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Old 4th July 2011, 10:27 AM
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Default First time in Vietnam

Hi all,
I am going to Vietnam on my own in a few weeks. Is there anything important I need to know as a lone traveler? E.g. what to avoid/watch out for, scammers, trusted tour/taxi companies, etc.? Advice is very much welcome. Thanks =)
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Old 20th July 2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andayan View Post
Hi all,
I am going to Vietnam on my own in a few weeks. Is there anything important I need to know as a lone traveler? E.g. what to avoid/watch out for, scammers, trusted tour/taxi companies, etc.? Advice is very much welcome. Thanks =)
Scamming is the national passtime of Vietnam. When haggling aim to arrive at under 1/3 of the original asking price. Bascially you can (and should) haggle for EVERYTHING.

The Sinh Cafe is one of the older travel/tour operators but beware of like-named imposters that offer inferior services for higher prices. I've heard some horror stories about theft from these overnight buses. One involving sleeping gas but that was the most extreme.

Be aware of relationships between travel companies and hotels/gueshouses. Sometimes the hostels they drop you off at are actually really good but sometimes you need to be prepared to walk away. I find it was a good idea to try to ask where at your destination you will be dropped. Sometimes they'll drop you miles out of town at their preferred hotel miles away from anywhere.

Bring headphones and sunglasses (even if you don't have an mp3 player!!) as these items will save you a world of hastle from xe-oms and the like (moto-taxis). Taxi? Where you go?? Hey, you, where you go??? Blank them or you will get wound up so tight you will not enjoy your holiday.

Moderate as required :p
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Old 11th August 2011, 10:27 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andayan View Post
Hi all,
I am going to Vietnam on my own in a few weeks. Is there anything important I need to know as a lone traveler? E.g. what to avoid/watch out for, scammers, trusted tour/taxi companies, etc.? Advice is very much welcome. Thanks =)
Hi,

When you do your trip on your own, you have to have a very good preparation.

About the luggage like sneakers, sunglasses, cap, mosquito repellent, insect repellents and so on, may be I do not have to mention more.

Knowledge about the coming country, people, climate, food, drink, custom...must be in your mind to make sure that everything is smooth.

In every where in general and Vietnam in particular, the best place to do shopping is the supermarket, especially when you buy food and drink. Small supermarkets now are very popular in Hanoi and other big cities so that it's easier for you to buy something. I advice you to buy in the supermarkets because there you do not have to bargain. Bargaining is a must in the open and street markets, even ourselves - the Vietnamese have to do bargain. But how can you do that when you can not speak Vietnamese? Moreover, the quality and the price in the supermarkets are good. When you move from one place to other place, remember to buy drinks and some bread, snack.

Remember to take the map along with you.

Taxi in Saigon is ok but in Hanoi should be careful. You should use Morning Star Taxi, ABC Taxi, Mailinh Taxi or (Hanoi) Capital Taxi...
When using Xe-om, Cyclo or the untrusted Taxi you may have to bargain.

Before taking photo of a lady or baby or anyone else, you should ask for their acceptance.

About booking the trip, it's not easy for you to find a good one, some big companies charge so high but using cheap one you may be cheated or maybe because it's too cheap and quality can't be good.

I have more things to share but quite busy now.

If you have any more questions, please post in the reply.

Cheers!
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Old 18th August 2011, 03:49 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hanoi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andayan View Post
Hi all,
I am going to Vietnam on my own in a few weeks. Is there anything important I need to know as a lone traveler? E.g. what to avoid/watch out for, scammers, trusted tour/taxi companies, etc.? Advice is very much welcome. Thanks =)
Hi

Avoid
- going too far from city centre at night.
- buying too much fruit in the street. All good tropical good are in supermarkets which are very popular in cities of Vietnam
- Buying a tour (Cu Chi tunnles, Halong Bay, Sapa) at first met agent. Shoping will bring a good experience and assessment on these agents. The short group tours are usually combined by some agents and hotels.
- No taxi can cheat you if you bring the map and know where to go. Tell them to turn the meter on. Becarefull! Vietnam Taxi Drivers are from countryside so they even do not know where to go. In Saigon, it will probably better. Moto Taxi (Xe Om) is a very good choice especially you choose one who usually stand in the hotel entrance or ask the receptionist to call them for you. They will be trusted and bring you back to hotel :))
- Do not put the headphone on when walking in street because the motobike and car cannot tell you anythings


Becarefull with the transportation in the street! Do not cross the road without technique or someone in shoulder

Foreign currencies can be changed in every jewllery shops along the street or bank counters which are found everywhere. Even the hotel can change for you if you agree a little bit lower than the black market rate.

Important: One bowl of Beef Noodle (Pho) cost 25.000 VND (more than a US dollar )

have good trip!
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Old 18th August 2011, 07:03 AM
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Hi,

Vietnam is a great place. I'm sure you will love it!

There are some good and well known travel companies over there that can help you on almost everything. Just ask around for some companies references and get in touch to them.

Take care!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 6th September 2011, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andayan View Post
Hi all,
I am going to Vietnam on my own in a few weeks. Is there anything important I need to know as a lone traveler? E.g. what to avoid/watch out for, scammers, trusted tour/taxi companies, etc.? Advice is very much welcome. Thanks =)
Hi
The best time to visit Vietnam is from October to April, the weather is not too hot.
Becareful with the scam at the airport by some taxi drivers. They will try to take you to the preferrend hotel rather to the hotel you booked.
Some laidis caring fruit on streets will aks you take a photo then charge the over rate expected for only couple of banana and pinepple.
Get the map provided by the hotel you stay to get the correct direction in the busy city. Should stay in mini hotel if you want to find a friendly people.
Have a great trip
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Old 12th September 2011, 03:30 AM
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Location: Hanoi - Vietnam
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Next few weeks will be winter in the north of Vietnam , if you plan to go to Sapa or around there, you should bring some warm clothes.
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Old 19th November 2013, 03:56 AM
ash ash is offline
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Don't expect too much help from the police or government authorities. - The Vietnam travel and service industries were abusive and untruthful to me with remarkable frequency and the police didnít seem to care too much when I tried to report a physical assault on me by a staffer at a hotel I was staying at. Vietnam seems very different to what people trying to promote it say about it.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andayan View Post
Hi all,
I am going to Vietnam on my own in a few weeks. Is there anything important I need to know as a lone traveler? E.g. what to avoid/watch out for, scammers, trusted tour/taxi companies, etc.? Advice is very much welcome. Thanks =)
it depends on where u want to go. If you're in Hanoi, you should stay at the Old Quarter where u can stay all night outside. Otherwise, shouldnt. Da Nang is great and safe. Ho Chi Minh city is quite dangerous at night though.
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