OAT Vietnam trip

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<p>Am interested in the OAT "Inside Vietnam" trip and was wondering if anyone can provide comments - good or bad -- about this itinerary. Also any suggestions for someone going to Vietnam would be helpful. Thank you. </p>

We had an excellent experience with this trip in Spring, 2009. It is a wonderful blend of modern Vietnam and the reminders/impact of the war - which are everywhere. We had an excellent group leader who shared his family's wartime experiences and even took us to visit his family in his native village. A visit to the mountain town of Dalat was a fine contrast to the rest of the country - a very beautiful area.

l did this trip in October of 2009 with a post trip to Cambodia(be sure to do this)...weather good (we were between Typhoons)..people very nice, population young. No money changing issues,dollars taken everywhere so take lots of small bills. OAT has small groups, there were just ten of us...we got along fine and all had a good experience.
The first thing our trip leader taught us to do was how to cross the street...hundreds of Mopeds!!
Take the usual precautions with drinking water and food...watch where you walk because many sidewalks are uneven or under repair.Take a collapsible cane if needed, some places do not have handrails. l have rotten kness and l did OK..Keep an open mind and enjoy.

My husband and I returned one week ago from this trip (we did the Inside Thailand and Inside Vietnam, back-to-back). This was actually our second time to do Inside Vietnam with OAT. We first took the trip in January of 2005 and loved it so much that we decided to do it again. Vietnam has definitely changed in the 6 years since our first trip. They are racing headlong into the 21st century. That said, this is a great time to go!! Have you traveled with OAT before? If not, you might not know that they specialize in getting off the beaten track - sometimes waaaaaay off. You'll go into local villages and see how the everyday people actually live. You'll walk through local markets, meet university students, and go for dinner at the home of a local family (English speaking). Those are the kinds of experiences that we enjoy the most. You'll also see a large number of the tourist sites, such as drop-dead gorgeous Halong Bay, and the fascinating Cu-Chi tunnels. Your hotels won't ever be 5 star, but they will be clean and comfortable. As for timing, it is getting very very hot now in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). According to our wonderful guide, the best times to visit are December through February for the best weather. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.

Welcome home and thanks very much for the update. I will get in touch with you with specific questions in late summer. I appreciate the follow-up.

Joe re OAT's "inside Vietnam"
My husband and I just returned home from this trip.
It was wonderful! We travel frequently and this was one of our best vacations ever.
If you'd like more info, please ask.