FAQ Thread for Vietnam
Replies: 149 - Last Post: Dec 15, 2010 8:18 PM Last Post By: Zif
Sep 15, 2007 1:59 PM
*Hanoi - Lao cai - Kunming route, that i took yesterday. *
I posted it in another thread, but i think it can be FAQ too.
Here's some details about Hanoi - Lao cai - Kunming route, that i took yesterday.
Hanoi - Lao Cai. train : 10 hours. Around 134000D
Many travel agencies sell the ticket for US20-25, but the actual price, if you buy it directly in a train station is about 90,000-200,000, depending on the time of the train. Night train departed from 11pm and arrived at 9am is cheaper, the first class with a hard bed is 134,000. There's no air con to block the noise of the engine, so don't expect you can sleep well.
There are two stations in Hanoi, to buy ticket, be specific to tell the driver to go to "a train station to Lao Cai". If you take a "xe om" motorbike from Thuong Tam Street or Hang Bong to the train station, the cost is 10000, though many drivers will ask for 20000-30000.
There're six beds in each cart. The best one is always the lowest one forgot it's tang 1 or Tang 3, because you can put the lugguage in the bed. Theft can only steal your belongings after lifting you up. it's also easy to get to the bed.
Lao Cai - Hekou motorbike: 5 mins , 5000D
In Lao Cai, you need to take a "xe om" again to Chinese border Hekou. Xe om costed me 5000d. Custom in Lao Cai is quite slow and inefficient. After passing my passport to a few different staff, i can get it through by 15 mins.
Hekou - Long Distance bus station walk: less than 10 mins
Bus run almost every one or two hours, but you need to walk for 10 mins to the bus station. If you walk fast enough leaving the train, you will be able to catch up a bus in 9:45am, or wait for another bus in 10:50am. There's really no need to stay in Hekou, but accomodation is everywhere. Tell the local "Kun Ming. Kun Ming" and they will show the bus station.
Bus station - Kunming Bus: 10 hours. from RMB110
As there's still no good National Road high speed road from Lao Cai to Kunming, the bus is really slow. The condition of bus I rided was really bad. Very crowded, no air con, people smoked in the crowded bus, the back of chairs was broken that some passengers may have to lay on you. Luggage storage is not enough for so many passengers, so get at least 20 mins early to the bus station to secure a better seat and a luggage storage.
Sep 20, 2007 10:49 AM
106Overland trip from Hanoi to Kunming
I have taken the time to share some information about how to do the overland trip from Hanoi to Kunming. I find that it is one of the most asked question. Hope it helps.
We spend all our life trying to lock ourselves inside a block of coherency, certainty and opinions. *Text**Overland trip from Hanoi to Kunming*
Oct 2, 2007 9:32 AM
107Border crossings between Vietnam and Cambodia
I try to make a list of the border crossings between Vietnam and Cambodia, same as Steve252 did for Vietnam and Laos. Thanks to Hanuman and Fredsun for the information you have posted in this thread. The Vietnam Television said there were 7 crossings between Vietnam and Cambodia, but I agree with Rectravel there would be more than that, as the locals could make many simple crossings.
Below is the list of the international border crossings between Vietnam and Cambodia that were open. Any advice or up-to-date info would be welcome. Please also use the "search" function to find the latest trip reports posted by TTers.
