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went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

Brisbane, Australia
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went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

Did a group tour of 6 people in 1998, 3 weeks from saigon to hanoi. loved it. what i liked was the simplicity of the country lovely people, food and sitting on a footpath drinking best coffee ever. thinking of going back (always wanted to) in october for 3 weeks. travel from hanoi, haloing bag, hue, ho an, natrang, saigon/delta. doing all ourselves (partner and i) on a med to low budget. will i find a whole new vietnam? we did siem reap cambodia last year and loved that. think i will love vietnam but will it be the same - i dont think so? your thoughts?

Llanbrynmair...
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1. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

Well, if you expect it to be the same as in 1998 you will be sorely disappointed. However if you're interested in seeing how the country has progressed since then you might be pretty delighted.

If you think the changes might upset you, you could consider avoiding some of the now very touristy places you list and exploring towns and areas you missed during your first visit and where the changes are less visible. There are loads of fascinating destinations away from the standard tourist trail.

ireland
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2. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

I visited again last year after 12 years and the only disappointment was Saigon, it had turned into a built up city and some places were not recognisable from the last time but I guess that is to be expected. It still had a great buzz about it though!

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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3. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

I've been coming to Vietnam once or twice a year since 1993 and my experience is that it changes noticeably every year. At least in the cities and along the tourist tracks, less so in the country. Sitting on a quiet street corner having a coffee is going to be difficult in large cities. But the coffee still tastes great!

Cologne, Germany
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4. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

I came back after ten years this year. Of course there are many changes

- infrastructure improved a lot

- much more tourism of course (e.g. Halong bay, Hoi An, Sapa, Mui Ne are very touristy), take not the be overruned by these loudless electric tourist cars ;)

- some prices rised five times or more (e.g. Halong bay), other are still nearly the same cheap (e.g. budget hotels, Bia Hoi)

- cities changed, HCMC is much more modern with lots of shopping malls and Nha Trang is totally ugly along the main beach with very big hotels

- train HCMC to Hanoi needs only half of the time today

- many things are as you remember them, people are lovely, food is great

- villages are still the same, many places like Hué didn't change a lot

- Hanoi has it's old charm, for me one of the most interesting cities in Asia

Over all I was not disappointed, I would go again! Have a nice trip.

Edited: 10 August 2013, 11:16
Italy
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5. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

You might be a bit shocked as to how many more motorcycles there are but it will be interesting to see what and how things have changed and hopefully you'll get back to us with your thoughts.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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6. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

Nothing remains the same - including Vietnam. It's now far wealthier, but in the rural areas very little has changed except for all the cell phones and motorbikes (push bikes are rare these days). The big cities are fast becoming Bangkok lookalikes! Coming in from the USA, I find VN to be a real breath of fresh air (love the outgoing people, especially the kids). What you will not like is the terrible traffic - the highways have become dangerous places (avoid the terrible open tour sleeperbuses).

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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7. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

Don't take daawgon's fresh air literally. The country suffers from air and other pollution.

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

Thank you all for your thoughts. Am keen to go and see for myself. I think seeking out some not so touristy areas is a good idea. This info has helped me with my itinerary.

leicester
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9. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

I first went 18 years ago and felt like that in 2009 on my first return trip. I found the atmosphere similar, the people just as friendly though not as curious about westerners anymore and prices seemed to be about the same as well. It still has charm, and weirdly when you do return you may not remember your last visit so vividly as new experiences take over.

10. Re: went 15years ago will i be disappointed?

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