The island has become one of 15 Vietnamese maritime reserves since 2007. However, in May 2009, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) accepted Cham island as a world biosphere reserve thanks to its topography, the biodiversity value and the unspoilt and attractive landscape.
Cham island, Vietnam – A part of the world’s lung
Cham island, Vietnam – A part of the world’s lung
The Sapphires 
The island consists of eight islets, including Hon Lao, Hon Dai, Hon Kho me or the mother Hon Kho, Hon Kho con or the child Hon Kho, Hon La, Hon Tai, Hon Ong. Each islet with a distinct feature of beauty and wonderful sand beaches make an ideal landscape. The abrupt mountain slopes, big waves and floristic composition makes these islets like unpolished sapphires. The island is, therefore, an ideal destination.
Kingdom of aquatic animals       
With 500 hectares of sea-weed alga, marine algae and seagrass and 165 hectares of coral and sea creatures, the island is considered a kingdom of aquatic animals. Of which, the coral has 135 species, algae and seagrasses have 500 species, fish 202 species, lobster 4 species and molluscs 84 species. Under the clear fresh water is coral and shoals of colourful fish. If you go for a scuba dive you will encounter a beautiful marine world.
Cham island, Vietnam – A part of the world’s lung
Cham island, Vietnam – A part of the world’s lung

Go and discover

Cham island is 15 kilometres from Cua Dai beach and 20 kilometres off the coast from Hoi An ancient town. If reach the island by hi-speed boat, it will take you just 30 minutes. Meanwhile, boat ticket prices are very reasonable. Therefore, there will be no reason for you to miss the chance of taking a visit to such a natural and unspoilt landscape, fresh air and cool climate. From Cua Dai beach, you can also take a trip to the island by a normal boat.
However, before starting the trip, you should be aware of environmental protection. You should not bring anything made from plastic or anything that could damage the environment.
After starting the boat, you will quickly reach the largest islet- Hon Lao, that covers 1.317 hectares and is 500 metres high. This islet is, therefore, considered as the rooftop of these islets. Continuing on the trip you can visit the historical monuments of Hai Tang Pagoda-a 300-year architecture located among three mountains called Bat Long, Ngoa Long and Tiem.
There are so many wonderful landscapes on Cham island that you can not visit far-away places on a day tour. However, destinations that you should not miss include Lang Ong, the old well, Huong fishing village, and an exhibition of nature and the Cham island people’s culture.
Come and enjoy      
If you come to Cham island you will have the chance to join in many water sports, including swimming, water skiing, paragliding, kayaking, kite flying and boat racing. You will also have a chance to scuba dive and go on the glass-bottomed boat that allows you to discover the underwater world. At night time, you can also participate in cultural activities on the beaches until late.
Finally, there is nothing that could bring you a more enjoyable feeling than enjoying the special fresh seafood at reasonable prices after your trip or tour.
Source: Vietnam Tourism – vietnamtourism-jsc.com

General Behaviour

You can greet them by saying “Hello” Vietnamese “Xin Chao”

If you want to make a good impression when you meet someone for the first time, a good topic to discuss is family. Vietnamese appreciate it if you ask them about their marital status (i.e. single or married) about their parents, their spouses, and their children. It means that you care about their lives.

Thank you: Cam on

Currency

Local Currency is Vietnamese Dong(VND): Exchange at Airport they offer the best price, 100 USD is roughly 21 Lakh VND. Don’t forget to bring USD along with you.

You can use International credit cards as these are widely accepted.

Food Options

If you are non-vegetarian then you can easily survive as Vietnamese serves the lot of red meat, chicken ( a), duck, fish etc.

For Vegetarian I must say sorry. It’s very difficult to find Indian food in Hanoi, However, there are few restaurants which Indian food which is near To Ngoc Van, Hanoi. There is one restaurant which is very famous “Namaste Hanoi”

KFC is also available, Local Street is full of Hot dog options and you can eat full Pineapple for just INR 30 (10,000 VND)

A lot of Burger restaurant is there in Hanoi, Beer and Cold drink are cheaper than in India.

Language

90 % of Vietnamese don’t understand English and speak English, Taxi Driver speaks little English and those in hospitality business can speak. But you can take help of google translator and also take help of small Vietnamese kids they speak good English and understand well. Vietnamese use smartphone more than us so doesn’t forget to use Google translator.

Taxi

Taxi drivers don’t cheat they usually take you to your place by the shortest route so don’t worry and secondly metered taxis are available so don’t bargain, the price is usually INR 30/ KM. Motorbike taxis are also available but you have to confirm price first. Local Transport in Hanoi is very difficult due to heavy traffic.

Place worth Visit

Visiting Vietnam is a great experience. Most famous place in Vietnam is Ho lang bay, Which is near to Hanoi city(200 KM). This place is on the list of world heritage places. Spend a night in Sea cruise is which not much costly 80 USD to 150 USD for three stars to 4-star cruise. If book cruise then they offer free Pick and drop(Small Buses) from Hanoi city.