1. MOC BAI (Tay Ninh province, 70km from HCMC) - BAVET crossing (Cambodia VoA: Yes)
2. XA MAT (Tay Ninh province) - TRAPAING PHLONG crossing (opened in Jan 06)
3. TINH BIEN (An Giang province, 25km from Chau Doc) - PHNOM DEN crossing (Cambodia VoA: Yes, US$25, confirmed on Dec 23, 2007)
4. VINH XUONG (An Giang province, 30km from Chau Doc) - KAAM SAMNOR crossing (river crossing / Cambodia VoA: No)
5. XA XIA (near Ha Tien town) - PREK CHAK crossing (Cambodia VoA: Yes, US$25)
6. LE THANH (near Pleiku, Gia Lai province) - O'YADAO (Ban Lung, Ratanakiri province) crossing (Cambodia VoA: Yes) open in Dec 07
Oct 8, 2007 8:31 AM
Having used the TT extensively before travelling to Vietnam last week (and BTW thanks for all the great info), I thought it only fair to share my experiences there with everybody here:
The 3* Heart Hotel in Hang Hanh Street, Hanoi is good value for money. (www.heart-hotel.com). You can probably get a better rate if you bowl up, but I reserved direct with the hotel by email in advance and was happy with their service. I paid USD$35/night for the (rather small but) lovely Deluxe Lake View room (#602) and USD$25/night for a superior double (#202) - which actually turned out to have 2 single beds. They don't hassle you to buy tours from them either, but they do ask for USD$12 for an airport pick-up, whilst the going rate is actually USD$10. Breakfast is very simple, so don't hold your breath! Free internet in the lobby. Overall a 3.9 out of 5 for them!
There is a hairdressers, that also do foot massage and nail manicures, about 5 doors up the same street to the west (I think it's called Hi Salon). The girls (both called Thuy) there are really great. USD$5 for a 60min foot massage, USD$4 for doing nails. Absolute heaven after a day pounding the Old Town streets around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Hue: The Hue Queen Hotel (http://www.huequeenhotel.com/) is a really nice international-standard 3*. Booked via our agent in Hanoi (Vega Travel), the first class double room on 9th floor cost USD$30 (through the agent) inclusive of a good buffet breakfast. The rooms are clean and big, and the showers are great! It is used a lot by tour groups. The hotel has a small outdoor pool, jacuzzi and offers massage and sauna services (USD$10 for 60mins I think). 1 thing to be careful of though...the hotel is in a flood-prone area. We had to wade through 400m of thigh-high water from higher ground to get there the day after typhoon Lekima hit, and we needed a small boat to get in and out from then on. Certainly nothing dangerous as the hotel itself wasn't flooded, and the water was gone by the next morning. Apart from the breakfast, I wouldn't recommend eating there though. There are better and cheaper places elsewhere in town. 4.2/5!
HoiAn: Thian Thanh (Blue Sky) Hotel (www.hoianthienthanhhotel.com or www.bluesky-hoian.com) was the best hotel stay of the trip. Small and charmingly decorated with a small but covered outdoor pool, decking terrace for sunbathing and dining, and backing onto a flooded paddy field, this was the most idealic place we stayed in. The service was good, they didn't hassle us for tours, although the nighttime racket from the frogs and toads might stop light sleepers falling asleep!! Rooms were tastefully decorated and mosquito nets provided. The superior room (#203 - 2 beds!!) cost USD$35 a night, which I am sure you can get cheaper, but again, I booked in advance directly with the hotel. A really lovely place and I wish we could have stayed longer than just 1 night.
1. A Vietnamese place opposite Cafe 69 on Ma May. Staff wear pink shirts and it's full of locals. Really great food and very cheap. Spanish people we met in Halong Bay had been there too, and they loved it as well.
2. I couldn't find Baguette and Chocolat. I think it may be closed and replaced by a clothes retail outlet. But Golden Land (No. 15 Cha Ca) was a good afternoon coffee stop on the same street.
3. Apsara in Danang (recommended in LP) was very disappointing! It's expensive and food was average at best.
4. However, Cafe 43 on Van Cam in HoiAn (also in LP) was the best food we had in Vietnam. Absolutely excellent. Can't rave enough about it...we even took photos of the food and went there for dinner AND lunch, despite only being in Hoian for 2 days.
