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The Sly Fox

Top attractions between HCMC & Hanoi?

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The Sly Fox

Great info guys, thanks!

I've been thinking along the same lines as Sly Fox for some time now. Would really like to go to Vietnam with primary interest of central and Hanoi. Did some searching a year or so ago and came on a tour guide that will custom tailor tours to your specs. He is supposed to be a walking history book especially the war era which is my main interest as far as the history goes. I would be taking my Pinay wife. I'm still in the "thinking about it stages". We are planning a trip to Thailand Nov/Dec and a trip the the US in Feb, so first things first.

I was first thinking about doing this trip a few years ago but never get around to it, so i really want to do it for sure next year. Like yourself my main interest in Central Vietnam + the war era sites. When i was planning this trip last time I got in contact with an American vet (on another forum) who had spent a lot of time touring the DMZ & war era sites and he gave me a lot of info. I'll locate it soon and post some of it here.

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The Sly Fox

This is the reply I got about 3-4 years ago from a US Nam Vet who had made a couple trips back to Khe Sahn and other war era sites in the vicinity. He quotes some prices here but bear in mind after 3-4 years those prices have no doubt increased. Anyway, some good info here about the war era sites:

 

I took a tour out of Hue and it cost about $18 total--including bus, lunch, fees and the vin mok tunnels which are great. The town of Khe Sahn is small..you can walk from one end to the other in 5 minutes. I dont know for sure of any guesthouses BUT im willing to bet there are several  because ALL towns have them etc. And since its a major tourist place they should have a few. My guess is they are cheap too. Maybe under $10 a night. It would be a great place to hang out instead of being rushed by the tour companies. You could easily find someone who could take you around to the off limit sites where the tour companies dont go. The base is only a half mile maybe from town and you would never recognize it if you were there during the war etc. There is no more tarmac from the Runway and its all been replaced by coffee trees! There is really nice museum memorial there with exhibits-choppers,tanks, bunkers etc etc We were rushed i felt with my tour. I would do it like you  next time. If by chance you dont find a guide there, go to Hue and maybe take an easy rider tour by scooter with a good guide. I think too if you check some of the other tour forums you might be able to find more precise info. As far as Camp Carrol...our guide didnt mention it but i had a map and looked as we drove by on the bus. I think there is a dirt road back to it. All grown in like everyplace. You could see the ROCKPILE well from the road and maybe able to walk to it BUT i would worry about unexploded ordinances/bombs/ landmines etc. About 4 people a month get killed or mamed from all the leftovers mainly small kids playing in the dirt or farmers. I would never walk off a trail without a guide.  We stopped at HCM trail crossing at Dak Krohn Bridge. The drive thru the area is very beautiful and i can surely envision times of war there. 70% of the population of VN is under 30 which mean 7 out of ten people you will see were not even born until after the war. It really is forgotton there for the most part. If you can go to Vin Mok tunnels i would highly recommend them. Oh by the way...Khe Sahn is no longer the name...its now called Huong Hoa. Just looked at my guide book. Says the only reason to stay there is if your going into laos etc. I think it would be a good expereince to see that and be there at night when all the tourist are gone and you can hang out with the locals. They list 1 place called May Huong phone is 388-0189 says its about 10 dollars. Buses depart to and from the border every hour. The museum at the site says its 20,000 dong fee to get in or about 1.25 US. open 7-5 daily. another site is Lang Vay Special Force camp...on ridge sw of Hwy 9 between town and the bus station..only thing there is VN memorial. There is a town called Aluoi close to the landing zones Cunningham, Erskine, Razor, and hill 1175 --west of the valley. and hamburger hill. H.Hill is about 8km from Ahuoi and there are still bunkers, trenches, and bomb crater. YOU NEED A GUIDE both to find the site and get a permit. Other areas are Ben Hai Tower and Museum. about 22 kn north of Dong Ha on Hwy 1A...Camp carrol in the guide book says not much there. a vietnamese memorial to Tan Lam Hill is there (that what they named it) and part of the cement foundation is there. They say if you got eagle eyes you can still see bits of old sandbags..The turn off is 10 km west of Cam Lo.

