Vietnam

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dave-brown
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Vietnam

Postby dave-brown » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:21 am

Who's travelled there before, and any good suggestions?
I've never been a fan of lonely planet guides due to the target market being slightly less frugal than I, it has non the less proved pretty damn useful. usually relying on local punks to give advice when traveling, it seems this isn't as much of an option here, well not thus far anyhow,
Got a month or two and have a few things planned but if anyone has been and can recommend places or experiences they could recommend that would be neat.
Highlights so far include a friendly local, incredibly affordable beer, a sweet museum and a hearty argument with a local con artist/taxi bicycle dude

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FC
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Re: Vietnam

Postby FC » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:40 am

Hao Long Bay is awesome, I enjoyed Hanoi a lot (especially the food), Hue is pretty boring, Hoi An is cool for food, and if you want to get any fancy clothes made for you (shoes too).
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Lurch
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Re: Vietnam

Postby Lurch » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:04 am

We stayed in a "tourist" village north of Hanoi for a couple of days. $2 for a 1.5L coke bottle of Rice Wine. Getting pissed was not an issue. Beer is all pretty cheap, too. We normally stuck to Tiger, though. Tried a few of the local brews but none of them stood out.


See if you can get the local knowledge and find a good rat restaurant. One of my big regrets while there is that we couldn't find the one in Saigon that was recommended. Vital obviously you go to the right place so you get proper farmed rat which are feed on grain and aren't loaded up with disease and grossness as a cheaper sewer caught place would have. Snake taste real good, though. Especially with onions. Eat heaps of weird food and get back to us.


Museum of American Imperialistic War Crimes in Saigon was the best that we looked at, but there are tons scattered around.


Ha Long bay is a definite and if I had to choose I think I liked the north in general more than the south. Hanoi was a cool place. Because it is closer to china it is better for black market goods, too. My mates who were onto it jumped onto new cellphones and shit while they were up there, but those that waited for saigon didn't get much better prices than back home. Hue is indeed boring, and notable because the rice wine made an appearance while we hung out at an internet cafe and kept up to date with Easts handing it to us in the grand final. I guess the DMZ is a worthwhile reason to go there if you wanted to have a look at that, and there are a few interesting museums and stuff there. Lots of left over shit from the yanks that were stationed nearby. We also went on a cruise down the mekong and that was ok. Pretty scummy accommodation, but the town we ended up in was interesting. Might be one for the dero punk rock backpacker in fact. Sure you could get up to lots of mayhem there. If I could remember the name of the town that is. Prob a lot the same though.


edit: There is a crate of homebrew with your name on it back in NZ if you can bring me back a large white "Uncle Ho after the Dien Bien Phu Victory" tshirt. One of my all time favourite shirts and it vanished completely a few years back. I still mourn it.
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sims
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Re: Vietnam

Postby sims » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:00 pm

How much time you got there? You can either spend time or spend money. If you've got money to spend then dont bother haggling to save dollars here and there but if you dont have much money you can spend the time to haggle like crazy.
VINASUN Taxis are good and cheap as on the clock all others will fuck with their meters and rip you off.
Sapa is cool. you can walk with the tribes to their village and stay the night with them. but be prepared to be swarmed by a thousand village hill tribe girls all moaning "Why you no buy from meeee?"
'Da Khong' (pronounced 'ya kom') means no thhank you. everyone tries to sell you shit but usually if you say this they stop hassling.
Thit Cho is dog meat weather you like it or not you should know this. and by the way it is good you should try it.
Halong Bay is mean. its way mean if you stay on the beach for a night or two in the bugalows. they'll try to hustle you out of air conditioning sometimes and try charge you more so make sure you have the details of whatyou paid for written down to make arguing easy.
Hoi An is a choice little town, if you can make it there on a full moon its fun as. they turn off the lights and party in the streets. its a tailor town mostly for shopping though.
Hue is the most bombed part of vietnam its interesting if youre into the history go check out the imperial palace.
Nga Trang is all good i wasnt there for long. went to vinpearl land coz i fuckin love waterslides. seems like a strange thing to do in vietnam going to a hollywood style park but its good value. good water slides, rides, crazy aquarium, spacies that sorta shit.
Mui Ne we ended up in the wrong part with rich shit cunts so make sure you go right into the little town part. once again its nice beaches and shit.
Dalat, most people miss Dalat apparently so when you walk around there you get stared at like an alien. its nice in dalat its a mountain town so you can put on a hoody without sweating your balls off. if you go there then check out the crazy house.
Saigon is crazy but theres heaps to do. i spent alot of time just sitting there watching traffic and crazy shit. get a full body hot stones massage they have some little vietnamese girl flip you round and crack your bones like a pro. easy to score cocaine, weed, opium and blowies in saigon haha. get the hydrofoil down the river to Vung Tau and hire a motorbike when ya there to hoon around, i didnt actually get a bike coz i got sucked into drinking bababa with some local kids at the beach. dont sit on the chairs at the beach, its trouble. Cu Chi tunnels is interesting and make sure you go to the war crimes museum afterwards its part of the tour, its horrible but you should see it. try make friends with a wealthy vietnamese person coz they know where the real buzzy restaurants and stuff are.
Where are you now?

