Across the border and into Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

 › entry 10 of 35 › view all entries
Ferry Crossing

Again a uneventful trip. Once we got into vietnam we seemed to be constantly driving through urban areas and you could immediately see the difference in the wealth levels of the two countries. I guess I did have one first in that this was my first ever experience of crossing country boarders by land - but the bus crew took care of getting us through this so no real problems. Again only one other Westerner on the bus - from Liverpool in the UK. Although he said he'd actually been living in Brisbane for the last 2 years I almost had as much trouble understanding his accent as I did with the locals.

This time I'd decided to get dropped at a specific hotel which was in the backpacker area - I hadn't booked but figured that if I didn't like it I'd be able to look around for another.

Ferry Crossing

As soon as I got off the bus this taxi driver was grabbing my bag and wanting me to get in his cab. I stopped him to give me a chance to talk to the English guy and find out what he was doing - he said he was going to have a look around the area for a while. Told the cabbie I needed to go to an ATM and was trying to head to one directly across the street but he insisted I get in and he would take me to one along the way. So I got in the cab and showed him the address. I seen that there was a metre so was thinking this would be ok. We only drove about 50 metres down the road and he pulled up and sent me to an ATM across the street. We drove around for about 15-20 minutes and he pointed out a large hotel at one point and I'm sure the amount on the metre suddenly doubled.

Ho Chi Minh
Got just around the corner and he's pointing across the street saying we were at the hotel. I couldn't see the name and went to where I thought he was pointing and asked - the woman said she didn't know the address - went back and had words with the cabbie and told him I was not paying him if we were at the wrong place and got him to open the boot to get my bag. We were getting the attention of some of the locals and I approached a security guard to see if he could help - another guy then showed me that the hotel was actually down this laneway where the guy had been pointing. Went to pay him and he wanted over 400 000 dong - over $20 - I argued with him that that couldn't be right - I'd handed him $200 000 and he virtually snatched another $200 000 out of my hand and said that $400k would be right.
Ho Chi Minh
I still didn't think this was right but as I couldn't be sure thought it best to let it go. After this I was reminded only to use the branded cabs - two nights later I realised that the bus had actually dropped me off about 100 metres away from the hotel and that the guy had definately taken me for a ride. Apparently its only about $7-8 for a cab fare all the way to the airport.

Settled in the hotel after this and booked trips for the next two days. Had a bit of a look around the streets around the hotel and ran into the english guy from the bus sitting at a bar just up the road. Went out and had pizza for dinner again that night - I think this one was the best so far so the quaility only seems to be getting better.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Ferry Crossing
Ferry Crossing
Ferry Crossing
Ferry Crossing
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh