Probably my favorite country. Awesome outgoing population that will try to scam the shit out of you if you let them, beautiful scenery (seriously beautiful, I've never seen better), everything is cheap and even the cheap things can be haggled. I hope I can live there some day.
>>969452 The buses are sketch no matter what. I had a guy drive us through several miles of closed roads under construction on a mountainside and often lingered uncomfortably long in the wrong lane, but it seems worse than it actually is. We didn't have any real issues and I spent most of the trip traveling by bus.
I would so much rather take a bus than do another rickety plane getting from North to South. And no fucking way would I hop on a moped. You shouldn't have anything to worry about.
>>969461 Gonna be honest, don't know much about the beaches. When I went, we just stopped at whatever beach looked cool and had food.
Hanoi is interesting but a lot of people won't recommend it. It's a lot less scenic than some of the areas down south and the people are a lot more conservative and therefore rude. It's kind of just one big ugly crowded city. That being said, to me I thought it was still really charming and there's a lot of stuff to do. My recommendation is just to check out the Lonely Planet or Wikitravel guides to Hanoi. If nothing is really popping out at you, you can skip it.
I really loved Da Nang, but didn't spend much time in the city itself. I loved the Marble Mountains, but be warned as I got severely ripped off there and then almost immediately afterwards had money straight up snatched from my hand. But that's a problem anywhere in Vietnam, and both of those occasions were my fault entirely. I think it's worth a stop, especially since it's on the way to Hue which I fucking loved.
The tunnel tours are pretty neat, but I'm a sucker for touristy things. There's not a whole lot to actually do there, but the experience is worth having and like everything else it's insanely cheap so why not.
>>969452 >Are the busses to be trusted getting between Ho Chi and Hanoi/Phnom Penh? Why on earth would you want to take a bus from HCMC to Hanoi? It's the slowest, most dangerous and most uncomfortable way to make the trip. Even poor Vietnamese don't take the damn bus for that. Flying is cheap and safe and takes 2 hours instead of 2 days. If you're going to places in between then I'd take a train, only taking buses when absolutely necessary. It will be much more comfortable, and safer, because it's harder to fall asleep and drive a train off it's tracks. Between HCMC and Phnom Penh I would still go with a bus though, because it's a much shorter trip (~6 hours), there's no train, and I was too cheap to pay to fly. Just don't take the night bus if you value you're life too much, lol.
>>969459 >I would so much rather take a bus than do another rickety plane getting from North to South. So much lol. I lived in Vietnam for a year and flew between HCMC and Hanoi every 3 weeks for work. Usually flew Vietjet, sometimes Vietnam Airlines. All the planes were semi-modern jets, the only real issues were they were usually pretty full, and the seats are a bit cramped for tall westerners, but it's a short flight. Never fly Jetstar though, they delay the flight until they fill all the seats like it's a cheap minibus lol.
>>969461 And the best beaches on Tonkin/Ho Long? I'm assuming you mean Ha Long? And the answer is no. Ha Long Bay is really cool and you should go on a boat trip there if you go to the north, but all the good beaches are in the south or middle of the country. I only went to the beach at Nha Trang, and it was fine, but there's probably better. Phu Quoc island in the south near Cambodia is nice I've heard, but a bit out of the way.
>Is Hanoi/Da Nang worth it? There's a decent beach at Da Nang, and it's right next to the old city of Hoi An which is worth looking into. About Hanoi - I lived there for a year or so off and on and didn't really enjoy it, at least not compared to HCMC, but I also couldn't imagine going to Vietnam and not going there. To me it feels like the place where Vietnamese culture is most pure and concentrated without much outside influence, for better or worse lol. I do think it's a pretty and interesting city, with a lot of "forgotten by time" charm to it, but like others have said the people are a bit unwelcoming to outsiders, even to other Vietnamese not from Hanoi. It's a harder, colder life in the north and the attitudes reflect that.
>>969441 >don't forget that some vietnamese still hate white people because of the US Maybe possible, but extremely rare, even in the north. They have much more hate and focus on China than on the US. I was there for almost 2 years and can't remember a time I was treated bad specifically for being white. Usually it was the opposite, and my job depended on it, lol.
>>969935 I don't smoke, but I'd guess the Circle K brand convenience stores, since it's a major international chain. You can get cigarettes absolutely fucking everywhere, but I have no idea if they're counterfeits or not.
>>969943 >smoke in bars Yes, most places are sort of open-air with the storefront open or an open balcony. I think it'd be rude to smoke somewhere with bad ventilation, but I don't think anybody would stop you most places.
>drink alcohol on the street and/or in public Yes, I think I did the majority of my drinking there outside. Just walking down the street anywhere there you'll find places with little plastic tables to sit down and drink beer and eat. People don't really walk down the street with drinks in their hand though.
>>969452 We went through the whole country with buses. Use the red buses in the south, a korean company... dont remember the name, they were all good, clean and service was good. Closer to north where they dont run the buses were ok, but the service was shit. If you are under 180cm you can sleep okay in them, we travelled by night. Roads are bumpy and you wake up, but still they were okay.
>>969927 Avoid Nha Trang at all cost, unless you want to go to the russian riviera. All the signs are in russian, people speak russian to you if you are white. And lets face it, they are the worst tourists.
>>970036 You don't go to Nha Trang for the city, you go for the water sports. The city is just where you hang out while you're waiting for the next morning when the scuba boats go out.
There's heaps of Russians but it's not as bad as you make out. People still speak English, you can get by in Vietnamese, you just buy Banh Mi on the street and stay in cheap hotels and go scuba diving and/or surfing.
Considering visiting Vietnam this summer for about 3-5 weeks I think.
I'm somewhat worried about the weather. Lots of rain and very hot in July and August from what I hear. Anyone with some anecdotal evidence for Vietnam weather in july/august? Is it doable or am I going to be soaked 24/7?
My plan is to visit the Son Doong cave, the world's largest cave. The cave is just recently surveyed so there is zero infrastructure there. Its not too far from a major road though (~6km) and I noticed a nearby village on Google Maps.
Is it at all realistic for me to just go to that (very small, rural) village and try to arrange some food and a bed for a night?
>>970274 The cave is located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park but tours cost like $3000. There are alot of other massive caves nearby that you dont have to pay huge sums of money for though. The town nearby is called son trach and has loads of guesthouses and a hostel or two so accomodation is no problem.
Are you sure we're talking about the same cave here? As far as I know there are no tours to this cave. We aren't talking about the same village. Mine doesn't even show up with a name on Google Maps but there are clearly some houses and fields there. Would a local vietnamese farmer be willing to feed me and give me a bed for the night, possibly in exchange for cash?
I don't see anything stopping me from going in on my own. Its just a hole in the ground after all. More worried about the weather. If its raining 24/7 in the summer, it probably wont be very safe or fun.
>>970617 >I don't see anything stopping me from going in on my own. Just the Vietnamese military or police.
>Its just a hole in the ground after all. Exactly. You can't just go walking around in caves unprepared. For the other large caves in Vietnam they've built infrastructure for tours (steps, guard rails, LIGHTS, etc). For caves without infrastructure you need to bring you're own safety gear and lighting, and have some sort of map of the place.
>>970742 >How easy are the girls there? I've heard one night stands are pretty rare, they require a few a dates before you sleep with them That's about right I'd say. I did fuck a few on the first date, but it was usually the second or third date. Don't worry about it, just date multiple girls til you're sleeping with at least one of them. Most of them are pleasant to hangout with and show you around, so whatever. Some expect you to pay everything, some don't.
>regular Viet girls don't go to bars or clubs Lol, that's not true. You are more likely to run into some slutty party girls and hookers/pseudo-hookers in some bars, but a lot of normal girls go with their friends just to hangout and dance. I'd say it's just more traditional or poorer girls that don't go to the bars often, and more middle class or higher that do.
Are you going to Saigon or Hanoi? I was mostly talking about Saigon, it's a lot more conservative and traditional in Hanoi, with black or white attitudes to if a girl is a good girl or bad girl. I actually think the girls are prettier in Hanoi, but I didn't have as much luck dating them because everything moves so slow, and they tend to have a ton of family commitments and less free time, and I'd only stay for 3 weeks at a time before going back to Saigon. If you're looking to marry a beautiful traditional asian girl and stay forever it's ok I guess.
>How do girls compare to say, chinese girls (pretty easy) if you're white, tall, and decent looking? I don't know about Chinese girls, but yeah, you shouldn't have much trouble.
Not sure if I'll go there yet, but I'll probably check out Hanoi or Saigon. I've heard Hanoi people are a little ruder and don't like whites or tourists or something though. I'm also considering moving there for cheap cost of living and just working online. What did you do there?
