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Thread: bad vietnam backpack trip

  1. #21

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    If you like to take street candid photography, I find HCM is a good place
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  2. #22

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    to be frank, so many people in this world visit vietnam.. and even HCM city.. but I think it will appeal to some backpacker too.. it could be just the experience doesn't match your expectation..

    and to me, you sound like tourist rather than backpacker... especially the way you comment the river just like the river in kranji..

  3. #23

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    If you like to take street candid photography, I find HCM is a good place
    ya, but then the clothes, no offence is like 3rd-world

  4. #24

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    If you like to take street candid photography, I find HCM is a good place
    But why not just skip HCM and head straight to Hanoi? You still have all the street cadnid shots to get, but the city is infinately nicer, friendlier, more intimate and interesting.
    deadpoet
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Seems that you went on a tour with all the wrong expectations. Complaining here and there. Think you choose the wrong country to visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosycatus View Post
    it was planned to be a 16 day trip from south to north vietnam, but it got so bad that i cut it down to 10 days and flew back at a premium.

    Just to share with u all my experience, least u all want to visit vietnam.

    Ho Chin Min:
    Capital of Vietnam, where americans were suitated for the war.
    Very messy place. It looked like singapore in the 70s.

    What to see there: NOTHING. Seriously, the place looked like some parts of malaysia, except for some figures of Ho chin Min here and there.

    Tried to go to some of the local markets to take in the sights and sounds.
    Asked for the price of a pineapple and was quoted US$3. The problem is, the moment u talk in English, u are a carrot up for chopping.

    Mekon Delta tour: Forget it. I paid US$18 for a 2 day 1 night tour. Found out fellow travellers paid only US$13.
    By a small power boat that constantly rattle you, we sail down a river that is well...something u see in Singapore along Kranji river on a very rainy day. The floating market turns out to be a few miserable boat that trades in vegetables. Seemed that most of the trading had gone inland. There might actually be more small boats trying to peddle coco-cola to you than there are boats that are going about their aforementioned business.

    After that we were promised a exotic asian fruit feast consisting of bananas and rambutans. Hardly exotic.

    Went to hotel and we ALL discovered that Dinner is NOT included. Swell. Went to the nearby resturant for a culinary experience and not surprisingly, discovered that a dish of fried rice in vietnam cost the same as in singapore.

    After this disappointing mekong trip and our expectation WAY lowered, we went to explore the city.
    War remanat musemum. Admission is SGD$3. You get to see some war machines on display and a small room of pictures. Yawns, but admittedly, some of the war pics are good.

    Reunification palace: $3. Forget it. Dun go. Nothing but rooms of tables and chairs. DOUBLE yawns.

    in short HCM sucks...

    stay tuned for my adventure in HUE

  6. #26

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwitan View Post
    Seems that you went on a tour with all the wrong expectations. Complaining here and there. Think you choose the wrong country to visit.

    I think you right.

    And he didnt do his home work

  7. #27

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    i was planning to go vietnam this year.
    dont scare me lei.
    really very jialat ah?

    my friend only complained he came back from the war tunnels, kena the sandflies bite and almost whole arms and legs all got bite marks.
    real bad.

    but i saw the viet pics from will03, beautiful!

  8. #28

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Went to Danang and found that it the town is bascially a touristy hub.
    There's actually really not much things that's really interesting.
    But u can make some deciving nice photos...

    http://www.photo.net/photodb/slideshow?folder_id=219020

  9. #29
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Very nice photos in your flickr link.

    Quote Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
    Vietnam has come a long way since the fall of South Vietnam in 1975. Certainly not the dizzy economic heights of Taiwan, HK, Singapore and Korea, but it is emerging into a top 20 tourist destination in the world.

    See below wonderful pics of a professional photographer friend from Saigon (which is the affectionate name for Ho Chi Minh City).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/images_of_vietnam/

  10. #30
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Nice photos

    Quote Originally Posted by CT 3833 View Post
    I took a tour recently as well. Can't expect much from a underdeveloped country. Once there, try to experience their local lifestyle and food.
    Things are not all expensive if one know to bargain. I paid for tiger beer ranging from S$1.4 to abt S$2.0 depending on the place. Fruits are generally 30%-50% cheaper and fresher than that of SGP. Must go to the right place.

    Uploaded a few shots just to share.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9378302...7594451517697/

  11. #31

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    While I agree that Saigon isn't exactly the best place to visit, but I think you need to know where you are travelling before you make the trip. Hello??! It's Vietnam and not Vienna that you went to.

