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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Vietnam Hotels and Travel Information

Currency Conversion Site

Most of these Hotels accept VISA cards, but do add 3% to your bill for using them, and had TV, mini bars and air-conditioning. 

SAIGON - HO CHI MINH CITY

Hotel 127

127 Cong Quynh St., District 1, TELE:  848-8368761

Madamcuc@hcm.vnn.vn

Guesthouse127@bdvn.vnd.net

Answered email for reservation right away, and arranged pick up from airport: $6 for private car. Madame Cucís very well run establishment, $20 USD per night includes breakfast and one meal a day, plus fruit, coffee and tea any time of day. Large air con room, TV, minibar, great bathroom. Friendly staff, and will arrange any tour you want, or reservations for your next hotel stay elsewhere. VISA not accepted for room, or tours, but was accepted as payment for air ticket. MORE INFORMATION ON HOTEL 127

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

HOI AN

Thanh Binh III

Their newest hotel just around the corner from Thanh Binh II

Nhi Trung Street (New) Hoi An Town, TELE:  84-510-863715

Vothihong@dng.vnn.vn

$16 USD for a double room. Donít let the pool and nice looks fool you. The service was poor, and inattentive for this VERY NOISY over priced hotel. Also the included breakfast buffet was weak at best. Perhaps they hadnít gotten their act together yet. If you decide to stay there, get a room in the back away from the street noise, and from the incense that constantly rises up from their altar and invades your room. VISA accepted.

NOT RECOMMENDED

 

HOI AN

HOI PHO HOTEL

4 Nhi Trung St., Hoi An Ancient Town, TELE:  0510-916382

Hoiphohotel@yahoo.com

We spent $8 for a double, although they were listed at $10. Family run, quiet and clean, with friendly, personable service. Good Value. Near internets, restaurants and tailors. Helpful in arranging travel to Hue.  VISA accepted.

RECOMMENDED

 

 

HUE

Binh Minh II (Sunrise), 

45 (19) Ben Nghe St., TELE:   (84)(54)849007

Binhminhhue@dng.vnn.vn

The Binh Minh I Hotel was recommended to us, but apparently (after asking for a quiet room), and due to construction noise, we were brought to the Binh Minh II hotel. After the confusion was settled, we were quite pleased. $15 USD for a large double, with a very decent bathroom, satellite TV, minibar, air conditioning. Breakfast included. Friendly service and helpful in making reservations for air flights or tours. VISA accepted.

RECOMMENDED

 

HANOI

Prince II Hotel, 42B Hang Giay Street, TELE:  (84-4)9261203

Ngodzung@hn.vnn.vn

http://www.hanoiprincehotel.com/

Hung, the Manager answered email quickly.  Great location, near restaurants, internet and shops. Only two years old. Smartly appointed large rooms with French shuttered windows, Chinese furniture and beautiful marble floors, $15-$20 USD. Airport pickup, sometimes offered on promotion with 3 nights stay. Breakfast included. Offers many different tour bookings.  VISA accepted.

RECOMMENDED

 

TRAVEL INFO

AIRFARE

We flew Bangkok to Saigon, Hanoi to Bangkok. $260 USD for one person. Taxis can easily be found at the airports, however, we arranged most of our taxi pick ups with the hotels in which we stayed. One hotel would call ahead to another, book the room and taxi, or we would take care of both online via the internet sites. Airport departure tax of $14 USD to leave the country.

VISA

30 day visa; ours cost $60 USD per person. Have your travel dates in order before applying, as the visa dates are fixed.

MONEY

Bring dollars in small bills. There are ATMís (which are what we use) in each of the cities we visited which will give you local currency. Most prices are quoted in dollars, and itís usually to your advantage to use them, as the hotel exchange rate can vary. Most of the hotels took Visa, some adding a 3% charge. In the shops, you can pay with dong or dollars, depending on the exchange rate you are given. Some shops take Visa and Mastercard, others donít. Not all add the surcharge.

