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had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

Sydney, Australia
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had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

hi ... my husband (american) and i (vietnamese-american) just came back from viet nam (saigon and nha trang). i was born in viet nam and have not been back for 31 years. let me begin by saying that i am very picky and detail-oriented ... much of a type-A personality! when planning for the trip, i did not know where to start. my main goal was to try to find the homes we lived in as well as experience the culture and daily lives of the local people - my people!

i must have researched so many websites, travel blogs, and message forums ... and got so many different tours, guides, trips, etc ... with rather outrageous prices for a country as viet nam. i finally came upon this forum and was in luck. through talking with other travelers, we found a private guide who turned out to be a gem. he was university educated and his english was very easy to understand - how great was that? even more impressive was his extensive knowledge of the history of viet nam, its people and the wars they fought - which was a bonus for my husband. any question you had - this guy spit it out at a lightning speed along with pictures and videos - all in the comfort of a nice air-conditioned car.

we loved our trip so much - we can't wait to come back. it became very emotional for us as we saw all that has happened to this land/people ... good and bad. the people are so hard-working.

with our guide - it was so flexible. whatever you wanted to plan yourself - you did ... we planned our stay at park hyatt (the best) and most of our own dining. whatever you wanted to see - you got it. you wanted luxury or local flare - you got it. fine dining or local eateries - you got it. to top it off - the guy had a great personality.

i hope everyone who comes to viet nam enjoys it as much as we did ... and if you haven't gotten a chance .. you need to! this country seems to be changing every year. oh, i forgot - nha trang is viet nam's riviera - so beautiful with their beaches!!!

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1. Re: had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

I too have just returned from a 14 day trip to Saigon, Hoi An and Hanoi after 34 years. It was a fantastic trip. All of the people were warm and welcoming. I too benefited from the advise on this forum. I used Tonkin Travel for the northen 2 cities and can not say enough good about them. The only advise I would give some one considering the trip is go now!

The Country is being overrun by development. Vietnam as we knew it years ago will sooon be gone. We stayed in $40 a night hotels and loved them. Tonkin Travel ensured we were in the right ones. Staying in the more expensive hotels would have only detracted from the experience. The worst hotel we stayed in was the La Quinta Inn in Los Angeles upon our return.

Florida
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2. Re: had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

Thank Annepowel for sharing with us.

I can't wait to visit your motherland, Vietnam. I have heard more about Vietnam, especially Nha Trang. I plan to visit Vietnam in December this year.

You are very pleased with your private guide. I would like to contact him for my trip in December. Does he has a website or an email address ?

Thank you for your kind reply,

Bruce,

3. Re: had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

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Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

bruce ... oh - i just realized you're from florida. we have a home in key biscayne, and my husband grew up in west palm beach - so you will definitely love the weather in december!

Florida
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5. Re: had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

Thank Annepowel for your 2 replies.

I have one question for you. Which hotel did you stay in Nha Trang last trip ?

You are right. I would like to visit Nha Trang in December because I know that the weather is so perfect there.

Best regards,

Bruce

Sydney, Australia
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56 posts
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6. Re: had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

hi bruce - sorry for the late reply ... we have been on a safari in south africa so no access to internet. we stayed at www.asiaparadisehotel.com in nha trang. just opened in december ... so new and very clean. if you get the tour guy to book it directly - i think he gets a little better deal, but either way - good value for your money. you can rent motorbikes just next door - a must! my husband knew how to ride one of those honda so it was a great way to explore the city.

the "top-ranked" hotels in nha trang were a little on the "going-down" with the appearance and service (ana mandara, sunrise). evason hideaway was too pricey and far. vin pearl was on an island so you had to wait for a ferry each time you wanted to go inland.

however, by the time you get there in december - they should be opening some new hotels that are under construction now.

it really depends on what you're looking for. hope this helps.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

also - asia paradise is 5 minute walk from the beach, 1 minute from great restaurants, and half a minute from a laundermatte. so bonus all around.

Florida
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8. Re: had an awesome trip to viet nam (1st time back in 31 years)

Thank Annepowel for your kind replies.

Enjoy your holiday in South Africa !

If I have any questions, I will need your help

Bruce