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mrblonde

Vietnam

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On 9/28/2018 at 11:13 PM, MaksimMislavsky said:

Vietnam is less developed, less touristy. More chaotic. Less overtly friendly, although actually more reasonable. Local food is great and it is cheaper. Western food is only available in big cities and tourist spots. The choice of places to rent is much smaller, with an upmarket scew. Overall, accomodation is poorer value. It is beautiful and even more exciting, a lot to see and expereince. You are more likely to be overcharged in Vietnam. Public transportation is poorer. Hygienic standards are poorer. Overall, it seems as a valid option to move on after Thailand. Thailand appears to be exhausted by visitors and expats. Vietnam is just gaining momentum with this regard. Definitely worth coming and seeing yourself (Been on and off Thailand since 2008. Visited Vietnam a lot, the longest spell being 3 months last year)

 

2 hours ago, Darkside Gray said:

I totally disagree with your post. Vietnam is friendly, cleaner than Thailand, food and accommodation is less expensive and so much to see. The only failing I can say is medical facilities are poor.

I find both of these posts accurate but from different perspectives. Hotels are cheaper

in Vietnam but long-term apartment/condo rental is more limited and more expensive. There are no baht busses but inter-city buses, train travel, and domestic flying is cheap and of good quality. Medical services are less developed, Hoi An is a beautiful, but a tourist trap and much more expensive than say Saigon, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Dalat. Vietnam is well worth a trip. Like every country plusses and minuses.

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2 hours ago, Darkside Gray said:
On 9/28/2018 at 11:13 PM, MaksimMislavsky said:

Vietnam is less developed, less touristy. More chaotic. Less overtly friendly, although actually more reasonable. Local food is great and it is cheaper. Western food is only available in big cities and tourist spots. The choice of places to rent is much smaller, with an upmarket scew. Overall, accomodation is poorer value. It is beautiful and even more exciting, a lot to see and expereince. You are more likely to be overcharged in Vietnam. Public transportation is poorer. Hygienic standards are poorer. Overall, it seems as a valid option to move on after Thailand. Thailand appears to be exhausted by visitors and expats. Vietnam is just gaining momentum with this regard. Definitely worth coming and seeing yourself (Been on and off Thailand since 2008. Visited Vietnam a lot, the longest spell being 3 months last year)

I totally disagree with your post. Vietnam is friendly, cleaner than Thailand, food and accommodation is less expensive and so much to see. The only failing I can say is medical facilities are poor.

 

agree. went to da nang to check out some waves for surfing. beautiful clean beaches, some ok waves for fun and exercise (not world class) actually surfed at a cement factory pier with some decent rides and no paddle out if you jump off the pier. some dental work i got in bangkok failed while there so i found a lady dentist that speaks near native english and have since had multiple crowns and root canals. all high quality at an international standard office, about 20% cost of thai dentist.

seems medical care may simply not have some of the higher tech hardware as does thailand or india. in hcm and hanoi theres no lack of G7 western doctors available. dental care that i had in terms of competence, quality, cleanliness, technology equal to or better than thailand and for significantly less cost.

 

da nang traffic is generally easy and mellow. roads are in good condition. 

 

driving a motorbike feels a lot safer and less hectic that thailand and the % of moron drivers is much much less. food and beverage prices significantly less. if beer is your thing, vn is a fraction of thai price.  theres a good and growing coffee culture. noticeably absent are the conspicuous girly bar venues but some areas in hcm have it. maybe other cities too. vn seems to not be consumed by the culture of "losing face" and overall level of competence is higher.

 

cat ba island near hanoi is very nice as is pu quoc.  pu quoc does not require a visa for 30 day tourists when i went although staff at thai airasia did not know this and refused to let board the plane (idiots) i went the following day on vietnam airlines and their staff were laughing to hear what thai airasia did.

 

applied online and got approval for 1 year visa no hassles at all. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, jrjrjr said:

that Vietnam is better than Thai: this is the reason why we are all living in Thailand, right ?

I'm in Thailand because I have a Thai child, and everything here is free for him.

10 years back Vietnam wasn't as developed or accessible as it is now.

10 years back I could get a 1 year VISA for Thailand with no financials.

Thailand has changed for the worse.

Vietnam has changed for the better.

 

For someone starting fresh, it's way better than Thailand now.

 

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2 hours ago, shaurene said:

Been to Vietnam 3 times, I love it. People so friendly and helpfull. They have no anermosity over the War.

Food it great. Beautiful clean beaches, and clean seas. Sigon very busy and lots of places to go, plenty bars. No bar girls like In Pattaya.

went to Darnang and the city before you get there, it was awsome. Rooms were great and very cheap. I booked through Booking.Com.

