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Traveling Vietnam Alone

atlanta
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Traveling Vietnam Alone

I've looked through this sight and haven't exactly found what I am looking for.

I am traveling by myself (I am a woman) for 12 days in early November. Ill be starting in Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh. I have traveled central and South America on my own and I love sort of winging the trip as i go along. I am new to Southeast Asia and I love the freedom of having an outline of what I want to do but nothing set in stone. I don't like traveling with a group (I dont mind doing group tours once I am there). I am not worried about safety as much as I am about missing out on something because I don't get the right tour guide or miss out on an amazing cultural experience because I dont know the ins and outs of the country. I spoke with a travel agent and she just wouldnt let go of the fact that I wanted to do this on my own insisting I wouldnt get the ultimate experience.....Any advice, thoughts? Is it easy finding a great tour guide once you are there and getting arrangement made last minute? Is it not wise to wing it and see how the trip flows? I am open to all suggestions. Thanks!!!!

UK
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1. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

In my experience, you will have a far better time on your own than on an end-to-end tour. Easy to get to anywhere you want to go - the trick isin knowing where you want to go.

You seem to be doing everything right, apart from only coming for 12 days. If you're already doing Hanoi and Saigon, you'll be limited to only two or three other stops....

Hanoi, Vietnam
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2. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

First of all, you couldn't have picked a safer place to travel - aside from a few well known scams, Vietnam is far safer than Atlanta (few if any guns in VN). The problem as I see it is the 12 short days - Vietnam is not as small as you believe it to be, and as the other poster already said, that means you won't see a great deal. Personally, I would restrict travel to the north where there is more of interest to a traveler.

Sligo, Ireland
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3. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

Agree with previous 2 posters, place is really safe and if you have been to S America solo then you will have no probs in VN :-). Also agree with the 12 days being not enough time so you will need to choose your locations wisely. Would also consider flying internally to save time and is very cheap. If you are sure about Hanoi, i would also suggest Halong bay (weather dependent) and Hoi An is definitely not to be missed - my favorite place in Vietnam. Enjoy

atlanta
10 posts
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4. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

Ok Great info. Thank you for responding! I can only do 12-13 days bc of work however, I havent purchased my ticket yet so I am not stuck on leaving out of Ho Chi Minh. Should I just stay in the north to explore that area more thoroughly and fly back out of Hanoi?When you say choose locations wisely, please expand. I feel like I have the flavor of South America and easily make choices but VN is so out of my realm of what I have experienced. And yes I would definitely consider fly to internally. Thanks in advance :)

UK
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5. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

I'd flick through some guide books at your local bookstore or do some virtual exploring with google to see what takes your fancy. Where to go depends on what interests you. Vietnam has so much...

November is getting towards winter in the North, but would probably still be fine. Check out owee58.com/2011/… for the weather across the country.

Llanbrynmair...
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6. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

I'm by no means a fan of websites that provide simple averages as they disguise the variations you might encounter, especially as far as the north is concerned, where there can be huge differences from day to day, let alone from year to year.

From personal experience of Hanoi for all but the mid-summer months (can't deal with the heat and humidity then), I find the following table entirely accurate in terms of the variations in what you can expect:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanoi#Climate

The last couple of Novembers in the north have been delicious weatherwise, and there are certainly far more places and things to keep you busy there than your 12 days allow.

Llanbrynmair...
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7. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

Too late to include this as an edit to my post above, but I would like to add that as as an independently minded solo female traveller who intensely dislikes being tied into a fixed schedule, I have found winging it in Vietnam to be an absolute doddle from my first visit onwards.

Sydney
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8. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

trisha1313

Plenty of good info flowing for you. One thing you should be concerned about is that Hue, Hoi an and Danang could be in flood at that time of year. It may not necessarily be raining, but the flood waters and swollen rivers can certainly hamper your plans.

I also love winging it when traveling solo but I always book my first and last nights. Nothing worse than wandering the streets looking for accom after long flights.

Good luck,

Mark

Coolum Beach...
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9. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

Hi Guys,

For what it is worth, I went alone to VN in 1998 for 3 months aged 54 years---best thing I ever did!---a great wonderful trip!----I am 5 weeks from being 70 years now, and would never travel with anybody else, take an organized trip, etc. -----I love getting lost, meeting the people ( travelling alone, VN people are not shy and love to talk ). Meet old " regulars" along the way, who come every year! Cannot say I have ever had any great problems!

Do as much reading / research as you can, and off you go!

Good Luck

plover

atlanta
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10. Re: Traveling Vietnam Alone

This has been such great info!!! This is the first time I have posted on Trip Advisor and it actually worked :). This has given me a foundation to work with. I wish I could go for longer but people have trying to convince me to go to Cambodia on the same trip so I am glad I listened to my instincts and stuck to my rule, one country at a time. Also glad to hear the winging in VM is a doodle!!! :) I really appreciate all the feedback. I will get back to you when I figure out my plan.

Thanks again!!!