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Old 03-25-2019, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Australia
897 posts, read 329,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
He isn't a history buff but will appreciate a few temples and seeing history. He loves busy cities, hustle and bustle. I was thinking 2 weeks. A few days in Saigon and travel north up the country flying and on trains. Stopping in a few cities and ending up in Hanoi. Going to Ha Long Bay for 2 or 3 days for a river cruise. He wants to see busy cities, rice and ride a scooter. I want to ride on a river cruise and see some caves and eat good street food. Taking into consideration cost, ease of travel and activities, I think Vietnam is a good choice. I am also thinking of getting a long layover in Tokyo on either coming or going and taking a train to Shibuya for him to experience that.
We started in Saigon, went to the Mekong delta then north to Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An. Flew to Hanoi then to Sapa and Halong Bay. We did it on a tour but for independent travel most people use buses, mini buses or private transfers rather than trains.

Just make sure your expectations are realistic. Most of the sixteen million foreign tourists Vietnam had last year were Asian, the biggest groups being Chinese and Korean. We were not able to find much to buy that would fit us as the markets and shops were full of clothes for Asian size people. The level of spoken English is not good even though it is a compulsory subject at school.Tourist sites are extremely crowded. So on Halong Bay where our boat moored there were at least sixty other boats. When we were taken to a cave most of our group declined to do the climb up because it was completely totally crowded with everyone pushing and shoving. The authorities will only open the cave for the afternoon. The traffic in Hanoi in unbelievable and crossing the road is an art.

We found it extremely interesting. But it is still a developing country, albeit one which is developing very quickly. You will come across a lot of pollution, examples of food handling that are unheard of in western countries, plenty of scams but lots to enjoy.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,177 posts, read 2,915,436 times
Reputation: 5851
I highly recommend any/all of the following:

Singapore..best food in Asia in my opinion, nice people, English there is no problem
Thailand..so many beautiful things to see all over the country
Japan..especially Kyoto
Bali, Indonesia...magnificent and very romantic
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Australia
897 posts, read 329,347 times
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Actually you need to do homework on the weather conditions in possible destinations. No fun being somewhere in the middle of the wet season.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:33 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,548 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaMay View Post
Just got back from three weeks in Vietnam, ...

My personal favourite city in Asia for food would have to be Singapore but there is not much of historical importance ...
The UNESCO world heritage Singapore Botanical Gardens is a nice spot (good food nearby too!, as usual).

I find the Singapore museums and libraries to have enough interesting history for my tastes. Sentosa Ft Siloso gets your attention!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...s_in_Singapore

but OLD... (ancient history) Singapore is not.

Quite interesting to study it's recent history and climb from nothing to prominence.
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Old 03-27-2019, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Australia
897 posts, read 329,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
The UNESCO world heritage Singapore Botanical Gardens is a nice spot (good food nearby too!, as usual).

I find the Singapore museums and libraries to have enough interesting history for my tastes. Sentosa Ft Siloso gets your attention!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...s_in_Singapore

but OLD... (ancient history) Singapore is not.

Quite interesting to study it's recent history and climb from nothing to prominence.
Gardens by the Bay is very nice, Chinatown is interesting but DH hates how Orchard Rd has been taken over by the same designer stores found everywhere from London to Auckland.

We first went to Singapore in 1977 and have returned there every few years. It is incredible to see the differences and its increase in prosperity. We expect to see the same pattern in Vietnam, assuming we live a few more years.
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Old 03-27-2019, 03:30 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,934 posts, read 2,888,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaMay View Post
Actually you need to do homework on the weather conditions in possible destinations. No fun being somewhere in the middle of the wet season.
Depends on what prefer.

We have always liked wet season when there is more cloud cover and usually a brief afternoon shower to cool/clean everything off. Much better than hot season when so much dustier and no break from the heat, plus nature stuff is usually much prettier during rainy season.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Plainfield NJ
319 posts, read 112,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaMay View Post
Actually you need to do homework on the weather conditions in possible destinations. No fun being somewhere in the middle of the wet season.

I am knee deep in research right now even thought the trip is a ways off. DH is a fly by the seat of your pants kind of guy who thinks he can fit in anywhere. I am much more cautious and take comfort in knowing all the information I can before going somewhere. His birthday is in March so I am planning for going during the spring shoulder. March-April, not wet all the time but not sweltering hot like in the summer months.


He is 6'1 and 250 lbs so I wasn't expecting there to be a lot of clothing that accommodated him in an Asian country anyway. From my research people say that a decent amount of people in the markets and the food vendors speak well enough English to understand what we may be asking. And google translate app will be a big help as well as learning a few important phrases and words.


We live in NYC and eat questionable street food more often than we probably care to admit so I don't think ill be too surprised. I have read some tips to avoid sickness. The cruise part is mostly for me as I tend to like to relax a bit more than him and a few days of boating right at the end will help take the edge off such a fast paced trip all over the place which is the plan behind Ha Long Bay. I was also looking into Sapa though I don't know if we will make it there. If we don't go to the caves that fine too, in my experience in America, where there are a large amount of Chinese tourists it is difficult to get around and Chinese people seem rude by American politeness standards but that is just their culture
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:14 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,934 posts, read 2,888,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
I am planning for going during the spring shoulder. March-April, not wet all the time but not sweltering hot like in the summer months.
Careful. Depending on where you are April can be the hottest, most uncomfortable month in SE Asia.

Vietnam is big and further up in Hanoi/Sapa April is still spring, but in lower lats (like HCMC) April is the worst month. March can be the second worst. Higher temperatures and no rain or breeze to cool things down at certain times of the day. Everyone in Thailand dreads March/April, and looks forward to late May.

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Old 03-29-2019, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Australia
897 posts, read 329,347 times
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We were amused at how many people in the shops and market stalls in Hanoi were glued to their phones and would just glance at us and say no big sizes. I weigh 145lbs so am not huge but could not find anything to buy. DH found a couple of golf shirts in XXXXL whereas here he is generally L.

With the food, some people in our tour were quite upset to come across dogs packed for sale in the food markets on the drive back from Sapa. Cats and especially dogs are still eaten quite extensively in Vietnam although the government is trying to discourage the practice. We were on a tour which included most meals. We did get tired of having long and similar lunches and dinners every day but the only time I got an upset tummy was after one of the two western meals that were provided. We did not find the food as varied as it was in China. If you are travelling independently it would be easier to eat to your taste. We stayed at three and four star hotels and even for breakfast most of the food was Asian. Nothing like the variety of food you get in Singapore and Malaysia.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Seattle
816 posts, read 315,278 times
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My wife and I did 2.5 weeks in Thailand last March. We sent to Bangkok, up to Chiang Mai and down to Krabi. Really amazing trip! Would go back in a heartbeat.
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