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Agnes
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Re: Vietnam

Postby Agnes » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:45 pm

Get a suit tailored Dave.

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mouseball
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Re: Vietnam

Postby mouseball » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:34 pm

I've lived there for a couple of months.

Sa Pa and Saigon (you'll get sick of it as it's over populated and filthy tho) were my favourite areas. Hanoi was pretty swell too. Some beggars will follow you for hours upon the basis of making eye contact with them, so do not make eye contact with people on the street. Respect the locals, don't buy drugs from locals, don't eat at dodgy restaurants and you should be fine.

Everything is cheap there of course, those 660ml tiger beers are the standard drink over there from my experience and they're much nicer than the version you find in nz.

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dave-brown
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Re: Vietnam

Postby dave-brown » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:42 pm

Haha fuck off angus, ah cool, cheers dudes I'l look into these things, that is a good help. still in ho chi minh for a few more days, before we head north , pretty keen to check out the dmz and find the infamous rice wine.

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Lurch
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Re: Vietnam

Postby Lurch » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:08 pm

When we were there there was a bar in HCM city called "Guns and Roses bar". It was real choice. They played western rock music and apparently it is where the whos who of the city's organised crime hang out. We found out the next day. When we went in they rushed upstairs to with mops to clean up what we latter figured out must have been blood off the floor. (Rice wine again. Did I mention this was distilled?) I think. Maybe the story has grown a bit in the telling. Highly recommended anyway if it still exists.
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Lurch
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Re: Vietnam

Postby Lurch » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:58 am

Rice Wine is what we were told it was, and consequently what we called it, but it was definitely higher in alcohol than what a wine would normally be considered.

Sake is often referred to in English-speaking countries as "rice wine"; however, this usage is a misnomer.[citation needed] Sake is produced by means of a brewing process using a mash similar to that which is used for beer. Thus, sake would be more accurately referred to as "rice beer" rather than as "rice wine".[citation needed]

Rice wine typically has a higher alcohol content, 18%–25% ABV, than grape wine (9%–16%), which in turn has a higher alcohol content than beer (usually 4%–6%).



OK: maybe I was wrong. From my experience with fruit/grape wines I'd expect an alcoholic level of 11 to 14.5%. I thought that any higher than that and the yeast started to pack it in. I don't really know anything about fermenting Rice so if it can get over 20% without resorting to distilling then maybe that was all it was. It certainly packed more of a punch than a fortified wine (~18%) or even those cheap "Bourbons", though I guess those have a strong flavour to mask a lot of the alcoholic taste while rice is a lot more neutral.
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Re: Vietnam

Postby Phlegm » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:07 pm

It may just be due to translation. In Chinese the word for alcohol is the same as wine. It could be the same in Vietnamese.
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dave-brown
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Re: Vietnam

