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Top Hotels
Hoi An Riverside Resort < Spa
175 Cua Dai, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam
Price from: 2.300.000 VND ~ $115.00
Golden Halong
Hung Thang Tourism Area, Bai Chay Ward, Halong, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Price from: 640.000 VND ~ $32.00
Sapphire Hotel
32A-34 Bui Thi Xuan Street, District 1 - Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Price from: 1.040.000 VND ~ $52.00
Saigon Halong Hotel
Ha Long city, Halong Road, Bai Chay, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Price from: 1.100.000 VND ~ $55.00
Top Cruises
Signature Cruise Halong
Tuan Chau, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Price from: 3.300.000 VND ~ $165.00
Dragon Pearl Junk Halong Bay
Halong bay, Halong city, Quang Ninh
Price from: 2.240.000 VND ~ $112.00
Le Cochinchine Cruise Mekong
Sai Gon - Mekong cruise
Price from: 4.880.000 VND ~ $244.00
Oriental Sails Halong Bay
Halong bay, Halong city, Quang Ninh
Price from: 1.900.000 VND ~ $95.00
Top Tours
Paloma Cruises Halong 2 days
Halong Bay, Halong city, white sandy Beach, Floating Village, Kayaking in Halong Bay
Price from: 2.460.000 VND ~ $123.00
Signature Cruise Halong 2 days
Bai Tu Long Bay – Vung Vieng Floating Village – Drum Cave – Amazing Cave – Halong Bay
Price from: 3.300.000 VND ~ $165.00
Sapa Mountain Retreat 2 nights victoria resort
Cat Cat village, H'mong ethnic minority peoples,Lao Chai village,Ta Van village, Dzay people, Ham Rong moutain, Ta Phin, Red Dao, Sapa
Price from: 12.380.000 VND ~ $619.00
Vietnam Classic Tours 9 days
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa village, Hue, Danang, Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An, Cu Chi, Mekong delta
Price from: 27.300.000 VND ~ $1,365.00

Times

RESTRICTIONS

The Vietnamese police usually don’t care what you photograph, but on occasion they get pernickety. Obviously, don’t photograph sensitive sites such as airport, seaports, military bases and border checkpoints. Photography from aircraft (except on chartered flights) is now permitted. Don’t even think of trying to get a snapshot of Ho Chi Minh in his glass sarcophagus.

         Perhaps it would be wise to memorise the following message, which appears on signs in various place, cam chup hinh va quay video, and means ‘No Photography or Video Taping’.

         Some touristy sites charge an additional camera or video fee. If the staff refuse to issue a receipt for the camera fee, then you should refuse to pay – the ‘fee’ in that case is likely to go into their pocket.

Photographing People

Photographing anyone, particularly hill-tribe people, demands patience and the ut-most respect for local customs. The beauty and diversity of the Vietnamese people and the scenery provides ample opportunity, but it is important to remember you are just a visitor and that not only may your actions be interpreted as rude or offensive, but your behavior will influence the reception of future visitors. That is not to say that taking pictures is bad, but just keep in mind the various effects a camera can have.

         Whatever you do, photograph with discretion and manners. It’s always polite to ask first and if the person says no, don’t take the photo. A gesture, a smile and a nod are all that is usually necessary. Remember, wherever you are in Vietnam, the people are not exotic birds of paradise.

         The popular weekend market in Sapa is a good example of where a crowd of camera-toting tourist can actually be downright overwhelming to the local folk. While the entrepreneurial Hmong and Red Dzao people do not generally mind being photographed (buying some handicrafts will help facilitate this), others tend to be camera-shy and have had their fair share of ‘must-get-this-shot’ photographers literally chasing them through the market!

         Like their Japanese and Chinese counter-parts, Vietnamese people seem to have a near obsession with collecting hundreds (or thousands) of photos of themselves posing in front of something. The pose is always sides etc. The result is that all of their photos look nearly identical. The purpose of the photos seems to be to prove that they’ve been to a particular place. Since many Vietnamese cannot afford their own camera, most famous tourist sites have a team of local photographers will get the film processed and mail it to their customers, while others will shoot a roll and hand it over unprocessed.

         Most Vietnamese cannot understand why Westerners shoot dozens of rolls of film without posing in each and every frame. Furthermore, when Westerners proudly show off their best photographs, Vietnamese look, at then and say that the photos are ‘boring’ because there are seldom any people in them.

Airport Security

The dreaded x-ray machines at Vietnam’s airports are no longer a problem – the old Soviet-made ‘microware ovens’ that had a habit of trying your film have been replaced with modern, film-safe equipment from Germany. However, it is hazardous if you attempt to film the airport security procedures (the film most likely be ripped out of your camera).

         Of greater concern are the new-fangled, high-powered x-ray machines that are gradually being installed in airport in other parts of Asia, Europe and the Americans. To avoid possible x-ray damage from these machines, your hand luggage, and even if the sign says ‘X-ray Safe’ insist, politely, on a hand-check.

         The authorities seem to be far more sensitive about video-tape material than film. Surprisingly, it’s more of a problem when exiting the country than entering (logically you would think the opposite). Fortunately these checks are aimed more at commercial film makers so your holiday footage will probably be excluded.

TIME

Vietnam, like Thailand, is even hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time/Universal Time Coordinated (GMT/UTC). Because of its proximity to the equator, Vietnam does not have daylight-saving or summer time. When it’s noon in Vietnam it is 9pm the previous day in Los Angeles, midnight in New York, 5am in London, 1pm in Perth and 3pm in Sydney.

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