Hi... would like to ask if anyone knows -
1.how much is the domestic flight between HCM & Hanoi?
2.taken a train from HCM to Hanoi? Do you think it would be safe?
3.would english language a problem?
Planing a F&E backpack trip in August 2006.
Thank you very much for any advice.
Kudos to all the contributors in this Vietnam thread! U guys and Lonely Planet are my guding lights in the land of strangers.
Me still hvnt been to Vietnam before. Hope can get some nice pics and load up my blog once I'm back to share with you guys.
there is quite a number of recommended places to eat and shop from the guide books. But I hv seldom come across any recommended tailors in HCM. Understand the living standard is pretty high compare to the part of vietnam.
Hope someone can shed some light on a good tailor, cos i'm trying to compare the prices and worksmanship between the tailors from Bangkok and Vietnam.
i travelled by train mainly ard vietnam fr north to south. The trains are safe and quite well maintained if u not fussy abt comfort. take the soft sleepers cabins (4 beds) if u intend to travel the whole way to hanoi. would be much more confortable. but it would take quite long ard 2 days as the trains dun travel at a very fast speed. take the E2 or S2 as they are newer trains.
here's a website which has the timings of trains. http://www.sinhcafetour.com/trainhn-hcm.html
if u are short of time, i suggest u get a domestic flight instead as itz much faster.
not everyone in vietnam speaks English or they will try with very broken kind. but it was no prob as we juz used some sign lang sometimes or the lonely planet to translate.
beetle, i didnt tailor any clothing in vietnam except in hanoi for mi Aodai. Hue has the best tailors instead. HCM should have some ard the Ben thanth market area though. not too sure abt the workmanship.
Hi pierced, thanks so much for the info & tips, much appreciated.
1.I noticed there are quite a number of stops and if passing thru by trains, how is the scenery like?
2.How did u pass your time on the train?
3.Is the cabin safe for a single traveller on a 2-day crossing? Thanks!
Hi slowwalker, frankly speaking, if u not fussy, should be able to get a room when u touch down in HCM, coz there's plenty of hotels and lodges. Can try out the backpacker areas, rooms are cheap and u can go ard to another place if that is full. juz make sure u get to view the room first. dun thk the tourist season is on yet.
Hi batubata, no prob. hope this will answer ur doubts.
1. The scenery on the train i didnt get to view much as i made a couple of stops and mainly nite trains. manage to catch some morn views along the way from Hue to Hoi An though. that's the recommended day trip ride as it spans from the coastal area and the scenery was wonderful. check out this website more on info and pics. http://www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm
2. basically i took nite trains and i stop by the towns so i didnt go str fr hanoi to HCM. mostly spent sleeping since itz overnite train rides. wake up in the morn and reached the stop i wanted. but i did bring along a MP3 player to shut the noise fr the train and to entertain miself, oso tok to some other passengers on the trains. other den that, thk u gotta maybe bring along bks to read so as to pass the time. most travellers i saw do that.
3. the cabin is pretty safe as it locks from inside, so u are safe from any prying eyes and thieves who might walk pass during the nite. but do bring along a lock to lock ur backpack to the bunk as there's no safe. carry along ur valuable stuff if u need to go to the toilet. otherden that, i shared with 2 other passengers and sometimes they were locals. they basically juz do their own stuff. not a bother for mi. oso i got mi pouches secured to near where i slept juz in case.
pinkbunny, i didnt get any jabs but in case u really wana play safe and u have weak, can take it. mostly the food there was ok as itz well cooked and i drank bottled water mostly. only towards the end of trip, den start taking the icey stuff, dunno, maybe i got a stronger stomach. hee...
I'll be very, very busy reading up these websites...
they are just wonderful too! I really appreciate your sharing.
Looks like I'll plan for a couple of stop-overs, instead of heading straight to Hanoi.
From here you can go to Hoi an by bus. You can ask hotel receptionist booking for you. About 40000 vnd (40 S$)
Hoi an, before time, was old trade port.
Is very nice to visit here at middle of lunar month (the day that the moon is round most).
In walking old quarter, every house hang decorative multi-coloured lanterns. Electrical light is not allow. You can see some nice pictures at: http://dxtien.multiply.com/photos/album/19
If you go to Hoian, i recommend you would rather go to "Cua Dai" beach also.
have finally finalised on the plan. tonight will book!!!
going by vietnam air, staying at quoc hoa hotel at hoan kiem district 12-16 may.
just wanted to check:
1. easy to arrange trip to halong bay from hanoi direct?
2. duty free at hanoi airport ok or should i give it a miss and buy from SG side instead?
3. i hear that the only time we'll need USD is to take a taxi from airport to hotel, and if we want to buy suits. really ah?
Thanks for assisting.
Generally hubby and I would just like to look around. Heard that a place that pple should at least visit is the "CXX CXX" tunnel (can't spell). Also there is the market that one should go right?
Just would like to enquire if there is any accomodation that is around US$20 per night/twin sharing which is near to "shopping" or the "market" area which is clean?
Might wish to go end of June, early July (hopefully can get good airticket rates..currently none is available from the budget airline).
hey icebaby, i'm going to hanoi next week and i got my tickets with vietnam air. i THINK we paid slightly less than 400 for the both of us, after taxes. you might wanna check it out ya? just call any travel agent and ask for vietnam air.
i booked my hotel with asia rooms online. www.asiarooms.com <- find their prices rather good. check it out!
hey xuantd, do you know any flea markets in hanoi? can share?
hi Pink bunny
In fact,I live in Hanoi.
