map of Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon ): Phanm Ngu Lao/Backpacker Area
Take Sasco Taxi– prepaid airport taxi $5 (near baggage area), Pickup SIMcard at same counter area.
My My Arthouse
219/8 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, $8 Dorm, $9 Double
ph: +84 838367937, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hostelworld booking $11 Cancel Protection
Directions: Taxi to Pham Ngu Lao street (fare about $10, or $5 from train station). Enter alley 219 off Pham Ngu Lao street (next to Sacombank and Welcome Travel). Walk down the alley away from the street and take the first turning on the right. The guesthouse is then about 30 meters down on the left.
Rent a bike?
Dong Khoi (motorbike madness area) pp.380
Ben Thanh Market– 50 stalls of street food
Alt Option to Self-guided tour to Mekong:
Take Mai Thay bus to Can Tho (5 hrs? @$6 OW)
Take boat to Cai Rang Floating Market (6A-8A)
1hr to get to market= 3-4hrs @ $5/hr per small boat (for women boat ops, go around “tin man” statue of HCM at the Can Tho boat dock). Larger motor boats tour Mekong River $20 for 3hrs, 35 per 5hrs
Accomodations in Can Tho:
Than Phuoc 3 Hotel ($10-14) 17* great location overlooking river
Xian Mai Minihotel ($8-12) * daytime alleyway doubles as An Lac Market
- VIETNAM AIRLINES-- Flex Sched (*can make changes to itinerary without add’l fees)
12:30P-2:30P, $2 Vietnam Airlines shuttle bus to Hanoi
- Hanoi Backpackers Hostel $7.50
48 Ngo Huyen st,
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Telephone 84 4 8285372,
Directions 3 blocks west of Hoan Kiem Lake and 1 block north of St Joseph’s Cathedral.
ALT: Camilla 5 Hotel, 81 Thuoc Bac, Hanoi, 84, Vietnam $12 Single Travel Punk/hostelbookers
Municipal Water puppet theater
Roi Thuac Thang Long, 57B P Dinh Tien Hoang
$5 + camera, video fee
Times: 4P, 5.15P, 6.30P,8P, 9:15P
AM:The car and guide will pick you up from the hotel about 7.45; depart to Ha Long city. Arrive in Ha Long, you will have lunch at a restaurant or on the boat. PM: Boat cruise Ha Long Bay (4hours), where you have a chance to visit two most beautiful caves- Thien Cung cave or Palace Of Heaven Grotto and Dau Go Cave or Wooden Stake Grotto (-where in 1288 one of Vietnam’s most famous Generals Tran Hung Dao amassed hundreds of stakes deep inside the cave prior to a battle with an invading Mongol army) and we take a look at the Floating Village of the fisherman and the Fighting cocks. At 4.00 pm the boat goes back to Ha Long city and we get on the bus to go back to Hanoi. We arrive in Ha Noi at about 6:00 pm.
Wed- Sat, Aug 12-15 Overnight Train- Sapa Trek– Sinh Tourist $95
2 overnight sleeper trains
1 hotel stay at Cat Cat Hotel***
1 homestay night in Tavan Village
From Trekking in Sapa, Vietnam
042 Cat cat rd- Phan xi pang St
Tel: +84-0203 81 387/0203 502 681
* Directions for a Self-guided Sapa tour:
To Sapa (Travel time: 10.5hr)
Ha Noi-Lao Cai tourist trains: Ha Noi Train Station B (behind 120 Le Duan Street).
Times: 8P/9:10/9:50/ 10:05P, arrive 4-6A, $18 AC Softsleeper
Overnight train from to Sapa
Trains to Lao Cai: 9.15P & 9.55P (9hrs);
Trains to Hanoi: 8.15p & 9P– sleeper train to Lao Cai; then minibus to Sapa (28,000d, 1.5 hrs or taxi $28)
Sapa is about 40km from Lo Cai rail station and reached from there by tourist bus (US$2) or hired motorbike.
Tour Operators I liked
- Sinh Tourist (The real Sinh Cafe)
40 Luong Ngoc Quyen St., Ha Noi City, Tel: +84.4.39261568, email@example.com
- 1- day Halong Bay Tour, 3- day Sapa Trekking Tour
- Delta Adventures
- 2 Day Mekong Delta Tour
Communication in Vietnam
Tourism SIM: comes in $10 and $5 varieties, and can be charged via top-up cards. The charges are extremely low – about 18 US cents per minute for an outgoing international call, and 12 cents for an international SMS.
Domestic Flights in Vietnam
*both offer upgrades that allow you to change your itinerary w/ little or no fee.
Jetstar (HCMC-Hanoi approx $70-110)
Flights from HCHC/Saigon to Hanoi $110
Vietnam Airlines (HCMC-Hanoi approx $107)***
Maps for Vietnam
Getting a Vietnam Visa from Korea
Xanadu 80,000 + 20,000 service charge= 100,000 (but located in Seoul)
Kangsan Travel 105,000 + 30,000 service charge= 135,000
Hana Tours 90,000 (if you book w/ them)
I got my Vietnam visa for *70,000W* at :
Near Daegu City Center, a block away from Novotel hotel off of the Jungnangno stop. There’s only one travel agency in the area that resides on a block corner & it’s pretty big. There was no service charge.
* Note: I recently heard they boosted their rate to 110,000 and their quote for an India visa was 180,000! Yow. Perhaps they’re trying to phase out visa only purchases.
Awesome iPhone Apps for Vietnam: Viet Travel
Easy to use, navigation friendly, this little app packs quite a surprising punch for $0.99! I expected something very basic, but it really gets in there, breaks it down and it makes me want to throw away my Lonely Planet guidebook. I love the tips: How to Get there (they offer options: bus, boats, flights, etc..), What to do, Accomodations (budget to high), What you might want to buy & more! It’s got a great set of tools such as Vietnam currency & weather converters, holiday/festival info and emergency numbers, It’s by far one of the best travel apps I’ve seen for any country .
My blog tips for Vietnam
3 Things to Do & See in Vietnam(grrrltraveler.com)
5 Top Tips on traveling Vietnam .
8 Tips to Finding a Great Budget Tour in Vietnam***
5 Daredevil Things to Try in Vietnam if You’re a Solo Traveler .
Hello Vietnam! What? You cancelled my room reservation?!.
Saigon: Vietnamese and Motorcycle Fever.
Photo Essay: Saigon’s Photogenic Nights .
Life on the Mekong Delta: Cai Rang Floating Market (Part III of III) .
Hanoi Impressions and my overnight train to Sapa .
Hanoi: Street food, Solo Boredom and Water Puppets .
Theft and Halong Bay in a Day .