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Visiting Vietnam

22 Sep 2008 sarah88 said

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Hi everyone,

I've just seen the new trips to Asia and I'm really keen on the Vietnam tours.

I've never traveled internationally and so far these forums have really helped me prepare for my Europe trip in 2010, but there isn't much on offer about Asia just yet.

I'm basically looking for any advise on traveling to Vietnam, anything you can offer me.
I've read that the weather in the north can be completely the opposite to the weather in the south?
When is the best time to go, important things to take with me, information about the culture? Is it an expensive or fairly cheap travel destination?

Anything is much appreciated!

Thanks heaps
sar
  • 22 Sep 2008 sarah88 said

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    What are the chances of meeting another Perth girl on here!

    Do you think I’d be getting the best of both regions if I went in late November/early December? I would only just be getting into the northern winter and sneak into that hot/cooler weather of the South?

    I saw in the itinerary they offer swimming, snorkeling and hotels on the beach front in the northern and middle regions and I wanna make sure I can enjoy those things as well you know?

    My boyfriend and I are heading to Europe in August/September 2010 so I’m trying to squeeze this one into 2009.

    Thanks so much for your help!
    sar

  • 23 Sep 2008 sarah88 said

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    oh I’m so sorry! I don’t really know why I assumed that… lol

    Thanks so much for all your help! I’ll definitely be asking you if I have any more questions Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    I’d love to hear from anyone else if they can share their own experiences.

    Thanks again!!
    sar

  • 5 Oct 2008 sarah88 said

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    That video was fantastic!!

    I’m really looking forward to going there next year. It looks like an absolutely fabulous place and everyone I speak to only ever has nice things to say about it.

    Just to get a ballpark figure, how much would you suggest taking for spending money on like a 14 day tour? I realise it always changes depending on how much I intend on purchasing over there, etc but I just need an idea! Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Thanks again Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->
    Sar

  • 5 Oct 2008 sarah88 said

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    btw… which tour to you believe to be the best value?? Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Ta
    Sar

  • 5 Oct 2008 sarah88 said

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    I was originally looking at doing to 12 day Vietnam Experience. The only difference I could find is the trip to the Mekong Delta.
    In your opinion, do you believe this isn’t worth the extra $120 and 2 days in the tour price?
    Do you know what the local payment is for?

    Thanks! Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->
    Sar

  • 5 Oct 2008 sarah88 said

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    oh okay yeah nah I’m happy to stay away from the mozzies haha

    ohh I’m so excited about the trip I don’t want to have to wait another year! Maybe by then we’ll have a lot more feedback on the trips though so I’ll get an even better idea of what its like.

    If you think of any thing else… let me know! Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

    Thanks again
    Sar

  • 7 Oct 2008 michelle80 said

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    Hi guys, Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->
    I am michelle and from Brisbane. I just got my asia booklet and I am tossing between Vietnam Explore or vietnam Experience. The things I would really wanna do is the Home stay in Mekong Delta and the Junk Boat cruise in Halong Bay. Very excited about those options.

    Thinking of going in March/April 2009 but i am Confused about the weather.Have to look more into the weather side of things. I wanna go when its not too hot or not too cold, just right. LOL

    Have u guys done any Contiki Tours Before. I have done 6 tours already and plan to do more in the future.

    Cheers, Michelle

  • 7 Oct 2008 sarah88 said

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    hi michelle!

    I haven’t done any tours before but I’m planning a few. Just waiting for the money to build up Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> You must have really enjoyed the ones you’ve been on! Which ones have you done??

    The weather seems to be the big question for Vietnam. I think the ideal way to do it would be to go to the north region at one time of the year and then visit the south at a different time of the year…? I think… lol

    But I think living in aus helps you deal with some of that heat and humidity Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Thanks Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->
    Sar

  • 7 Oct 2008 sarah88 said

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    Hi Ed G!

    The big trips between HCMC and Nha Trang and Hoi An and Hue to Hanoi are domestic flights so that cuts down a lot of bus time. And I think I read somewhere that there is time spent on a train? So I don’t think it will be as bad as it seems on paper. Most of the bus time seems to be in the north and they look like fairly short trips (1-2 hours)

    I hope that helps you get pumped for the tour Big Grin<!--graemlin::D--> I’m looking to do the same one Nov/Dec next year!

    Ta
    Sar

  • 8 Oct 2008 Explorer1114246 said

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    Hi all!

    I am thinking about doing the Vietnam highlights tour in march – is this a good tour to do? I have never done a tour on my own before so are there alot of people on here that will be travelling on their own?

    Thanks
    Laura

  • 8 Oct 2008 sarah88 said

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    Hi Laura,

    That seems to be the popular tour!

    I’m planning to go with a girlfriend but from everything I have read, Contiki is pretty accommodating to those who choose to travel on their own. I’m sure you’ll make plenty of friends once you’re on the tour!