And next week, I am still availble. Anything you want to known? leave me a mess or call me.
with my pleasure.
Just send me a private message to ask my phone number. About the flea-market, I don't known what you want to buy? Or just have a look.
To ice baby, dun know how long you stay in HCM, so dun know how to reccomend.
About the "Cu Chi" tunnel, this is a historical place, we built since vietnam war with the American. When u go there maybe a question go in your mind: how can the vietnamese can fight the strongest coungtry like America with very siple base like this. Go there and share with us your thinking!
hi xuantd, thanks for the offer but we wouldn't want to trouble you
i'd like to look for imitation goods like lesportsac bags keke. does hanoi have an equivalent to bangkok's chatuchat market? (smaller scale). would you have a recommendation for tailor though? i may want to make a "aodai"?
can i be kaypoh and ask: how come you're living in vietnam? for work?
pink bunny, i got mi ao dai tailored in hanoi too, if u want, i can email u the contact. quite cheap around US$25 and u get to choose the design and colour that u want. the lady will measure u and take about 2 days to do it so u can tailor earlier and collect nearer to when u flying back.
ice baby, thk u talking about the Ben thanth Market. i didnt stay very close there so cant really recommend any place, but there are quite a few budget places ard the market area. perhaps u can check out the virtual tourist website for further info fr pl who might have stayed around that area.
We probably will be going either on the 28th June - 2nd July or 1st July - 4th July (depends on airline). Staying 3 days.
Might either be staying at (a) Hotel 64 at Pham Ngu Lao area or (b) Indo China at Hai Ba Trung.
Might probably take a day trip to Chi Chu Tunnel (cost around USD4/5 per pax)
1) Is Pham Ngu Lao near to Ben Thanh Market or walkable distance?
2) I read that taxi fares to the hotels should go by meter and cost around USD5-7.
3) I should bring USD to the airport to change to Dong?
i stayed at PNL area Quen Thanh Hotel @US12. place quite clean. below is a souvenir shop. room are on the 2nd level u can view the whole street from the room.
hope the info helps..
1)yes PNL is near to ben thanh market. no problem walking to the market
2)yes correct taxi "should" be metered. but some they will bargain price. even when u took the taxi they say follow meter but later they charge differently.
3)u can change usd at any money changer. but outside changer only accept "crispy" new USD notes. I tried change my USD with a very small corner missing and they rejected. Not only 1 changer all changer rejected. unless change at the bank.
try to use Dong for your purchases coz they would not return small change if u pay by USD. hope it helps..
Hi icebaby, thk ur indochina is the same one i stayed,
indochine hotel at Hai ba trung
itz really very good and comfy, clean place, would strongly recommend u that place, the look of the rooms very zen like.
do u have pics of the place? coz i only got their card so cant really show u unless i scan it in. coz i previously check out some websites and they show totally diff pics.
hello ..i'm going to danang on the 6 june..can someone tell me is there any good guesthouse near the beach which offer a free pick-up from airport if i were to stay more than 3 days??than will be going to hoi an and hanoi...anyone is going on the same date on flight tr 376???
You can click on individual hotels and have a look.
But i read there are even cheaper places...i.e. where guesthouses can cost from USD6 onwards. If you intend to stay long, advice is maybe you can try to book a 1 day stay at a hotel, then look around to move to a guesthouse.
Guesthouse don't normally give free pickup cos their cost is already so low.
hi m dhalan, i wont be gg, only mi dad. i've been there already.
but according to mi experiences, u can actually get the guesthouse to pick u up if u stay with them for free. even for one or two nites. u can negotiate thru email. but one thing, they often pick u up by bike, coz that's common there.
if u want to go from airport to guest house, can actually oso take a cab for a price. can bargain with them for it. coz pretty competitive there for cabs.
why dun u immed go to hoi an or Hue to stay instead? coz Danang has not much happening in the town. hoi an is more pleasant to stay in or Hue.
Hi icebaby, yup, i did, we took overniter to HCM so we were super early. took a cab and we knock at the door. staff still sleeping. haha! they will juz open up for u and check u in. but how early do u need to check in? dun thk as early as mi rite?
I will arrive around 8am.
Sorry to ask but got 2 more questions:
- Did u change ur vietnamese dong in the airport or in Singapore?
- Did u have to pay for an extra night or half a night for checking in early?
hi icebaby, no prob.
sorry for the late reply coz i juz got back fr taiwan.
i didnt change any Dong at all in Singapore, juz bring along US dollars in fact, get smaller $1 or 5 dollar notes from the money changers.
the shops around HCM will accept either US curr or Dong. they will do the conversion. They will also give you change in Dong so that where u get it. frankly, we used more of US dollars except for the rd side food stalls since itz troublesome to carry one big stack of Dong.
- nope, we didnt hafta pay any extra, juz got our rm, showered and nap since we were so early at 6 am. haha! thk the staff was too blur to consider anything else so early too.
The US300 is to cover hubby and mi. Heehee.
by the way, any idea how to get to nga trang?
u been there? better to go via danang or hanoi/hcm?
i hearded the beach there very nice...was thinking maybe next year go for a 10 days trip from hanoi to nga trang to hcm...and travel ard there.
Hi icebaby, yup, i act came from Hanoi onwards down to nha trang to HCM... very nice place, beach is nice and very relaxed. i spent mi days there by the beach.
u can take a overnite bus down fr HoiAn if u want to visit that place too. otherwise, can choose to fly there fr Hanoi.
it act depends on how many days u can afford to spend there. Danang is nearere to nha Trang than Hanoi. but if u can have time, go down fr Hanoi. u get to see more places and scenic areas.