Went up the Hanoi on the overnight train. Bit different, it went up the coast passing beautiful towns and beaches.

You must go on the boat out to the group of Island in the sea area  off Hanoi amazing we had 3 nights on the boat, fantastic. Hanoi was buzzing loved it. The Police and Military are very friendly and helpfull. We are going again next month. You can fly out of Bangkok main airport on a budget Vietnam Air line very cheap Vietjet. You need a visa but there are a couple places you can land in that issue a visa on arrival.

Vietnam is better period. But you miss the cheap real estate market and health facilities 

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45 minutes ago, Ulic said:

Vietnam is cheaper, cleaner, similar excellent culinary experience, better beaches, friendlier people.

No double pricing, safer (no ladyboy issues). Less English spoken outside any tourist areas

but surprisingly many Vietnamese/American ex-pats visiting "home" that are very helpful.

No visible sex industry (not saying it does not exist, just not visible)

All this said there is a construction boom in places like Da Nang and Nha Trang, so it can be noisy

and dusty in places. My personal opinion is Vietnam will eat Thailands "tourism lunch" in

ten years when it opens more widely its visa-free/visa exempt on arrival travel and direct flights

become more readily available. Vietnam is already popular for Russian, Australian, Chinese,

Japanese, Taiwanese, couples.

Thailand has met its end game with westerners. Not including Russians lol. Vietnam is the future

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I have been about ten times and I find:-

 

A big country and a lot cleaner beaches than Thailand. Cities are of course, just as chaotic but in a different way. They do not have the outright xenophobia that Thailand exhibits at times, which is strange after their bad experiences with the French colonization and USA war. It is referred to by them, if they can be bothered to talk about it, as the American war, not the Vietnam war.

 

A country of contrast from the mountain areas in the North and Sapa then to bustling cities of Hanoi and HCMC and THE BEAUTIFUL Halong Bay ( which now boasts an airport by the way, so no more 4-5 hours in a minibus). The people in tourist areas can be outgoing, but Vietnamese as a rule or more reserved. They tend when asked questions or assistance in hotels etc, to give you the information you request and move on. There isn't the Thai friendly banter or joking around that you get in Thailand.

 

They can come across as a bit ' severe ' in their mannerisms but I think this is just the way they are. I like them. I disagree that Thai women are better looking too, I think Vietnamese women can be very pretty but that is a matter of taste. They generally dress and act more conservatively, especially in the North. Loads to see in Hanoi regards sightseeing, museums and culture.

 

Hanoi and HCMC have plenty of hustle and bustle and a very busy, thriving backpacking. flashpacking scene with great bars and tour desks actually inside the hostels, manned and operated by Westerners. These are like all in one stop services.

 

Motorbikes and scooters are everywhere. Small scams and cheating take place as does petty theft but you don't seem to have the young hoodlums and motorbike gangs, or the amounts of violence that is prevalent in Thailand, in places like Pattaya and Phuket. I find it very safe to walk around but stay alert for the usual scams like you would in any big city.

 

Vietnamese ' Pho ' is a staple and famous dish, but it's just a soup broth which has been adapted to many different variations and tastes. It can contain fish, meats, and vegetables or various combinations of all.

 

Bread and coffees are widely sold, a remnant of French influence. There is plenty to see and do in Vietnam, and by and large, cleaner in tourist areas, such as Danang, Hue, etc than Thailand. I like Thai food better actually and found the food what I generally ate in Nam to be a bit bland.

 

The Police and military, although limited in English, treat tourists far better than their Thai counterparts. I know they have their scams, as I have friends working there, but it doesn't affect tourists and is aimed at actual venue owners.

 

Beer is cheap by the bucketload, especially draft. Hotels can be ' hit and miss ' Thai hotels are generally better. Top end hotels and medical facilities are better in Thailand. Internal travel in Vietnam by train or plane is cheap. Currency is Vietnamese Dong and all notes must be changed into it. With foreigners, it is about as popular as Laos Kip or Cambodian Riel and USD cannot buy anything unlike Cambodia and Laos and must be changed into Viet.Dong.

 

It is a different experience and I like both countries but I am back to Vietnam the end this month and intend to go for an extended stay next year. Try to visit some of the islands.

 

The same as Thailand, it can be as cheap or expensive as you make it. Great seafood at decent prices is available at Halong Bay and beach towns and cities.

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Guest

Good comments about Vietnam by members. 

 

What kind of visa options are available in Vietnam for long term stay?

 

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The thing about thailand is it draws in the good bits of developing South East Asia and puts it in one spot

I would holiday in Vietnam but forget about compatibility. You will see when you get there.

