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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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vietnam- local sim & change money

does anyone knows-
1) local sim- how much is it & where to buy it?
2) where is better to change from $ to Dong- change or banks? is Saigon airport a good place for it? is there a better bank than others? do hotels give decent rate? Is it true you can not change back Dong into $?
Many thanks

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Two weeks in Vietnam - starting to plan - Hanoi and Hue? - or Hanoi - Hue - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh?

Hi! I was originally hoping to do 3 weeks in Vietnam in October next year, but work will only permit two weeks plus 3 days (so a fortnight plus monday/tuesday/wednesday, for example)

Realistically I don't think I want to race through the whole of Vietnam - it needs to be a relaxing holiday as well as an adventure and sightseeing trip. But obviously the big expense is getting out there and getting the visa, so the more I can pack in . . .

It looks like in October north Vietnam has better…

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Beaches near Hoi An in January

Hi Everyone -

I'm traveling to Vietnam in late December - early January and am trying to make a tentative plan. I'm looking for feedback on the weather and beaches near Hoi An. My husband is really pushing to spend time on Phu Quoc, but I'd prefer to travel north (we'll be in HCMC for a few days of work) to Hue & Hoi An. Is the weather in this central area decent to spend a few days on a beach? Are the beaches near Hoi An pretty nice? (We're coming from the northern Rocky Mountains so…

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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