End of the journey: Our TipsAugust 22, 2017 in Vietnam
At the end of our Journey we reached Hanoi and finally have some time to relax, reflect and summarise things to give advise to people planning a trip to Vietnam.
So, here we go. The list may be updated later if I forgot something:
1. Use the sleeper Busses. Most of them are awesome and comfortable. If you have long legs check if you can make a seat reservation in a booking agency
2. Always ask where the bus leaves to calculate total cost and ask where exactly the bus will stop. In our case we took the bus to Ninh Binh but it stopped in Tam Coc, 7 km away. At night. No chance to get a taxi to our Hostel.
3. Booking.com is great. Compare prises with Agoda but take care about Service fees @agoda when booking
4. Find out what time the Guided tours leave and then take a Motorbike or a Motorbike driver to reach the sight when there are only few busses there
5. If the sights are not too far away, think about getting a rental bike. Esp. In Hoi An. Also check if Bikes are available in your Hostel / Homestay etc.
6. if sights are further away see 4. Esp. In Phong Nha the Motorbike ride intensified the whole trip.
7. See Paradise Cave! It's my favourite
8. Take care of you belongings but never be afraid. We had absolutly no problem at all and never a bad feeling.
9. Wild Dogs can be annoying. Esp. During night or in the evening they tend to protect their places. So do not walk around in the dark unless you know how to handle them. We don't but we did walk around and it gave us some bad moments.
10. If you walk through Vietnam with a Smile most people will like you. We where never fooled or tricked. The change was always correct and we had great times with local families and even played with their Kids.
11. Some sights are reachable via public bus. See our Tour to Cu Chi
12. I would always recommend to check options to a tour first. We found - and many people we met - that a guided tour is nearly always worse then starting on your own. Overcrowded, limited time, awful busses, etc.
13. Check Transportation at your Hostel / Homestay first and then compare prices. It can be a big advantage to be fetched directly at your Hostel and the price may not be too high.
14. Most homestays give you the possibility of taking a shower even if you are already checked out. Ask for it. It feels much better to get into a Bus cleaned, then full of sweat after a tour day.
15. Save you money for Halong Bay. I would recommend 1 night - since we did so. If you are lucky you can upgrade your room easily directly on the boat for a good price ( if rooms are free )
16. When buying things: Haggle. Always. Never accept the first price ( unless it really says fixed price ). Always negotiate a better price. In our case we found that at least 1/2 is possible in many cases.
17. Download Offline Maps on your phone to follow the routes of the taxi driver and mark your hotel / sight in the map to show them. In most cases we had to show them where we wanted to go and they realised that we now where he will be driving.
18. Learn some basic vietnamese words. People will react more friendly and open to you.Read more