Don’t miss this place, Vietnam visit is waste if you are coming back without visiting this place.

experience of Indian tourists to Vietnam
Experience of Indian tourists to Vietnam

Second place is Hanoi which is Capital city of Vietnam, you can visit HoTay lake, Ho Chi Minh Museum, You must visit a local night market near Old Quarter where you may find a lot of option for Vietnamese sovereigns. Bach Ma, honoring a legendary horse, plus Đồng Xuân Market, selling household goods and street food.

Third Place is Sea beach near Hai Phong city, but please note this city is famous flesh trade, so avoid visit in city area as many touts may approach you.

Fourth place is Da Nang which again coastal city but far from Hanoi.

Important Tips

  • Don’t talk negative about their leader Ho Chi Minh, he is their Gandhi. They respect him a lot. Even pronounce this name properly.
  • Bargaining works in the local market.
  • Don’t fall in traps of Traditional women who offer to have the photograph with they may ask INR 300 for just one Photo click.
  • Use taxis for Local travel they are safe as compare to motorbike taxis.
  • Price of Local stuff is generally Comparable to Indian local markets. ( few products on the little higher side.
  • First copy branded clothes are available in local market, so avoid those stuff. Secondly in companies outlet like Nike Adidas price is high as compare to India.
  • Refurbished iPhone is available in the mall, don’t buy those.

More detail Vietnam Tourist visa for Indian passport.

Source: Enjoy Vietnam.

 

MeKong Delta tour

Wake up early and explore Cai Rang floating market on a boat – a memorable experience you must try when joining Mekong Delta tours.

Fruit boat in Cai Rang Floating Market
Fruit boat in Cai Rang Floating Market

 

Cai Rang Floating Market is one of three largest floating markets in Can Tho. It is featured by business of Mekong Delta fruits. Cai Rang floating market is located on Cai Rang river, near Cai Rang bridge, far from the center of Can Tho city about 6 km of road and 30 minutes if you go by boat from Ninh Kieu pier (Can Tho city – the capital of old Tay Do).

Cai Rang market becomes crowded from early morning to 8 am - 9 am
Cai Rang market becomes crowded from early morning to 8 am – 9 am

Like other floating markets in Mekong Delta, the market was formed to meet the needs of sale, goods barter when road traffic has been not developed yet. People gathered on the river by means such as canoes, boats,…Today, though road traffic network has developed widely but the floating market has existed and grew increasingly with economic and tourism  potential for Mekong Delta.

Cai Rang market usually begins pretty early, from the early morning until about 8 am or 9 am. Goods are sold on the boats, each boat will usually specialize in one type of goods. In front of each boat, there is a pole on which hangs types of goods that the boat sell. For example, if the boat sells sweet potatoes, the pole will be hang some sweet potatoes; if the boat sells mangoes, the pole will have some mangoes, which means that “selling potatoes here”or” here selling mangoes “. These boats are called “ghe bẹo”.

Soup boat in Cai Rang floating market
Soup boat in Cai Rang floating market

In addition to boats of fruits and agricultural products, there are also many other types of services: pho, noodles, coffee, floating pubs, tourism boats (usually small boat) for shopping and visiting the market.

Enjoy pineapple at Cai Rang Market
Enjoy pineapple at Cai Rang Market

Not only preserving cultural beauty of water region, the floating market;today becomes an attractive tourist destination; especially foreign tourists who like to explore and experience. Foreign tourists feel very excited and interested in the river scenery; even sweet songs as “mía lùi” of Tay Do girls. Price of visiting the market by motorboat is VND 20.000 / person; if travelers want to watch Can Tho bridge on sunrise, price will be surcharged VND 10.000/ person.

You seem to hesitate about a final decision on which sumptuous resort should be chosen for your trip in Phu Quoc, right? Perhaps, the following ideas will entitle you to make it more easily.

1. JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay

Top 10 most luxurious resorts in Phu Quoc: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay
JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay

The resort is depicted as an ideal place to experience since it is famous for its special style and unparalleled position – a pristine beach of Phu Quoc as well as the hidden precious gem of the Vietnam’s southern coast. It was designed by Architect Bill Bensley to be dedicated to the historic Lamarck University and features 244 rooms in total. Here, besides being offered brilliant services, you can also gain a stunning view of the bay.

Price: VND7,500,000/night.

2. Muong Thanh Luxury Phu Quoc Hotel

Muong Thanh Luxury resorts in Phu Quoc
Muong Thanh Luxury Phu Quoc Hotel

Well-known as a chain of five-star hotels, Muong Thanh is positioned centrally, including an amusement park, a spa, a bar & café, a karaoke bar, a swimming pool, and a tennis court. Moreover, with a team of professional, enthusiastic, and dedicated staff, the resort will bring you relaxing moments at Phu Quoc Island.

Price: VND3,200,000/night.

3. Salinda Phu Quoc Island Resort & Spa

Salinda Phu Quoc Island Resort & Spa
Salinda Phu Quoc Island Resort & Spa

Regarded as a premier resort overlooking the sea and nestled in an unspoiled and peaceful beach of Duong Dong Town, Salinda Phu Quoc Island Resort & Spa is a mixture of traditional and modern styles. With the remarkable skill of famous artist, facilities, decorations, and patterns inside the resort reflect its luxury and creativity difficult to be found anywhere else.

