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…
Hi all - I'm traveling to Vietnam in 5 weeks from the States and need advice about getting a visa. I don't live near a consulate but feel uncomfortable mailing my passport. Is there a quicker way to get a visa?
Also - I'll be visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap on my trip - any food recommendations would be much appreciated. :)
Does anyone know how long it would take to cycle from Phong Nha/Son Trach town to Paradise Caves? I'm not very good on a motorbike so I don't think I'll be renting one in Vietnam.
Alternatively, anyone know how much it would cost to hire a Xe Om for a day/half a day.
Looking for someone who'd be interested to split the cost of a 1-day Fansipan trek on Nov 5. I believe it should cost about $40-$50 per person.
Alternatively, how easy is it to find and join a Fansipan group tour on the morning that I arrive in Sapa? I'm taking the overnight train from Hanoi on the 4th.
And finally, with the introduction of the cable car, is Fansipan still worth climbing? I've read that the hike isn't very scenic in and of itself.
Thanks a lot.
I'm back again and feeling a bit like a ping pong ball as my husband and I try and figure out a 6 wk trip in Asia. Our latest thoughts are flying into Hanoi, travelling south to Ho Chi Minh City, across to Cambodia then if time, exploring a bit of Thailand. Does anyone have comments, suggestions, routes or advice as to whether this route is too ambitious. Oh yes, we're both in our 60's but healthy, athletic and happy to backpack and stay in hostels. Thanks one and all!
As I am figuring out our itinerary I have some additional Qs:
Is 3D/2N Halong Bay - Bai Tu Long Bay - Lan Ha Bay cruise too long? The new Orchid Cruise (starting tours in November) offers a cruise to all 3 bays, Sung Sot Cave, Vung Vieng fishing village, and we like the idea of not being rushed since we plan to do this tour after our 19hr flight time from SFO - HAN. I feel that 2D/1N won't be sufficient but I keep reading otherwise on trip advisor, etc.
Phong Nha Caves (Hang En Cave…
I understand that a visa approval letter is necessary prior to entering Vietnam by air when planning to use the visa on arrival option. Are ALL the on-line services that provide the visa approval letter reliable? Do I merely pick the cheapest option? Is it safe to pay with a credit card? Yes, if I use this service I'll call my credit card company in advance to advise them of a foreign purchase to avoid it being blocked. Any glitches? Any particular services recommended?
We are going to Vietnam for 2 weeks, leaving next week!
Has anyone been to Bac Ha Market? Did you think it was impressive?
How many days do people recommend in Sa Pa?
Currently I am thinking of doing one day less in Hoi An (currently 3) and one more in Sapa (currently 2, 1 for Bac Ha and 1 for hiking).
Please let me know your thoughts.
Travelling to Vietnam at the end of November and planning to go from Ninh Binh - Phong Nha so we can check out the caves from the main town via bike.
Can anyone give me advice on the easiest way to get from Ninh Binh to Phong Nha and also tips on once we get there whether we should do a tour or if we can head around by ourselves on a bike and do some sight seeing.
Ok, so I am headed to Vietnam from Canada in January for 7 weeks. This is what I figured out so far for my visa options:
1) I can use a service such as this (http://www.vietnamvisaprovider.com/) which appears to be $15 for 3-month visa plus the stamping fee at the Hanoi airport which is $25 or $50 - haven't figured that out yet.
2) Go through the embassy in Ottawa, Canada which they tell me is $100 + $25 for shipping the thing to me (I don't live anywhere near there) + 3% of the total fee for…