Vietnam Journals

Vietnam in 21 days

A September 2003 trip to Vietnam by Tania Riddell

Ho Chi Minhs Masoulem Photo, Vietnam, Asia More Photos
Quote: Vietnam is a special country, one that leaves you with memories of wonderful people, spectacular scenery, an abundance of historic sights and history, and tastes and smells that thrill your senses.

Century Riverside Hue

Hotel | "Century Riverside Hotel"

Quote:
The hotel was being done up at the time we were there, but it did not inconvenience us. It is in a good part of town and the rooms were extremely large and comfortable.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Century Riverside Hue
49 Le Loi Street
Hue, Vietnam
+84 (54) 823390

Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon

Hotel | "Renaissnace Riverside Hotel"

Quote:
A good way to end your trip is in a five-star hotel. This place had one of the best buffet breakfasts I have ever seen. It is located in a good spot and the rooms are large and very, very comfortable.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon
8-15 Ton Duc Thang Street
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
+84 (8) 822-0033

Dalat Hotel Du Parc

Hotel | "Novotel Dalat"

Quote:
This hotel had very nice comfortable rooms. There was no need for airconditioning due to the lovely cool weather in Dalat. This hotel is highly recommended. Cafe de la Poste is across the road.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Dalat Hotel Du Parc
7 Tran Phu
Dalat, Vietnam
(063) 382 5777

Hoi An Hotel

Hotel

Quote:
The rooms are large and comfortable. Please make sure you turn the hot water on. There’s good air-conditioning. It’s very close to the old quarter. There’s a lovely pool area and a good restaurant at reasonable prices.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Moca Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
This was one of the best restaurants we went to in Hanoi. It had a wide choice of dishes to choose from. It's located in the Old Quarter and is a good place to relax with a cool drink and something to eat after shopping.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Moca Cafe
14-16 Pho Nha Tho
Hanoi, Vietnam
+84 4 825 6334

KOTO Restaurant

Restaurant | "Koto"

Quote:
This is a training restaurant for underprivileged young people. Is located next to the Temple of Literature and is a good place to stop for lunch. You can get local cuisine to delicious cakes. You will find many of these young people once trained in top hotels.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

KOTO Restaurant
61 Pho Van Mieu
Hanoi, Vietnam
+84 4 747 0337

Fanny Ice Cream

Restaurant

Quote:
This is the best ice cream place in town. They had so many sundaes and flavours of ice cream to choose from, and some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Fanny Ice Cream
51 Ly Thuong Kiet
Hanoi, Vietnam
+84 828-5656

Mandarin Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
This restaurant had extremely good cheap food. The owner of the restaurant taught himself photography, so while you eat your breakfast, lunch, or dinner you can browse through his albums and if you see a photo you like, you can purchase this. Also available are silk paintings for US$1 each.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Quote:
This place served one of the best meals I had in Vietnam, especially the Cao Lau and the Hoanh Thanh Chien. I would recommend this family restaurant to anyone.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Lac Canh

Restaurant

Quote:
This is an open-air barbeque restaurant that serves a range of delicious seafood and non-seafood dishes. A charcoal burner is placed on your table and you cook your own food. It was a very good night and a very memorable one.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Cafe de la Poste

Restaurant

Quote:
This restaurant is a French brasserie. It has set menus at very reasonable prices. The food is great and the staff are friendly and warm. It is just across the road from the Novotel.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Tan Nam Restaurant

Restaurant | "Tan Nam"

Quote:
This was the first restaurant we went to when we arrived in Saigon and we had an excellent meal. Only two blocks from our hotel, it was extremely handy.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Tan Nam Restaurant
60-62 Dong Du St, Dist. 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
8298634

Al Fresco's

Restaurant

Quote:
This restaurant is situated in Dong Du Street next to Cafe Latin. It is an Australian-run restaurant and you can get Australian/American steaks, ribs, burgers, and pizzas. The servings are huge and the service good.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2004