Price: VND3,463,000/night

4. Vinpearl Phu Quoc Villas

Lying along one of the most imposing and untouched beaches in the world, Vinpearl Phu Quoc Villas brings you the wonderful ambience which is closer to nature. Besides, it is also among the five-star hotels in the most advantageous location of Vietnam.

Price: VND12,741,000/night.

5. Novotel Phu Quoc Resort

Novotel Phu Quoc Resort
Novotel Phu Quoc Resort

Beautifully situated in Phu Quoc Island, Novotel Phu Quoc Resort not only offers accommodations with balconies overlooking the ocean, but also includes recreation venues. All of those elements make the resort a perfect choice for a luxurious trip. Price: VND3,413,000/night.

6. Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc
Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

The resort’s nestled in the bay of Cua Can and Vung Bau. With the area of over 20 hectares, the resort features up to 97 villas with see views; each of the villas’s designed in the local style, embracing cottage roofs and allowing you to perceive a friendly atmosphere. Additionally, there is nothing wonderful than chilling out at a distinctive swimming pool.

Price: VND6,789,000/night

7. La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc – MGallery by Sofitel

La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc – MGallery by Sofitel
La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc – MGallery by Sofitel

The resort’s positioned in the unspoiled region of Phu Quoc Island. Fringed by hills, forests, white-sand beaches, and turquoise water, the resort in French colonial architecture with 70 rooms provides you an ideal escape from the bustle and hustle of large cities.

Price: VND3,150,000/night.

8. Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort

Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort
Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort

Consisting of 750 rooms furnished with full amenities and high-quality services, Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort is surely indispensable to the list of the most luxurious resorts you must try when making a trip to Vietnam.

Price: VND4,289,000/night

9. Vinpearl Phú Quốc Ocean Resort & Villas

Vinpearl Phú Quốc Ocean Resort & Villas
Vinpearl Phú Quốc Ocean Resort & Villas

With 340 villas, Vinpearl Phú Quốc Ocean Resort & Villas lies along the coastline and offers sea views, garden views, and swimming-pool views. Just pick out your favorite one for your trip in Phu Quoc.

Price: VND8,509,000/night.

10. Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort & Golf

Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort & Golf
Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort & Golf

Situated at Bãi Dài Beach – one of the most fabulous beaches in Phu Quoc Island, Vinpearl Phú Quốc Resort & Golf is an ideal accommodation for your sumptuous trip. Not only are you provided with rooms with modern facilities, but you also enjoy brilliant service of entertainment. Price: VND4,255,000/night.

Source: TNK Travel

Sapa terraced field among top 30 beautiful places in the world

Across this breathtaking plant with roughly 60 million square miles of land, there are a lot of exceedingly beautiful places. The Mother Nature website has recently published the list of top 30 beautiful places in the world including the Sapa terraced fields in Vietnam.

 

Sapa terraced fieldsAccording to the Mother Nature website, there are many mesmerizing scenes which can be found throughout Southeast Asia, but it will be very regretful if the Sapa terraced fields of Vietnam are not mentioned. The people have been doing the seemingly impossible for millennia: growing rice – which requires a flat surface and a lot of water – in mountainous areas. The terraced paddy fields not only yield substantial crops of the widely consumed staple but are also a gorgeous sight to behold. Agriculture at its best … and most beautiful!

The terraced paddy fields own different beauty during different periods of time when the rice is evergreen or yellow. Sapa is also home to many ethnic minorities, forming a region of unique culture; attracting a lot of tourists every year.

Other names included in the list are Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) in Bolivia; Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina; Blue Lagoon in Iceland, and so on.

Visit our site http://transoceanservice.com/ for more details about vietnam travel guide.

If you have any problems with getting the visa to Vietnam, please contact us without fees:

1 Floor, 56A Nguyen Cu Trinh St, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

Phone: (+84) 838 361 567

Tollfree USA: 1866-278-6239

Three cities of Vietnam among the cheapest cities for backpackers

As released by the Priceoftravel, a website specializing in travel. There are three cities in Vietnam included in the list of 124 ideal cities for backpackers in 2014. They are Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hoi An Ancient Town.

Among them, Hanoi is ranked the second cheapest city in Asia for backpackers in 2014, only after Pokhara of Nepal, while Ho Chi Minh city is ranked fifth and Hoi An is listed in the 14th position.

Hanoi view from the sky

Hanoi – the Vietnam’s cheapest city

Hanoi – the Vietnam’s cheapest city for backpackers is also one that gets high marks from most visitors with its unique combination of French colonial and Asian post-communism. The food is also top-notch, especially when you are sitting amongst locals at one of the thousands of plastic-chair cafes throughout the city. Keep costs even lower by sticking with Bia Hoi, the world’s cheapest beer. Hostel beds are cheap, but private rooms are too, so don’t automatically book a bunk. The average expense of a backpacker in Hanoi is 15.88 USD per day.

