View Single Post
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2009, 03:47 PM
Lil' Lori's Avatar
Lil' Lori Lil' Lori is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 737
I promised Dave that I would post a review of Vietnam, so here goes my best try. We flew on Cathay Pacific, and the service was exceptional. We stayed 4 nights in Hong Kong. It reminded me of London- Asian style. Lots of reminders of the British ruling there. They drive on the opposite side, like Britain. The city was very expensive for lodging and food. We mostly ate at cheap restaurants. We usually ate some sort of rice or noodle dishes, some places did not even give you silverware, just chopsticks. There are many famous high end restaurants there, where you can spend $300-500 on dinner for two, if you like. We did not even consider that. We booked a 5 star hotel on Priceline for $200/night and got the Marriott on Hong Kong Island. The Marriott wanted $400/night on there website. There were no problems with check in. The hotel was under construction, but only on the 21st floor, during the day, we never heard any noise. We used public transportation, it was very easy and cheap to get around. The signs are also posted in english. We had 4 full days in HK. We spent usually 10-12 hours a day sightseeing the island. We felt that 4 days was enough for us. We were not there to shop, but to see the sights. You can tell there is alot of money in that city. Lots of high end cars driving around, and lots of women wearing fur coats. We then flew 1 hour to Hanoi, Vietnam. In Vietnam we did with a tour group, with Gap Adventures recommended in Nat Geo mag. Vietnam was wonderful. The majority of the population are in there early to mid 20s. The government has been doing "education programs" with the school kids regarding the Vietnam war, they refer to it as the "American war". The govt is basically telling them to try to get over what happened to their country, and look to the future. The people were very nice and gracious. The australians are there #1 tourist, so they seemed surprised when we told them we were from america. One person actually thanked us for "coming to my country" he said. Pretty much none of the people spoke english, unless they worked in a restaurant, or the tourist industry. Even then, their english wasn't always that good, we had to talk very simple at times. You could tell the people have a great sense of humor, you could often tell they were teasing each other. We went to Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh city/HCMC (Saigon). Our flight into Hanoi got rescheduled, so we got into Hanoi about 8 hours later, than we had originally booked. So, that blew sightseeing for that day. I did liked Hanoi (what little time we spent there) better then HCMC, it was less chaotic. We went to Halong Bay, on a overnight junk boat. That was wonderful. It is definately a must do if you are ever in that neck of the world. The highlight of our trip, was finding the area where my dad camped, when he was stationed there during the war. We hired a private car, driver and interpreter for $175 for about a 13 hour day trip. We only knew the town, and a few landmarks to look for. We found the town and landmarks. A man who lived there seemed curious as to what we were doing there, we were very off the beaten path. We explained it to him, and he was very happy to show us area were "the americans camped. He was 10 yrs old when my dad was camped there. They were very patient with us, they really helped us find where the campsite was. Vietnam was VERY cheap. Were were eating at nice restaurants, there version of nice, with 3 and 4 course meals, 2 drinks a person and we never paid more than $27 US. The souvenirs are very cheap. Overall, Vietnam was fabulous and cheap. We always felt safe. The people there were talking about how much Vietnam has changed in the last few years. I was reading on BBC website, that HCMC just approved a light rail system to be installed over the next few years. So if you want to go, go soon. I would not suggest going during their monsoon season. We were there in the dry season, and it was still pretty wet, flooded rice paddies everywhere. We even got rain a few days. Well, if you have any specific questions, just ask me. I will try to answer them. Thanks, Lil'Lori

Read and post cruise reviews