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Old 05-13-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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Vietnam

Has anyone been to Vietnam, specifically Saigon recently? My sister and family are heading there in Oct. and would like to be able to give her some recommendations on places to stay, things to be careful of etc. I have given her the link to Billy and Akaisha's info but just wondering if there is anything anyone would like to add.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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I've been to Saigon, but it has been over three years. Things are changing there so rapidly that I couldn't be much help.

Must see is the war remnants museum and park. If they are into shooting, there are a variety of guns, incl machine guns they will let you shoot. I was really surprised at how loud the AK-47 is, and how hard it is to actually hit anything with it...and I'm a pretty good shot with a hunting rifle.

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Old 05-14-2009, 02:38 AM   #3
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Have things changed in the last 37 years? If so, no help.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:16 PM   #4
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Have things changed in the last 37 years? If so, no help.
They changed the name ...

Been there - done that (40 years ago).

No interest in returning; hey, but that's just me ...
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:16 PM   #5
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My dad served in the Australian Army in Vietnam in 1967/68. It is one of the places I would like to go as my memories of him are strongly tied to his being there, though I am sure the atmosphere is vastly different now.
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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My friend just got back from VN just a few weeks ago. He said the whole HCM is dugged up so they can repair the city sewage system. When it rains (which is most likely because we're in rainy season) the city is badly flooded.

It's not a good time go to VN right now.
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:28 PM   #7
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When it rains (which is most likely because we're in rainy season) the city is badly flooded.
Well - that hasen't changed in 40 years ...
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:03 PM   #8
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Actually it had, it got worse. The city infrastructure can't keep up with the growth.

I left VN in 74 and came back several times in the 90s and 00s.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:29 PM   #9
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This site has recent photos of Vietnam:
Vietnam Photos | TrekEarth
You can use the search box on the top right-hand ("Featured Destinations") to filter by city such as Hanoi, Saigon, etc.

I left in 1980 and went back once, in 1997. I don't want to go back - I prefer to remember Saigon as it was...
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:54 PM   #10
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She might check out Vietnam travel guide - hotel, guesthouse and restaurant reviews, entertainment, attractions and much more... They are a great source of very current info plus forums. They also have an electronic guidebooks for various parts of the country in PDF format for a couple of bucks.

Travelfish is great sources for other asian destinations. I am assuming it is equally good for Vietnam.

Oliver

PS Everything is free on the site but the pdf guides. You can recreate most of the guides by just visiting the site. However, I have found it was more cost effective to buy the pdf and create a couple of pages of recent info from the site. I like hard copy when I am traveling. (Actually, I also have a copy on my phone)

PPS An unlocked GSM phone is great when traveling.
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Posted: 15/3/2009 - 14:46

When I was in Vietnam I bought a Mobifone SIM card. Worked fine and whats more, when you buy one you get lots of credit. Note however that you are best to buy a SIM card away from the touristy district 1 in HCMC as people sell them at inflated prices. In many places, Can Tho say, you can buy a SIM card for around 50000VND. Not bad at all especially since it usually comes with about 100000 or 1500000 dong of credit!
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:15 PM   #11
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Haven't been there yet, but hope to visit in the future. Looks like they're playing a bit of catch up as far as development goes, but its definitely someplace I'd like to see ... had a few friends who served there.
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Old 07-19-2009, 02:57 PM   #12
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We traveled pretty extensively in Vietnam a few years ago. Overall had very few problems in Vietnam found people friendly food great etc. but main thing to be careful for = tourist ripoffs, they've developed a sense for naive tourist very much like Thailand.

- If taxi driver says your hotel is closed/burned down/sucks, or takes you to different hotel where guy comes out that says they are same management but your reservation was moved to this one, call bullshiit and driver will take you to correct place.

- Get price up front. Don't hop into a rickshaw for a tour of the city without an agreed upon price and knowing whether that's for one or two people. We met people where driver (peddler?) stopped amongst a bunch of his homies and they intimidated tourist into paying a lot more than worth.

- One reads about purse/camera snatchings from motorbikes so watch what you have dangling.

Recommend = go to Hoi An. You can go by train, bus, or take cheap flight to Danang and taxi. It's a small town with a beautiful beach and enough on the tourist map where one can get lovely things like pizza from an Italian-run restaurant. Great time.
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:02 PM   #13
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RE: Saigon~Did they not change the name of that place in the 70's?


Spent too much time there in 1968/69 and have no desire to return.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:04 PM   #14
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Vietnam is a lovely place, with lovely people. As an American, I was treated extremely graciously. The war was a long time ago.

I must say that I traveled only in the north. Hanoi, Halong Bay, eight days in the Sapa area, and then crossing the border into China for a local bus to Kunming.

My observation is that in the north, it's polite to call it Ho Chi Minh City. Southerners, who are perhaps less fond of the central government, tend to call it Saigon.

I just returned from over two months in the Thai-Burma border region, settling back into the American vibe, but still caught up in the afterglow of what was my best overseas trip yet.

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:17 PM   #15
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RE: Saigon~Did they not change the name of that place in the 70's?


Spent too much time there in 1968/69 and have no desire to return.
Amen to that, brother (7th AF, 377th CSG - '68-'69)... ...

We all have our own memory's - our own history to reflect upon.

My FIL served in the Battle of the Bulge and my wife/me were there a few years ago. While he was alive, he had no desire to return.

My father served with occupation troops at the end of WWII in Japan; (he was younger) he never returned there later in life.

For those that want to go to Nam - please do so. However, as one who "served there", I have nothing but bad memories (hey, that's life)...
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:30 PM   #16
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The war was a long time ago.
I suspect that for some members of the forum, it seems like yesterday.

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Old 07-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #17
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Point well taken.

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Old 07-25-2009, 07:41 AM   #18
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I suspect that for some members of the forum, it seems like yesterday.

-ERD50
Thanks for understanding (and your response, tom...)
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