1. In Hue, Mr. Pho from Pho's Cafe, one of the little shops and cafe's opposite the train station exit was a God-send. He sorted out taxis and tours for us despite the heavy rain. He speaks good English and was reasonable in his price. (USD$25 for a private car to take us to Hue's main tombs and pagodas - Tu Duc, Thien Mu, the Purple Citadel...etc) for an entire afternoon.
2. HoiAn - If you are planning on visiting My Son, stop off at the Cham Museum in Danang first. Many of the best sculptures and statues from My Son are now kept here, and visiting both will give you a much better understanding of the Cham culture.
3. Go to My Son early (leave before 7am). You'll need an hour to get there and 2 hours to soak up everything, and the tour buses arrive at 9.30am. It's worth the effort! (USD$16-$20 return by private car).
4. Hoian to Danang Airport - USD$8-10 dollars is normal.
5. Shopping in HoiAn: souvenir stuff (lacquerware, silk lanterns...etc) are generally cheaper in Hanoi. Locals reckon it's because Hanoi's wears are mass-produced in factories and the quality isn't as good, whilst Hoian stuff is all hand produced. Make of that what you will, but as a guideline we paid (USD3 for small bedside lamps, USD2 for lacquerware winebottle holders, USD7 for set of 3 square lacquerware dishes, USD8 for large lacquerware plate...etc). We paid USD9 for single silk sleeping bags, but I reckon we got ripped off. We could have got them for USD6-7. Beware fake silk products too!! Learn to tell the difference before you lose out! we bough most of our stuff in Hanoi from 2 stores in Ma May St.
My final recommendation should go to Duc Cuong at Vega Travel, Hang Bac St, Hanoi who sorted out Train and Airplane tickets for us, as well as our Halong Bay Tour (2 days, 1 night) which was really great. I would highly recommend them for advance booking of tickets and hotels on your behalf, but know the prices first! Of course they try to charge more commission, so you should know the real price before using them to book on your behalf and negotiate accordingly.
If anyone wants more details, feel free to PM me.
Happy holidays in Vietnam - a really great and lovely country.
Nov 14, 2007 5:40 AM
109From Noi Bai airport (Hanoi) to Ha Long city (Ha Long bay)
In case you don't want to go back in Hanoi center, you can take a taxi from Noi Bai airport directly to Ha Long city. If you go by Noi Bai taxi (Tel: 84-4-886 8888), it would cost VND 800,000 (equivalent to US$50) one way.
By local bus:
I don't think there is a direct bus yet. There are 2 bus routes that are cheaper than taxi but it would take more time.
From Noi Bai airport, you go to My Dinh bus station (which is near the airport) VND 150,000 by taxi (approx US$9, as much as a taxi would cost to Hanoi center as they charge a package price, not based on the meter). At My Dinh bus station, every 30 minutes (from 7am to 5pm), there is a bus that leaves for Ha Long city.
One more way is you take bus #17 from Noi Bai airport to Long Bien bus stop, then change into bus #3 to Gia Lam bus station. From Gia Lam bus station, there are many buses that go to Ha Long city every day. This option would take more time but cheaper, it may cost just a few US$.
Hoang Long bus company (from Hanoi to Hai Phong, Cat Ba, Lang Son, Hue - Da Nang - Sai Gon)
This company has a reputation for the good service over the past few years. Check out the transportation routes in their website for more info. Now you have one more choice, along with plane, train, government bus and open tour bus.
Bus from Hanoi (Luong Yen bus station) to Hai Phong (Tam Bac bus station): VND 37,000 (US$2 and 50 cents)
Bus from Hanoi to Sai Gon (bunk bed): VND 560,000 (US$35)
Office in Hanoi: Hoang Long Transportation Co.,
28 Tran Nhat Duat st., Hanoi
Or: Luong Yen bus station (Tel: 84-4-9875410)
Website: Hoang Long bus choose English
Red River cruise
If you have some extra days in Hanoi and don't know what to do, a one day Red River cruise would be fun. The boat departs at 7:30am and back in Hanoi at 5:30pm (3 days a week). Ticket can be bought in advance or at their office at 7:15am, before the boat leaves the wharf. You will visit Dam temple, Dai Lo temple (with great countryside landscape on the way to these sites), Chu Dong Tu temple in the morning then Bat Trang ceramic village in the afternoon. The company that organizes this tour is "Cong ty du lich Song Hong" (the Red River Tourist Company), at 42 Chuong Duong Do street, Hanoi. Ticket price VND 210,000 (approx. US$13) in August 2008 (including insurance, lunch and folk song performance on the boat). Tel: 84-4-8261479.
