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Advice for holiday to Cambodia and Vietnam

posted 12-9-2014 @ 02:44 PM www
Advice for holiday to Cambodia and Vietnam

Hi there :)

My family and I are going on a month long holiday to Cambodia and Vietnam in December. This will be the first time that my sister and I are going there and it's where my parents are from. So, it's going to be a very emotional time for us as we will be visiting where my parents grew up and will be the last time that my mum would be able to go as she is in 85 this year.

I know that the lovely Lottos group are very well traveled and was hoping for some advice and tips on places to go, stay and what to eat and stay safe health wise as I won't be able to be immunized as I will be pregnant by the time December comes - fingers crossed.

Any advice and tips would be of great help.

thank you :)
posted 12-9-2014 @ 04:05 PM www

I'm jealous rosytangnguyen! I won a trip to Vietnam two years ago and went with my sister. Our 2 weeks were centred around Hanoi & Sapa.

We stayed at The Silk Path Hotel in Hanoi which I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.......clean, quiet and very central in Old Quarter. Went to Water Puppet Show in Hanoi, walked to market and Hoan Kiem Lake. Did a day tour through the hotel of popular sights ie Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Museum Ethnology, Temple of Literature. Really interesting. Also did a cooking school on West Lake. That was fun but perhaps not for you being of Vietnamese heritage. Did find Hanoi too busy for us and the smog overwhelming at times. Crossing the road was truly a life or death experience. In the end we just walked across and hoped nobody collected us! Everyone did the same and it seemed to work.

Spent a few days on a junk on Halong Bay. That was really great. Quite spectacular World Heritage listed area. Tip: pick a smaller boat. Ours only had about 10 people onboard and was really pleasant. However we passed some boats almost as huge as the Queen Mary! We also went kayaking from the junk one afternoon, which was fabulous because it allowed you to get into places the larger boats couldn't. Tour also took us to some massive caves complete with stalitites. Pretty crowded there though with lots of tourists!

Sapa we organised ourselves through an online tour provider. We ended up with a fantastic H'mong private guide. Great English and lovely person. We personalised the itinerary to suit our interests and needs. Still have her contact details and tour company details somewhere if you want. She took us to on walking tours of area ie Taffin Village, Cat Cat Village, Silver Falls and Bac Hi market. Stayed at the Victoria Hotel. Highly recommend but quite expensive compared to others. Loved Sapa.............clean air and not as frantic like Hanoi.

Anyhow hope this is of some help. Enjoy your trip.
posted 13-9-2014 @ 12:09 PM www

Thank you soooo much for your advice and tips Tinny21!!! :)

Sapa looks absolutely amazing and i think that we must definitely do that bit of Vietnam. Looks very utterly romantic with the stepped rice paddy fields especially. I have never heard of this part of Vietnam so I am quite excited about discovering something new that I haven't seen on the travel shows or books :)

Would it be possible if you gave me the details of the H'Mong private guide Tinny?

At the moment I think that there are 10 people confirmed to go, but it might look like there will be about 20 of us going ranging from 5 years old to 83 so I am doing my best with the planning to suit everyone as possible.

I have even bought the Kikki K Travel Notes planner to help me organize and I have put all of your suggestions into the book already :)

I'm not into crowds and avoid the shops on the w/ends so I hope that I can manage such a busy place as Cambodia and Vietnam.

Oh, and Halong Bay looks absolutely divine!!! :) I have seen it countless times on tv and have always wanted to go there. I will definitely organize a boat just for our little group :) the kayaking sounds quite fun - go pro time :)

Did you feel safe the whole time that you were there Tinny? My vietnamese isn't the best, being second generation, so was language a huge issue for you also?

thank you so much Tinny for your help :)
posted 13-9-2014 @ 02:50 PM www

rosytangnguyen will U2U details
posted 13-9-2014 @ 04:42 PM www

Talk to your doctor about vaccinations, some may be able to be done pregnant or not or you may be able to have them now.

We really enjoyed Hoi Ann, it is truly gorgeous, well worth a visit.

If you are 10 people you can have a junk to yourselves on halong bay, have a look on trip advisor for suggestions and then contact the companies for a quote.

We loved Saigon, stayed at the Rex Hotel, such a lot of history and really lovely rooms. The upstairs bar has a fantastic view of Saigon at night. Very cheap for a 5 star hotel and a great location.

One fun thing we did in Saigon was get our teenagers haircuts at the Toni and Guy salon near the reunification palace. It cost about $25 or $30 for the full shampoo head massage cut and fancy blow dry. I had recently won a similar thing in an Australian Toni and guy salon and it was $250! The staff were lovely and treated my teenagers like royalty. The head stylist insisted on doing my blonde daughters thick long wavy hair and did an awesome job, my daughter was thrilled with the result. A couple of Danish girls came in while my daughter was getting her hair done and got theirs done as well one was transformed from a grotty backpacker to red carpet ready...such fun for a bargain (by our standards) price!
You will have a fantastic time!

posted 13-9-2014 @ 05:21 PM www

Have a wonderful time. I am enjoying reading all the tips as this is on my list. :)
posted 13-9-2014 @ 05:34 PM www

Love reading this too, thanks! :)
posted 13-9-2014 @ 08:06 PM www

wow. thank you Tinny 21 and 3littlepigs :)

I was going to get a haircut here, but i think i can wait till we go to saigon now instead :)

I'm getting more excited reading your suggestions and really getting into the swing of things. :)

Did anyone try the photography places over there? Where you get your hair, makeup and clothes to wear and photo albums and photos to take home? I remember doing that when I was in Indonesia with my sister and thought it would be a nice thing to do with my family.
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