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what to take for travel to Vietnam

Packing list of what to take for travel to Vietnam
It's unlikely that any two people traveling to Vietnam would want to use exactly the same packing list. Some would be perfectly comfortable with little more than a swimsuit, some sandals, and a couple of T-shirts, while others might have a forty-pound case of photographic equipment or dive gear. We've put together some suggestions to help you make a start.

General
Bear in mind to take your passport, visa to Vietnam, approval letter if you use Vietnam visa on arrival service, flight tickets, credit cards/cash/travellers cheques (take several modes of payment in case the ATM swallows your card etc.), travel insurance, and a minimal amount of clothes and toiletries. And you'll probably want to take non-essential luxury items like Ipod and Camera, to while away long bus or train journeys (the 36 hour train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City), and make the experience more memorable.

What to Bring with you to Vietnam
Items that we suggest you bring depending on the season. Vietnam has 3 regions, the North, Centre and South. Each of the regions has distinct climates.

The north is hot and extremely humid and receives heavy rain from June – August. Winter is from November until March and is cool and damp. The mountain areas of the north including Sapa and Mai Chau, can be extremely cold during winter although they do not receive snow. The center is warm throughout the year and the rainy season occurs from August or September until December. The centre often receives storms or typhoons during October and November.

The south has 2 seasons, one dry and the other wet. The wet season last from June until October, but the summer storms rarely last more than a few hours. Given the above weather information, please consider the items you will bring with you to Vietnam. This list should be used as a guide only and is not an exhaustive list.

Clothing
Please note most Vietnamese still dress modestly and out of respect for the culture you should dress conservatively (no sleeveless/ halter neck tops, shorts other than for the beach, should not reach below the knee)

Packing List

  • Personal clothing items, toiletries, medication
  • Sunhat
  • Sarong (to cover your shoulders should you enter temples or pagodas)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant. Light weight clothing for the summer months. Warm clothing for winter in Hanoi and in mountainous areas
  • Camera with film
  • Small daypack for day trips and overnight trip to Halong Bay
  • Appropriate shoes for trekking, cycling or walking in caves (Halong Bay)
  • Sleeping sheet for train travel (can also be bought in Vietnam)
  • Ear plugs and sleep mask (for train journeys)
  • Water bottle and helmet (for cycling trips only)

Please note: Domestic airlines do impose restrictions on baggage at approx 20kg maximum, so travel lightly where possible. Also the trains cabins and boat cabins on Halong Bay have limited space so consider this when packing. Soft luggage is recommended.

The traveling experience by train in Vietnam
If you choose between buses and trains, I think the best choose to go by train, it is not only safety but also comfortable for walking, eating, hygiene and sightseeing on the coach

Buy Tickets
You should buy tickets as soon as possible if you decide to travel by train. A carriage of the train can consist of 4 to 6 beds, 4 to 6 beds,which are suitable for a small group to come along to occupy its own space. Mode of transport both entertaining and secure for belongings stored in separate buildings

Luggage
Moving from the gate to the train station is a bit of so far. There for you should bring light luggage. Wear comfortable, roomy while on the ship. Personal items important to bring people, other belongings stored in compact drawers under the bed or floor storage space in the store on the third floor bed. Furniture and personal effects you should be careful because of the crowded station or robbers

Clothing
Wearing a trouser will be more warm at night. Remember to bring an usefull cardigan. An craft not only is a pillow but also as an useful/necessary sheet

Eat and drink
Usually, there are cateen carriages  inside the train. They sells fast food such as as noodles, soup, bimbim. At the lunchtime, a trolly will be push along the train for delivering meal. If you have a long trip, bring fruit, drinking water and wet tissue

Hygienic
At the beginning of each building has a toilet and wash area. You should get up a little early for personal hygiene before the train to dock. If you do not want to use water on that, feel free to bring their own water bottles. Use water savley. Bring toilet paper while on board

Safe
A trip by train is safer and much more comfortable than by high quality bus. You can can move around freely inside the train between carriages.

travel tips when traveling to Vietnam with cats

Some travel tips when traveling to Vietnam with cats
It should not come as a surprise when you know cats that most felines do not like traveling. Our two cats are no exception.
In the last few years, our family have required several unavoidable multiday car trips with our cats, thus we have learned a few things about cats and some troubles when we go travel to Vietnam with cats. The following travel tips will be useful.

The cats are not going to use the litter box in transit. Sometimes, we thought that we were so smart by creating a designated litter box spot on the floor of our car behind the driver’s seat. And we planned to bring the cats out one at a time for a potty break when we stopped for our own. But we found out quickly that the cats had zero interest in using a roadie litter box. We also saw that we can never really get rid of all the cat litter once it spills on the floor of your car.