Nov 14, 2007 5:50 AM
110Cheo Hanoi Theatre
Cheo is a special art in the Vietnamese cultural heritage. According to Vietnamtourism website, "Cheo is a form of stage performance that originated in the northern countryside. The word cheo means “lyrics of folk ballads, proverbs”. You can find more info about Cheo in that website, choose Culture => Art Performance => Cheo.
Visit the Cheo Hanoi Theatre to know better about this kind of art performace. There are 2 shows a week on Monday and Friday (at present), starting from 8pm and ends at 9:15pm. Ticket price VND 50,000 (US$3).
Following is the address of the theatre:
Cheo Hanoi Theatre (Nha hat Cheo Hanoi)
15 Nguyen Dinh Chieu st., Hanoi
Nov 22, 2007 7:06 PM
111Citizens from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland do not need visas for short visits to Viet Nam.
Under Decision 808 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) dated on April 13, 2005, citizens from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland do not need visas for short visits to Viet Nam. The decision kicked in on May 1.
The decision allows Scandinavian citizens a temporary stay of less than 15 days, provided they travel with valid passports issued by authorities in their countries that are valid for at least three months after the date of entry; proof of two-way transit; and evidence that they are not subject to immigration bans or restrictions under the laws of Viet Nam.
Those granted visa exemptions may ask the Ministry of Public Security, Immigration Control Department or MoFA departments (the Consulate Department, the Reception Bureau or the HCM City Department of Foreign Affairs) for an extension if they would like to lengthen their trip.
If travelling to Viet Nam for a period of more than 15 days, visitors will have to apply for visas.
Dec 4, 2007 11:17 AM
112Restaurants In HCM City
- Li Bai Restaurant, Sheraton Saigon Hotel, 88 Dong Khoi, D1, Tel: 8272828
- Continental Palace Continental Hotel, 132-134 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8299255
- Crystal Jade Palace Legend Hotel, 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang, D1, tel: 8233333
- Dynasty New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1, tel: 8228888
- Golden Phoenix Hotel Equatorial, 242 Tran Binh Trong, D5, tel: 8397777
- Kabin Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, D1, tel: 8220033
- Lotus Court Omni Saigon Hotel, 251 Nguyen Van Troi, tel: 8449222
- Lucky Star 2F, Lucky Plaza, 38 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8228323
- Seasons Szechuan Windsor Saigon Hotel, 193 Tran Hung Dao, D1, tel: 8369890
- Czech Hoa Vien Brauhaus 28bis Mac Dinh Chi, D1, tel: 8258605
- Augustin 10 Nguyen Thiep, tel: 8292941
- Au Manoir De Khai 251 Dien Bien Phu, D3, tel: 9303394
- Bi Bi 8A/8D2 Thai Van Lung, D1, tel: 8295783
- Cocochine 46bis Thu Khoa Huan, D1, tel: 8274466
- La Caprice 15F, Landmark Bldg, 5B Ton Duc Thang, D1, tel: 8228337
- La Taverne 76 Suong Nguyet Anh, D1, tel: 9252616
- Le Cordon Bleu 54 Dong Du, D1, tel: 8298843
- Le Jardin 31 Thai Van Lung, D1, tel: 8258465
- Le Mekong 57 Dong Du, tel: 8295045
- Le Petit Paris Windsor Saigon Hotel 193 Tran Hung Dao, D1, tel: 8367848
- Le Pretexte (Why Not) 24 Thai Van Lung, D1, tel: 8226138
- L'Etoile 180bis Hai Ba Trung, D1, tel: 8297939
- L'Olivier Sofitel Plaza Saigon Hotel, 17 Le Duan, D1, tel: 8241555
- Oriental Paris 110 Cach Mang Thang 8, D3, tel: 9308581
- German Gartenstadt 34 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8223623
