Vietnam

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by dreamingartemis, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Hi,

    I'm thinking of going on a month long trip to vietnam, I figure I would start my journey in Ho Chi minh and then work my way up north.

    But I'm not sure about where I should go and what I should make a point to see and experience. Another plus I would like is like to photograph beautiful things.

    Does anyone have any suggestion?
     
  2. mablo

    mablo Member

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    The most economic option is to buy an "open tour" bus ticket from Saigon up north along the coastline with as many stops on the way as you wish. Several companies offer the service ("Sinhcafe" buses are legendary among travellers) and buses leave from Saigon on a daily basis. The bus will take you directly to a nice town/village with nice hotels/hostels so this is really an easy and inexpensive way to travel in Vietnam. I would save a lot of film to Hanoi and north in general which in my opinion is the most beautiful part of Vietnam.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2013
  3. John Earley

    John Earley Member

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    Son Doomg is the largest cave system in the world. It even has it's own weather system. It is reported as an unbelievably beautiful cavern.
     
  4. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    The last time I saw Vietnam was in 1968. My experience at that time is hardly a good measure of what you might expect today. :wink: However, even then, if you looked past the bullet hole pocked buildings and statues, you could see that it was, at one time, a beautiful country and why the French vacationed there. However, this might be worth a read. Best of luck and I hope you have an great visit/trip/experience.

    http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/why-ill-never-return-to-vietnam/
     
  5. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Yup.. Sadly, the French constructed very little infrastructure in the country (power plants, hospitals, etc.) during their control. Traveling through the former British Colonies in the area, the difference was quite striking.
     
  6. rbultman

    rbultman Subscriber

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    The longest cave system in the world is the Mammoth system in Kentucky, USA. Sorry, folks.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I turned 18 on the last day of '74, and with a draft number of 23, the final '75 pull-out was the best birthday present I could have hoped for. I spent my whole childhood scared to death of ending up there.
    I think Viet Nam will have to wait on the next generation before becoming a tourist trap. Not me, thank you.
     
  8. rbender

    rbender Subscriber

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    I turned 18 in October of that year. Things came to a close just in time for me also. I would love to take a month long trip there any day, have great trip!!!
     
  9. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  10. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Having been in Vietnam during the war and the TET Offensive I can agree we did little good there. However this is not a political forum.. last time I checked.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have an old school chum that lives in Saigon these days, also my cousin ges there about every other year, the photos are gorgeous. I have no inclination to travel there, but I've heard from others as to how wonderful the country is. I lost my student deferment in 1970 when I quit college, I enlisted in 1971 so I could choose what and where the army would send me(so they said), it worked for me. As to the agent orange, somebody needs to crawl back inside their tinfoil hat and remain quiet.
     
  12. Edwardv

    Edwardv Member

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    I believe no matter what foreign country one goes to the "tourist" will always get ripped off. Go to the Czech Republic, Egypt, China, etc
     
  13. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I would have to disagree with Mustafa. Vietnam is a beautiful country and the people are so friendly and curious about Americans. Yosemite is beautiful too. The food is amazing. Saigon is very modern like most big cities else where. If you're in the area, Cambodia is awesome too. Ankor Wat and the other temples are beautiful. Laos right now seems to be untouched by development and worth visiting too. Travel with your camera and follow your curiosity.
     