>>970823 >I've heard Hanoi people are a little ruder and don't like whites or tourists or something It's no so much that they don't like whites or tourists, it's more that they just sort of look down on anybody that's not from Hanoi, and the culture isn't very open and welcoming to outsiders, including other Vietnamese. Being a white foreigner is still seen as a good thing, but you'll just have a harder time getting involved in people's lives since they're much more attached and dependent on family and friends they've known their whole lives. They also have much less exposure to foreigners than in Saigon, and will have a harder time understanding your perspective and concerns about things.
>I'm also considering moving there for cheap cost of living and just working online That can work, I met a few people that did that. Internet is generally reliable, although they occasionally DNS block facebook in some places, but it's easy to get around. Do you already have online income? You will need to get a visa, I've heard they're getting a little tighter about it, but I wouldn't worry too much since you won't need a work permit. Do you know how to ride a scooter? It's possible to get by without one in Saigon, but it's better to have one. I think it's necessary in Hanoi because I don't trust the taxis there.
>What did you do there? I was a fake doctor at a super luxury medical spa. I sold and performed fake stem cell treatments, and other fake luxury skin care magic. I was also in ads for the company in magazines and on tv/youtube. It probably averaged to about 1 hour a day of real work with customers, and I could spend the rest of the day shitposting on 4chan. Since the company I worked for had a clinic in Saigon and Hanoi I was given a free place to stay in both cities and airfare between them about every 3 weeks. It paid pretty well, but was just incredibly slow and boring since there weren't all that many people that could afford our insane prices.
>>970835 >Not really. The war wasnt solely the US vs Vietnam. It was the US and southern Vietnam forces vs northern Vietnam(viet cong) and communist backed leaders. I'm sure everyone here grasped that tautology going into this argument. >82% of vietnamese people polled said they had a positive view of Americans as of 2013. The last year a government survey of its kind was conducted. Which is not evidence supporting your claim the the US saved that country. A self-contradictory statement on your part, since you call it a shit whole. >If the Vietnam war never happened, vietnam would be a communist shit hole much like north korea. That's a laughably facile assertion fallacy, flying in the face of the US leaving, South Vietnam unifying with North Vietnam, and socialism occurring there without being even remotely similar to DPRK.
>>970891 >Haven't you had people come after your neck for that? Not really. The police did come into our clinics several times, a few times at random, and a few times after a women died during a boob job in another similar type of clinic and they were cracking down on all the shady beauty spas. I never got in any real trouble though, a manager would always tell me to go leave or hide or take off my lab coat and just say I was one of the employees boyfriends hanging out there. The inspections were always a bit lazy and half-assed and were probably more looking for a bribe than to arrest anyone.
As far as customers being upset, yeah it happened occasionally, but they were middle aged Vietnamese women, usually wasting their husbands money, and couldn't really say much to me since I don't speak more than a few words of Vietnamese. It's not like our treatments were totally ineffective, they just didn't do nearly as much as we'd say, and they were probably about 10x more expensive than they were worth.
>>970902 >socialism occurring there without being even remotely similar to DPRK It is interesting to wonder how it would have turned out if the referendum was honoured, even with the rigged results in the south. Uncle Ho won that hands down, even with the south getting more votes than people in many provinces.
How would Ho have handled things without a way? As it was, a lot of southern elites got persecuted, which is why there were cyclo drivers with texan accents for ages, because it was the only job that anyone with contact with US forces could do.
He learnt his socialism in Paris for the most part, a little COMINTERN but he wasn't an idiot and knew it was brain-washing and propaganda. If he never needed to suck the USSR's teat during a war then he'd have had a lot of independence and he was NEVER going to adopt Maoist policies since half the streets are named after heroes who fought the Chinese.
I think they had agricultural collectives that led to some famine and they did kill a bunch of people but whether that would happened with a peaceful unification is unclear. Nothing on the scale of the great leap forward or the cultural revolution.
>>971000 >brain-washing and propaganda implying capitalism isn't, and I'm not even bum burned that you said this. I almost never trip, but I wanted to sign this post.
>inb4 implying I support DPRK or Iran or any other of the looney tune states. Just saying Vietnam (and to a degree Cuba) went relatively well as far as 20th century experiments in socialist transition went >at least they didn't uphold the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie >or yanqui imperialismo
>>971074 I'm >>970881 and I'd say the English level is a little better in Saigon, but it's not a huge difference. It's not really a factor I'd make any plans based on.
