A trip to HCMC Vietnam
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ID: 1   Posted

It has been 15 years since i have been  to Vietnam and SO never before. What a change in HCMC buildings/apartments going up everywhere, I  am sure every person has two motorcycles, they are swarming here!!  I thought Pattaya was bad, but not in the same game.

The con artists are here in abundance disguised as as 'tour guides'. Stay away from the guys with bike cabs- dudders! Yes he got me m but not for much as he hoped.

Food here very good, reasonable  but not cheap. First hotels had bed of concrete so moved across the street  and i am happy!

Recommend the War Museum, seen it 15 years ago  but worth 2nd visit. Sad experience and feel for the Vietnamese people but just as much for the military personnel who had to fight there.

SO has gone to Cu  Chi tunnels today, i am resting back and knee has gone on strike - if i was a horse they  would put me down I think.

Overall a worthwhile experience. Off to Vung Tau tomorrow and hoping for a less hectic  experience there?  Or am i dreaming?

 

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ID: 2   Posted

Mogo--I'm hoping to get to Vietnam one of these days too. Enjoy your trip.

 

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ID: 3   Posted

Yes please keep the reports coming. Also visiting there this year. Heard Delat is a wonderful place beside a lake. 

Would you ride a bike there Mogul? 

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ID: 4   Posted

Did you both get visa on arrival?

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ID: 5   Posted (edited)

On 07/04/2017 at 10:48 AM, RBM said:

Yes please keep the reports coming. Also visiting there this year. Heard Delat is a wonderful place beside a lake. 

Would you ride a bike there Mogul? 

We are in Vung Tau now and it is quite a nice place, far better than Hcmc. Best thing about HCMC is the road out.

We rented a place thru airbnb, 2br 2 bath 10 mins walk to beach whichs is very clean. 2 weeks $350au.  Clean water but brown sand that discolours the water somewhat. Weekdays beach nice and quiet but weekends lots come down from HCMC and it is packed.

I rented a bike and it is a harrowing experience. Having never driven on the other side of the road and having  them  come at you likr kamakaze pilots is a new experience to say the least. They are all blowing their horns, apart from that it is just fine!! At least i may be better equipped for Phils end of July.

Little English spoken here, no western news on cable,3 channels in English and 2 of them are movies.

Food is great, seafood market 10 min walk, been twice, fresh and cheap, cooked while you wait. Pho noodle shops fantastic. Shopping cheap, visas for long  stay expensive. Bikes to hire $8 day, over 4mill dong to buy (22000 to USD). HARDLY SEE THE POLICE HERE.

That's a bit of a capulation,  hope you enjoy. Overall a good holiday spot. Am also told  Da Nang is nice spot.

 

Edited by mogo51
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Great report, thanks a bunch.

For sure appetite whetted and reading the comments on sea foods we are all set.   kinda planed first a trip to Malaysia do some hiking in Cameron highlands. Very visa friendly and understand less little niggles which seem always under the current here, not to mention the food.

Hope hear some more about your travels and the Air B&B sounds interesting.

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its been 48 yrs ago I guess I d get lost now for sure. would like to go back for visit just haven t done it yet. some good and some bad memories there. was I corp area

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Was there 5 years ago and loved it. Found the motorcycles insane but after a couple days, hoped in and out of the street just like I'd been doing it for years. The foo's spectacular; didn't have a bad meal in the week I was there. Often had no idea what I was ordering but it didn't matter. Looking forward to going with the wife sometime.

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Vietnam has been on my bucket list for 7 or 8 years, met many Vietnamese people in Oz over my life and they are wonderful, the food is fantastic as is the culture gleaned from these friends and reading, one day I will get there,,,,,,us now.

My world travels stopped 6 years ago when I first went to the Philippines, met my better half and now our travels are consumed by family, friends and property there. I am sure once we move in a couple of years travel will begin again. Until then all others heading that way, enjoy.

davewe, are the motorbikes any worse than Thailand or the Philippines? Curious.

Cheers, Steve.

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Good morning all,

Figured I would wait til the end of our trip and do the windup on Vietnam. We arrived back in Thailand yesterday sadly.

The longer we were in Vung Tau, the more I enjoyed it, same goes for SO.  As I suggested earlier, communication is the single biggest problem there.

That aside, Vung Tau is a great place for that quiet, relaxing holiday.  There is not a great deal of places to see and do there, but that is not why we went there, we knew we just wanted to relaxing time together.  It certainly gave us that.

The beach is quite clean, get some 'plastic bag' issues on the weekends when the hoards swarm over the place from HCMC, during the week is peaceful and serene.  

Riding a bike is indeed insane, as Dave has mentioned in another post, but I got used to it by the end of the 2 weeks, only one near miss, when a woman decided to turn right from the center lane, narrowly avoided a collision.

Food is indeed wonderful there, 3 visits to the fresh fish market a 10 minute walk from our apartment, our costs there were $12, $22 (had crab), $15 AUD, all great meals.  The other 'wonder' is Pho, which is noodle soup of numerous varieties and they are great, cost on average $2.50AU.

From my assessment, the cost of living is very cheap compared to Thailand, which compares almost identically with Philippines, from the research I have done over the past couple of years.  I went several times to an 'Aussie' bar which is owned by an American?, most times the bar was entirely occupied by Aussies, many 'Viet Vets' but also offshore workers.  I have to say, I was made most welcome and SO also enjoyed their company.  

On a recommendation, had some dental work done there, 5 fillings and a clean and polish 1,250 dong, 22,000 dong to the US$, I relate things to AU and it was $73 - you could not speak to the receptionist for that amount of money in Australia, dentists are 'licensed armed hold up merchants' there.  Very caring, meticulous and professional in their manner and it was the most pleasant dental experience of my life!

Implants there are $1000-1200US but did not have time to get it done, on the 'next trip' agenda.

Overall, I give it the real 'thumbs up' for a pleasant holiday, but also consider Na Trang as I was told that is just as beautiful and is more to central Vietname where places like Hue where I have been some 15 years ago, are also very interesting.

Air bnb is a real plus, we had a lovely 2 br 2 bathroom, apartment, with small (very small) balcony, views over the ocean and city in a large 22 storey block, 60sqmts and very comfortable, except for the bedding which was a 4'' piece of 'shite' and my ailing back was not happy, but slept on a few pillows that got me through. The host was wonderful and obliging and overall a pleasant stay.  They need to bring up the inclusions such as 'microwaves' and other appliances, but we managed. The cost was $30AU night, you can rent this type of place long term for about $400US month.

Another place is Hong Binh apartments, there are 4 of them, frequented by expats mostly and they are about the same price, cheaper for long term.

We walked to the beach every morning, most Viets are friendly, but many don't seem to know how to handle expats, but we met some lovely people during our stay.  A smile or a wave, was nearly always returned.  The Viet coffee for all you 'coffee freakos' was wonderful and I am not a great coffee fan, brought some back to have here in Thailand, plus the 'cute little coffee drip gizmo' that works once you punch a few more holes in it!

If you are not a sugar person like us. always ask for 'fresh milk'  which is carton long life like Phils, rather than the sweetened rubbish they usually use.

Unless you want to see the Rememberance Museum in HCMC which I highly recommend, don't stay long there, get the bus (not the ferry)  as we encountered they continually cancel ferry services without explanation or care!  The bus trip is fine about 1.5 hrs.  Going back get the de Luxe Mini Van and it is luxurious for 150,000 dong p.p., direct to airport at HCMC.

Just go and enjoy, you will not be disappointed.

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