- Lion Brewery & Restaurant 11C Lam Son Square, D1, tel: 8238514, fax: 8238515
- Alibaba 60 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8233594
- Ashoka 17A/10 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8231372
- Ashoka II33 Tong Huu Dinh, Thao Dien, An Phu, D2, tel: 5122177
- Saigon Indian 1F, 73 Mac Thi Buoi, tel: 8245671
- Tandoor 103 Vo Van Tan, D3, tel: 9304839
- Urvashi 27 Hai Trieu, D1, tel: 8213102
- Saigon Cafe, 1F, Sheraton Saigon Hotel, 88 Dong Khoi, D1, Tel: 8272828
- Givral Cafe & Restaurant International Cuisine 2A Le Loi, D1, tel: 8292747
- Amigo Steak House 55-57 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8290437
- Annie's Pizza 45 Mac Thi Buoi, D1, tel: 8239044
- Asian Reflections Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, D1, tel: 8234999
- Atrium Cafe Legend Hotel, 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang, D1, tel: 8233333
- Binh An Village 1163 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thanh, tel: 8987770, fax: 8987212
- Black Jack 21 Ngo Duc Ke, D1, tel: 8272811
- Bourbon Street 123 Le Loi, D1, tel: 9142184
- Cafe California Hotel Equatorial, 242 Tran Binh Trong, D5, tel: 8397777
- Cafe Central Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8219303
- Cafe Rivoli Sofitel Plaza Saigon Hotel, 17 Le Duan, D1, tel: 8241555
- Cafe Saigon Omni Saigon Hotel, 251 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan, tel: 8449222
- Camargue 16 Cao Ba Quat, D1, tel: 8243148
- Chez Nous Grand Hotel, 8 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8245771
- Ciao Cafe 72 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8251203 , 26 Tran Cao Van, D3, tel: 8227695, 21-23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1, tel: 8229796
- Colour Cafe Oscar Saigon Hotel, 68A Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8292959
- Corso Norfork Hotel, 117 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8295368
- Cali Steakhouse 45 Dinh Cong Trang, D1, tel: 8208983
- Cyclo Caf Majestic Hotel, 1 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8295514
- Garden Cafe Garden View Court, 101 Nguyen Du, D1, tel: 8220022
- Garden Restaurant Novotel Garden Plaza saigon, 309B-311 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan, tel: 8421111
- Le Petit Paris 193 Tran Hung Dao, D1, tel: 8367848
- Mogambo 20bis Thi Sach, D1, tel: 8251311
- Montana 40E Ngo Duc Ke, D1, tel: 8295067
- Paloma Caf 26 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8295813
- Panorama 32F, Saigon Trade Centre, 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1, tel: 9100492
- Paris Deli 31 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8297533
- Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, tel: 8216127
- Parkview Coffee Shop New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1, tel: 8228888
- Port Orient Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, D1, tel: 8234999
- Riverside Cafe Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, D1, tel: 8220033
- Sedona Town Club 3F, Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1, tel: 8229666
- Skewers 8A/1/D2 Thai Van Lung, D1, tel: 8292216
- Terrazzo Norfolk Mansion, 17-19-21 Ly Tu Trong, D1, tel: 8226111
- Tex Mex Saigon 24 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8295950
- The Cafe Amara Hotel Saigon, 323 Le Van Sy, D3, tel: 8439999
- The Grill Saigon Prince Hotel, 63 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8222999