>which one will you be less bothered by hustlers and people trying to rip you off and steal your money This really depends on how long you're going to be there and what you're trying to do. You'll be approached and hassled a bit more on the street in Saigon, especially in the tourist area, but most of it's relatively harmless and easy to ignore. Where the real issues are is when you do actually need to buy or rent something. If it's something common and you know what a reasonable price is, you'll have a much easier time getting that price in Saigon. In Hanoi you'll quickly develop a nice ohthisshitagain.jpg reaction to all the negotiations you're in where people are trying to quote you prices like it's your first day in Asia, and are insistent when you make a reasonable counter-offer. Just always remember to bargain hard and don't worry about offending them, these aren't street kids begging in Cambodia, they're adults and know what they're doing. You will have to walk away from more people in Hanoi without them ever agreeing to a decent price. This shit is most common when renting a motorbike, buying clothes, electronics, taxi rides, and a few other things. You'll find fixed prices and western style service much easier in Saigon.
As far as street crime, as a guy you're biggest risk is probably hookers, or girls that act like hookers and try to touch/grope you on the street and pickpocket you. I've also heard of guys on bikes snatching bags and phones off people, but they tend to pick on women it seems.
Going to stop in Hanoi for a few days. I've been looking at the LP guide and am interesting in doing a daytrip somewhere. Some possibilities that popped up are the Perfume Pagoda and Ninh Binh and the regions around it. Anyone have experience with these? Other recommendations for daytrips from Hanoi?
>>971214 >girls that act like hookers and try to touch/grope you on the street and pickpocket you I had a guy dressed very, very badly as a girl pull that in Saigon. LP had specifically listed the scam and I was fore-warned.
>>971352 >Perfume Pagoda I did that, it was kind of fun. Take a boat up a river then hike up a mountain (on a path, with people trying to sell you shit on the way..., not such an adventure). The top has a cave temple that is kind of cool.
Went to Vietnam with a Vietnamese friend for a month back in 2013.
>flew into hanoi >friend says slip $20 into passport to get through security faster instead of standing around waiting while they bullshit >stayed in hanoi for the night >next day fly to hcmc >hour into the flight they turn around because there was a storm or some shit and we were in a small plane >get back and take train >gave a guy extra cash to get on the next one >finally get to hcmc >friends cousin is there to pick us up >drive to nha trang >stayed in a nice hotel right by the beach for like $30 a night >beach was fun as shit >except dudes hounding you to fuck hookers and shit (i did a couple times lel) >met some aussies and brits on the beach >partied with those crazy fuckers >friends family lived about 30mins away >stayed at his hometown for a week >fucking based beer deliverly and these mothafuckas just downing shit >best goddamn fuckin pho I've ever had >ate at this place damn near everyday I was there >went fishing at this lake tucked away (cont.)
>>971485 >watched a cock fight go down >everyone nice as shit >then we take a bus to da lat >on the way there bus driver stops to take a piss >we're on the mountains >the scene was fucking beautiful man, like a goddamn fucking painting >and ive been to a lot of places >nothing compares to take crisp air and that view >finally get there >its fun, nothing too special >played a lot of pool/snooker >fucking hiked to a waterfall >it was nice but i wouldnt do it again >there for a week, then went back >last week in nha trang >fun continues >partying with other tourist and shit >spend last couple days in hcmc
Overall a 7/10 trip. The hassle of getting to our destination and the bribing is what brings it down. I'm glad I went with my friend who did all the translating and stuff, probably wouldn't have had as much fun if I didn't. He says he going again in sometime in 2016, I'm probably gonna go again.
>>971487 ya man, there are assholes all over the beach looking to take you to them, I think they get a cut or something. It'll range from $20-$100 depending on the girl you choose, also check if they charge for the room. Me and an Aussie I was with almost got into it with one of the pimps, (charged an extra $20 each for the rooms after the fact) but my friend talked him down to just $20 for both of us.
>>971490 I'm American, I just partied with Aussies who were there. I didn't go there with the intent to fuck hookers. One thing lead to another and we decided, fuck it why not. Some of the hoes were hella pretty too.
>>971451 6 weeks in Vietnam wouldn't be too much, but I would go to Cambodia for part of that instead. I thought Angkor Wat was really one of the most impressive things to see in all of South East Asia, and Phnom Penh has a post-apocalyptic / wild west feel that you don't really get anywhere else.
>>971805 Fucking lol. I'm the dude that lived there for 2 years and Vietnamese use the names interchangeably and randomly. I've heard Saigon is only supposed to refer to District 1 now, but nobody actually uses it that way.
>>971869 >I'm the dude that lived there for 2 years sure, ANON
>I've heard Saigon is only supposed to refer to District 1 now, but nobody actually uses it that way Strange you should say that, since my Vietnamese Wife uses it that way with her family. Saigon means the downtown area of HCMC.