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ValleyCowboy

Thanks Sly Fox, really great info!

For now my main interests (subject to change) are Khe Sahn, A Shau Hamburger Hill, Hue, Da Nang and Hanoi.

 

You're in Pattaya? Maybe we could meet up for a beer when my wife and I visit in a few months. I've been in the Philippines for a couple of years now.

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The Sly Fox

Thanks Sly Fox, really great info!

For now my main interests (subject to change) are Khe Sahn, A Shau Hamburger Hill, Hue, Da Nang and Hanoi.

 

You're in Pattaya? Maybe we could meet up for a beer when my wife and I visit in a few months. I've been in the Philippines for a couple of years now.

Sure can meet up and have nice chat and a few brews. However, we're currently in Pattaya but we plan to go to Australia first week in December and will be there for a few months before returning to Pattaya. So if your visit is before end of November send me a PM and we'll catch up. After end of November I'll have left Patts.

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ValleyCowboy

Sure can meet up and have nice chat and a few brews. However, we're currently in Pattaya but we plan to go to Australia first week in December and will be there for a few months before returning to Pattaya. So if your visit is before end of November send me a PM and we'll catch up. After end of November I'll have left Patts.

 

Will do. How's the weather around the end of Nov?

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Freeze

It is Freeze, lots of valuable info so far in this thread. Have you been to HaNoi before? As I mention above I went there once before, had a week in HaNoi and did the Halong Bay tour, really enjoyed everything, I far prefered HaNoi to HCMC.

 

 

Have not been to Hanoi.  Did HCMC -> Phnom Penh -> Siem Reap -> Pattaya last year. Next trip Hanoi to Pattaya via the Shianookville - Koh Kong route. I'm expecting the Vietnam leg to be 3 weeks.

 

Theres a lot of info on Youtube. These guys (the camps) backpacked and videoed Vietnam, some great info.

 

Here's the link:.

 

Edited by Freeze

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The Sly Fox

Will do. How's the weather around the end of Nov?

that's wet

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furryman

Dalat is a beautiful city up in the mountains so it is a nice break from the heat. Closer to HCMC end of the country if I remember correctly.

 

Next to Hanoi, Dalat was my favorite spot.

Edited by furryman

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Tsangyang Gyatso

Dalat is a beautiful city up in the mountains so it is a nice break from the heat. Closer to HCMC end of the country if I remember correctly.

 

Next to Hanoi, Dalat was my favorite spot.

 

Dalat is definitely a beautiful place.

 

If heading to Dalat then Hằng Nga / Crazy House is the most unusual attraction to see.  The most un-Vietnamese place I've seen.

 

http://www.crazyhouse.vn/index.php?lang=en

 

I stayed there near the end of a trip, heading south.  When the bus toured us around hotels (to make commission) this was the most hilarious place I had been to in a while.  Got the two-storey elf house for $20 a night.  Expensive back in the mid-90s.  Just needed the luxury.

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gimmesum

South to north ---- I would

 

  • bus to Dalat 2 nights
  • bus Nga Trang 1-2 nights
  • train to Hue 2 days easy
  • train to Danang - go daytime for the views an amazing train ride get seats on the LH side
  • Hoi An 3 days - goto Mama Ly on the far end of the main Cua Dai beach closest to HA end - buy a baguette and order her fresh bbq clams ( the small sweet ones) and stuff them in the bread fucking heaven
  • Hire a motorbike and leave about 9am and head as mentioned above
  • Hire a car/driver to take u thru DMZ and drop off Dong Hoi - look for the ornate French cathedral and note that you can see the Laos border in the mountains but you will not see any growth for 80kms due to Agent Orange - quite bizarre
  • Dong Hoi 2 nights - rent a bike
  • Train to Hanoi

 

Cheers 

 

thx for the info

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noddyWA

http://noddysasianadventures.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_65.html

 

my trip report from feb last year.... though it was cut short

 

don't miss phong nha

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The Sly Fox

http://noddysasianadventures.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_65.html

 

my trip report from feb last year.... though it was cut short

 

don't miss phong nha

Cheers Noddy, I had a quick look and there's lots of interesting info there. I'll certainly check your blog again later.