    Ta
    Sar

  • 22 Oct 2008 Jonno83 said

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    Hi all, My name is Jonno, I have booked the first Vietnam Discovery tour in March. I chose the first one to hopefully avoid the heavy rain season, and the discovery tour dosn’t include a homestay, which I wasn’t too keen on. I’ve been on a couple of Contiki tours before and they are heaps of fun, so can’t wait for this one, Cheers Jonno

  • 23 Nov 2008 sarah88 said

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    Hi again Praha335Ci!

    I’m after your advice again Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

    I’m booking the Vietnam Highlights tour for 2009 but I’m tossing up between 2 dates:
    18th Nov – 27th Nov OR 25th Nov – 4th Dec
    Would there be any difference to the two? In regard to the weather or anything culture related at that time??

    Thank you!
    Sar

  • 23 Nov 2008 sarah88 said

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    I was thinking of checking out tiger airways as well. I used them to get to Melbourne earlier this year, and for what I paid I was extremely happy with the service.

    Would it be much different internationally? I suppose its even more reason to learn a little of their language, in case we have any troubles.

    Jetstar either don’t have anything available next year or haven’t got them posted up yet. So i’ll have to check back later.

    Thanks again
    Sar

  • 23 Nov 2008 sarah88 said

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    I doubled checked about the 6 month early discount offer and its $69 which I’m still happy with so I definitely take them up on that one Big Grin<!--graemlin::D--> haha

    Yeah I agree, I don’t think we’ll have any troubles getting a flight next year – I’ll wait til they have a sale!! Razzer<!--graemlin::p-->

    I think I might go with the 18th Nov – 27th Nov tour. If it’s not going to make a difference with the weather and we’re not going to miss anything super special in the beginning of December and it also means that it’s not super close to Christmas when we get back.

    I’m so friggin excited! haha
    I wish I could spend more time over there but I just don’t think I’ll have the holidays at work for it, because I’m trying to save them up for our long Europe trip the following year. Argghhhh! Stupid work! haha

    I think this will be a good eye opener to be able to go back on my own again in a few years though.

    sar

  • 23 Nov 2008 sarah88 said

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    Yeah I’ll definitely sign up to their notifications.

    I don’t really know where to start on that website. There seems to be heaps of info on there! But that’s awesome and yep… I’ll look super busy at work today haha

    sar

  • 24 Nov 2008 Gryphon said

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    I’ve travelled on Tiger and Jetstar and personally, Jetstar would offer a bit more comfort as there is more legroom. Also Jetstar offers pre-assigned seats, which I am not sure whether Tiger offers. Jetstar will also stop over in the main terminal in Singapore, while Tiger will stop over at the budget terminal, and there isn’t much to do at the budget terminal if you have a long stopover, it has like about 5 stores and that’s it.

    Having said that, Tiger is part owned by Singapore Airlines and the safety and service standards are really good. Also, would recommend that anyone who hasn’t been to Singapore before, stopover for a couple of days on your journey!

  • 24 Nov 2008 sarah88 said

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    Hi Gryphon,

    Thanks for your advice Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

    When I flew to Melbourne, I upgraded our seats to the emergency exit rows for extra leg round for my boyfriend, so yeah you can pre-select your seat. However, everything like that is an ‘upgrade’ and they charge an extra fee. A fee to pre-select your seat and a fee to be in the emergency exit rows. But the airfare was so cheap to begin with, the little bit extra still meant I paid only about $600 odd return for both of us.

    The stop over in Singapore could be very boring if we had to wait quite a few hours, so on that side of things like you say, Jetstar could be the ones to go with.

    I suppose it just comes down to $$. If there’s a big difference between Tiger and Jetstar which makes it worth the boring stopover, then we’ll go with them haha

    If we can, we’ll definitely take your advice and spend a couple of days in Singapore on the way to Vietnam.

    Thanks Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->
    sar

  • 4 Jan 2009 Explorer1084121 said

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    Vietnam Highlights is more than ideal and given how I learnt all about Vietnamese History in High School I thought what better way than with Contiki Asia to see the country in 2009.I am about to book the Christmas Departure for December 23rd.For the Adelaide people There are fares now available on Singapore Airlines and the cost of the overnight in Singapore is not too expensive through SIA’S Singapore Stopover Programme.I have loved the last two years of South Pacific Cruising with P&O but looking for something new that won’t break the bank for single travellers.

  • 5 Jan 2009 sarah88 said

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    Hi again!

    We’re booking the trip this month which is SOOO exciting! Had to wait for my friend to be get the deposit together. We’re leaving on the 18th Nov. I would love to spend a few days in Singapore but it all comes down to time and money like usual…

    And I’m going to Bali in May! A heap of us are going – seperate to Contiki – but a few of them have been before so I’m really looking forward to it!

    So maybe that’ll give me an idea on the weather?

    Sar

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