Postby dave-brown » Mon May 05, 2014 12:57 pm

Ah despite our loose original plan and the advice, After a week in Hcmc. We headed southwest, to a small coastal town cAlled hai tien. This place literally has fuck all and gets a trickle of tourists through due to it's location, being a transit point, Into both southern Cambodia and to a touristy island, phu quoc ( haha poo cock, yes yes hilarious). Anyhoo this touristy island was our destination, I hate both tourists, and touristy areas, but hey I am a fuckin tourist and I guess some areas are touristy for a reason, ( and the island is! it's lavish as fuck)
I read some backpackers blogs about hai tien, and they all pretty much said " not much here, but there's an ATM, a bank... And u can go to phu quoc or Cambodia" lol. I did see both the ATM, and also the bank ! At a guess I'd say a population of under 2000, amazing markets, fuckin incredibly fresh Kai moana, I mean we ordered steamed crab at the restaunt, and immediately the owners son biked down to the dock side market and returned 5 mins later with two live crabs underhand! Bam! 
Virtually noone drinks in this town, I guess due to poverty and eventually, after an hour looking for something resembling a bar, we walked down an alley where we saw lights and music, now I'm still not entirely sure what the situation was as no English was exchanged, but we ended up gate crashing a street side, freestyle karaoke, dinner. Within seconds of our loitering, we had food, beers and microphones shoved into our hands. They had some sort of reggaeish beat from the two piece band and made us stand on stools and sing for them, and I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure I sung the best version of "one day a taniwha"ever sung by anyone, ever! The bastardised version of " Uma rappite" was also a smash hit with the locals! 
After stumbling back to the hotel, the owner was drinking with an English speaking friend of his and they concocted some kind of plan between them... To get us so drunk we'd sleep late the following day, consequently missing our ferry and therefore staying another day and paying another night. It worked. Haha. Anyway the local vodka was drinkable and we left a day later.
 Phu quoc is as presumed, riddled with tourists, unfortunately for all parties involved, they seem to be predominantly French, Maybe due to their own egotism, they wish to investigate previous spots where their imperialistic endeveaours took their snail slurping fore fathers. I'm not sure, non the less, it's a sweet fucking place, and after hiring scooters, filling the bag with Saigon lager, you can hoon into the wilderness and avoid the rest of the island, snorkeling and chasing funny looking chickens and other indigenous wildlife. A place I highly recommend .
Ah wait theres more, after a couple weeks of only the tinny speakers on my iPod, the local music has slowly driven me insane, a incredibly deep obsession with bad pop music is embedded into the culture, so the other night blasting back from the night markets we stopped at a small bar called the "rock house", it drew my attention earlier in the day with the Acdc and guns n roses posters. Anyhow, we pull up and go inside, it was experiencing one of their much popular power cuts. Had an extensive lists of cocktails shoved into our hands, and by torch light, me and my gf ordered the ones with the silliest names, ( due to no ingredients or description given ). My "captain vacation" was awesome. So about this time the power comes back on, and excited about the concept of some rocknroll I slurped enthusiastically, now I know everyones concept of music varies, but after the disco lights Blared out, and after one 5ive song, a Katy perry track and two beyonce songs played, I decided the irony was a huge draw card and I loved the place. Upon returning the following night for more pophouse action, I again ordered the hilariously named "captain vacation", a name I've adopted as my alias, i watched the lady pour the drink with completely different liquors, she was totally just making this shit up on the spot. Awesome, why not, this weird little bar was a hoot, made all the more charismatic by the camp Vietnamese guy helping behind the bar. My gf won the owners over with drunken charm and I took full advantage of the locals lack of experience at playing pool. 1,000,000 vnd later, we swerved all the way home with some rather questionable scooter driving. Anyway , phu quoc is a beautiful place with a rather colorful history, none of which I've mentioned in this drunken journal excert,but I non the less recommend checking out.
Cant sleep, hence the extensive post, off to Cambodia tomorrow. Beer now good yes 

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Re: Vietnam

Postby Dixon Cider A.C. » Mon May 05, 2014 2:07 pm

Solid yarn. I was in Vietnam when I was 17 but 9 years of drugs and alcohol later I'm pretty hopeless with any advice due to bad CRS but it's always been a place I've been keen to get back to. Maybe next year.

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Re: Vietnam

Postby Aryanofvalhalla » Tue May 13, 2014 8:18 pm

I haven't been there, what's that place like? I heard there are too many Asians there...

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dave-brown
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Re: Vietnam

Postby dave-brown » Fri May 23, 2014 12:57 am

Ever had an overwhelming urge to throttle a tuk tuk driver?

Also Aryanofvalhalla, you are a perfect balance of fake account and fuckwit

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buckton
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Re: Vietnam

Postby buckton » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:15 am

Should be a punkas tradition if you're in Vietnam to go to that small town and sing uma rapite and one day a taniwha.
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