Vietnam


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Mar 10, 2009
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#1
Hi people

I will be heading over to Vietnam in mid june for 14 days. Currently my itinerary will be heading over to Sapa, Hanoi, Hue and lastly Ho Chin Ming. Please give me some tips on the Dos and Don'ts and what to watch out for.

Personally i am concerned over the train efficiency as i will not want to miss my flight back to Singapore, and erm what's the type of power supply over there? 2 or 3 pins?

Have read up other threads about Vietnam as well, thanks in advance ;)
 

#2
If you have the time, you may wanna stop by Hoi-an (central vn, near Hue), its a quaint city of tailors. Can get very good quality tailored shirts/pants/suits/anything for very cheap. But u'll need about 3 days there if u intend to make clothes.

My train was about an hour + late the last time i took it from Hue to HCMC. Toilet was not clean, train food sucks (get some of your own snacks if you can) but scenary is beautiful! Give it some hours of allowance should be fine ba, better if you can stay 1 night and fly off the next day.

Power supply is 2 pin if i rem correctly so please bring along your international adapter. Most accom have free wifis (even the cheapo ones), so u may wanna check n make use of that. :)
 

Last edited:
Mar 10, 2009
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#3
If you have the time, you may wanna stop by Hoi-an (central vn, near Hue), its a quaint city of tailors. Can get very good quality tailored shirts/pants/suits/anything for very cheap. But u'll need about 3 days there if u intend to make clothes.

My train was about an hour + late the last time i took it from Hue to HCMC. Toilet was not clean, train food sucks (get some of your own snacks if you can) but scenary is beautiful! Give it some hours of allowance should be fine ba, better if you can stay 1 night and fly off the next day.

Power supply is 2 pin if i rem correctly so please bring along your international adapter. Most accom have free wifis (even the cheapo ones), so u may wanna check n make use of that. :)
Hi thanks for being so helpful, any idea which will be a better alternative in term of convenience and cost; travellers cheque or just draw from ATM?
 

pixie

New Member
May 3, 2008
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#4
The train up to Sapa from Hanoi (i assume) is very on the dot. Where i stayed, the host was very kind. He even brought my backpack up to the cabin for me. the part about the train is that you wouldnt really know where u are sitting so best if ur host can guideu there. Else is a big mess up there with all thebackpackers. Also, they wouldnt announce when you will arrive. So check your watches and get ready. When I arrived back in Hanoi, i was slping halfway when the train stopped and rushed us to get out. The cabin i took was 4 beds 2 on each side a double-deck. There is power in the cabin but i brought a multi-plug so that all can share the power supply.

In Sapa trek, i brought my camera, so that is fine i assume. My gear is only 35mm. but there are steep slopes you have to be careful of. I roamed around in Sapa went into their back lanes etc. Those are quite a rare finds as compared to the tourist market they bring you to.

HCMC wise, the standard location shoot should do you fine. They are quite tourist friendly. I sling my camera over and while it attracted the locals, they are friendly to come forward to you. I hadnt got any pickpockets etc in it.

It will be extremely hot and wet so, pack light!!!

Internet wise, is almost everywhere at at no cost so you wouldnt have any problem in it.

Enjoy your trip!!!
 

#5
Hi thanks for being so helpful, any idea which will be a better alternative in term of convenience and cost; travellers cheque or just draw from ATM?
Banks may not be so readily available especially when you're not familiar and not sure where to look. Drawing from the ATM works fine for me. Its more readily found when u need them. Transaction fee is about 5 SGD per withdrawal (depends on your bank charges, may differ from bank to bank), exchange rate is quite decent. If you are changing currency, i think you will get better rates in VN. Can just change some locally and the balance can change there.

Not sure about the transaction cost of traveller's cheque so cant make a comparison.

On currency, USD is good for paying for big ticket items like hotels which they usually charge in USD. (if u dun have USD, they will convert to VND, but usually better off to pay in USD rather than the converted amount) Otherwise, VND is good for most other transactions.

Hope that helps! :)
 

Mar 10, 2009
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#6
Banks may not be so readily available especially when you're not familiar and not sure where to look. Drawing from the ATM works fine for me. Its more readily found when u need them. Transaction fee is about 5 SGD per withdrawal (depends on your bank charges, may differ from bank to bank), exchange rate is quite decent. If you are changing currency, i think you will get better rates in VN. Can just change some locally and the balance can change there.

Not sure about the transaction cost of traveller's cheque so cant make a comparison.

On currency, USD is good for paying for big ticket items like hotels which they usually charge in USD. (if u dun have USD, they will convert to VND, but usually better off to pay in USD rather than the converted amount) Otherwise, VND is good for most other transactions.