Ho Chi Minh city

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, as it’s still usually known, is far more sprawling and modern compared to Hanoi, and it’s quite a bit more lively as well. Hotel and food prices tend to be a bit higher than elsewhere in Vietnam, but compared to almost anywhere else in the world this is a bargain. Hostel beds can be quite cheap in Saigon, but hotels are costlier than almost anywhere in Vietnam. The average cost for one day in Ho Chi Minh City is 18.27 USD.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a very popular stop for those touring the country; and it ends up being the trip highlight for a great number of those. The old town is a perfectly preserved Chinese-style fishing village; and the city is as filled with great and cheap restaurants as it is with tailor shops. Since there are no real hostels with dorm beds in Hoi An, the city appears lower on this list than it deserves to be. It’s cheaper than Saigon, except that you have to stay in a hotel instead of a hostel. The average cost for one day in Hoi An Ancient town is 23.23 USD

 

Halong Bay listed among top 10 fishing spots around the world

Halong bay
Halong Bay

As fishing offers holiday fun and local insight, finding an ideal place for fishing plays a very important role to get the fun. Recently, the Lonely Planet – a well-known travel website, has announced the list of top 10 fishing spots around the world and it is a great honor for Vietnam to has its Halong Bay in the list. Do you want to visit this spot, please well prepare all things including visa to Vietnam for your trip.

morning fishing on Halong bay
Morning fishing on Halong Bay

Fishing on Halong Bay

According to the website, a night on Halong Bay will change the conception that the word ‘squid’ mightn’t conjure up the warm-and-fuzzies. where website advised tourists to spend a night fishing squid in Ha Long Bay. A night on Halong bay is a very special experience for tourists to see the beauty of the bay’s jade-green waters on moonless evenings and fishing for the slippery little cephalopods that go into the region’s best-known specialty: squid sausages.

With only a bamboo rod, a catch net and a lamp to attract the squid to the surface; So anyone can hook themselves an impressive 30-plus squid in just a couple of hours. The stillness of the bay dotted by the dreamy reflection of the lamps makes for a contemplative, romantic evening; Lonely Planet said.

Squid season in Ha Long begins in April and runs through until January: the biggest squid are caught between October and November.

Also on the list of top 10 fishing spots around the world are Kola Penninsula (Russia); Cairns (Australia); South America; Eg-Uur river (Mongolia); Amazon river (Brazil), Osstduinkerke (Belgium); Congo river basin; Brainerd (USA) and Rio Grande (Tierra del Fuego).

Vietnam travel guide

vietnam travel

Vietnam is a beautiful nation, stocked with genuinely nice people, a deep culture and exquisite food.  Before you get too excited secure first your Vietnam visa before exploring this up and coming tourist destination, there are a number of things to keep in mind.  An exhaustive summation is outside the scope of this article, so we are going to limit ourselves to the top five Vietnam travel tips.

1. Money Matters

A lot of folks run into money issues when visiting Vietnam. The biggest problem lies in the denominations themselves and their excessive number of zeros.  10,000 dong notes (44 cents USD) looks a lot like 100,000 notes ($4.44), and 50,000 dong bills ($2.20) can easily be confused with 500,000 dong notes ($21.99). The key here is double checking what bills you are actually passing over. The next biggest issue people seem to have (especially westerners) is with haggling:  The requested price is NEVER the final price, and a little negotiation can go a very long way.  The biggest trick to haggling is being willing to walk away – vendors love seeing business coming in but hate seeing it walk away.

2. Hotel/Hostel Reservations

The best hotel and hostel deals in Vietnam are to be found on foot – not online. This runs counter to everything we take for granted when it comes to hotel reservations.  In most parts of the world, Agoda typically gives better value than you will find as a walk in.  In Vietnam, this is rarely the case, and hotels and hostels are usually more expensive if you book them online. Take particular care to try to look for hotels and hostels off the beaten path – cheaper and nicer places can be typically be found off of the main avenues.

vietnam travel

3. Motorbikes

Vietnam is a beautiful country, and motorbikes (scooters and larger motorcycles) are the best way of taking in all the glorious locales. Rental bikes are available in every urban area and usually cost six to nine dollars a day.  Unfortunately, motorbikes are also the number one cause of tourist death around the world.  If you are not an experienced motorcyclist, Vietnam travel – like Thailand travel and other SE Asian travel – is a very scary and dangerous place to ride.

Riding in Vietnam

The Vietnamese have been on two wheels since they were children and have perfected the art of riding together in groups like schools of swarming fish.  If you unsure as to your abilities, err on the side of caution.  Drivers can be found for around $14 a day that will take the worry out of the trip while you sit (somewhat) comfortably on the back surveying the stunning mountain and valley roads.

4. Booking Travel

Hotels will often ask about your travel plans and will quickly jump on the offer to book them for you as a part of their ‘free’ concierge service.  Nine times out of ten, they will then tack on a pretty exorbitant – and completely invisible – service charge and pocket the difference.  To get the most of your travel dollars, book your train and/or bus reservations directly at the terminals.  And being on the topic of travel, beware of shady ‘cyclo’ drivers in all major cities that will initially offer a cheap fare and then drive you off to an isolated location and suddenly produce a much higher bill which you are basically forced to pay.

Taxis in Vietnam

Taxis can be similarly sketchy – never take one that offers a smile and ‘fixed price’ and be on the lookout for taximeters that continue to run while the vehicle is stationary – a sure sign that the meter has been tampered with.

