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Old 03-26-2006, 06:17 AM
SL Bronco SL Bronco is offline
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Default Going to Vietnam

My wife and I are going in May, by ourselves working directly with a Vietnamese travel agency. This will be my fourth time. We've been to Saigon and environs, Cu Chi, Ben Cat, the Delta, Vung Tau, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Danang, Hue, Quang Ngai. Any suggestions about other places? We're considering Nha Trang or Dalat.
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:20 AM
Robert J Ryan
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Dalat is beautiful. Don't know much about Nha Trang. I hope you enjoy your return trip to Nam.
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:37 AM
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Default Definately Dalat

Kath and I were in Nam in NOV05. It was our second trip, and we used a V'namese travel agency. It's owned by the cousin of a friend of mine here. First class treatment all the way. I can hook you up, if you haven't found one yet.

I don't know how long you plan on staying in-country, but I would make Dalat a must-see. It's like no other place you've been to in VN; from the weather, to the people. It sits at about 5,000' and in NOV we wore light jackets the whole time there. The V'namese ran around in stocking caps and down coats :ek: . Because it's been a resort city for over 100yrs., the locals hardly give you a second glance. There were no aggressive panhandlers or street urchins dogging us as we walked down the street.

Dalat is a hilly city that surrounds a man-made lake in the center of it. There's a beautiful golf course next to it, if that's your game. There are pedal boats to cruise the lake in, if you want. It was too windy to do this when we were there, so we took a horse carriage ride around it instead.

Dalat was founded by a frenchman in the late 1890's as a resort area for the French and rich V'namese to come to to escape the heat and humidity of Saigon, so the city architecture is predominately French, complete with a miniature Eiffel Tower that doubles as a radio tower. They light it up at night. There is also alot of the newer V'namese mansions around, plus several beautiful Buddhist temples. It also has one of the largest Catholic cathedrals that we saw in VN. There are many sidewalk cafes to sit and drink the strong local coffee that The Highlands are now famous for or, like me, sit and eat a great $1.00 cheeseburger and drink a Tiger beer and watch the pretty girls in their ao dais walk by.

Dalat is probably the most laid-back city in VN. It supports a large artist colony of painters, silk thread embroidery artists, writers, poets, and various folk artists. A tour of the silk thread embroidery factory is a must-see. The city is Vietnam's version of Sedona, AZ, or Carmel, CA without the ocean.

Another must-see in the area is one of the several waterfalls nearby. These are great day trips that you can make arrangements with your tour company to go see, or any of the local motorbike tour guides would be more than willing to take you to, if you want a little adventure on the way.

As far as a beach resort city, I would recommend Mui Ne over Nha Trang. I've been to both. All of the resort hotels in Nha Trang are across the street from the beaches. The ones in Mui Ne are vitrtually right on the beach. Most of them are newer with more amenities.

My NUMBAH 1 beach resort recommendation though, would be Phu Quoc Island off the southern coast in the Gulf Of Thailand. Beautiful 5 star hotels, beautiful, clean beaches, and the island is still pretty much intact, environmentaly. The whole interior is pretty much a preserve, so the mountain rainforest hasn't been logged out and still supports an abundance of wildlife. You have a good chance of seeing monkeys in the wild, for example. During the war, there was a large POW camp run by the ARVNs on the north end of the island, so the island was spared the ravages of bombings, shellings, agent orange, etc.. There is an airport on the island, so you can fly in and out from Saigon for about $50.00 for the both of you, each way. BTW, Dalat also has a airport, so you could easily fit both destinations into your trip by utilizing the in-country flying. We drove through the Delta from Saigon, taking the ferry from Rach Gia to Phu Quoc, but flew out when we left.

Hope some of this helps but, of course, do some homework and read up on these places. But if you decide to go to any of them, you won't be disappointed. Pictures of the whole trip are here in the GALLERY.
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Old 03-27-2006, 04:25 PM
rotorwash rotorwash is offline
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Tom's travelogue is absolutely second to none. My favorite place was Nha Trang.
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Old 05-28-2006, 10:07 PM
SL Bronco SL Bronco is offline
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Tom,

We are now in Da Lat and enjoying the cool temps here. We're somewhat exhausted from earlier adventures. We're at the Sofitel Da Lat Palace and had excellent French food there last night. Tonight we'll try the yellow place near the Novotel, which I think is the one you mentioned - must have been in your photo gallery, and I remembered the yellow building.

Tomorrow noon we head back to Saigon and then to Phu Quoc Island as you suggested, for four or five days. Too little time in Da Lat, I see now, but we wanted to see Sapa, etc. and visit friends in Quang Ngai, near my old stomping grounds. I'll be putting up some photos.
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:17 AM
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I have no desire to go back ...
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Old 05-29-2006, 05:00 AM
39mto39g 39mto39g is offline
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Thiland, Hawaii, Alaska,Florida keys, Main, Big Been, Grand Cannion, Painted desert, Galsbad, Hot springs, Brandon, Wis Dells, Corn palais, Great lakes, ETC.
Ron
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Old 05-30-2006, 04:28 PM
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Default Bronco

Glad to hear you took my advice and checked out Dalat. I hope you stopped by the waterfall on the way back to Saigon.

I KNOW you're gonna like Phu Quoc. Looking forward to reading all about the trip and seeing the pictures.
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:05 PM
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Have a great trip !

Larry
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:23 PM
DMZ-LT DMZ-LT is offline
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I am with Ron , but may go next year with Sid and another brother. I try hard not to remember every day
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