Don't go on a fully organised tour
Don't go on a fully organised tour Reviews
Sep 01, 2007
For those that are planning a trip to Vietnam (and who wouldn't be with the cheap airfares available), I would not recommend going on an organised tour for the duration for those that are on a budget.
My advice would be to use organised tours as a guide for where to go and to help plan your trip, but you can really do it all yourself - rather than pay top dollar for someone to do the bookings for you.
Use the Lonley Planet book as a guide for areas to visit, but when it comes to specifics like where to stay and eat don't be afraid to try something different - just because it is not listed in the book does not mean that it won't be OK.
There are so many tourist offices in each major location that you will have no trouble booking a day tour (the only trouble is making a decision as to which one to choose). As you arrive in a town, walk the main streets to get a feel for the tour operators and prices, choose one to make a selection of things to do and where to stay.
We travelled from Hanoi to HCMC over 10 days, we just planned our first 2 nights accomodation before we went (as they could pick us up at the airport), and then planned the rest as we went along.
2 out of every 3 days we planned day tours from the local tour operators, and often on the very same bus were other tourists that were part of a larger planned trip. They paid far more than we did - and I think that we ended up seeing more because each day trip we went on was so packed full of events because the local tour operators are so competitive.
I found that recommendations for restaurants were a bit hit and miss, often they direct you to the 'tourist' places where you can order a pizza/pasta, or basic dishes with a mountain of rice - this is not what we were travelling for. The best general rule that we followed was to eat 2 streets away from the main tourist strip. The prices were better - and so was the food!
I would be more that happy to share ideas with those intersted - so just drop me a line.
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