5. Personal Safety

Getting separated from your valuables is never a pleasant experience, and it’s particularly vexing when it occurs while traveling.  Pickpockets (‘cowboys’) are prevalent around urban areas as are snatch and grab banditos that like to steal laptops, packs and cellphones out of your hands while zooming by on a motorbike.  Food and water problems are also a real issue in Vietnam, so make sure that your street food has been properly cooked (charred is actually a good thing), the soup is on a light boil and you only drink purified or bottled water.  You should also have had your hepatitis A and B vaccinations.  Drug scams are also dangerous in Vietnam with hustlers working with police to jail foreigners or extort them for money.  Liaisons with prostitutes is also a very real concern and can result in blackmail (underage prostitute), robbery from her accomplices or outright imprisonment.

So, those are our top 5 Vietnam travel tips.

Mui Ne and Phan Thiet travel guide

Oh, what do we tell you about Mui Ne and Phan Thiet?! These tiny fishing villages are nestled between turquoise beaches that line the Eastern coast of Vietnam. The area is just 4-hour train ride away from the chaos of Ho Chi Minh City but seems like a different world altogether. There are endless reasons for visiting Mui Ne and Phan Thiet. We found it tough to choose between gorgeous sunsets, glistening beaches, surreal scenery, and picture-perfect villages but we managed to restrict ourselves to listing just 10 Things To Do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

There are endless things to do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet, but we loved the beaches and villages

Before we tempt you with some amazing things to do in Mui Ne, let’s get the slightly boring stuff out of the way?

Accommodation in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

We would strongly recommend staying in Mui Ne as Phan Thiet can get crowded and busy. We stayed in a very nice beach-side resort called Pandanus Resort.

How To Get To Mui Ne And Phan Thiet

Although a bit convoluted, it is possible to get a Vietnam visa on arrival (for which you must apply online first). Once you are in Vietnam, It’s fairly easy to get to Mui Ne / Phan Thiet from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). On our way to Mui Ne, we took the train from Saigon that departed at 06:50 a.m. (eek!) and brought us to Phan Thiet in 4 hours. We could have taken the bus, but our hotel staff suggested that the train would be more comfortable. Right they were? From the train station, we were ferried to our resort in Mui Ne by the pre-arranged pick-up driver from our resort. In total, it took us 4.5 hours to get to Mui Ne. Train tickets, including reserved seating, cost $ 16.

On our way back from Mui Ne to Saigon, we decided to take the bus. Our hotel arranged the bus tickets with a company called Hanh Cafe, which we later found out did not have good reviews? It was too late to change our booking but thankfully our experience was not bad at all. We were picked up from our resort hotel and after picking up a gazillion other tourists from different hotels in Mui Ne, we were driven to Saigon through the choked roads and highways in a little over 5 hours. We preferred the train, but the buses offer more flexibility in terms of schedule.

Top Things to do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

1)     Rent a bike

You are in Asia. This is a no-brainer. If you want to explore the area, there is no better way to do it than by renting a bike. Bike rentals in Mui Ne cost anywhere between $8-12 per day. Traffic can get crazy in this part of the world, so be careful. Bus drivers seem to be on a mission to demolish anything comes in their way. Another piece of advice – always have your helmet on or you’ll definitely be stopped by a cop which will result in a lot of discussion and eventually, bribery.

Renting a bike will give you the flexibility of exploring offbeat places in the area, discovering hidden beaches, and exploring local markets.

Mui ne,phan thiet

A bike is the cheapest and best way to explore the area around Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

bike in mui ne,phan thiet

Guess what Vid’s favorite part of the trip was?

2)     Go Quad biking at the White Sand Dunes

We’ve already introduced you to this geographical wonder in our write-up on the White Sand Dunes Of Mui Ne. If you’ve rented a bike, getting to the White Sand Dunes is a joy ride in itself. It will take you through unpaved roads and gorgeous stretches of Vietnamese countryside. Once you are there, enjoy the dunes on a quad bike – everything from gentle bumps to stomach-churning bends is on offer.

The white sand dunes of Mui Ne are approximately 25 km. away from the center of Mui Ne – once you have had your share of fun at the dunes, just walk over to the lotus pond and spend the afternoon watching the sun go down.

sand in mui ne,phan thiet

Ever seen sand dunes next to water and grasslands?

sand in mui ne,phan thiet

The White Sand Dunes, one of our favoritevi things to do in Mui Ne, Vietnam

3)     Visit the early morning fish market of Mui Ne

Mui Ne’s chaotic early morning market provides a fascinating peek into the lives of local Vietnamese fishermen. Every morning they get their catch to the shore. Their wives and family members sort out the catch and sell it to the local traders, restaurant owners, and street food vendors on the spot. It’s like a trading floor right out of a Wall Street institution.  Expect to find fishing nets full of seafood, buckets overflowing with fish, shells strewn everywhere, raucous conversation, and plenty of photo-opps (It was tough to tear Vid away from the market ? )

fish market ai mui ne,phan thiet

Early morning fish market at Mui Ne

4)     Sunrise and Sunset at Mui Ne

Early morning isn’t the only time you should visit Mui Ne. This little village is absolutely magical at sunrise and sunset. Dozens of brightly coloured boats adorn turquoise waters. Everything is bathed in a luminescent light – highly recommended!! In fact, this might be our favourite thing to do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet.

