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Just watch your butt. They're economy went through the shitter, and scamming tourists (or worse) is on the rise... I hear

 

That said? Enjoy it. Vietnam is crazy, but cool.

You know any scams to give me a heads up?

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Street sellers and taxi drivers in particular might try to overcharge you by:

 

Returning the wrong amount of change. eg 5 x 200VND = 10,000VND when that should be 5 x 2,000VND

agreeing a fare in one currency, and then converting it incorrectly to the payment currency. eg converting $10 to 300,000VND when the official conversion rate puts $10 at around 200,000VND

 

Simply changing their mind about the agreed fare once you've reached your destination

Look at the note denomination carefully ( or the number) since some new note look very similar in color

 

Short changed for a purchase or a taxi' fare

 

ask for a tip => no changed at all

 

Pickpockets and motorbike bag snatching especially in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Nha Trang are on the rise. Injuries can occur when travellers attempt to hold onto their bags

 

The children in the streets of Vietnam, and particularly in HCMC, are adorable, and sneaky. They are able to lift wallets, cameras and passports without effort. While talking to one, keep an eye on the other.

 

When a hotel becomes popular, others actually spring up with the exact same name in hopes of stealing business. Confirm the address of your hotel rather than just giving the taxi driver a name. (Also be wary of "No, that hotel is closed. I take you..." taxi scam)

 

Hotels in Vietnam have been known to double rates upon checkout by claiming that the price quoted was per person rather than per night. Ensure you confirm rates and payment upon arrival.

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Those were copied from website, I heard some stories about fake hotels, and bag snatching...

 

but the 'lock in' restaurant. You walk in, they lock the door, demand big money for food or you can't leave.

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I pray for, neigh demand, planking pictures on or about the following things;

 

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Saigon Trade Center

Ha Long Bay (Ideally on each and every islet, and especially “The Kissing Cocks”)

Ferry port of Saigon river

A Vietnamese dragon

Some part of the Ho Chi Minh trail (Does that even still exist?)

Some part of the City of ‘Buon Ma Thuot’ as I think it sounds like someone with a clef palate trying to say they’re choking.

Inside the Hanoi Hilton

In or around a prostitute who says “five dollar”.

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Have a look at Travelfish.org, it's a grat SE Asian travel advice website.

 

If you have 3 weeks to play all the better, it's a massive country.

 

Sapa is a must, great trekking, scenery, little villages and homestays. Super food at the Sapa market too.

 

Hoi An is touristy but beautiful, get very cheap (£10) shirts tailor made if you so wish and suits for £70. I still have mine 3 years later and after much wearing. Food there is top notch also.

 

If you have to choose, Hanoi beats Saigon hands down for me. Hanoi is one of the nicest cities in Asia.

 

I hear Dalat is well worth a visit, although I've never been.

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I start in Hanoi and make my way down to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh. In fact what's the deal with that, what do most people call it? I know officially it is now Ho Chi Minh.

 

The suit idea is tempting, though I already have 2, so maybe I'll get a Vietnamese style one or a Tux.

 

Any hidden gems or outdoor adventurous activities to recommend?

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I start in Hanoi and make my way down to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh. In fact what's the deal with that, what do most people call it? I know officially it is now Ho Chi Minh.

 

The suit idea is tempting, though I already have 2, so maybe I'll get a Vietnamese style one or a Tux.

 

Any hidden gems or outdoor adventurous activities to recommend?

 

1. Saigon is a safer bet with the locals, as Ho Chi Minh City has political connotations that might not be to everyone's tastes.

 

2. Trekking in Sapa, kayaking in Halong Bay, plenty of motorbiking journeys possible (try Easyriders). Also, my mate did a 3-day cycling tour of the Mekong Delta with homestays and said it was boss.

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I start in Hanoi and make my way down to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh. In fact what's the deal with that, what do most people call it? I know officially it is now Ho Chi Minh.

 

The suit idea is tempting, though I already have 2, so maybe I'll get a Vietnamese style one or a Tux.

 

Any hidden gems or outdoor adventurous activities to recommend?

 

 

Hanoi is fantastic fun and the locals have a real edge to them that you don't get in other parts of SE Asia (in a good way) - in that the tourist dollar doesn't seem hugely important to most so they don't put on an act.

 

If you want to pick up some great retro revolutionary art, this place in Hanoi is excellent:

 

Vietnamese Propaganda Poster Art Shop & Online Store

 

If you've a few nights in Hanoi, a one night cruise around Halong Bay and out to the floating villages is pretty much essential, especially if visibility is good.

 

Spend a few hours drinking bia hoi on a street corner with the locals, it's a daily brewed beer that's sold for next to nothing, probably 20p for a glass.

 

The Hanoi Hilton where POWs were kept is worth a visit - they still have John McCain's flightsuit on display. The war museum there is harrowing but again worth seeing.

 

Agree with bouncebrigade on Hoi An - bring a shirt or two that you like (or a suit if you've the space/inclination) and they'll make exact and often better copies for next to nothing. Otherwise you can get anything made to fit over the course of a few visits. There's a fantastic beach within cycling distance of there too, the route bordered by paddy fields.

 

On a side note, I've never seen so many rats as I did in Hoi An, especially coming back to the hotel at night and even crawling along high shelves in decent restaurants. Bothered me less than I thought it would when you see them so regularly though.