Not easy to find a cat-friendly hotel room. If you have ever traveled with your pet, you should know that planning hotel stays in-advance is a must. Pet-friendly hotels in Vietnam do not always have their pet-friendly rooms available. And did you know that not all “pet-friendly” hotels accept cats? Besides, you should be prepared for some hefty fees for the convenience of bringing your kitties along. We must spend a lot of time on the phone tracking down hotels along our routes that would welcome our furry family members.

Your cats shall hide in your hotel room. When you come to the cat-friendly hotel, do a sweep and block all entrances to some places you cannot reach, such as behind or under the bed - before you let your cat loose in the room. And do not underestimate your cat and where he can shimmy. One of our cats flattened himself into a furry pancake and stayed under the hotel’s armoire for most of our overnight stay. We never thought he would be able to fit under there, but he could.

Make the cats comfy in the bathroom. After a few trips, I saw that it was easiest to just keep the cats in the bathroom overnight when we stopped at the hotel. Let your lovely cats out of their carriers, but put the carriers in the bathroom with them in case they want to hang out in a “familiar” place. Put the litter box in the tub to create some separation between the box and your cats’ sleeping and eating area. In this setup, your cats will be contained, probably cannot damage anything and are easy to corral when it’s time to go. If you are worried about being mean, don’t be. Your cats will likely feel more secure in that smaller space anyway.

DO NOT open the carrier in the car. If you open it, your cat will stay in their carrier, and some will not. Even if you just want to give them a few reassuring chin scratches, it may be not good for you. You may think you know your cat, but all bets are off when you are on the road. Your cats may freak out and bolt, and you run the risk of him jumping out of the car or burrowing under your luggage in the back seat, impossible to reach unless you unpack the entire car. Trust me on this one.

Be prepared to take pit stops in shifts. During the first cat-accompanied road trip, we realized at the first rest stop that someone would have to stay in the car with the cats. This posed a slight issue for us as we were traveling with two small human children in addition to the cats, so we took turns taking the kids to the restroom and for quick playground let-off-steam runs. While it may seem like a hassle to eat and potty in shifts, never leave your cats alone in a car. An enclosed car can heat up quickly and dangerously, even when it’s cold outside.

Update microchips and tags. My biggest fear about traveling with my cats was that one of them would escape and could be lost forever, you never see it again. It’s a valid concern because cats get weird when they are in unfamiliar places, if you let them out of the carrier, you may get some troubles. Make sure to update your cats’ microchip information with your cellphone number, and if they do not wear collars and tags already, make sure they are wearing them while you are on your trip.

You may think you will never find yourself in a situation where you have to take your cats on a long car trip (I never dreamed I would have to do it four times), but life takes unexpected turns. Traveling with cats is not easy, but we still can do it. If you think ahead, take extra measures to keep your cats safe and prepare for some unpredictable behaviors, you and your cats are more likely to arrive safely at your destination.

Source: Dat khach san

How to get to Nha Trang Beach from Ho Chi Minh

How to get to Nha Trang Beach from Ho Chi Minh City
Nha Trang is one of the most famous beach cities in Vietnam. It is known as the jewel of the East Sea because of its beauty and gorgeous climate. The diverse nature of the landscape has made it an attraction for many tourists. Besides the rich seafood, luxury hotels in Nha Trang and friendly people, Nha Trang becomes an ideal tourist destination that vacationers can't ignore.

In the article below, I would like to share the directions to Nha Trang Beach from Ho Chi Minh City.
There are 5 main ways to get to Nha Trang: By flight, bus, train, motorcycle and car. Depending on your preference and health condition, you can choose the best way for you to get there. Another option is you can rent a car if you want to go with your own group.

Flight (1 hour)
From Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang, the airplane is the most time-saving but also the most expensive. This is one of the top choices of many travelers today. There are three airlines operating flights from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang: Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Air, and Vietjet Air. You can check out the route and cost of the airline's flights through its official website. Bamboo Air and Vietjet Air offer many discounts throughout the year so look around for deals.
Ticket prices will depend on the time of travel, especially during busy seasons such as summer, holidays, New Year. It ranges from $45 to $65 one way on weekdays.

Cam Ranh airport is about 35 km from Nha Trang City. From here you can take a taxi ($9 to $13) or airport bus (about $3) to the city center. The advantage of this bus is that the bus will run after the aircraft of each airline landing 30 minutes or full of guests. You can buy a bus ticket at the bus stop at the airport entrance and take the bus at the left of the airport door.