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The Sly Fox

Dalat is definitely a beautiful place.

 

If heading to Dalat then Hằng Nga / Crazy House is the most unusual attraction to see.  The most un-Vietnamese place I've seen.

 

http://www.crazyhouse.vn/index.php?lang=en

 

I stayed there near the end of a trip, heading south.  When the bus toured us around hotels (to make commission) this was the most hilarious place I had been to in a while.  Got the two-storey elf house for $20 a night.  Expensive back in the mid-90s.  Just needed the luxury.

If we do go to Dalat we'd love to stay a night or 2 at this resort.

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The Sly Fox

Have not been to Hanoi.  Did HCMC -> Phnom Penh -> Siem Reap -> Pattaya last year. Next trip Hanoi to Pattaya via the Shianookville - Koh Kong route. I'm expecting the Vietnam leg to be 3 weeks.

 

Theres a lot of info on Youtube. These guys (the camps) backpacked and videoed Vietnam, some great info.

 

Here's the link:.

 

That's an interesting vid, brings back memories of my own visit to HaNoi and walking around the lake and having coffee in the morning by the lake. 

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The Sly Fox

My initial idea for Vietnam, especially Central region/DMZ, was to travel to Mukdahan, cross into Lao at Savhannaket, then take the Vietnam bus to Lao Bao border (240km, approx 4 hours) and go stay in a hotel/guesthouse in Huong Hoa (Khe Sahn) and check out the war era stuff myself with a local guide, I think 2-3 days taking it slowly would be far better than one of those tours. Then when finished with the Khe Sahn area it's a short hop to Hue/Danang/Hoi An, then when finished seeing those attractions either north or south (making a couple of stops on the way) to pick up a flight to BKK.

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ValleyCowboy

that's wet

 

Well that coupled with the other couple we're supposed to travel with want to make the trip in Jan means we probably won't be having a beer :(  I'm not even sure on the Jan trip though as the wife and I have a lot going on around then.

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The Sly Fox

Well that coupled with the other couple we're supposed to travel with want to make the trip in Jan means we probably won't be having a beer :(  I'm not even sure on the Jan trip though as the wife and I have a lot going on around then.

I just checked the weather sites, says October is the heavy wet season and November is start of cool season and not much rainfall. Actually August is start of the wet for Pattaya, August through to end of October, but we've had very little rainfall so far, so if you do make it around end of November it looks like it should be cool and not much rain.

 

Yeah Jan we'll be in Oz, we'll be there for 3-6 months (depending on how long tirak's visa is for) 

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tonyacat

Mekong river day tour

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Cosmic36

I've made one 2 week trip to Vietnam.  Set up the Ha Long Bay tour while in Hanoi.  Ha Long is amazing but my packaged tour was real shitty and I was thankful to survive the first 2 days.  And took the overnight train to Sapa.  I really liked Sapa since I love hiking and live in Colorado.  The hawkers are annoying but just part of traveling there.

i spent 3 days in HCMN and visited a lot of museums, went to a very large indoor market and got serviced at a hot toc.  I visited to Cu Chi tunnels on my last day, it was interesting but kind of anticlimactic.  Next time I go back I'll pick less touristy places.  

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kgbagent

Be aware that Nov through Feb can be bitterly cold in the north - - - even though temperatures can be listed as nineteen or twenty the humidity and wind chill from the air off the Chinese mountain ranges can make it feel like minus five. It is that strange clammy cold that makes your bone's ache. The cold can extend to nearly saigon as well. You can buy warm clothes as required cheaply.

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk

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