 

The food is awesome everywhere, though I found it awful looking at the wrongness of cages of dogs on the back of motorbikes on their way to restaurant kitchens.

 

I didn't find Ho Chi Minh anywhere near as enjoyable as Hanoi, but maybe I went to the wrong places. I'm sure others can advise on what to do there.

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I was there 2 years ago for about two weeks. My favorite country of all that I've been to so far. Hanoi one of my favourite cities. When in Hanoi if you haven't got a place to stay I HIGHLY recommend staying here Home | Little Hanoi Hostel

although looking at that the prices seem to have gone way up! but then again you might have a budget for a 5* hotel I don't know. When in Hanoi do a day trip or 2 day trip to Ha Long Bay stay on a boat, amazing scenery. Theres other trips to other surrounding areas of Hanoi which you can book most of the time directly from whatever place you're staying but use Hanoi as a base. Go check out the old prison while you're there.

 

Also if you're into art and have got some money to spend some of the galleries dotted around Hanoi have got some great stuff in them.

 

some pics of Ha Long I took here if you're interested

Halong Bay - a set on Flickr

 

Travel down the coast towards Ho Chi Minh, loads to do there, get yourself a new wardrobe when in Hoi An on the way down. When in Ho Chi Minh great place to check out all the museums and history of the country, some heartbreaking stuff in the national war museum as well as taking a tour of the Chu Chi Tunnels. Great shopping in Ho Chi Minh as well also the Mosque and Post office are interesting places to check out.

 

Also as I'm sure you know being a well travelled person EAT everything, food is epic although don't walk through dog alley on the way to dinner in Hanoi like we did as it'll put you off food for a while unless you're into that kind of thing.

 

Give me a shout if you need any other info and happy travelling!

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Do not institute a draft; provide them with huge economic support and training, but do not use troops from your own country. If you're going to get involved, bomb them back to the stoneage and for God sake have your guard up on February 13th.

 

Hope this helps.

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Always remember to have your dong handy, but not too obvious. Kids on the street will try and grab your dong if you're not careful.

 

If you have an attractive waitress, it's customary to slip her a little dong after your meal.

 

Being a Westerner, the locals will assume you have an abundance of dong. Just the dong in your trousers might be more than they see in an entire month. Again, be careful - some are so desperate for dong they will do just about anything to get hold of yours.

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Brilliant stuff guys thanks a lot for the recommendations, I've heard Sapa recommended just today and the boat cruise in Ha long bay sounds spot on. Been thinking more and more about getting a suit, well up for it now, will see what I like when I am there. Also keen on seeing some of these tunnels, I heard there are some in Hanoi so will keep an eye out for them in Hanoi and Saigon.

 

With the motorbiking I am keen to have a go, but not in any cities as I don't even drive back here and I found even Pai in Thailand a little bit stressful to drive in. Also seen way too many injuries and heard too many stories about bad biking accidents. Are there some good quiet coastal routes?

 

Also are there any islands worth visiting? Love me an island. If not I can always head over to Koh Rong in Cambodia just off Sihanoukville.

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Brilliant stuff guys thanks a lot for the recommendations' date=' I've heard Sapa recommended just today and the boat cruise in Ha long bay sounds spot on. Been thinking more and more about getting a suit, well up for it now, will see what I like when I am there. Also keen on seeing some of these tunnels, I heard there are some in Hanoi so will keep an eye out for them in Hanoi and Saigon.

 

With the motorbiking I am keen to have a go, but not in any cities as I don't even drive back here and I found even Pai in Thailand a little bit stressful to drive in. Also seen way too many injuries and heard too many stories about bad biking accidents. Are there some good quiet coastal routes?

 

Also are there any islands worth visiting? Love me an island. If not I can always head over to Koh Rong in Cambodia just off Sihanoukville.[/quote']

 

Cu Chi tunnels, bro. That's where it's at.

 

And get a suit.

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I would never go near a motorbike in Hanoi or Saigon but everywhere else is quiet and very manageable...I did crash once due to forgetting that they just drive straight through red lights. You can hire bikes going from one place to the next, some people I met rode from Hue (Imperial palace thingy is amazing) and dropped off the bikes in Hoi An.

 

I stayed in Hoi An for about 4 days while having suits done, nice place to relax.

 

Phu Quoc island in the south is fairly easy to do, left the island during a storm though and have never been so sick in my life.

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I would never go near a motorbike in Hanoi or Saigon but everywhere else is quiet and very manageable...I did crash once due to forgetting that they just drive straight through red lights. You can hire bikes going from one place to the next' date=' some people I met rode from Hue (Imperial palace thingy is amazing) and dropped off the bikes in Hoi An.

 

I stayed in Hoi An for about 4 days while having suits done, nice place to relax.

 

Phu Quoc island in the south is fairly easy to do, left the island during a storm though and have never been so sick in my life.[/quote']

 

I loved Hue, all the little temples and the imperial palace thingy, but it was the second place on my travels so I may have been caught up in it all. Loads of great street food too. I remember pretty much sitting in someone's garage eating for about an hour. Was ace.

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Cu Chi tunnels, bro. That's where it's at.

 

And get a suit.

Sorry dude, re-read your PMs and you've told me quite a lot of this stuff already. Mega excited. Where to stay in Hanoi though, Salou's recommendation or the Bitch's? Maybe a night or two in each...

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