- Underground Lucky Plaza, 69 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8299079
- Sheridan's Irish House 17/13 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8230793
- All - Pendolasco 87 Nguyen Hue, D1,
- Cappuccino 258 De Tham, D1, tel: 8371467 o Good Morning Vietnam 197 De Tham, D1, tel: 8371894
- Pomodoro 79 Hai Ba Trung, D1,
- A-UN 42 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8293636
- Bach Dang 33 Mac Thi Buoi, D1, tel: 8251501
- Hisago New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1, tel: 8228888
- Honzen Legend Hotel, 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang, D1, tel: 8233333
- K Cafe 74-A4 Hai Ba Trung, D1, tel: 8245355
- Nishimura Omni Saigon Hotel, 251 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan, tel: 8449222
- Sushi Bar Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8292185
- The Sushi Bar 2 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8238042
- Chung Sa Cho Rong 323 Le Van Sy, D3, tel: 8438888
- Ka Ya 174 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D3, tel: 9302071 - Lee Cho 10 Le Thi Hong Gam, D1, tel: 8294842
- Seoul House 35 Ngo Duc Ke, D1, tel: 8294297
- Satay House 35 Mac Dinh Chi, D1, tel: 8221727
- Miss Saigon 86 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8238174
- Ngan Dinh Habour View 22-36 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8299139
- Ngoc Suong 19C Le Quy Don, D3, tel: 9304209
- Song Ngu 70-72 Suong Nguyet Anh, D1, tel: 8325017
- Lobby Restaurant Saigon Star Hotel, 204 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1, tel: 9306291
SNACKS & ICE CREAM
- Deli Shop New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1, tel: 8228888
- Fanny Ice Cream 29-31 Ton That Thiep, D1, tel: 8211633
- Goody Ice cream 133 Hai Ba Trung, D1, tel: 8242110
- Gourmand Shop Sofitel Plaza Saigon Hotel, 17 Le Duan, tel: 8241555
- Kentucky Fried Chicken Saigon Superbowl, A43 Truong Son, Tan Binh, tel: 8853952
- Nirvana 37 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1, tel: 8295839
- OJ's Cafe Omni Saigon Hotel, 251 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan, tel: 8449222
- Paradise Coffee Lounge Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8292185
- Rye's Bakery, Hotel Equatorial, 242 Tran Binh Trong, D5, tel: 8390000
- Piano Cafe, 17 Ho Xuan Huong, D1, tel: 9301885
- PL Chateau Tea & Coffee 57-59 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8226805
- The Metropolitan 235 Dong Khoi, D1
- Vinacafe House 65 Le Loi, D1, tel: 8270220
- Cafe Latin 25 Dong Du, D1, tel: 8226363 o Espana 17/14 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8246668
- Mai Phai 35bis Mac Dinh Chi, D1, tel: 8275491
- Chao Thai 16 Thai Van Lung, D1, tel: 8241457
- Coca Suki 92 Hai Ba Trung, D1, tel: 8233938
- Sawasdee 24 Thi Sach, D1, tel: 8233676
- Apricot Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8292185
- Bodhi Tree 175/4 Pham Ngu Lao, D1, tel: 8371910
- Dinh Y 171B Cong Quynh, tel: 8367715
- Giac Duyen 16 Nguyen Huy Tu, D1,
- Tin Nghia 9 Tran Hung Dao, D1, tel: 8212538 o Zen 185/30 Pham Ngu Lao, D1, tel: 8373713
-Quan An Ngon 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1, tel: 8257179, fax: 8257178
- Nha hang Com Ngon 88 Nguyen Du, D1, tel: 8277896
- Mangostine 117-123 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8291516
- Ancient Town 211 Dien Bien Phu, D3, tel: 8299625
- An Vien 178A Hai Ba Trung, D1, tel: 8243877
- Ba Mien 122B Tran Quoc Thao, D3,tel: 9317096
- Bach Duong 29 Le Quy Don, D3, tel: 9308180, fax: 9307000
