Drumbrake's Travels

My trip reports

Vietnam December 2012

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10 000 dong = HK$4

US$1 = 21 000 dong

Arrived late at night in HCMC. Immigration and luggage reclaim quite fast; then get some money from ATM (first did not have) and then get taxi.  We had booked Sunflowers Hotel (near the airport, US$32 a night), but the taxi driver had problems finding it. Fare was 100 000 dong  – partly due to no change; partly to him getting lost. Hotel ok for a short night’s sleep. Then taxi (35 000 dong) back to domestic terminal for early flight to Dalat.

Dalat lake

Dalat lake

From Dalat airport we got the airport shuttle bus into town. It was ok. Will probably take you to your hotel if you have booked one; we had not, and got off near the lake. Ended up staying at a place called Dalat Linh Cat Hotel (US$15 a night).  Near the lake is it quite windy, and you need to get used to the traffic. First day we spent eating and drinking coffee.

Vietnam breakfast

Vietnam breakfast

Dalat wine

Dalat wine

We went on a day tour with The Sinh Tourist around Dalat. Saw waterfall, coffee plantation and other things. Tour was ok and Dalat overall is nice for a short stop. We also used The Sinh Tourist to get a bus from Dalat to Mui Ne (4 1/2hours, 129 000 dong).

Vietnam coffee

Vietnam coffee

Mui Ne – we stayed 4 nights: two at Mui Ne Mai Am Guesthouse (US$40 a night, no breakfast) and two at Mui Ne Tien Phat Beach Resort (US$35 a night with breakfast). Both are close to The Sinh Tourist office. You can find many more choices by going up or down the beach a few kms.  Mai Am is the nicer place, but Tien Phat has a swimming pool. Both need to invest in some better chairs for sitting outside. Food is good at Mai am. The beach at Mui Ne is ok – waves a bit rough for swimming and sea is a little murky looking. At low tide quite nice for swimming.

Mui Ne fairy stream

Mui Ne fairy stream

We did a jeep tour through Mai Am (US$25 for half a day).  You see the fairy stream (above) and the different dunes, and the red canyon. The dunes are good, except for the off road buggies that destroy the peace of the place. Maybe they should have one set of dunes for people who just want to walk,and another set for those who want to hire a buggie.

Mui Ne yellow sand dunes

Mui Ne yellow sand dunes

Below is the beach. All along there is a sea wall or steps. At low tide you could walk along it, but at high tide the waves are breaking against the wall.

Mui Ne beach

Mui Ne beach

From Mui Ne we caught the bus to HCMC (around 6 hours, 129 000 dong) – again from The Sinh Tourist. Traffic into HCMC was bad and there was lots of congestion. the bus stops outside the Sinh Tourist office, from where we walked to Nhat Ha 2 Hotel (US$42 including breakfast). This hotel is ok (booked again for the final night). Spent the day relaxing and eating noodles.

We used the Vietnamese local transport system to get to the Mekong Delta. Taxi first to Le Hong Phong street (about 60 000 dong from hotel in District 1). From there the bus offices are fairly helpful in getting you to the right office to get to your destination. You should get your hotel to first book you a ticket by phone, then the taxi will take you directly to the right office. Once you are in the right office, a shuttle bus took us to the bus station, and stopped next to our bus  – we had seat numbers on the tickets. The bus to Can Tho took about 3 hours (110 0oo dong).  On arrival in Can Tho, we should have found the shuttle bus.Instead we caught a taxi – who got lost,  and still charged us 150 000 dong – to get to the hotel – Xoai Hotel. Quite good hotel, except for the location.

Mekong delta markets

Mekong delta markets

We did a Mekong boat tour. Pretty good; price was 630 000 dong for the boat. Around 5 hours (but was supposed to be 7 hours).

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Written by drumbrake

December 31, 2012 at 11:17 am

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