    I think it is common knowledge that price haggling is very much part and parcel of a shopping experience in South East Asia. If you have been to other SEA countries, you should know that there is always a local and a farang price. From my experience in travelling in Vietnam, I've learnt to bargain hard for everything from tour package to bribing a local police officer.

    If rambutans and bananas aren't considered Asian exotic fruits, I really don't know what is. Oranges? Apples? Or grapes? You don't expect to go on a strawberry picking trip in Vietnam, don't you??

    Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975 and that is more than 30 years ago. I don't suppose you are expecting the kind of DMZ between the two Koreas.

    Comparing the Royal Tombs in Hue with Angkor Wat? Compare the prices too. A day pass to Angkor (does not include transport) cost whopping US$20. Anyway both are very different, so I don't think its right to compare the two.

    I suggest that you should read up more about the places you are visiting in the future, or better still, join a package tour with any of the travel agencies back home.
    Last edited by GDSNP; 4th January 2007 at 05:53 PM.
    When I do right, no one remembers. When I do wrong, no one ever forgets.

  12. #32

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    different people got different expectations. Went to myanmar for work once. From that one trip can see so many different reactions from the group.

    One group was buddhist devotees, one was camera crew such as myself there to document their journey.

    End of the day, some places we found interesting, the buddhist devotees found were firvolous and to be avoided as they were not "buddhist" enough. Some places we found boring like some garden was worshipped as some holy place. But in the end we all came back in one piece and enjoyed ourselves.

    Maybe the TS didnt do research but I dont think we should be so quick to put him down. You are not there and you wont know who he feels. And I dont think he is wrong to feel the way he is feeling if he felt that he was being shortchanged. I always believe that yes as Tourists we do get chopped by the locals but there is a limit to how bad it goes. When you start paying premium prices, things are really not right. Just like how in BKK at Khao San, a lady tried to sell me a pair of shorts for USD 50. Claims that very good material.... the shorts is the exact type you buy in Chinatown for SGD 20.

  13. #33

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    I know what vietnam is like before i went. I did my homework. FYI i did a short community project in vietnam a few years back but didn't travel back then. The pple in the villages are nice...
    I just dun like the place after the experience with the tourism scene there.

    As centuaryegg had pointed out, as tourist, u are of course subjected to carrot chopping, but they really went overboard, even worse than china and turkey. ( at least they attempt to deliver some quality). This is what happens when commercialism moves much faster than socialization.

    My whole point of posting is to warn would be travellers to vietnam, especially from an asian point of view. Some ang mos might find vietnam charming cos it's rather backward, ( though i meet my fair share of cacuasian backpacker in hostel who agreed otherwise, they all said india is much better).

  14. #34

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    it's like u are shopping at sim lim square , u don't know the price , u look blur , u dont know the good shop and dont know the package got what to check when buying. If u did ur homework i think u didn't choose the so bad tour agent right ?

  15. #35

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    hi guys, sometimes we really have to be more humble.. like visiting a place, we don't care about the unique of the place, and the history behind it, or the local culture.. then we blah blah say so messy place, dirty, people wearing funny..mekong river like kranji river, or we also got that in singapore, singapore also can buy that, singapore buy it cheaper ler, why no shopping mall?

    let's be more humble and don't be a frog in the well.. if those place doesn't what you expect it may just not your cup of tea, it is amusing that you use your 'singapore view' to view the rest of the world..

  16. #36
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cosycatus View Post
    I know what vietnam is like before i went. I did my homework. FYI i did a short community project in vietnam a few years back but didn't travel back then. The pple in the villages are nice...
    I just dun like the place after the experience with the tourism scene there.

    As centuaryegg had pointed out, as tourist, u are of course subjected to carrot chopping, but they really went overboard, even worse than china and turkey. ( at least they attempt to deliver some quality). This is what happens when commercialism moves much faster than socialization.

    My whole point of posting is to warn would be travellers to vietnam, especially from an asian point of view. Some ang mos might find vietnam charming cos it's rather backward, ( though i meet my fair share of cacuasian backpacker in hostel who agreed otherwise, they all said india is much better).
    India is much better? In terms of carrot chopping?

    Try it and tell me abt it......

    Vietnam is very mild......trust me.......

    I totally agree with what LENS said.