Al Fresco's
23L Pho Hai Ba Trung
Hanoi, Vietnam
+84 4 826 7782

Hanoi - First port of call

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Ho Chi Minh's Masoulem Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
The capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a city of tree lined boulevards, lakes, parks and some of the best French colonial architecture. My first experience of Hanoi was the ride to the hotel late in the evening. In fact, as I sat in the back of the taxi, I had my hands over my eyes. Motorbikes and bikes were coming at us in all directions. How was I ever going to cross the road? Advice from our guide was wait for a break in the traffic, step out onto the road, and walk. Don't run and whatever you do, do not stop. The riders will judge your speed and go around you. There are no such rules as giving away to pedestrians. To start exploring Hanoi there is no better plac...Read More

Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Halong Bay Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
Halong Bay is 3000 plus islands rising from the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. It was designated as a World Heritage site in 1994. Legend has it that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a dragon. For 30 VND (approximately A$3) we headed out into Halong Bay on a junk. As we headed out Halong Bay was covered in a mist. Apparently this is how Halong Bay is most of the time and you are very lucky if you get a clear day. We were somewhat disappointed in the first part of our trip as there was rubbish floating everywhere in the water. Unfortunately, ecological responsibility has not hit this area yet, but as we got further in, it all disappeared. Your junk will stop to al...Read More

DMZ and Hue

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

One of the Temples around Hue Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
From Hanoi we hopped on the Reunification express for an overnight trip to Dong Ha. The train stops for only three minutes at this particular station, so we had 14 people to get off the train as well as luggage for 14 people. It was a very interesting experience to say the least. At Dong Ha, we hopped onto our bus to explore the DMZ or Demilitarised Zone. The area surrounding the former border between North and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel is still referred to as the DMZ. There are still places in the DMZ where there are live mortar rounds, artillery projectiles, and mines. There are a number of places to visit one of these being the Vinh Moc Tunnel. There is 2.8km of tunne...Read More
China Beach Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
From Hue we proceeded to Hoi An. At the moment the Vietnamese are building a tunnel between Lang Co and Da Nang which will mean that you no longer have to go across the Hai Van Pass or Pass of the Ocean Clouds. When you get to the top you will be able to look south to Danang Bay and Monkey Mountain and at your feet lies the green paddies which belong to the leper colony which is only accessible by boat. To the north is a view of Lang Co Beach. Da Nang was the favourite ‘rest and recreation' area for U.S. servicemen during the Second Indochina War. The only major attraction is the Cham Museum. The museum has sandstone carvings from the Kingdom of Champa dating from the 7th to the 15th centur...Read More

Nha Trang

Story/Tip

Basket boats Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
Nha Trang has become Vietnam's most popular beach town. Nha Trang beach is 6km of white sand, palm trees, and sea breezes. A suggestion is to find boat that will take you out for the day stopping at Mieu Island with its fascinating fishing village. In some cases the villagers will come out to meet you in their basket boats, take you to shore, you walk to the other side of the Island where your cruise boat. If you are lucky the boat you are on will offer massages, manicures and pedicures. Will stop to allow you to swim in the South China Sea and will serve you up a spectacular seafood lunch. About an hour by cyclo is the mud baths. There are single and double mud bath tubs filled ...Read More

Dalat

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Dalat Markets Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
Dalat located in the highlands is dotted with lakes, waterfalls, evergreen forests and gardens. Local industries include growing garden vegetables and flowers, which are sold all over southern Vietnam. Bao Dai's summer residence was built in the 1930s and the summer residence and hunting lodge for the last Emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai. It is a classical piece of nautical art deco style. Hang Nga Guesthouse is a bizarre guesthouse and is also known as the Crazy House. Animal-themed rooms have been built by a Vietnamese architect whose father was a former president. Lam Ty Ni Pagoda is on a quiet hilltop pagoda, which is home to Dalat's better-known resident, Vien Thuc. Vi...Read More

Saigon - My favourite city

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Cu Chi Tunnels Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
Also known as Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon is more of a modern city or you could say more brasher than Hanoi. Saigon was captured by the French in 1859, becoming the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina a few years later. You can get around Saigon on foot and taxis are cheap, but make sure they are metered. Places to visit: War Remnants Museum. You will see very graphic and disturbing accounts of atrocities committed by US Forces during the Vietnam War. This can be quite confronting and upsetting. Reunification Hall. Formerly the Presidential Palace. This building was the home of the last three Presidents of South Vietnam. Film footage of Communist tanks cra...Read More