One thing drove me nuts in Saigon is the scooter riders ALL HAVE their hand on the horn.. NON stop, the noise pollution is a nightmare plus their roaming street hawkers are so aggressive that you end up sitting deep inside bars and resteraunts to try and get away which kills the people watching experience.

Apart from that it's nice

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1 hour ago, atyclb said:

 

 

extensive viet travel multiple times. one incident with motorbike taxi trying to cheat me. 1 restaurant that had a separate menu for foreigners 

 

 

I've only been twice to Vietnam.    I'm always prepared for a rip off or two no matter how aware I am when I travel.

Outside the War Museum in HCMC I mistook the color of a taxi and paid around 5 times what I should have paid to get dropped off a block from our hotel next to the Opera House.    I suspect the driver wanted to avoid the hotel doormen.

 

But those small incidents can't be allowed to influence one's overall impression of a country and especially one as enchanting as Vietnam.

 
I wanted to stay at the hotel where Graham Green stayed as he wrote "The Quiet American”.     Very reasonably priced and a grand hotel.
 
The adaption of the book  staring Michael Caine can be seen here:
 

 

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Lived in Thailand for over 25 years, and have been living in Vietnam now for a year, and have to say that some of the posts here are ludicrous :Budget accommodation is definitely significantly cheaper in Vietnam, local food somewhat, and alcohol a lot cheaper.

No way are there more hookers in Vietnam.

Vietnamese show a genuine interest in farang, although there English language skills are way behind. By and large, Vietnamese are honest, although there are regional variations :Hoi An being the rip-off capital of Vietnam.

Because of the xenophobia in Thailand, and their often aggressive and violent preoccupation with money and face, I definitely prefer Vietnam. 

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59 minutes ago, thecyclist said:

Lived in Thailand for over 25 years, and have been living in Vietnam now for a year, and have to say that some of the posts here are ludicrous :Budget accommodation is definitely significantly cheaper in Vietnam, local food somewhat, and alcohol a lot cheaper.

No way are there more hookers in Vietnam.

Vietnamese show a genuine interest in farang, although there English language skills are way behind. By and large, Vietnamese are honest, although there are regional variations :Hoi An being the rip-off capital of Vietnam.

Because of the xenophobia in Thailand, and their often aggressive and violent preoccupation with money and face, I definitely prefer Vietnam. 

 

 

Agree,

 

What area of Vietnam have you chosen?

 

Interested actually, as to where you settled on. I tend to go North but that is based o friends over there.

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Since the premise of your question was tourism, I will say that Vietnam is as good if not better than Thailand. Great beaches, amazing mountains (try Ha Giang province for a much less touristy feel than Sapa), some interesting ancient ruins in Hue, Da Nang region - excellent Cham Museum in Da Nang, Dalat is a wonderful hill town to spend a few days in the central highlands. Saigon is a big chaotic city with a very good nightlife scene. Hanoi is prettier but more sedate (bars tend to close at midnight outside the backpacker area).

Since you're traveling with your girlfriend, I'll assume you have no interest in the hooker scene. But it is much more hidden than Thailand - the Viet authorities specifically point to Thailand as an example of what not to do.

Food is great, although you need to be more aware of prep. I have gotten sick there and almost never in Thailand. The people are phenomenal very friendly and outgoing, I have lost count of how many beers and drinks strangers have bought me. They are super interested in meeting and talking with English speakers, mainly for practice. The Vietnamese are much less afraid to engage foreigners than Thais.

Travel can be hit and miss. Super cheap airfare with both Jetstar, Vietnam Airlines, and VietJet. Long distance overnight buses are miserable since the drivers are always honking their horns. In the cities Grab works spectacularly well for motorbikes, taxis and private cars. I have rented motorbikes out in the country with no problems. As someone mentioned, far fewer idiots on the road than in Thailand. The most important rule of the road is: The Biggest Vehicle Wins, so if a truck is in your lane - you pull off to the side. Oh and they don't put any gas in the tank when you rent a bike so you must fill it up right away.

Go and enjoy it, it's a great country.

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from the moment you enter vietnam the people will try to rip you off. its an annoying place to visit. 

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    Been living in Thailand 10 years.  Within that time, I made 2 visits to Vietnam.  #1 was 9 days solo in Saigon, (HCMC.)  Inadequate nightlife, horns were a nuisance, some people were friendly, hawkers were uncomfortably aggressive...  I am American and visually quite caucasian.  I enjoyed the War Museum and the "tour" of the Viet Cong tunnels.

 

  The second visit was to Hanoi/Ha Long Bay.  I was accompanied by my Thai girlfriend so I didn't look for or find and nightlife at all.  The "tour" of Halong Bay was spoiled by the endless nickel-and-dime charges for everything imaginable.  Overall, I felt much more of a "targeted-ATM" than in Thailand.  

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