April 18th, 2007, 04:43 PM
Hello there fellow forumers. My name is Francis and I am from Makati, Philippines. I am planning to have a trip to Vietnam particularly in Ho Chi Mihn City and Hanoi. I and a friend will be coming from Bangkok then to Cambodia then eventualy to Saigon via bus from Phnom Pehn.
I hope you can help me on my itinerary. We might be spending 3 days in Vietnam if we still got money left.
In relation to that...I got several questions to help me plan my trip. I will be more than happy if some of you can give me replies:
1. What is the best means to get to Saigon via Phnom Pehn? -How much will a bus or taxi cost?
2. What are the places to visit in Saigon? Historical and Architectural?
3. What are the means to get around Saigon? MRT or Taxi and how much do they normally cost?
4. Are they low-cost hotels or serviced apartments where we could stay? My budget is only around USD15 per night for twin-sharing room.
5. I heard that travel via train to Hanoi will take a day. Will it be a good experience or never mind? What will i be seeing during this trip? Is it safe?
6. How much does it usually cost to go from Saigon to Singapore via low-cost airlines? (e.g., AirAsia) or Hanoi to Singapore?
7. Do you have any reminders for a backpacker to Vietnam like me?
Thank you very much and have a nice day to everyone! :)
April 19th, 2007, 03:49 AM
Will answer some of your questions according to what I know. Other questions, like "how much, " I will leave for in-Vietnam forumers to answer.
1. You can travel by plane or bus to Saigon. Or speed boat to Can Tho, the heart of Mekong delta; then take a bus from there to Saigon.
2. Places to visit in Saigon, according to thoangsaigon.com:
Giac Lam Pagoda Located at 118 Lac Long Quan, Tan Binh Dist., this is the most archaic pagoda, which built in 1744. Here is the inheritance of Buddhism preachers from China. Giac Lam Pagoda has architecture of unusual excellence with huge columns where golden - plated parallel sentences engraved. Within its precinct, there is collection of religion - oriented flowers and 113 Buddhism statues made from valued woods and copper. Also, it is important to mention other pagoda like Xa Loi, Vinh Nghiem, An Quang with typical features of each work.
Independence Palace Formerly here was the Norodom camp built in 1873. It has selected for Presidential Palace in 1954 and then reconstructed in 1962 with the name Independence Palace. The site is on 2,000m2 surface combining 5 levels with 100 apartments decorating separately for each room. It is now named Independence Hall.
Sai Gon Post The first outline of the post was found in 1863 with simple structure: postal department and telegraph department. In 1890, the building was full commenced of operation in harmony of European and Asian architecture. The clock on the main gate is as old as the building.
The museums: Connection to various museums of: Revolution, Arts, History, Women, War...
Garden of Zoology and Botanic This is a cultural destination where the old of preservation of zoology and botanic stand at 8th rank in the world. The garden formed in 1864 on a site of 12 hectares preserving valuable botanic and zoology from continentals around the world. After 130 years of development, the garden now is enlarged to 20 hectares of botanic and nearly 22,000m2 of animal farms. Records have been made for 590 species of animals, 1,800 trees of 260 species, 23 species of local orchids, 33 cactus species and 24 kinds of bonsai. Also make a choice among Dam Sen Tourist resort, Sai Gon water - park, Suoi Tien resort for an alternative.
Notre Dame Cathedral Designed in France with two bell - towers, the work had started on 11 April 1880 under commends of Eng. Bourard and with 2.5 million FF of investment. The chancel is in 113m lengths, 35m widths and 21m heights. On 7th and 8th December 1959, Vatican has approved the church to hold the name of the Palace Chancel. Other highlighted church can be mentioned are Jeanne d'Arc church, Protestantism church and Cho Quan church.
Cho Lon The Big Market, as it meaning, formed in 1788 by groups of Chinese immigrated from My Tho and Pho isle on the side of Ben Nghe channel. Nowdays, Cho Lon is the trading center for all types of commodities of the Chinese - Vietnamese community as called China Town in HCMC. Other highlighted markets to mention are An Dong, Ben Thanh.
Nha Rong harbor Standing on the estuary of Sai Gon River, it was the departure - port for President Ho chi Minh to start the way of national salvation. There are many relicts preserved in the building.
3. Saigon does not have MRT, as yet. You can get around in buses for 3000 VND a ride (16000 VND for one USD) or motorbike taxi (xe ôm) for 3000 VND/km.
4. Low budget hotels (well within your range) are all around the city. You, however, might want to stay in Bùi Viện-Đề Thám area. You can meet with other back-packers to share experiences and infos. There are also many restaurants, bars, tour operators, and other businesses cater to tourists.
5. Never mind the trip north. You have only three days, remember?
Vietnam is a relatively safe country, but you'll never be careful enough, just as any other country.
6. The cost to go from Saigon to Singapore? I don't know!
7. Do I have any reminders for a backpacker to Vietnam like you? Enjoy your trip!:)
April 19th, 2007, 11:23 PM
last time I was in Vn they had a new bus service from saigon to phnom penh for 100.000dongs....about USD 8-9dollars
wanted to try but i love saigon too much......my time spent in saigon wasn;t enough....so maybe some other time for Pnom penh
April 20th, 2007, 11:54 PM
Saigon-Phnom Penh shuttle bus is quite bumpy on the Cambodian part,but it's fun watching all those sceneries pass by.
Best mean of transport is by air, imho.
Best places in Saigon:
Palace of Reunification
Museum of War Remnants
Cho Lon area
Ben Thanh market
Notre Dame Cathedral
Museum of History
Dong Khoi street
Just wandering around
Street food scene is a place itself
Nightlife: Bars: Wild horse, Saigon saigon bar, Oxy, Q Bar, Gossip, Lush (popular for locals).
Taxi is the best way to get around here:cheap and reliable, remember to pick up the "Green" or yellow ones: Mai Linh taxi, Vinataxi... chose ones with decent vehicles. Or rent a motorbike and brave though the traffic if u dare: helmets are recommended.
Ask for Pham Ngu Lao/ De Tham area: low cost hotels with rate around 15-25$/night are uquibitious and should provide you with minimum comforts such as Sat TV/ clean room/ Hot water/ Air con and minibar. PRICE CAN BE NEGOCIATED.
Hanoi-Saigon you should better travel by air, since you have only 3 days, i would'nt recommend a Hanoi trip, try PhanThiet instead: ask your hotel for available tours.
Or: Cu Chi for the Cu Chi tunnels if you're a history buff. Tay Ninh on the same journey for the Cao Dai temple.
Mekong Delta: floating market and orchards in My Tho, Can Tho...
I suggest you stick to Saigon for 4 days include a 1-2 days trip to Phan Thiet, 3 days is too short for a trip honestly.