Anyone else looking forward to going to Vietnam in September? Not quite counting the days yet, but when work gets a bit much I do consider counting the weeks.....!



Hi Gill, yes my wife and I are going Sep 10 - AOV, is this the same trip as yours?

It is the same trip. Nice to meet you!


Excellent, nice to meet you too. Are you travelling alone?

No, with my husband. It would have been rude to go alone. Ha


Good stuff, looking forward to meeting you both. Have not done any research yet on what to take, or even what to expect regards the weather. Looking forward to it though, especially Halong Bay and the Cu Chi tunnels.

Yes, there are so many places that I've heard about but never thought I'd ever see. Will probably start looking at reports / notes etc next month. Hopefully not too many things to buy. Visas are quite expensive aren't they?


hi went to vietnam last year the visa  can be if you go through a agent like visa swift.but i went direct to the embassy £45.00 plus £8.00 postage passport was back with me within a week.You will pay alot if go through a agent enjoy your holidays.  steve

thanks Steve - thats a lot cheaper than I thought I'd have to pay.


Thanks both, I had not realised we needed visas. Time to start some research!

12 weeks to go, if my maths are right!!!  anyone else out there booked and impatient?


Passports returned this morning with Visas, we are good to go. :)

blimey.... better get a wriggle on, not done anything about visas yet, nor looked at what jabs are needed. how organised are you!


Lol. I wasn't organised until I read your post about visas. I think we both have all ours jabs up to date, just need to sort out the malaria tablets. Getting quite excited about this trip now :)


Hi  Were also doing this tripl, Anna & Steve from Coventry.  Were also doing the Angkor Wat Extension. Glad I came online to have a look as I've got to sort out our visa's, not sure if I need to do one for Cambodia in advance or whether we can do it when we leave Vietnam.  Will make some phone calls tomorrow.


Hi Anna and Steve. Wish we were doing the extension but my wife cannot get the extra time off work. Dead jealous.

Re malaria tabs, we buy direct from the Dr's or Boots, have not tried Morrisons. Normally go for the "one per week" tablets whatever they are.

yes, looking at the map. we are nearer the coast, so a bit away from the main malarial area. Tried looking on other sites and they aren't particularly helpful. I wonder whether the mosquitos know the parts of Vietnam that are 'out of bounds'......

very confusing and might just err on the side of caution and get malarone anyway. Unless I can find proof not to need!


Were not taking any risks and definately getting some Malarone .. 

if you find anywhere that's showing cheaper than average - I'd be interested to know. Jealous of your extended holiday!!


Have spoken to our practice nurse and she confirms we do not need malaria tablets. Our jabs are up to date so we are all done :)

which website did you use to get your visa? there seems to be several different ones for the embassy, but none give clear costs?  or is it just me, not looking properly i wonder.......

Thanks for that!  Day off on Monday,so no prizes for guessing what my first job will be!

Final joining instructions!!! And just 3 weeks to go........!


Yeah! Time for some serious reseach regarding money and what to take. It seems we need about 550GBP for meals and tips, did you come the same conclusion?

yes - thats what my sums came to. Then there's about £60 for the optional trips (for 2, not each) and potential souvenirs - not quite sure  what these would be though?   I think I read somewhere that it'd be good to take half in VND and half in dollars. I can only find VND on line, so looking at this later today. So..........prob going to take about £500 in VND and then some dollars.

Then got to work out what to pack.............


We've not had final joining instructions yet, did you get them by email or post.  Have had a bit of a nightmare week with the holiday. I phoned Malaysia airlines a week ago to book extra legroom seats as Steves tall, they could only find me on the flights not my husband, I thought it was just the operator I got so spoke to First Choice and then rung the airline back and he was definately not on the Heathrow to Hanoi flight or our Kuala Lumpar to Heathrow flights (he was on the flights shorter flights)  Eventually they found him flying out 2 days later with another lady (I hope her bookings OK) it took me a week to sort out.  It was only finally sorted yesterday, I'm still a bit scared.  If I hadn't have phoned for for the extra leg room seats it wouldn't have got picked up till we were at the airport so we probably wouldnt have been joining you for the holiday.  Just one thing about taking American Dollars make sure you get New American Dollars as our daughter went to Vietnam last year and they took loads of old american dollars (it was what they were given here and are still in circulation) and they couldn't spend or change them over there.  This was a big note - see you all soon, and don't start pancking about whether your on the flights, hopefully it was just ours that was messed up.


Our Joining instructions came by email. Lucky you found out about the fights, that would have been a disaster!

Anna - how fortunate you found out in time! You should get flight confirmation from First Choice if thats who you booked through - either post or email? Ours are booked through Exodus, so the email listed all the flights.  Just got Heathrow parking to book now.

I guess the good think about buying dollars over the counter rather than online is that you can refuse any that aren't new.


I am going to take just USD and a credit and debit card. VND cannot be exchanged outside the country as they have no value outside of Vietnam.

I'll just have to find something to spend any leftover Dong if I ever needed an excuse to shop!


Were also only taking US dollars and travellers chqs, not many places can get VND - First Choice don't do them.

I ordered our VND online from the Post Office - collecting it tomorrow. Whatever combination of spends we all choose to take will be fine.  Suppose the only drawback with VND is the size of moneybelt we'll need.... for a short while we'll be millionaires!


Wow, interesting that the PO sell VND, I may get a few then just so I have some on arrival. Thanks for the tip.


DOH! 500 quid minimum order :( is that what you had to go for?

yeh, taking mostly VND. But there's no minimum order or extra charge if you order it to be picked up from your local branch, so you can order whatever amount. Thought I'd need a wheelbarrow to transfer to the car, but not too big a bundle after all. As usual when getting foreign currency - you never get the varied denominations you ask for though.


Just watched this again on Dave. Must hire a moped for an hour in Saigon, looks amazing. Hai Van Pass incredible, as is Halon bay. Really excited now :)

missed it this time round, but think we've seen it before.Too scared to do moped bit! But, yes, also very excited. Started my list of things to pack - can't do it without. Then I'll spend the drive to Heathrow wondering what I've forgotten.... and hope whatever it is can be bought at the airport, or we can manage without.

so... this time next week, we'll only have about 30 mins of the main flight left - how good will that be! Looking forward to meeting fellow travellers.


.... until we leave the house. Yay!!! See you guys tomorrow maybe, if not in KL. Nigel and Sally.

If you're on the flight out of T4, we'll see you in the morning. Just looked and saw there are still 4 empty places left - so maybe only the 12 of us? And there'll be the cycling Vietnam group as well of course.

Gill and Kev

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