Hope that helps! :)
Thanks, just to affirm there isnt a need for VISA for Singaporeans right?!
 

Mar 10, 2009
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#8
Thanks thanks, anyway i just understand that it will be better to pre book train tickets so as to grab the soft berth seats. Anybody care to shed some light on what's the best way to do it.
 

stylus

New Member
Mar 9, 2008
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#9
i changed all my money to usd before changing some to dong over there at the banks, the rates are much better there.

as for the train booking, i booked it thru my hotels. apparently the train carriage have some sorts of reserved slots for hotels, so its easier to get the soft berth. for my trip, i got a good hotel and pretty much everything was pretty smooth with the tours and booking. have a fun trip!
 

Nov 2, 2008
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Yishun, Singapore, Singapore
#10
hi my advice for you when in hcm is not to take any of their so call trishaw,firstly they will say pay any amount you like {thats make me happy,you too will}end of the ride its time to pay..pay above their us$ price they will be happy and even lick your shoe shine...pay lesser they start to argue with you and show u a pricing chart..the amount im not quite share around 25-35 us$ ...theres a market there selling lots of pirate goods or imitation stuff bargain as much as possible and end up pretending to walk away they will give u even lower price..i'll be there again in july and aug to arrange my wedding with my fiance who is studiying uni in sg...enjoy and take care
 

Mar 10, 2009
375
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#11
i changed all my money to usd before changing some to dong over there at the banks, the rates are much better there.

as for the train booking, i booked it thru my hotels. apparently the train carriage have some sorts of reserved slots for hotels, so its easier to get the soft berth. for my trip, i got a good hotel and pretty much everything was pretty smooth with the tours and booking. have a fun trip!
hi my advice for you when in hcm is not to take any of their so call trishaw,firstly they will say pay any amount you like {thats make me happy,you too will}end of the ride its time to pay..pay above their us$ price they will be happy and even lick your shoe shine...pay lesser they start to argue with you and show u a pricing chart..the amount im not quite share around 25-35 us$ ...theres a market there selling lots of pirate goods or imitation stuff bargain as much as possible and end up pretending to walk away they will give u even lower price..i'll be there again in july and aug to arrange my wedding with my fiance who is studiying uni in sg...enjoy and take care
Thanks for the information, much appreciated ;)
From my understand a lot of transaction can be done by USD. Just wondering whether is it more wise to trade in USD or Dong. For e.g. will it be cheaper to pay the hotel in USD or Dong?
 

pixie

New Member
May 3, 2008
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#12
USD for big items - tickets, hotels
Conversion is from USD to dong not dong to USD in those areas using USD.
 

sunfish

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Mar 26, 2005
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East of Singapore
#13
I noticed there are a lot of hotels around this "Ben Thanh Market" in HCM, is this a centrally located and convenient place to stay in HCM?:)
 

indycyber

New Member
May 6, 2009
59
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#14
can use Sing dollar?

why they dont acept dong ?:dunno:
 

Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
2,597
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0
#15
I noticed there are a lot of hotels around this "Ben Thanh Market" in HCM, is this a centrally located and convenient place to stay in HCM?:)
The Ben Thanh Market is almost the center location, or you should able to get cheaper deal at Pham Ngu Lau area (check spelling), so called back packer area.

can use Sing dollar?

why they dont acept dong ?:dunno:
All shops / place should accept dong. From my experience, for the price quote in dong, better pay by dong. Same as USD. for conversion, always they earn.
SGD should not be accpeted...
 

astroboy

Senior Member
Oct 14, 2005
545
1
18
Asia
#16
Wish i can give u all the tips u need but i guess u r already in VN now?
 

Mar 10, 2009
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#17
yea over at vietnam, hanoi now. Will be heading over to sapa tml lol...
 

Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
2,597
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#19
yea over at vietnam, hanoi now. Will be heading over to sapa tml lol...
Good. already went the one pillar pagoda? The HCM mausoleum? watch the water puppet show? Not forget the Huan Kiem lake. Dong Xuan market?

About the market, if you still going HCMC later, better don't buy here 1st, some stuff cheaper in HCMC...
 

Mar 10, 2009
375
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#20
Enjoy your trip bro. ;)
Thanks bro, must catch up to shoot here and there b4 my uni starts man lol ;)

Good. already went the one pillar pagoda? The HCM mausoleum? watch the water puppet show? Not forget the Huan Kiem lake. Dong Xuan market?

About the market, if you still going HCMC later, better don't buy here 1st, some stuff cheaper in HCMC...
Hi thanks, will be heading to the museum as well as the one pillar pagoda tml; sapa train will be in the night. Have explored the old quarters as well hoan kiem lake. Definitely an intersting place, really different from sg lifestyle. Can see kids discharging their faces into the drain lol..
 

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