Travelling In Vietnam
Travelling In Vietnam Reviews
Travel TIps: If you're on budget and want to get the Best out of Vietnam ..... Jun 20, 2009
***This is intended for Informational Purposes ONLY...You may do so at your own risk!!!)
WHAT == you should rent a motorbike. Seriously, it's very efficient and it's cheap(manual is about USD $5-6/day or $7-8/day for auto. depending on the models). You can visit much more places compared to walking or any other method. Best of all...IT"S FUN!!! Though, you should always negotiate and willing to walk away if you can't get it for that price. During Holidays, expect to pay $2 more/day. Don't forget to ask the owner for a helmet...should be free of charge....and insists on not paying for it!)
WHERE == in HoChiMinh City, there is a backpacker's street called "Pham Ngu Lao" in district 1. There are 2 shops there with visible signs "RENT MOTORBIKE). I'd recommend the one that is also a Photo Printing/Laundromat because you can assured they'd keep your Passport/or photo copy of your Passport safely when renting their motorbike and give you the best rates. (don't forget to check if the bike function as normal with a test drive and to fill up gas ASAP.) Your hotels can rent motorbikes for you too...but they will charge you about $2-4/day Commission on top of whatever the owner would charge.
HOW == if this is your first time riding in Vietnam...GOOD LUCK!...(make sure you have a good insurance policy!) =) lol! NO...It's not as bad as it seems.
The First rule is ride slow (a little slower than traffic) ...Second...don't worry about people riding behind you excepts for cars/trucks. It's easier said than done. The problems with Vietnamese riders is that they won't stop for anything....I mean anything... including RED lights, 4ways STOP, cars/trucks, pedestrians, accidents, police vehicles, ambulances, and not your motorbike for sure. SO...if you're riding and thinking of turning or even U-Turn...just signals THEN turn as if there were no motorbikes around SLOWLY...Very SLOWLY as if you're walking the bike...and they will automatically avoid hitting you. Don't try to avoid them because you can't and because they'd never stop for you.
Here are some Do's and Dont's
-check to see if there is any visible damage on the bike and tell the owner to write it down on your contract.
-give them a copy of your Passport and tell them the Hotel is keeping the original.
-ask for a helmet free of charge/ or buy a new one for about 6-8$.
-keep the bike's registration, owner's phone number and the license plate number with you 24/7 for emergency contact.
-always look in front to avoid collisions, because people WILL expect you to see them either turning, changing lanes or stopping.
-follow all signs, rules and laws if you can...(If you get caught speeding or minor traffic violations...BEGS your way out of it, or cry if you have to! just kidding! You should Call the OWNER OF THE BIKE immediately for instructions on what to do.
-Stop at anyone who you think may speak English, or your language and ask for directions.
-If you know for sure you're lost and are late to somewhere, pay one of the motorbike-taxis (they dress in normal clothing sitting on their motorbikes at every corner of the streets) about USD $2-3 (depending on how far) to ride and lead you the way back.
-Visit as many places as you can!!!!
-don't look behind while riding, because it doesn't help. People will not stop and wait for you to drive or across the road...If you need to turn or stop, just signals and do it slowly but with walking speed.
-don't get into trouble with the polices or the locals. if so...call the owner of the bike ASAP.
-don't Drink and DRIVE.
-don't forget to park your bike and keep your tracking ticket at markets/businesses/parks/hotels/etc...(most places are free!)
-don't forget to look at the Gas pump to set at $0 before they fill up your gas tank...Make sure you tell the attendant....or you'd pay whatever they tell you.
-don't forget to wear your helmet.
-don't forget to bring some cash....at the least is $20 USD
-don't commit to renting the motorbike long term (or pay in advance)...only tell them one or 2 days in advance. That way...if some thing's wrong with the bike...or with the owner...you can go to a difference place.
-don't damage the vehicle in any way, because you're solely responsible for repairs.
****Well...have fun and ride safe!!! Hope it helps. =)
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Tips and Tricks for Vietnam Survival May 29, 2009
Bring a notebook and pen, write down the name of the place you arrived in (ie train station, bus station, airport) so when you have to go back you can just point if you can't pronounce it properly.
Also write down your Hotel/Hostel name and address, easier to get back when there is no common language.
If you don't look Asian be ready for the onslaught of taxi drivers at the airport. Even if you think your getting a good deal your probably not, they all agree with each other that the other guys price is fair.. Firstly, use the bank machine in the airport terminal and get some Dong, don't use US dollars. Grab your stuff, take a 2 minute walk off the airport property and grab a cab going by. If they don't have a meter, negotiate the price BEFORE your gear or you get inside. 50-80k dong is a good rate for local ventures in Saigon.
Nha Trang is different, mostly flat rate from the old airport in Cam Ranh (20-30min drive). To the airport buy a ticket in advance from a travel agency, bring some dong as you have to pay a toll?/road/airport tax along the way.
This is the quickest cheapest city travel method other than walking..
Again always negotiate your price before getting in/on a taxi/moto. make sure they understand the destination.
Don't get sucked into the 'review book' they all seem to have, I found two separate moto drivers that had identical reviews from an apparent fellow Canadian.. Fun to read their review books if you have the time :)
Very inexpensive to shoot anywhere in Vietnam and over to Thailand. $50 US for quick easy flights around the country.
Look for the counter that gives you a number so you can arrange your travel, the most expensive seat/bed is quite cheap and very comfortable. They even wake you up when its your stop if you sleep the whole way :)
Don't lose your ticket stub, this is a great way to see the country side and immerse yourself in their culture.
I found that the people in southern Vietnam are nothing but friendly and helpful, but there are some that will rip you off in the blink of an eye, don't be overly suspicious of helpful people but be cautious.
Massage, or 'Masa', be careful what you are paying for..
Karaoke bars, again, not what they seem ;/
Try going a little out of major city centers, sit down in one of those ubiquitous plastic chairs and have a tea, coffee, beer, pho and support the small local families, they will love to see you there.
Jan 12, 2008
The best way to travel in Vietnam is by bus or train for long distance. But if you only have short time, plane is the way to go. There is also several tourist group doing this bicycle thing around the country. So they rent you bikes, and then you go in a group. You cycle one day, stop here and there, and you have rest one day, where you can do whatever you want, and then cycling one day, rest one day, and so on. There will be a guide cycling along with the group. Don't try this if you are not fit. The bicycle tour is 1 week, if i'm not mistaken.
Travelling by train cost 40,000 VND (2.8 USD) - 75,000 VND (5 USD) for 4 hours trip, depend on the distance and seat selected. But if you land in the southern of Vietnam and want to travel to the north, train is painful (example from HCMC to Hanoi which is 2000 km, will take almost 24 hours and cost 500,000 VND or about 35 USD).