mui ne, phan thiet

Colourful fishing boats dot the waters of Mui Ne

mui ne, phan thiet

Sunset in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet is spectacular to say the least

5)     Visit the Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne

Another great place to catch a gorgeous sunset are the Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne. If you don’t have the time to venture out to the White Sand Dunes, the Red ones are just a couple of kilometres from the centre and can be reached on foot as well.We still can’t get over the wonders of nature in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet – sand dunes that make you feel like you are in a desert right next to the beach?!

red sand in mui ne,phan thiet

The Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam

red sand at mui ne

 

Sand Dunes next to the beach – ooh yeah!

6)     The Fairy Stream

When we first heard about it, we were apprehensive about this being a tourist trap. But we were wrong!! This aptly named stream is another wonder of nature. Tucked between beaches and fishing villages, this gurgling stream is surrounded by amazing limestone formations. You can deposit your shoes at the entrance or carry them along with you to explore this muddy stream. Make your way through colourful limestone formations, warm water, and bright green trees to reach a waterfall.

mui ne phan thiet

Vid at the Fairy Stream, one of our favourite things to do in Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

7)     Treat your nostrils at fish vats ?

Mui Ne and Phan Thiet are famous for being the home of fish sauce. This popular condiment might add a great dash of flavour to Asian food, but it doesn’t smell particularly pleasant. In fact, the word vile comes to mind – fermented fish in huge vats – doesn’t exactly remind you of perfume, does it ? There are a number of factories in Phan Thiet, but if you are in Mui Ne, you can witness the action close to The Fairy Stream.

mui ne,phan thiet

Huge vats of fermented fish sauce

mui ne,phan thiet

Fermented fish sauce and dried fish – sounds amazing, doesn’t it ?

8)     Find a secluded beach

There is no shortage of things to do in Mui Ne but it is easy to spend languid days at your hotel’s beach. But we suggest taking your rented scooter out for a spin and exploring the area. There are a number of isolated beaches perfect for an impromptu picnic or skinny dipping, if you enjoy that sort of thing ? Our favourite secluded beach is the Hon Rom beach which can be reached by driving past the Red Sand Dunes towards the White Sand Dunes.

What’s a beach holiday without some beach bumming ?

9)     Learn Kite Surfing

Mui Ne and Phan Thiet boast of a number of windy beaches that are perfect for kite surfing.  In fact, the area is one of Asia’s most popular sites for kitesurfing. There are a number of Kite Surfing schools in the area that offer courses for amateurs and beginners at extremely competitive prices. Moreover, there is no shortage of wide, sandy beaches to practice the sport

mui ne,phan thiet

Kitesurfing is just one of the dozens of things to do in Mui Ne

10)  Binge on The Food

Aah, the best for the last ? Mui Ne offers scrumptious seafood for dirt cheap prices. Grilled Red Snappers for £3 and clams and mussels for £2 often crop up on menus. If you’re adventurous, there’s snakes, crocodiles, and turtles on the menu. Freshly BBQ’d scallops with spring onions and peanuts drizzled with a lemon, sugar, and salt dip were my favourites. Mmmm, I want to go back for some more.

Then there are the fruits – everything from litchis and mangoes to mangosteens and papayas are on offer. Mui Ne’s morning fruit market is the equivalent of a candy factory for fruit lovers. The pick of the lot? Fuchsia-coloured Dragon Fruit. You’ll see entire orchards of Dragon Fruit on the way from Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne. No wonder it tastes better here than in any other part of Asia. Our friend Jodi talks about some great eating options in her Crash Course on Mui Ne ?

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Pick your own sea food at cheap prices – That’s Mui Ne for you ?

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BBQ’d Scallops – DIVINE!

Fresh Fruits – nom, nom, nom!

Planning a trip to VietNam? Don’t forget to read our tips on VietNam travel guide.

For more details without fee, please call us +84.968187718 (Mr Stanley Ho)

Ho Chi Minh City travel guide

 

The largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City has something for everyone. The city’s eight million residents still call it by its old name, Saigon, and for many, that name still carries with it the exotic charm of its long and fascinating history. Growing and stretching at a furious pace, the city is never still. The noise of construction on dozens of new office buildings and hotels mingles with the cries of street vendors. And the honk of motorbikes and buses. Elegant restaurants, educational museums, ancient pagodas, and quiet botanical gardens are steps away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life of Ho Chi Minh City’s citizens. A fascinating conglomeration of cultures has been woven into the tapestry of this increasingly popular tourist destination.

The History of Ho Chi Minh City

While the centuries-old history of Ho Chi Minh City is often murky due to lack of written records. As we know that a once sleepy fishing village called Prei Nokor. It’s located in a strategic spot along the Saigon River, slowly developed into a vastly important port of trade in the South China Sea. This trading port was later named Saigon after the Viets swept down from the north to conquer the kingdom of Champa in the 18th century.
In 1861, the French military seized control of Saigon in retaliation for the mistreatment of French missionaries. And in 1862, the Treaty of Saigon named Saigon as the capital of French Cochinchina. Which covered the southernmost one-third portion of what is modern-day Vietnam. The French influence during their nearly 100 years of rule shaped the form and character of the growing seaport. And modern visitors can see this influence in the architecture, street design, cuisine, fashion, and European-style hospitality.