  17. #37

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Frankly if you dont find HCM appealing, then I think there are so many other countries in the world that will not appeal to you. I believe that if one has the right mindset about visiting any country, one will enjoy oneself .... even in Angkor Wat, there are visitors who will find it especailly boring ..... just lots of stones.
    It would be unwise to ask those ppl who are not culturally/historically/etc inclined to visit such countries and expect them to enjoy .... i think they would be happier with factory warehouse sales in HK, kara ok lounges in China, etc...
    As for carrot chopping, it is personal. Though I am never in favour of giving to beggers, poor children on the streets/tourist areas, etc... I think we should not complain too much as the money involved is not that much in our std of living .... extra a few USD for beer, etc... the money will actually go to their poor families eventually. Ever heard of paying extorbitant amt in HK bar, Tokyo, Taipei, developed countries?.... those are syndicated backmailing
    For me, I normally give local guide the money to buy the drinks/food for all of us, and the guide appreciated the treats as well.
    Always enjoy when you are oversea and not look for things to complain ....
    always the Light, .... always.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    i like what you posted...

    Quote Originally Posted by LENS View Post

    let's be more humble and don't be a frog in the well.. if those place doesn't what you expect it may just not your cup of tea, it is amusing that you use your 'singapore view' to view the rest of the world..

  19. #39

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    regarding the carrot chopping issue, 'tourists' are the cause too. it is the tourist attitude that buy a lot since it is cheap or just buy buy and the greed have really left the impact on locals, and the locals just learnt to let go their greed as part of their human nature..then up the price, kids ask for $ or candy..

    If you have asked experienced travellers, or.. civilised-mind travellers, they will tell you as a traveller, your responsibility is to be low profiled, and trying to leave least impact on the local life.. the way we keep buying things (very cheap ler), eating with lots of cheap food (very cheap also),

    as a 'photographer', which most of us are, using Big DSLR to take pic on others like they are not humans.. have really transformed the place.. people used to use 'rangefinder' or small camera as 'street photography'..it is actually an act to respect locals and not to be too attention seeker, but now nobody think in that way, Big DSLR and with all kind of attention seeking professional photographer pose...

    it can't be avoided when travellers left impact on locals..but it is quite sad that we always leave bad impacts other than good impacts..

    I once did a trek to a small volcano in philippines, when we got down, we saw like 100 taiwanese, everyone of them was taking horse ride up to the volcano, most are youngsters, wearing flashy like going to party.. then we realise this is the income of those local guys who keep asking us to pay for the horse ride and bring us up, they follow us and bargain with us, but we turned down..

    I have no answer for all these incidents..we all were ignorant especially when we got in a new place.. it takes time for us to learn.. but being less ignorant can be something we have learnt at home.. please do your part, next time u want to do a street photography..be less attention seeking.. not giving anything even a candy..

  20. #40

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by LENS View Post
    regarding the carrot chopping issue, 'tourists' are the cause too. it is the tourist attitude that buy a lot since it is cheap or just buy buy and the greed have really left the impact on locals, and the locals just learnt to let go their greed as part of their human nature..then up the price, kids ask for $ or candy..

    If you have asked experienced travellers, or.. civilised-mind travellers, they will tell you as a traveller, your responsibility is to be low profiled, and trying to leave least impact on the local life.. the way we keep buying things (very cheap ler), eating with lots of cheap food (very cheap also),

    as a 'photographer', which most of us are, using Big DSLR to take pic on others like they are not humans.. have really transformed the place.. people used to use 'rangefinder' or small camera as 'street photography'..it is actually an act to respect locals and not to be too attention seeker, but now nobody think in that way, Big DSLR and with all kind of attention seeking professional photographer pose...

    it can't be avoided when travellers left impact on locals..but it is quite sad that we always leave bad impacts other than good impacts..

    I once did a trek to a small volcano in philippines, when we got down, we saw like 100 taiwanese, everyone of them was taking horse ride up to the volcano, most are youngsters, wearing flashy like going to party.. then we realise this is the income of those local guys who keep asking us to pay for the horse ride and bring us up, they follow us and bargain with us, but we turned down..

    I have no answer for all these incidents..we all were ignorant especially when we got in a new place.. it takes time for us to learn.. but being less ignorant can be something we have learnt at home.. please do your part, next time u want to do a street photography..be less attention seeking.. not giving anything even a candy..
    Real hardcore travellers/explorers/photographers dont subscribe to "pitying" those poor children, etc... they actually, like you said, submerged into the local scene, eating, sleeping, etc.... like those local.
    I dont entertain such requests either, like giving money to take their photos (i rather dont take if they asked for anything back) but when you are with a group of uncles, aunties, modern tourists, etc... they can really make you feel like you are a heartless, selfish, inconsiderate person, if you know what i mean ....
    So much so that if you ask some guides, and they will tell you that Singaporeans are a stingy lot compared to the Taiwanese, Japanese, etc....
    always the Light, .... always.

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