Ho Chi Minh City
Posted 05 May 2014 - 08:51 AM
Cambodia: A visit to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is a must. Lots of modern hotels near this 900 year old ancient city. In Phnom Penh, make sure to visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21 which was a school converted into a prison where Khmer people were tortured and later executed by the Khmer Rouge. And make sure to visit the Russian market. In the Killing Fields, you will be able to actually see bone fragments all around and the temptation to bring home a piece as a souvenir may enter your mind. But remember, these were bones once belonged to human beings so out of respect for the dead, try to resist the urge to bring home a piece of bone. BTW you can drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in about 7 hours. Driving will give you an idea of what the Cambodian countryside looks like.
Vietnam: If you plan to visit South Vietnam, make sure to visit the War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly called Saigon) which will give you the history of the Vietnam war from the Vietnamese point of view. Also visit the Cu Chi tunnels about an hour's drive from Saigon. This is where the Vietcong hid underground to evade detection by American forces. They slept, ate, studied, made weapons, etc. in these underground tunnels. You will also see how the Vietcong made booby traps.
In North Vietnam, if you visit Hanoi, you can visit the Hoa Lo Prison, dubbed the "Hanoi Hilton" by Americans who were incarcerated there. Lots of war museums featuring American aircraft shot down by the Vietnamese. Visit the tomb of Ho Chi Minh (Uncle Ho) (no photographs allowed).
Whether you're in North Vietnam or South Vietnam, be very careful crossing the street. The main means of transportation there is by motorcycle/scooter and there are millions of them. When crossing, do not hesitate but walk straight. The drivers will go around you. If you hesitate and panic and take a step back, it will result in an accident. So be very careful as there are so many motorcycles which form an endless line. Also be warned that traffic rules virtually do not exist in Vietnam. Since you're 5 best to take an Innova taxi which is more difficult to find than the smaller cabs. Of course having a coaster with a tour guide is the best since the guide can explain things to you from the history of Vietnam, to where to buy your groceries.
Just came back from Saigon, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap last week. Not only are the historical places more well-kept than those in the Philippines, but they also seem to "look up" to Filipinos as people from a richer country. Many Vietnamese shopkeepers, even sidewalk vendors, know a word or two of Tagalog. When haggling, pretend to walk away. They'll say something like "bili na, mura na," or "may tawad pa." Funny because it's a Vietnamese saying it, but also probably because there are so many Filipino tourist dollars to be earned.
The night markets in both countries are worth a traipse through. I actually felt more safe walking the streets of Saigon and Siem Reap at night than I would in any part of Metro Manila outside the Fort or Makati. Heck, I don't even feel that safe walking from Makati Avenue to Glorietta at night. Better not go with the packaged tours, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and other historical sites are just too huge for an hour or two's sightseeing. Fly to Siem Reap, rent a bike from your hotel, follow the tourist trail to Angkor and other sites. Directions to the sites are easy enough to follow.
Re: hospitality, Cambodians are on a par with Filipinos at hospitality. They might not have the English proficiency Pinoys have, but just about everyone I met, even those small shopkeepers, went out of their way to make me feel very welcome, even if I only bought items of very little value. If the Philippines doesn't get its tourism game up, Cambodians might soon overtake us, just as Thailand was behind us in the 1990s but has overtaken us now.
Posted 21 May 2014 - 04:34 PM
Posted 17 July 2014 - 06:15 PM
Posted 01 October 2014 - 06:26 PM
Posted 14 October 2014 - 01:09 AM
Which one is better for vacation, ho chi minh or hanoi?
Haven't been to Ha Noi or North Vietnam for that matter.
But i've been to South Vietnam last August and I suggest going to Nha Trang and Da Lat.
Nha Trang is their Boracay equivalent.
ONLY, it is way, way, cleaner and serene in Nha Trang.
Ok, the sand is not powder white and fine, but really, the cleanliness did it for me.
Imagine Roxas Blvd IF, IF, IF it was really, really, really clean.
I mean the hotels, the bars, the shops, are across the street. Yes you have to cross the street to get to the beach.
That, I suppose, makes it clean.
Plus the luxurious Vinpearl can be reached through cable car.
Da Lat is their Baguio counterpart, but way, way, cooler, quieter and more romantic.
The city was founded, built, colonized and developed by the French, so baguettes are their staple bread.
Find a tour that will get you to the Central Highlands.
You asked for vacation, these are my 2 cents worth...
Sai Gon (when in Viet Nam, call it how the locals do) is literally like Metro Manila. Literally.
There's a place in District 1 like Ermita/Malate where you see most tourists, bars, clubs, souvenir shops, budget hotels and backpackers inns (i know coz my sister and I stayed in one).
Oh, but there's also a place like Makati and The Fort. This is their business district, i suppose. This is where the high end shops are, ala Greenbelt 5 and Bonifacio High Street.
Then there's a place in District 3 which reminded me of Divisoria, Quiapo, Sta Cruz with its long stretch of bargain stalls.
