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!

Full moon festival in Hoi An

Posted by steiny on 11/2/2008 at 02:39

We're going to be in Hoi An in March, and can't work out when the full moon festival will be. If it's on the 'fourteenth day of the lunar calendar' then that must be the full moon, right? Here in Scotland that's the 21st March. This may be a stupid question, but will it be the same in Vietnam? It's difficult to find a list of dates for the festival in 2008. For those of you that have been there, does Hoi An get busy and would you say it's essential to book accommodation in advance around the ...

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Viewed 7,238 times, with 4 replies. Last reply by steiny on 21/2/2008 at 23:57

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Hoi An closures Life Resort and The Lounge Bar

Posted by aslocran on 21/2/2008 at 13:01

The Lounge bar in central old town has closed its doors for good. Gypsy, (phillip) has sold the business and moved on. It does not appear that the business will ever surface in its same guise. The life resort has closed for three months starting on Feb. 15th. They took significant damage during the floods and their insurance has kicked in. So... they are doing a complete remodel. its already one of the nicest hotels in down town. I am sure that it will come back better than ever! ...

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Viewed 1,688 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 21/2/2008 at 23:54

Halong Bay Alternatives

Posted by millerhd on 19/2/2008 at 14:49

I would really like to see the famous Halong Bay, but it sounds so difficult and overly touristed that I am afraid I wouldn't end up enjoying it. I understand that Halong bay is just part of the greater bay. Is there some Halong bay alternative, which is equally beautiful, or at least nearly as beautiful, that doesn't have the extensive tourism and all of the ills that go with it? Also, my budget is quite tight so expensive luxury options aren't really options for me. Thanks for the help. ...

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Viewed 4,831 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 20/2/2008 at 21:25

HEATED accomodation: Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay

Posted by suecatwoman on 18/2/2008 at 23:04

Not too sure why the term "heated" is so absurd here..I hear it's the coldest winter in 30 years but surely heat can't be this hard to come by. Does anyone know any HEATED places to stay in Hanoi or companies that do treks to Sapa & Halong bay with HEATED accommodation? As inexpensive as possible... Thanks. ...

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Viewed 2,708 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 20/2/2008 at 21:21

Visiting Ho Chi Minh City? Go Spoil Yourself!

Posted by CatBa on 3/2/2008 at 22:11

Most visitors to HCMC/SaiGon spend only a few days before either departing the country - or heading north. As a result many miss the night markets ... and the nightly dining opportunities instead frequently haunting the tourist feeding holes that offer the same old choice. Break out and taste the difference! Within walking distance of the Backpacker area and the upscale area around Dong Khoi and Hai Ba Trung Streets you could be hard pressed to discover fresh food cooked perfectly than the ...

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Viewed 4,447 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 13/2/2008 at 23:06

halong bay with tropical sails

Posted by fishtails04 on 12/2/2008 at 15:57

has anyone any experience of the company tropical sails for junk trips in halong bay? want to book something classier than the backpacker trips for thisso would appreciate advice. thanks ...

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Viewed 4,762 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 13/2/2008 at 23:02

shoemakers in hanoi?

Posted by fishtails04 on 12/2/2008 at 15:54

missed the chance to get boots made in hoi an and just wondering if there are similar opportunities in hanoi? if so, can anyone recommend a good english speaking shoe maker, who will make to order? thanks ...

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Viewed 2,923 times, with no replies.

Working Around OpenTour Higher Tet Charges

Posted by CatBa on 9/2/2008 at 03:45

True to their nature, many OpenTour operators raise prices so to max their return from these journeys. These raised prices continue for a week to 10 days following Tet and can increase a USD$26 HCMC Ha Noi fare by $14-25 (this year). To minimise the effect of these charges, instead of buying the complete route only buy to the first or second stops of your journey (HCMC to Da Lat or Mui Ne and possibly Nha Trang) (Ha Noi to Hue or Hoi An) and when the prices return to normal buy tickets f ...

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Viewed 1,449 times, with no replies.

Taxi's in VietNam - Getting Simpler, Soon

Posted by CatBa on 17/1/2008 at 22:59

Many visitors to VietNam have been either overcharged or suffered from the hotel switch scam, particularly in Ha Noi, and I have always recommended that people minimise the risk by using DeLuxe, VN or Mai Linh. Whilst poking around in an obscure corner of HCMC earlier this week I saw a mass of taxis parked in a lot getting an open air paint job. Mai Linh is now folding its 13 taxi companies into one name - Mai Linh taxi. The new fleet takes to the road next week in time for the Tet festiva ...

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Viewed 2,884 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by CatBa on 8/2/2008 at 14:17

Hotel in Ha Tien?

Posted by emmryss on 5/2/2008 at 15:31

Does anyone know of a good hotel (air con & hot water; a lift and TV would be nice) in Ha Tien that takes reservations by e-mail? thanks, Murray ...

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Viewed 2,623 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 6/2/2008 at 05:54

Last minute train availability from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang

Posted by chichinic on 28/1/2008 at 19:18

I am flying into Ho Chi Min at 2:30pm on March 3rd and was wondering if it would be possible (and easy) to book a train ticket to Nha Trang that evening (11:00pm). Any chance it will be fully booked? Where would be the best place to buy the tickets - At the train station close to 11 or in town? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. ...