“Sai Gon” history

French rule was harsh to the native population, and the growing resentment and rebellion toward French colonialism produced a surge of support for Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Viet Minh (the League for the Independence for Vietnam).

Though Ho Chi Minh was Communist, this was a secondary concern for the native population, who desperately desired to be independent of all foreign governments. After WWII, Ho Chi Minh’s forces seized the northern city of Hanoi and set up the Democratic State of Vietnam in the north, with “Uncle Ho” as president. It was the clash between President Ho’s Communist North and the anti-Communist South and its ally, the United States. Which sparked the terrible conflagration of the Vietnam War. Two years after American troops pulled out of Saigon in 1973, the Ho Chi Minh Campaign rolled into Saigon, and the city was quickly re-named after Ho Chi Minh.

Later, the Vietnamese government embraced a market economy, which allowed the city’s thousands of imaginative and entrepreneurial leaders to begin creating remarkable wealth and prosperity. Today, visitors enjoy the benefits of this thriving economy while still being able to savor the historical remnants of Ho Chi Minh City’s manifold past.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. Because it is located in a tropical climate, you can expect average year-round temperatures to be between 26 degrees C and 29 degrees C (79 degrees F to 84 degrees F). While the wet season from May to November produces many tropical storms, just plan some flexibility into your travel itinerary to accommodate any storms that arise. Any time of year is a great time to soak in the beautiful scenery and fascinating activities on offer in this engaging part of the world.

Learn about Ho Chi Minh City Culture

Don’t neglect to get an education in Ho Chi Minh City’s culture. Beautiful museums and ancient places of worship will keep you absorbed by the way of life from generations past. The following sites are well worth your time:

War Remnants Museum

Many Western visitors to Ho Chi Minh City are generally knowledgeable about how the West was involved in the Vietnam War, but the War Remnants Museum will give you perspective on how it played out from a Vietnam citizen’s viewpoint. Be aware that the upper level of the museum displays sometimes very graphic images of victims of weapons such as Agent Orange and napalm. The museum also contains exhibits relating to the Indochina War (19 December 1946 – 1 August 1954), which was known as the Anti-French Resistance War to the people of Vietnam. Located in District 3.

Ben Thanh Market

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The ultimate in Ho Chi Minh City’s market culture. So you can find just about anything in this centrally located, bustling daily market: produce, cuisine, clothing, jewelry, handbags, souvenirs, housewares, and much, much more. Bargaining is expected. So hone your haggling skills to command lower prices, and feel free to ignore the “fixed price” signs. NOTE: pickpockets operate in this area, so take special care to secure your valuable personal items against theft.

Water Puppet Show

Puppeteers brought this unique and exceptionally enthralling entertainment to the south from the rice paddies of Northern Vietnam’s Red River Delta after the 11th century. Lacquered wooden puppets perform on a water stage, a waist-deep pool that hides the poles on which the puppets are manipulated. Puppeteers hide behind a bamboo screen while playing out tales of magic and myth that are so beloved in Vietnamese culture set to live, traditional music. While the plays are voiced entirely in Vietnamese, exaggerated puppet movements and helpful sound effects from the orchestra make plotlines easy to follow. Be sure to visit the Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theater or the Villa Song Saigon (formerly Thao Dien Village) as part of your stay in HCM City.

Jade Emperor Pagoda

Over 100 years old, the Taoist shrine is replete with the gods and heroes of Taoist beliefs along with Cantonese Buddhist inscriptions and carvings, though the pagoda is a place of worship meant for all faiths. The Jade Emperor himself (the supreme Taoism god) reigns swathed in clouds of incense in the Chamber of 10 Hells, with various gods and goddesses scattered throughout the intricately designed interior. In one of the courtyards, a shelter houses dozens of turtles, which represent longevity, fortune, and good luck in Asian culture. Admission is free, and the pagoda is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm.

Ho Chi Minh City Art & Architecture Tours

Though many French colonial buildings are being demolished to make room for modern buildings, there is a sense of freshness and innovation in HCM City’s current architectural plans. Still, the mainstays of the French colonial era have remained intact, and you can visit these beautiful remnants while also marveling at what’s new.

Reunification Palace

Completed in 1966, Reunification Palace was built on the site of the original home of the French governor of Cochinchina in 1868. The residence was gradually expanded to become Norodom Palace. Before becoming the home of the first South Vietnamese president. After Vietnam gained independence from France, Ngo Dinh Diem. After surviving an assassination attempt by his own air force. Which demolished the palace with bombs, President Ngo built another one called Independence Palace. But he was killed by his troops three years before its completion. After Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese, the palace was renamed Reunification Palace. And visitors can enjoy its cheery, open 1960s-era architecture and furnishings. Which have been left in place since the palace was abandoned? Daily tours can accommodate English and French speakers.