Get what i mean? Spend 1-2 days in Sai Gon if you must. That should cover it.
Then move up to Nha Trang for a tan line. And cool down at Da Lat for a little peace and quiet.
Posted 14 October 2014 - 01:15 AM
Good place to stay in ho chi minh?
Depends how much you're willing to spend.
PM me if you need further suggestions.
My travel agent is a good hearted lady willing to work on whatever budget you have.
P.S. prices of commodities hike up during the Tet. this is their official biggest holiday. this happens around january,
followed by the chinese new year shortly after. if youre budget travellers, visit during the low season (july-october).
Posted 23 January 2015 - 10:30 PM
Posted 06 February 2015 - 10:24 AM
sa HCMC madalang ka makakita ng mataba na babae, sexy din sila manamit lahat ng nagpupunta sa bar.
Posted 31 July 2015 - 01:46 PM
after my singapore trip this year, this will be my next destination next year.
Posted 27 August 2015 - 10:01 PM
any recommendation for a cheap hostel? yung maraming night life..ill go next year
Posted 31 August 2015 - 02:46 AM
mag kano damage for 3 days stay,im not into shopping sight seeing food and night life
Posted 31 August 2015 - 02:53 AM
went to vietnam and cambodia last week. share ko lang coz u myt be interested on this getaway. departed mnl to saigon via cebupac flt 5j751 around 11pm and arrive ho chi minh city (saigon) 12mn (vietnam time), we are ahead of 1hr sa present time nila dun. stayed first at departure area of the airport coz wil get the 1st bust trip to phnom penh, kingdom of cambodia ng 6am, terminals opened at 5am. kung bakit sa departure area kami kz its much cheaper ang cab fare compare dun sa arrival area. 7$ ang bayad sa taxi from the airport and would take 20-30mins to the city. conversion ng USD to vietnam dong is 1$ = 17400 dong. its better to change ur money sa airport and use the dong kesa sa dollar kasi mas makakamura ka though USD e tanggap na tanggap nila. at around 6am, we boarded Sapaco Bus, its the most recommended bus line na nagtatravel from saigon to phnom penh, fare is 12USD. it would take 2hrs from saigon to the border of cambodia. wala nga lang sistema yung immigration ng vietnam dun so approx mga 1hr kami sa border bago na process at dumiretso na sa immigration ng cambodia. mas maayos dun kaya while waiting for the passport eh tuloy na stop over to take our lunch. just in case di mo magustuhan ang foods kasi mejo maaalat at maaanghang yung nga luto nila its better to bring foods na gusto niyo sa trip. its better pa din to change ur money to cambodian riel (1$ = 4000 riel), dun sa border pwede naman magpalit. from the border it would take 4 -5hrs more before makarating sa phnom penh. sa phnom penh madali maghanap ng hotel, ung budget hotel nila, my hot & cold bath, ac, and other service would cost around 15$ -20$. dun kami nagstay sa town view hotel, single room is 15$ per day, clean, nice and secure yung place. dami mapupuntahan sa city like the royal palace, mag casino sa nagaworld, kumain ng streetfoods sa downtown, bumili ng souvenirs sa russian market.. hotels could recommend naman ng mapupuntahan, mejo nga lang mahirap makipag usap ng ingles kasi para silang ngongo mag ingles.
afetr 3 days at cambodia e we went back to vietnam. from pangulaw street, kung san kami ibinaba ng bus eh dun matatagpuan ang sandamukal na hotel sa saigon. rate are from 10$ -100$ depende sa trip. saigon is a nice city, sarap makipagbaratan sa ben thanh market, kumain ng street foods at gumala. ingat lang sa pagtawid kasi sa dami ng motor dun eh baka ma side sweep. they have this bad traffic rules kasi motorcycles there are like snakes, singit lang ng singit. we avail ng tours nila, kadalasan kasi ng mga hotels dun e they have tour packages like the cu chi tunnel, mekong delta river, floating market.. rates are from 5$ to as much as 25$ depende sa trip. daming turista sa saigon kala ko nga europe eh.
if you guys are planning on this kind of trip, pm me. myt giv u more tips. this is also the same post that i made sa cambodia.
bro mag kano damage mo? mas ok ata sa siem riep sa cambodia..balak ko din vietnam-cambodia?ok ba night life doon
Posted 01 August 2016 - 05:57 PM
May nadaanan kami dati na 5star hotel. Sofitel Saigon, pero parang sobrang highend.
Posted 11 August 2016 - 06:37 PM
unlike Singapore and HK kapag may kasama ka bata hindi masyado magenjoy. pero kapag mahilig ka sa history and visiting historical places likes war ruins ok dito. Be ready dahil yung tour ninyo will be more like of a educational fieldtrip
Posted 16 August 2016 - 03:52 PM
i've been to Liberty Hotel Saigon Parkview in Pham Ngu Lao street. Ok din, 3 star hotel. May gym at Massa massa. hehe. Ok ang breakfast buffet, di lang masyado nagpapalit ng food everyday.
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