Vietnam Journals

Highlights & Letdowns of Vietnam

Best of IgoUgo

A May 1998 trip to Vietnam by globetrots

Yum! Photo, Vietnam, Asia More Photos
Quote: A sampling of some great experiences and some places best avoided, from the tip of North Vietnam to the Mekhong Delta.

Highlights & Letdowns of Vietnam

Overview

Quote:
The beautiful, cheerful people of Vietnam liven up nearly every destination. The most interesting and colorful people live in the hills of the north, and many of the country's most interesting destinations are outside of Hanoi. The big surprise for most American visitors is the lack of animosity: the war was too long ago for today's citizens. The history books are much more unkind to the French...Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Around: Public transportation here is the most uncomfortable and overpriced in all of Southeast Asia. Roads are awful and the trains aren't any faster than the buses. You'll pay five times the local price for a flight, but it'll save days of agony if going from o...Read More

Zion Ponderosa Ranch and Resort

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "various guest houses"

Quote:
At the low end, hotel prices in Vietnam are a bit higher than in most of Southeast Asia, but they're usually much nicer. Hot water, cleanliness, and towels are standard in even the $8 a night places. Moving up the scale, mid-range places are quite a good value, but there are few true luxury hotels, especially outside of the two main cities. Don't expect Thai standards of service here--communism has a way of killing customer service.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 6, 2000

Zion Ponderosa Ranch and Resort
Twin Knolls Rd
Mount Carmel, Utah 84755
(800) 293-5444

Mama Hahn's Boat Trip

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Tub boat Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
You may have read about it, or seen it on Lonely Planet's TV show. Weather permitting, dozens of people head out each day on Mama Hahn's boat trip. Passengers make an all-day tour of local islands, doing some snorkeling, eating from a huge seafood spread, drinking mulberry wine from Mama Hahn's floating bar, and sampling a dozen local fruits--all for $7.

It's not for quiet types who want to curl up with a book, or for families. Imagine a boat full of rowdy backpackers and budget travelers chowing down, over-imbibing, and listening to loud music.

Oh yeah, you see some nice scenery as well...

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 6, 2000

Highlights of Vietnam

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Walking to School Photo, Vietnam, Asia
Quote:
Vietnam is not a country to be described in simple terms. It tugs at visitors' perceptions from all directions, ripping up one belief as soon as it forms and replacing it with another. Is the place communist or capitalist? Are its geriatric rulers shrewd wise men or clueless Alzheimer's victims? Do the local people appreciate tourists, or would they prefer to just pickpocket us and kick us back across the ocean? It's common for travelers in Vietnam to feel emotions spanning from rage to elation to shock, usually in the same day. It's easy to be overcome with anger, but equally easy to find yourself drowned by sheer beauty. Vietnam may make you grumpy or make you cheerful, but usually it'l...Read More

Letdowns of Vietnam

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
If you go to Vietnam, prepare to be ripped off on a daily basis. Gouging foreigners seems to be a national obsession here, from the highest government officials on down to the lowest street vendor selling baguettes or noodle soup. Tourists pay five times the local rate for internal flights and for the pitifully rickety train system. There is a two-tiered pricing system for nearly all admission tickets and restaurants will commonly have two menus: one in Vietnamese and one in English, but with different prices. Old women selling pineapples on the street will refuse to sell one to you unless you pay at least double the local price, even if it means losing the sale. Thankfully, food and drinks are still ...Read More