While were anon'ing our history, I've been to Vietnam many times, our home there is in Binh Thanh district and the only people I hear saying Saigon in reference to HCMC are wanna-be-hipster-tourists.
>>971870 >Saigon is easier True, but it isn't accurate when describing places that were outside of the old Saigon city limits.. They simply just didn't rename the city -- it was a merger with a HUGE province & the small city.. Cu Chi is now in HCMC when it was many miles outside of Saigon..
Think of it this way: Combine the city of Boston with the state of Massachusetts and call the result Liberalville.
>>971905 >wife says she's going from her home in Binh Thanh district to Saigon? I'm not sure what your asking, but she hardly ever uses the term Saigon. Always HCMC between us. If you mean to travel from the house to lets say the (now gone) Tax Plaza, she would say shes going to District 1, or if she wants to go to the Cresent Mall she would say district 7.
>Yeah, I'm not buying that, comrade lots of Anon talk shit. you're free to assume I am as well, but don't think I give a shit.
>>971918 No, I believe you from how you say she talks. I just don't believe many people actually use the term Saigon to only refer to D1, and the only people that get upset about it are autists and communist party officials. Some people do always say HCMC to refer to the whole city, some people randomly say HCMC or Saigon.
When and why did they close tax center? It was still there when I was there a year ago. It's a shame how they try to tear down or cover up all the older interesting looking buildings there.
>>972456 >they're better quality tailoring? To be honest, they're sub-standard quality tailoring but it's dirt cheap so that doesn't matter so much.
Lots of people get in the habit of taking a holiday there every few years to refill their wardrobe. That way the suit only has to last a few years and you can throw it away.
Once half the stuff you bought is falling apart...it's time for another Vietnamese holiday.
That said, some of the stuff I bought is really good quality, you have to inspect the seams a lot, make sure you're dealing with a saleswoman who understands what you want, have the time to get things adjusted because the sizes won't be right the first time.
If you're used to it all and you know which shops are decent (i.e. farm it out to a sweatshop outside town that has decent guys sewing in it) then you can get great stuff at cheap prices.
When I went there, I went around and had a shirt made at several different places to compare quality, diligence etc. The ones that managed to fill all my requests and didn't have buttons falling off the shirts and the seams were double-stiched...I went back to.
Always go to the edge of the shopping area though, the stuff in the centre of town has seen you coming and has tourists lined up a dozen long behind you. Get someone that really needs your money because they'll take care of you better. Especially if you don't order everything up front, get one thing made, check it out, order some more things, then some more etc. If they have to milk the money out of you over a few days then they'll work for it and you'll get good results while they get paid, win-win.
If you want something really weird then they'll try but your results might vary...my leather pants didn't work out well though the vinyl ones were quite good for a while.
Be aware that your size might change while travelling, I lose weight, my waist shrinks from eating better and my thighs shrink from cycling less. When I get back home, my pants don't fit as well because the waist and thighs are tight for different reasons. I could barely button up one suit I bought there.
The other thing is that Hoi An also specialises in freight, so ship all those clothes home by sea-mail then continue on your trip, they'll arrive home a few weeks after you do and it will be like christmas with a box every few days while they all come in. Your hotel can arrange that sort of stuff, so can the tailor probably...it's all cheap so I wouldn't worry about the commission too much. Some girls will come over to your place by Xe Honda with scales and boxes and packaging material and weight, pack and ship it for you.
>>972996 >You should already have Hepatitis A antibodies from getting it when younger Confirmed for not white. Sorry. Only 3rd worlders get the Hep A as kids nowadays. Everybody else needs their shots to get immunity.
>>973023 >Confirmed for not white. Sorry. false >Only 3rd worlders get the Hep A as kids nowadays. emphasis on nowadays, I'm an oldfag and not in the 4chan sense >doesn't exist which is what I was saying in response to bro asking about that very thing
The tone of your post sucked, man, this is /trv/, chillax, burn one down if you need to.
>>972996 >already have Hepatitis A antibodies from getting it when younger Any real traveller (tm) and even a lot of more civilised backpackers will have hep A antibodies just from eating a bad meal somewhere in asia/africa.
For fuck's sake, get Hep B vaccinations though. It's easy, cheap and the disease is nasty and pretty common, it's harder to catch than Hep A but you basically get it the same way, contaminated food will do it. Unsafe sex is more common, you could get it giving oral to someone or possibly even making out with them.
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