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  15. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I lived in Kunming, China for a couple years in the late 90s and twice I took the narrow gauge French railroad from Kunming to Sapa at the border of Vietnam. The mountains around Sapa are absolutely amazing, you can find daily guides that will take you on hikes up into the small villages and, yes even some of the poppy fields that are up there. From there I took the rail down to Hanoi. You definitely need to go to Ha Long bay with it islands, karsks, and caves. Locals will ride up alongside the main boat and you can buy fresh seafood that the crew will steam or boil for you, they usually seem to have beer on board as well, amazing scenery in Ha Long bay. Hanoi itself is a beautiful city with amazing French architecture, alleys, small streets, coffee shops, and markets, if you get to Hanoi make sure you checkout sword-restored Lake in the middle of the city too. Heading south from there there's not much to see until you get to Hue, amazing temples around there with river tours that will take you from temple to temple, and the DMZ is not far from here either, pretty incredible tours around there to take with a interesting history to study of the war, I was actually able to find bullet shells and even 3 inch shells in the dirt around some of the areas. Da Nang is nothing special, I liked it because the girlfriend I traveled with one time had family that was from there and we hung out in the city during Tet (the new year) which was really cool, but south of there is Hoi An which is a great place to check out, small little town with some nice architecture and neat markets in it. South from here is the beach resort city of Nha Trang, nice place, the second time I went to Vietnam the girlfriend I was with that time her family is from there so we hung out in the city for a little while and I enjoyed myself, really good food as well, excellent beaches. Nha Trang is a good jumping off point to get up to Da Lat a resort area up in the mountains and another really cool place, little bit out-of-the-way but if you got plenty of time it's not to be missed. Then from there you go to Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City is nothing but a giant city but it's kind of neat, watch out for all the scooters. If you can get out of Ho Chi Minh City get yourself out to the Mekong delta. In some of the delta port towns find the open air markets where you can buy huge prawns I mean literally the size of lobsters, buy them cheaply in the market and pretty much any restaurant, as long as you buy beer or drink, from them, will steam them up for you, just terrific amazing experience.

    So there you go, I was there twice traveled up and down the whole country, both times with a native speaker, one a French-Vietnamese girl, the second time an American Vietnamese girl, my experience was pretty incredible both times visiting their families and having a native speaker with me but the country is just beautiful, the people are amazingly friendly, I really enjoyed myself. The food in Vietnam, in my opinion from somebody who's traveled all over Asia a number of times, is the absolute best

    I kind of describe things opposite from what you'll do since I started to the north, so for you south to north it's: Ho Chi Minh city, then the Mekong delta, Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue, Ha Long Bay, Hanoi and then if you can get up to Sapa and explore the mountains up there, definitely worth it.

    [​IMG]
    Hmong children playing Sapa - BW by rich8155 (Richard Sintchak), on Flickr
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2013
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's try to keep this to travel and photographic advice, please, ideally from people who have some experience in visiting Vietnam.
     
  17. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Tourists definitely are not ripped off in Vietnam. The people are beautiful, the land too. It's the place to be with a camera or two (of three!).
    My family is considering a return visit to Vietnam now; we last visited in 2003. Ha Noi was the memorable highlight, but the stifling heat bothered my sister and triggered her asthma. Speaking of conditions like that, take all medications with you into the country (with a note from Doctor what they are and why you take them); don't rely on street chemists to have any specialist medication that you may need.

    I haven't seen much photography here in this thread of Vietnam, though I am inspired by the atmospheric sample posted by Richard S above. More recently my oldest niece went on a two week holiday to Vietnam, visiting Ha Long Bay but coming back with nothing more than awful iPhone pics taken amidst breaks in a typhoon! She spoke of the exotic French-flavoured eveningwear (she bought two vamp-red evening gowns for only a few Dong) that is popular in the classier establishments (eateries) of the city. My own record would have been of Nui Dat and the Mekong Delta — two places I would like to see again. Also Som Doomg underground caverns.

    I suggest the OP get hold of a Lonely Planet guidebook on Vietnam: this will surely fire the imagination and start the itinerary planning! :smile:
     
  18. John Earley

    John Earley Member

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    Mammoth is the longest cave system. Son Doomg is listed as the largest.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_Doong_Cave
     
  19. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    There's also Ho Chi Minh under glass in Hanoi. Lots of Vietnamese make the pilgrimage to his mausoleum. Creepy but cool. Take take him out once a year for maintainence so check before you go. No pics though.
     
  20. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Thanks, I will definitely consider this option as part of my plan.
     
  21. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Thanks for the info, but truth be told, I'm a little afraid of caves and underground caverns:blink::blink:
     
  22. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Oddly, while everyone knows about vietnam because of the war but I'm more attracted to the culture instead.
     
  23. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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  24. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Been to Czech for a week only (business trip), would have loved to stay longer but alas, it was not meant to be.:sad:
     
  25. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Hmm, I guess Americans do standout in Vietnam but I'm a chinese Malaysian. So i wonder how will they react to be instead. I've been oddly mistaken for either a Japanese, mainland chinese and Thai before when I was in those countries. I actually hope Vietnam would be a first step in a nice long vacation or eye opener.
     
  26. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Oh wow!!! Sounds like you had an awesome time! Thanks for the info! It will definitely come in useful!!