Sleeping bus (9 hours 30 minutes - 10 hours)
Of all the different ways to get to Nha Trang, the bus is usually the first choice of travelers with its convenience and price.
There are many buses running to Nha Trang from the center of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The earliest bus is at 7:00 AM and the latest runs at 22:30 PM every day. However, most buses depart in the evening.
Here are some prestigious bus companies in Ho Chi Minh City:

  • Phuong Trang (Futa bus): 272 De Tham St., Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, HCMC. Schedule 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 21:30 PM, 22:00 PM, 22:30 PM. Ticket price is about $10.
  • Phuong Nam: 275E, Pham Ngu Lao St., Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, HCMC. Schedule 8:00 AM, 19:30 PM, 20:00 PM, 21:00 PM, 21:30 PM, 22:00. Ticket price is about $9.
  • Nam Phuong: 269, Pham Ngu Lao St., Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, HCMC. Schedule 20:00 AM, 21:00 PM, 22:00 PM. Ticket price is about $9.
  • Hanh Café: 229, Pham Ngu Lao St., Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, HCMC. Schedule 8:00 AM, 20:00 PM, 20:30 PM, 21:30 PM. Ticket price is about $8.
  • The Sinh Tourist: 246, De Tham St., Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, HCMC. Schedule 7:00 AM, 20:00 PM, 20:30 PM. Ticket price is about $8 - $11.

Note: The above price is only for weekdays. Weekends and holidays may be slightly higher.

Train (7 hours – 8 hours)
Besides flights and passenger cars, the train is also one of the means chosen by many visitors because it is safe and offers a scenic route.
From Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang, it takes about 7 hours by train. Ticket price is from $11 to $28 depending on the type of chair or bed you choose. Guests can choose 1 of the following trains:

  • SE2 departs at 21:55 PM and arrives at 4:47 AM.
  • SE4 departs at 19:45 PM and arrives at 3:14 AM.
  • SNT2 departs at 20:30 PM and arrives at 5:35 AM.
  • SQN2 departs at 21:25 PM and arrives at 6:19 AM.
  • SNT4 departs at 22:20 PM and arrives at 7:15 AM.
  • SE6 departs at 9:00 AM and arrives at 16:16 PM.
  • SE8 departs at 6:00 AM and arrives at 13:18 PM.

Information about the station of arrival and departure is as follows:

  • In Ho Chi Minh City: Sai Gon Railway Station, 01 Nguyen Thong St., Ward 10, District 3, HCMC.
  • In Nha Trang: No 17 Thai Nguyen St., Phuoc Tan Ward, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa.

Today, visitors can buy tickets online at https://dsvn.vn/#/, buy it directly at Saigon Railway Station (No. 1 Nguyen Thong St., Ward 10, District 3), or with a travel agent in the center of District 1. Nha Trang Railway Station is only 2km away from the city center. From here, you can easily take a taxi to the center.

Motorcycle (15 hours – 18 hours)
The riding time from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang by motorbike is about 15 to 18 hours. For those who like to experience the feeling of exploring nature, traveling on the motorcycle is tiring but it is great fun. Only tourists who come to Nha Trang by motorcycle can experience this. There are two best routes for you to choose from. An inland route with a total distance of 435km takes about 15 to 16 hours. The second road with a total route up to 500km takes about 18 hours. This is the route riding along the coast.

Here, I will briefly guide the way to Nha Trang by motorbike. I also will have a detailed article about the direction and stop destinations during the road HCMC - Nha Trang City.

  • 435-km-route
    This road is suitable for those who love mountain forests. With this route, from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, you follow Ha Noi Highway and National Highway 1A. Then turn right at Vo Nguyen Giap street, then go through Bien Hoa City and Trang Bom. After that, you go through Da Lat - the city of fog and finally Nha Trang. With 435km long route, you should get there in 2 to 3 days, instead of running a circuit to finish.
  • 500-km-route
    With the route up to 500km, you almost see only the sea in the 430km journey. Start similar with the 435-km-route, but when you come to Long Khanh town, instead of turning left to Tri An, you continue to go straight to cross the Long Khanh and then pass to Phu Thuy, Phan Thiet. This way is faster than going through Ba Ria - Vung Tau, but you will miss Lagi Beach and Ke Ga Lighthouse.
    Then, you continue to ride towards Phan Rang - Phan Ri and follow by Cam Ranh Bay. The distance from Cam Ranh to Nha Trang is only about 60km, that means just more than an hour riding you will be in the beautiful coastal city of Nha Trang.

Private cars
If you are traveling with a family or a group of friends, renting a private car is a reasonable choice. One-way car rental from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang is about $150 for a 4-seat car, $190 for a 7-seat car, and $210 for a 16-seat car. Guests can rent a car at the travel agency in the center of District 1. Or you can contact via getvietnamvisa.com and I will assist you with the booking.

I hope this information will be useful to you and that you will have a wonderful experience when coming to Vietnam.

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