Bitexco Financial Tower – Saigon Skydeck

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A 68-story marvel, this airy tower graces the HCM City skyline as the 124th tallest tower in the world. Floors of the building house offices, shops, restaurants, and a helipad. But the biggest draw is the Saigon Skydeck, an observation deck that provides 360 degree views of HCM City and the Saigon River below. Designed by American architect Carlos Zapata. The award-winning financial tower is on CNNGo’s list of 20 of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers. Shop, eat, or enjoy art shows as well as take in the amazing views. And the city’s other landmarks at the tower’s location on 36 Ho Tung Mau Street in District 1. The sky deck is open daily from 9:30am to 9:30pm.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Started by the French in 1877 and not completed for many decades. Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City served as the Catholic office headquarters in Cochinchine as well as a testament to the Vietnamese of France’s might and power. The cathedral was anointed as a basilica by the Vatican in 1962. Which officially renamed it the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Unlike more elaborate cathedrals in other countries, the Notre Dame Cathedral in HCM City has a fairly simple interior. That’s a place of peace and serenity amongst the noise and chaos of life in downtown HCM City. Sunday masses are conducted in both English and Vietnamese (the public is welcome to attend). And the cathedral is open to the public daily for tours. The front doors are open for Sunday masses, but on weekdays, use the side door.

Food & Authentic Cooking of Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon Street Food

Food in Vietnam culture really is about love

The love of the ingredients, the process of cooking, and the act of eating. When you visit Ho Chi Minh City, you must make it a point to sample the cuisine. In order to truly begin to understand the people and the culture. From street vendors to the most elegant five-star restaurants, HCM City offers a sampling of regional cuisine from all over the entire country—the North, the Central area, and, of course, the South.

Street Food & Local Stalls

From pho to ban tam bi, you can find almost any Vietnamese dish served on the street. Grazing along among the stalls and tiny shops is one of the transcendental experiences of HCM City. Choose vendors and stalls where there are lines, as this means. That’s the ingredients are fresher and replaced often, lessening any chances of food poisoning. Which is very rare if you take a few simple precautions (read Jodi Ettenberg’s excellent guide on safely eating street food at Legal Nomads blog). Whatever you do, don’t refuse to eat street food! You’ll be missing out on some of the best eats you’ve ever had, the kind of food you will lovingly describe to any friend or stranger who will listen at any party you attend in the future.

Cyclo Resto

This is where the locals eat, so you are guaranteed a delicious, authentic meal for a great price. Cyclo Resto’s set menu takes the guesswork out of ordering, and the staff will helpfully explain each dish. Located down a little alley, the time you spend searching it out will only whet your appetite for the fantastic meal you are about to enjoy.

XO Tours

A food tour from a local is one of the best ways to both see and taste what a city has to offer. When XO Tours offer family-friendly motorbike tours. And the friendly, knowledgeable female guides will take you to parts of the city you aren’t likely to see otherwise. All while sampling dishes that keep your taste buds tingling. XO Tour guides deliver all kinds of interesting information about the history and way of life in HCM City. Many speak English very well.

Ho Chi Minh City Adventure Tours

One of the biggest advantages of having a tour guide is that you get a wealth of information that the guidebooks can’t deliver. Adventure tours of the city and the surrounding area take all of the stress out of freely exploring must-see sights. Book a tour, show up at the appointed time, and take it all in!

Cu Chi Tunnels

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Part of the Vietnam War Memorial Park, the Cu Chi tunnels were created by the Communist Viet Cong (VC). During the Vietnam War in order to escape U.S. and South Vietnam bombs and searches. Located under the Cu Chi district in northwest HCM City. The Cu Chi tunnels are part of a larger network of tunnels the VC used to link; With other bases that stretched from Saigon all the way to the Cambodian border. Many civilians also lived in the tunnels. Today, visitors are allowed to crawl through some of the safer tunnel areas. With sample food that a typical VC soldier would have eaten, and shoot an AK-47 on a shooting range.

Mekong Delta Private Day Tour

The Mekong Delta produces an astonishing 1/3 of Vietnam’s annual food crop. Including rice, coconut palms, sugar cane, and tropical fruits. All of this lush agriculture means that visitors can revel in the diverse scenery and greenery, visiting farms, food stalls. And restaurants that specialize in cuisine derived from the freshest fruits, vegetables, and seafood available. Quiet rides down the river in a longtail boat spotting exotic flora and fauna are also not to be missed. Book a tour with Viator for an incredibly reasonable price and spend a day exploring the beautiful Mekong Delta.

Vietnam Vespa Adventures

Saigon at night from the back of a Vespa scooter is a magical place. When you can sit in the open air behind a skilled driver. And you’ll see sights and hear sounds unavailable in an air-conditioned car. Guides show you both the popular and hidden parts of HCM City as well as introduce you to special restaurants and hidden-away eateries. All the more fun when you know that the food and drink are included in the price of the tour.

Conclusion

Ho Chi Minh City is a wonderland of sights, smells, tastes, and experiences. No matter how long you stay. You’ll never be able to see it all. But the fun is in the attempt to see and experience as much as you can. Busy, vibrant, growing, and a mix of old-world charm and modern industry. So you’ll never regret adding HCM City to your Vietnam itinerary.