- Bao Tran 3F 135 Nguyen Hue, D1
- Binh Quoi I 1147 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thanh, tel: 8883018
- Binh Quoi II 1147 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thanh, tel: 8991833
- Blue Ginger 37 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1, tel: 8298676, fax: 8211783
- Chateau Tono 15A6 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8222527
- Co Ngu 222 Pasteur, D3, tel: 8275702, fax: 8275703
- Dong Du 57 Dong Du, D1, tel: 8295045
- Hoa Mai Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8292185
- Hoi An 11 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8237694
- Huong Dong + 236 Pasteur, D1, tel: 8204701, 76-78 Chau Van Liem, D5, tel: 8538236, 93 Cao Thang, D3, tel: 8357943
- Indochine 32 Pham Ngoc Thach, D3, tel: 8239256
- Lac Thien 28/25 Bui Vien, D1, tel: 8371621
- Lemon Grass 4 Nguyen Thiep, D1, tel: 8220496
- Liberty 80 Dong Khoi, D1, 1 18299820
- Mai La 571 Nguyen Kiem, Phu Nhuan, tel: 8459912
- Mandarin 11A Ngo Van Nam, D1, tel: 8229783
- Muc Dong 183 Vo Thi Sau, D3, tel: 9327488
- Nam An I 57-69 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8220246; fax: 8299735
- Nam An II 60 Suong Nguyet Anh, D1, tel: 9255046, fax: 8299735
- Nam Bo 199A Pham Ngu Lao, D1, tel: 8378616
- Nam Giao 136/15 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8250261
- Nam Phan 64 Le Thanh Ton, D1, tel: 8292757
- Pho 2000 1-3 Phan Chu Trinh, D1, tel: 8222788
- Pho 24, 5 Nguyen Thiep, D1, tel: 8226278, 89 Mac Thi Buoi,D1, tel: 8258325
- Pho Hoa 260C Pasteur, D1, tel: 8297943
- Phu Xuan 128 Dinh Tien Hoang, D1, tel: 8200329
- Royal Court Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue, D1, tel: 8292185
- Vietnam House 91-93 Dong Khoi, D1, tel: 8291623
Jan 6, 2008 1:15 AM
113If anyone is looking to try out meditation in South East Asia come and visit Dalat. There is a free session at Peace Hotel. The meditation mixes Vietnamese Tea Ceremony with meditation. No cost, no guru, no rules. Just a gathering of fellow travellers sharing inner bliss. http://peacedalat.googlepages.com/vogayogameditation
Feb 11, 2008 11:54 PM
114Please view my blog and photos of Tet 2008 in Hanoi:
It's time to move on for a new project.
Thanks to the change of TT format, I became a blogger that I'd never thought about.
Feb 19, 2008 8:22 PM
115Visa for Vietnam
This post is updated in January 2009.
The information below is about the visa exemptions for the citizens from some countries that I know. They don't need a visa for Vietnam, but they are allowed to stay in the country for a different number of days.
14 day free visa:
Citizens from Brunei Darussalam.
15 day free visa:
Citizens from Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweeden, Norway, Finland and Russia.
21 day free visa:
Citizens from the Philippines.
30 day free visa:
Citizens from Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Indonesia.
(Note: Citizens from Myanmar still needs a visa for Vietnam, although both countries are in ASEAN)
Citizens from other countries are still required to get a Vietnam visa in advance. There's no "Visa-on-arrival" at the border crossings or at the international airports in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCMC. As I said, you must have a visa for Vietnam in advance. The visa fees at the Vietnamese Embassies and Consulates are different, so don't be surprised if someone has paid more or less, when they applied for a visa in Bangkok, Vientiane, Phnom Penh or at home.