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Viewed 8,606 times, with 7 replies. Last reply by chichinic on 31/1/2008 at 22:13

Elizabeth Hotel sucks, Culi Café rocks!!!

Posted by lifehunter on 30/1/2008 at 02:42

When we were in Hanoi, we stayed in Elizabeth Hotel. The front desk told use there are 2 different cruise tours to Halong Bay: Standard ($79) and Deluxe ($163). We were told that Deluxe would be much better than Standard: Deluxe room, free drinking and special dinner. Actually it turned out no matter how much you pay you simply go same boat. We really hate being cheated. It ruined our whole tour! So DO NOT GO TO Elizabeth Hotel. After Halong cruise, we had dinner at Culi Café. The food th ...

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Viewed 2,274 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 30/1/2008 at 10:39

transport to Da Lat from Saigon

Posted by fishtails04 on 28/1/2008 at 13:36

Can anyone advise on transport options and journey times from Saigon to Da Lat and then Da Lat to Nha Trang? also would liketo visit Cat Tien N. P. from Da Lat so if you know baout travel to there, please fill me in! thanks fishtails ...

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Viewed 7,052 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by CatBa on 29/1/2008 at 07:17

Hue - Ninh Bin transport

Posted by fishtails04 on 28/1/2008 at 13:39

Whoops, forgot to add this to my last query! Can anyone tell me transport situation and time from Hue to Ninh Bin? Thanks a million fishtails ...

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Viewed 1,719 times, with no replies.

Open Ticket Suggestion

Posted by creativeguy on 20/1/2008 at 09:06

I booked an Open Ticket from Hanoi to Saigon without thoroughly checking out optoins. I started out with Hanh. They had a sleeper bus to Hue but only a sitting bus from Hue to Nha Trang. I bought another ticket on Camel as they had a sleeper bus to Nha Trang. Once I arrive in Mui Ne (via mountain bike from Dalat), I learned that Hanh Travel had only afternoon departures (or 4:00 AM) for Saigon so bought another ticket with TM Brothers that left at 8:00 AM. This allowed me to arrive in time ...

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Viewed 2,915 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by celianz on 27/1/2008 at 12:25

Cooking course and long stay

Posted by leosuc on 24/1/2008 at 06:01

Hey... I am looking for a place to do a cooking course in Vietnam for at least a week or two. Most of the ones i have seen are one day only and it becomes too expensive to do it that way. As I want to stay where I study for the same length does anybody know of any place where I can have a better rate for accommodation as it is long stay and close to the School? Thanks, L ...

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Viewed 2,493 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by manooe on 25/1/2008 at 10:51

independent guides/drivers

Posted by fishtails04 on 18/1/2008 at 16:27

i will be travelling through vietnam for the next few weeks from saigon up to sapa and would like to try an use independent guides anywhere i can, whether around cities or for treks etc. i'm sick of seeing guest houses take a chunk of the guide's wage so have decided to try and go direct whenever i can...but for that i need contacts! if anyone can give me contact details for anyone they have found good, anywhere in vietnam, i would really appreciate it. cheers fishtails ...

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Viewed 1,769 times, with 4 replies. Last reply by daawgon on 24/1/2008 at 03:12

Rach Gia to Chau Doc to Phnom Penh

Posted by jodymm on 4/12/2007 at 14:42

Early January 2008 wee are travelling from Rach Gia to Chau Doc and catching a boat on the Mekong to Phnom Penh. Anyone know what transport is available to travel between Rach and Chau? Are there any must sees or do's along the way. do we need to book a boat between Chau and Phnom. Thanks Jody ...

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Viewed 9,063 times, with 7 replies. Last reply by jodymm on 20/1/2008 at 18:22

Great Hotel in Hanoi

Posted by creativeguy on 20/1/2008 at 08:56

I landed in Hanoi 11:30 PM December 5th after about 30 hours of travel. I had searched and liked what I read so booked with The Ritz Hanoi. Because I had booked two nights, they offered free airport pick-up. What a relief it was getting out of the airport and having someone pick me up. The staff at The Ritz was great, exceedingly helpful, and the room reasonably priced (though maybe a bit high for budget backpackers) at $18 including breakfast and free internet. I'm a big guy and had a larg ...

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Viewed 2,220 times, with no replies.

VietNam: Renting a Motorcycle - Some Tips To Minimise Problems

Posted by CatBa on 19/1/2008 at 21:47

Now renting a motorcycle in VietNam has an added complication these days - safety helmets! This time the Prime Minister has decreed it will work. A cheap helmet (none are as safe as in Western countries) costs about VND120-170,000 (USD$10 approx), although they should be supplied by the renter or Xe Om driver - and THE FINE FOR NOT WEARING ONE IS VND200,000. If you don't have the money the police will likely take your bike, put it in a truck and hold it until you pay the fine. So be war ...

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Viewed 2,211 times, with no replies.

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