Getting Around Vietnam With Time Constraints

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Getting Around Vietnam With Time Constraints Reviews

write817 write817
4 reviews
May 18, 2007
Just some general transportation tips here... if you have limited time in Vietnam ( i only had 10 days)... try to book your flight into Ho Chi Minh City and out of Hanoi, or vice versa, and then take advantage of the cheap domestic flights within the country. Base yourself in Saigon and do side trips (easily arranged from omnipresent HCMC tour offices)to cat tien natl park, cu chi tunnels, phu quoq, mekong delta - then fly into Nha Trang and do your beach trips, then fly into danang and hit dmz, hoi an and hue, then into hanoi and do tam coc and halong bay trips, then into dien bien phu to do the northwest. the total cost of our domestic flights (hcmc-nha trang-danang-hanoi) was $110... which we booked from a small tourist office in the backpacker area of saigon. airports were small, accessible and headache free, and getting to surrounding areas by motorbike/taxi was super cheap ($3-5). while buses and trains will give you access to smaller, off the beaten path villages, they are super slow - so if you are budgeting your time, flying is the way to go.

Within the cities, and to do nearby day trips (especially if you are traveling alone) find a motorbike driver that seems to have a good vibe and hire him for the day... try to negotiate a price upfront, but dont be surprised if they try to guilt you into more later, no matter how cool they are... in hanoi, i found a really sweet guy (i opted for a driver who wasnt HAWKING his services to every passerby), and told him to take me to all the most beautiful temples and non touristy spots and he obliged... i got to see the inside of a private home with a ridiculous buddha shrine that most tourists arent privvy to, simply because thom, my guide, was a friend of the family. halfway thru the day, i asked him to take me to his favorite restaurant, and i sprung for his $3 lunch, picked his brain about the city. at the end of the day, i wound up paying him $12 (plus lunch) for the 4.5 hours he spent with me. it was well worth every penny. also, near nha trang is a waterfall about 1.5 hrs by motorbike (not sure of the name, but our hotel knew it). there were 3 of us, so my two friends went on one bike, and i rode on the back of a guide's bike... and he led us through gorgeous mountain villages (that looked a whole lot like costa rica) to a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. i think we paid him $5-6 for the day. make sure when you get on the back of a bike, you keep your camera around your neck. the best, best shots i took in nam were snapped in transit from the back of a motorbike...


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