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Thread: Vietnam

  1. #11
    Rick A's Avatar
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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.
    Rick A
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  2. #12

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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

  3. #13
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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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.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  4. #14
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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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.


    Hmong children playing Sapa - BW by rich8155 (Richard Sintchak), on Flickr
    Last edited by Richard Sintchak (rich815); 10-13-2013 at 01:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

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  5. #15
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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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.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #16
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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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!
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbultman View Post
    The longest cave system in the world is the Mammoth system in Kentucky, USA. Sorry, folks.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4
    Mammoth is the longest cave system. Son Doomg is listed as the largest.

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

  8. #18
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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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.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mablo View Post
    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.
    Thanks, I will definitely consider this option as part of my plan.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Earley View Post
    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.
    Thanks for the info, but truth be told, I'm a little afraid of caves and underground caverns

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