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I'm going to be travelling to Vietnam soon to stay for 3 weeks and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on what to do?
Also if anyone wants to add me on Skype for a Vietnamese-English exchange (I don't know much), my ID is: michelle.size
it's depend on what kind of tour you want to take, such as at the beach, around cities or at the mountain. I think you should give some ideas.
Hey thank you for replying. I'm interested in doing lots of things.
I'm interested in spending time at the beach, which beaches do you suggest? I'll be travelling all over the country.
I like nature as well and would like to see some countryside too.
I also will be in Ho Chi Min City and Hanoi. I'd like to try Vietnamese cuisine and also see some interesting sights and museums.
You can visit many places in three weeks. If you will be Hanoi first, our capital, you must go to Sword Lake- heart of the city. You probably explore other well-known landscape in Hanoi such as Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, Literature Temple, One Pillar Pagoda, West Lake, History Museum on foot or by cyclo, it is quite cheap. You will absolutly be attracted by Hanoi's cuisine such as "Phở" - Rice noodle soup, "Chả cá" - Grilled fish, "Bánh tôm" shrimp in batter and "Bánh cuốn"- stuffed pancake, so on. Then, you can go to Quang Ninh province (about 150 km from Hanoi) to see one of new seven wonder of the world - Halong bay. You should visit Ninh Binh province, 3 hours drive out of Hanoi, with many sights such Tam Cốc caves, being known as the inland Halong bay and Cúc Phương rainforest - home of rare species (but you will meet visitors mainly hahaha).
To go Ho Chi Minh city, you should go by train to go through many provinces in Vietnam.
Note: You should not stop and show interest in what some street sellers talk you into buying their goods or services. If not, you will buy will exorbitant prices, or you will be treated with no respect when refusing. In additions, you must always beware of lurchers when you are in crowd. However, Do not worry, Vietnamese is very friendly. You can talk to every one and ask for direction. Use your body language and always smile.
I agree with Duc Ton Vinh Lam. I bet he lives in the north of Vietnam so he knows there quite well.
If you want to experience sth traditional, you should spend 2 or 3 days in Ha Noi on visiting Ha Noi old quarter, trying local food, visting old constructions built at feudal periods. Ha Long Bay is great, but I wasnt interested in staying there for so long because there arent so many activities to do.
Warning: except in Hanoi, don't buy accesorries made from pearl or jewel, even if they offer you a discount!
Then you can go to Da Nang, a nice city along the sea. It's a city of bridges. I'm said, Da Nang's beaches are great and secure. [However, I have never been there. Vung Tau beach - a coastal place near HCM city- is more popular for me. So I suggest you do searching about Da Nang]
HCM city is quite young, mordern. Some constructions bearing the stamp of France colonist: Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, Saigon Central Post Office, War Remnants Museum... may interest you. HCM-er likes coffee. We have a cutural habit of enjoying coffee. I think it just takes you 2 days there.
My English teacher from Chicago is quite amazed by the beauty of Mekong Delta's provinces. Its life hier is very Vietnam, with local markets on rivers, rice fields, tropical fruits' gardens...
Warning: there is a local dish call "mắm". It has smell and is strange for foreigners, so please dont try to taste it!
My advice for you: 1/ it's the best for you to go travel with a local friend. He/she'll help you to bargin, avoid being cheated and give you advices for a nice tour. 2/ traveling by car-taxi is more expensive than my a motorbike-taxi, but it's safer, as car-taxi is managed by trustable companies. 3/ buy mineral water for your need.
Hi Hang, I will not bet you. You are absolutely true, for i live in Hanoi. Both your english and advices are very good.
Thank you for your advice. I'm going to try to learn some basic Vietnamese before I go but I'm curious - is it more common to find Vietnamese who speak English or French?
Vietnam was former French colony till 1954, so some people can talk French. However, they are common the old. Some young people say French too, but it is not more popular than English. If you want to find someone speaking english you should find the young like students, who ussually want to speak english to foreigner to improve their pronounciation.