 

HOTELS

All of the hotels in which we stayed, except one, included breakfast, which was a baguette, jam, butter, cheese, fruit and coffee, juice or tea. Some hotels offered extensive breakfast buffets, but we were not in any of those. Free internet was offered at some hotels as well. Just a note - make sure you get a quiet room. We had a beautiful balcony room in Hoi An, but the street noise from honking busses and motorbikes is horrendous, and takes away from a good nightís sleep. This adversely affects your trip!

Many reservations for your next hotel can either be made at the hotel you are staying in or online. Also, taxi pick ups can be made either online or from your previous hotel.

 

 

TRANSPORT/EASE OF TRAVEL

Hotels will easily arrange transport for you to and from the airports, including the purchase and delivery of air tickets, and transportation for tours.

To get from Hoi An to Hue the hotels will arrange a minibus to take you over the Hai Van Pass. Be sure to sit on the right hand side window to get the best view.

Cyclo drivers are everywhere and for a couple of bucks will take you anywhere, and will wait to take you back. They are paid by the hour, but they can be paid by the trip. Itís important to negotiate the price and time beforehand. We would have them write the price on a piece of paper, that way there was no mistake about it later. This procedure saved us a couple of times.

Also motorbike taxis are readily available usually for a buck or less.

 

SECURITY

After reading our guidebooks, Saigon was a concern for petty theft and motorbike bandits. These guys fly past you and grab your bag, necklace or whatever. But, we are happy to say, we had no experience with theft whatsoever. We do, however, tend to keep a low profile, thus not making ourselves targets, and we are very conscious of our belongings - our travel bags, any extras including eyewear or hats. We wore no jewelry and did not flash any wealth at any time.

We found the people very kind and helpful, and very honest.

 

WHAT TO BRING/CLOTHING

Bring as little as possible, you will be able to purchase all kinds of clothing while in Vietnam. If there is ďnothing in your sizeĒ, you can have it made anywhere in the country. Hoi An is noted for their tailors, but really, you can have anything made just about anywhere.

For fabric, the best selection is in Saigon, and the best prices are in Hanoi. Buy in one of these two places and have the tailors do your bidding anywhere along the line you visit. Everyoneís sister or mother or father is a tailor or seamstress and most items can be finished in less than 24 hours. Pick a shop, any shop, and go from there. Make sure the items are double seamed so that they donít fray, and make sure they use the same color thread as your item being made.

FOOD

Restaurants are everywhere, most with some of the menu in English. You can eat well in the Vietnamese restaurants for little money, or you can go to the Western places and order something closer to home, but you pay accordingly. With the French influence here, there are some decent cheeses, salad dressings and sauces for foods. Not sure where they get their beef, but for an Asian country, it is better than we have had elsewhere in the region.

 

SHOPPING

You will find great bargains here. Be sure you donít buy at the first shop you see something, and be sure to bargain. Although many shops offer the same item, always check out the quality.

It seems that the shopkeepers are still working out their selling skills. Some are very attentive, some not at all. One vendor will look you over before giving the price, another vendor will have prices marked. With a few vendors, the thinking is that because you look, you have made the promise to buy and are upset if you do not. Still others realize that looking is good, coming back again is even better. They, over all, seem eager to please.

The best way to purchase is to look at several shops, find the ďrealĒ price for something, and then go to the shop you favor with your items in mind, and negotiate from there. The large markets, many times, will have the best prices over an individual shop, but not always. And of course, the more you buy, the better the price.

 

CITIES VISITED

Our trip took us from Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi to Halong Bay. However, it is difficult to fit everything in on a first visit, and you will not be at a loss for places to go, things to do. On this trip, due to time constraints, we missed the Mekong Delta and the Sapa region, both highly recommended to us.

Do some research, choose according to your interests and the season, and plan a return visit!

SURVIVAL PHRASES

Sin Chau - Hello           Than Biet - Good bye

Hen gop lai - See you later            Cam on - Thank you

Bia hoi - Draught beer            Com - Rice

Pho - Noodle soup               Ga - Chicken

Bo - Beef                Heo - Pork

Tom - shrimp          Ca - Fish 

 

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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