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FAQ Thread for Vietnam

The purpose of this thread is to provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about traveling in Vietnam I hope that this FAQ helps newcomers and others plan their trips to Vietnam. I would like to thank all the posters who have contributed information to this thread. To make searching easier for you, please find my index of some major topics as follows:

Visa for Vietnam => find posts #115, 117, 111

Ha Long bay tours/Cat Ba => #83, 84

Vietnam - China border crossings => #7

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Avoiding crowds in Halong Bay

Loud boats playing disco all nights. Over crowded with tourists. Litter all over the place. These are some of the things we have heard of Halong, that makes us wonder if it is worth going there and whether it is possible to truly enjoy the natural beauty.

We consider a two or three day trip with Blue Swimmer adventures, going around by kayak, bicycle and walking next month. But do you manage to get away from the crowds? Is it so touristy that you do not get the feeling of peace to enjoy?

I…

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Hiking in Sapa

Hi all,
my husband and I would like to spend 3 days or so hiking around Sapa in mid-December. It'll be our first trip to Vietnam. Could someone please recommend a good tour agency that provides a guide and homestays at a reasonable price? Also, what is a good itinerary to follow in the area? should we book something before arriving in Vietnam, or book it in Hanoi, or...? We are interested in seeing how people live in the mountains, while getting a good trek in.

thanks for any help!

Mich…

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Mong cai border crossing

Hi

Does anyone know if the China/Vietnam border crossing at Mong Cai is open weekends and if so what hours?
Thanks

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what backpack, travel bag did you take for a southeast asia trip. trying to get an idea of the ideal pack.

hi, im planning a trip to Asia in feb and im wondering what pack you took and weather it was the right size, light enough, comfortable, cost ect. just trying to get an idea on what pack worked the best for this area.

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Return visitors to Vietnam

I'm planning a trip to Vietnam in three weeks and just came across an interesting statistic. Only 5% of foreign tourists visiting Vietnam make a return trip there. By comparison over 50% of tourists to Thailand make a return trip. Can anyone offer a possible explanation as to why these return numbers are so low. Thanks for all replies.

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Stuck with Vietnamese Dong in Bangkok. Anyone want to exchange?

Hey folks,

To cut a long story short I nearly missed my flight from Hanoi to BKK today which meant I didn't have time to change my remaining VND into Baht/USD. Is there anyone currently in Bangkok that is heading to vietnam and wants to exchange Dong for Baht/Euro/USD?! I am staying in the Rambuttri/Khao San area and I am here until Sunday.

Mark

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Overnight bus - worth the experience?

Hi
This is really last minute so I hope someone sees it!

I'm in Hoi an and due to leave tomorrow. I wanted to get the overnight bus to Nha trang, pick up a driver and go to cat Tien for one night and then get dropped off at My Tho . I would then spend 3 nights in the Mekong delta ending up at rach Gia.

Easy riders have told me Nha trang is too far and I should get the bus to dalat (taking up the morning, they can then take me to cat Tien then Dongxoai then a few places in Mekong ending up at…

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Hanoi and surrounds

We are family of four (2 are grown children). I am after suggestions for MUST see things in Hanoi as well as an idea for a day trip (not overnight) out of Hanoi. We are skipping Halong Bay as we don't want to give away a night there. We are after scenery. Is Ninh Binh achievable in a day from Hanoi? Is there some place more appealing? Thanks

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Do you know of any taboos in Vietnam?

In Vietnamese ways of everyday life, there are many taboos that foreigners or even the natives themselves don't know or don't understand. Are you aware of how they take photos or use chopsticks? Check it out here and learn more about Vietnamese culture: http://www.lexiophiles.com/english/what-not-to-do-taboos-in-vietnamese-everyday-life-part-1

What other taboos do you know?