Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vietnam Travel Guide and Information: Going Around the City

A guide on maximizing your time when going around Vietnam 

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is generally a walkable and safe city. Traffic is also light compared to other countries. There are a lot of trees and greenery everywhere.

Here are some tips to enjoy the sights of Ho Chi Minh: 

1. Take ONLY the Mai Linh and Vina Sun taxis.  As a lot of blogs and websites have mentioned, the taxis in Vietnam are the worst scams esp. if they sense that you’re a tourist.  They would take you around to see some tourist spot although you’re not interested to see them. So just make sure to take only the trusted names in Vietnam- MAI LINH and VINASUN. Make sure to check if the meter is working. Flag down rate is 10.000 VD. From the aiport to District 1, fare would be about 110.000 to 140.000 VD or about 7 USD.

Mai Linh Taxi in Vietnam

Photo Credit: http://www.vietnamtravel.org/taxis-saigon-avoid-being-taken-ride
 

2. Print out the address of your hotel.  It was a good thing that I took note of the exact address of the hotel where I stayed. Because of it, the taxi driver who picked me up from the airport was able to locate the hotel.  I just showed him the address and he drove me there since we cannot understand each other. (Haha!)

3. Wear light and airy clothes and always bring water. Just like the Philippines, Vietnam is a tropical country so the weather is either hot or humid.  So it makes sense to wear shorts and sleeveless or shirts during tours. Also, bring huge amounts of water although there are a lot of stores where you can buy bottled waters. The heat could be dehydrating. Wear a hat or bring an umbrella.

Boating on Vietnam's countryside
4. Ask for a city map. So you can have the freedom to move around the city, print out a city map or ask a map from the hotel where you're staying. If you're in District 1, you can actually visit the historical places on foot. 

5. Watch out for motorcycles! Ho Chi Minh is like a motorcycle city. The motorbike is their primary means of transportation- female or male, young or old. So be careful of whizzing motorbikes when walking along the streets. 

blurred motorcycle traffic in the background




And just like in any other place, always be mindful of your things especially in busy and crowded areas!

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