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!!!