BUS SERVICE To the contorary, there exists another one "Daily" direct bus service between Sam Neua and Thanh Hoa operated by a Vietname ...

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Viewed 15,476 times, with 8 replies.

Hanoi vs. East Coast of Taiwan

Posted by fennellj on 12/10/2019 at 15:42

This will be only our second time in Southeast Asia. We have somewhat limited time and are traveling this December. We are definitely going to Tainan in Taiwan, (flying there from Hong Kong where we are spending a few days). Our eventual destination is Laos, but while in Tainan, we have to make a choice of whether to stay in Taiwan and go to the East Coast, or fly back to Taipai, then to Hanoi . Our big question is whether it would be better spend 3-4 days in Hanoi and skip the east coast (a ...

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Viewed 917 times, with 4 replies.

What (and where) to eat in Vietnam?

Posted by asill73 on 20/1/2015 at 22:16

I will start my trip to Indochina soon, can anyone please tell me which foods that I should not miss in Vietnam and where are the best places to eat them? Thanks ...

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Viewed 7,991 times, with 21 replies.

Small towns & villages around HCMH to explore?

Posted by sharontreloar on 14/8/2019 at 10:35

Hello, we’re staying in HCMH in early October, and I already know I’m gonna need to get out of town for a day... I was thinking of hopping on a train and finding a small town to explore, somewhere untouristy. Just a real town or village with a market and temple. Nothing flash. Old and rustic is good. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks. ...

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Viewed 1,141 times, with 4 replies.

Hangout Hostel HCM - The best hostel for solo travellers in Vietnam on year 2019

Posted by hangouthostelhcm on 19/8/2019 at 14:52

Come and join us at the MOST POPULAR HOSTEL FOR SOLO & GROUP TRAVELLERS IN VIETNAM from the year 2017-2019 awarded by Travelinglifestyle, Hostelworld & Booking.com website. * * * * * * * Our price includes: - FREE breakfast from 07-10 AM every day - FREE coffee/tea on breakfast - FREE cold beer's & mixer on Happy Hour at night every day - FREE high-speed WI-FI throughout our building - FREE Air conditioning at all rooms include a common room - FREE City Map - FREE refill miner ...

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Viewed 451 times, with no replies.

Ha Giang Weather and Visibility in late December/early January

Posted by gatoguts on 9/7/2019 at 18:02

I was just wondering if anyone who's been to Ha Giang in late December/early January can comment on the weather conditions and visibility. I don't mind so much the colder weather, but I'm concerned that foggy conditions may make the visibility so poor that I can't see the beautiful views very well. Also, if you took a motorbike, was it uncomfortable being on the motorbike for long periods of time in the cold weather? ...

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Viewed 937 times, with 1 reply.

2 Weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia

Posted by Howparlaw on 7/6/2019 at 17:48

We arrive in Hanoi on 25 December and depart from Phnom Penh on 7 January for 14 total days. We plan on the first 4-5 days in Hanoi and Halong Bay and the last 4-5 in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. But how should we use the 4-5 days in the middle? Ninh Binh, Sapa or elsewhere in North Vietnam (weather concerns in December?) or Battambang or other areas in Cambodia? We do not want to to spend all our time traveling, and are OK taking flights to speed the travel. Suggestions? Thanks ...

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Viewed 919 times, with 1 reply.

Ha Giang to Cao Bang and/or Lam Son

Posted by gatoguts on 1/7/2019 at 22:35

I will be going to Ha Giang, and thinking of going afterwards to Cao Bang and/or Lam Son. Has anyone taken a bus from Ha Giang to Cao Bang or Lam Son? I know public transportation is virtually nonexistent from Dong Van to Cao Bang, but I assume there's a bus from Ha Giang city to Cao Bang and from Cao Bang to Lam Son. What are the bus travel times for these destinations? Also, for anyone who's been to these places, did you find them worth the effort to get there? (Ha Giang included) ...

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Viewed 639 times, with 1 reply.

Thankfully, I Got Scammed in Vietnam, Too.

Posted by somtam2000 on 14/12/2018 at 07:21

“But what was there to be done? Storm out over the Kissinger comment? Refuse to pay? Cause a scene? Honestly, I was a bit curious about how it was all going to play out and just finished my beer. When I said it was time to get back to my hotel and get ready to catch my bus, my dining companion mysteriously did not return from his trip to the toilet. The bill came. It was probably around three times what the meal usually cost, but that only put me out an extra $30-$40. I was irritated, but didn ...

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Viewed 2,756 times, with 6 replies.

Itinerary help for early July travel in SEA

Posted by yearn2travel on 3/6/2019 at 14:54

At the end of a 30 day trip around SEA we have about 4 days to make our way from Hanoi to Bangkok. We will have already visited, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, Halong Bay, Sapa and Hanoi. We like cultural sites, nature, good food and some smaller places that are laid back. Ideas we are tossing around: beach (Vietnam or Thailand), Saigon (interested in the war) Or any sites throughout Vietnam that you would recommend? Bangkok the entire time We could stay in Vietna ...

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Viewed 876 times, with 3 replies.

13 days in Northern Vietnam and Cambodia- Itinerary Help

Posted by Howparlaw on 16/5/2019 at 20:28

We are traveling to Northern Vietnam and Cambodia for 13 days, arriving in Hanoi on Dec 26 and departing Phnom Penh on Jan 7. We are planning to spend the first 6 or 7 days in Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Halong Bay ?) and the last 6 or 7 days in Cambodia (Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Penh? ). We prefer to spend some time in rural areas, as well as in the cities, and would like to experience local customs and food. Probably want to be in Hanoi for New Year's Eve, but open t ...

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Viewed 1,275 times, with 5 replies.

Recommendations for Tet in Vietnam

Posted by joelmathson on 10/12/2018 at 23:25

Hello there, we (my girlfriend and I) are currently planning a 6-month backpacking trip in southeast asia. As we have planned it so far, we will end up in Vietnam during Tet. I have read through the travelfish section on Tet in Vietnam, but i would like further recommendations from fellow travelers (or non advertising Vietnamese locals). One option is to go somewhere else during this time (go from Cambodia to Lao instead and go to Vietnam after Tet). But we have also considered staying as we ha ...

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Viewed 1,024 times, with 2 replies.

Cookery class recommendations? Hue and Hoi An

Posted by ruthabelle on 14/9/2010 at 02:22

Hello I'd love a recommendation for a Vietnamese cookery class in either Hue or Hoi An. I'm a really keen cook so I'd like something hands on, not just demonstrations. Has anyone had a good experience? Thank you! Ruth ...

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Viewed 6,320 times, with 8 replies.

2 weeks in Vietnam and Thailand from US

Posted by wfhrjw on 23/1/2019 at 16:38

We are planning to travel to Vietnam and Thailand for 2 weeks likely in September. We are trying to determine North or South as well as whether to book excursions individually with vendors or try to find a good 5-7 day tour package. We have never been in Asia. We also would love any ideas about how to effectively integrate the best of both countries. Likely some beach time in Thailand will be necessary. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you ...

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Viewed 1,779 times, with 6 replies.


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