Some people have mistaken a "Visa-on-arrival" with a "Pre-arranged visa" for Vietnam. There is no "Visa-on-arrival" for Vietnam, unless you are exempted from it as I said above and get a stamp upon arrival at the international airport in Vietnam. In case you don't want to or cannot apply for a visa at the Vietnamese Embassies or Consulates for some reasons (for example, no Vietnamese Embassy in your country), you can apply for a visa through an agent in Vietnam. They will get an approval letter for you, so that the airlines will allow you to get on board. Upon arrival at the international airport in Vietnam, the immigration officers will stamp the visa into your passport. This service is called a "Pre-arranged visa" Certainly, the travel agent will charge you some dollars for the service.
According to Wieber's post dated 23 Feb 2008, he arranged the letter through an agent. He said "You can pay with xoom service, which will cost you $0.99. I paid $18.-- service fee and had the letter within 2 days. I have to pay in Hanoi $25 per person for the visum. But this is only possible when you arrive in VN by plane."
Over the past 4 years, I read many posts in TT, and there were 2 TTers whose visa applications were denied by the Vietnam Immigration Dept. One is a Turkish in Canada and another one is an Indian whose name is similar to someone Interpol was seeking. The Indian man's wife got a visa for Vietnam while he could not go, so much preparation for the trip, finally his plan had failed.
Feb 29, 2008 2:49 AM
116Festivals in Vietnam
On the home page of Vietnam Tourism website (www.vietnamtourism.com), you will find a list of the festivals that take place every month in Vietnam. After Tet (lunar new year), many Vietnamese make a trip to the pagodas and pray good luck and prosperity for the new year. You can view my blog and photos of some pagodas in Ha Tay province (50km from Hanoi) that I made last Sunday.
Good for a one day trip if you plan to visit some sights out of Hanoi (including Mia and Tay Phuong pagodas).
Mar 6, 2008 12:16 AM
117Hanoi Street food
We joined a tour with Hanoi Street Foods which was a great introduction to the local grub and took us places we wouldn't have dared go ourselves. When we got more confident we sampled the local 'bia hois' where a glass of beer is available for less than 10p! Also recommended is Highway4 restaurant where we were either ultra-confident or drunk on their rice wine and tucked into local scorpions, bugs, ostrich and crocodile!
Booking internal flights in Vietnam
Wait until you get to Vietnam to book internal flights. It's much cheaper than booking in the UK. I flew from Hanoi to Hue for £200. I flew from Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City for £30. You now can book online at Vietnam airlines homepage
Crossing the road
Vietnamese drivers gleefully ignore traffic signals, so crossing the road can be a coronary-inducing experience. If you walk calmly and slowly across the road, you should be OK. Better still, wait for a Vietnamese person to cross and follow them, using them as a shield between you and the traffic!
Visa for Vietnam
Yes, I completely agree with Hong Ha on this, there is no visa on arrival for Vietnam , just a pre-arranged visa. However, this kind of service is really convenient. Some more tips on visa to Vietnam can be found here at my vietnam visa
Mar 6, 2008 12:19 AM
118Tailoring in Hoi An
Hoi An is surely the tailoring capital of the world with about 300 little shops crammed into its narrow streets - all selling more or less the same designs made from the same material.
It’s very easy to get completely carried away with the idea of getting an entire wardrobe tailormade. I came back with a bagful of stuff - most of which went straight to the charity shop.
It’s best to know exactly what you want - take pictures from magazine or, better still, a favourite from your wardrobe for them to copy.
Getting shoes tailormade is even more exciting but equally risky - the materials are poor and the craftmanship not great. I spent hours in various shops and had a great time but picking and choosing the cloth/style was definitely the highlight - the final results a bit of a let down.
Mar 26, 2008 3:42 AM
119This is a pretty comprehensive list of restaurants in HCMC, some with reviews. It's updated often, but reviews seem to be pretty sparse. Anyway, its a good list.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$38.00 per night
Ho Chi Minh CityBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$42.42 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$10.00 per night