Mondial (Hoan Cau)

109 Dong Khoi Str., District 1., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Forum Posts

Vung Tau to Phu My

by sharpofayr

I am berthing at Phu My for one day in November. I would love to use the hydofoil from Vung Tau to HVMC. How easy is it to get from the docks a PM to the hydrofoil pier at VT. How long? How much, etc.

Re: Vung Tau to Phu My

by minhthanh

Are you literally berthing there? Phu My is about 60 km from Vung Tau pier. It's quite easy to get to Vung Tau dock from Phu My by cars. Once you get to the hydrofoil dock, the ships are available all day until 4:30pm. So whatever you will be doing, be there by 4:30pm. The ticket costs 180k VND (appr.8USD) and it's gonna take 1.5 hour to get to HCMC.

Quite easy! From Phu My, you can always catch buses or shuttles to Vung Tau. I recommend Hoa Mai or Thien Phu shuttles. The last station of those shuttles is Vung Tau so no need to worry missing the place. After hopping into the van, all you've got to is sit there until they tell you to get off. As you arrive Vung Tau shuttle station, taxis are right there waiting for you, just pick your favorite.

Re: Vung Tau to Phu My

by sharpofayr

Thanks for the info.
Yes, I am berthing at Phu My according to Princess Cruises. So, I can get to Vung Tau for the hydrofoil using a bus (?) which I can get from Phu My dock, then a taxi from the terminus in Vung Tau to the hydrofoil by taxi? How long will this take and how much will it cost? In total, how long will it take to get to HCMC and in total, how much will it cost? Will it be possible to return from HCMC to Phu My early in the evening before the ship sails??

Re: Vung Tau to Phu My

by minhthanh

I am not pretty sure if you can get a taxi or bus from Phu My dock because I have never been there myself. I just asked my dad who is quite experienced in cruising around this area and my cousin who is working at one of Phu My's industrial park and they said you will need to take taxi(or anything you prefer) to get to Road 51 (Quoc Lo 51 in Vietnamese language). It's about 3km from the dock depending on where you'll be at. You can ask the driver to drop you at the place where it's easiest for you to get a bus to Vung Tau. Those drivers know the place well. There is no direct transportation from Phu My dock to Vung Tau dock, therefore it may appear to require a lot traveling in order to get to the destination

The bus costs about 30k VND (1.50 USD) and it takes around 1.5 hour because the road is under renovation, thus, difficult to transport on. For the bus section I have already guided you how to get to Vung Tau hydrofoil dock.

Another option for you is to take a taxi straight from Phu My dock to Vung Tau dock. Apparently this is more expensive but much easier. Taxi would cost appr. 500k VND (25 USD) considering 60 kilometers you'll have to travel

To recap, your plan would look like one of these:

Option 1: Taxi from Phu My dock (2USD, 5 mins)--> Road 51 (Quoc Lo 51) --> Catch Bus (1.5 USD, 1.5 hour) --> Vung Tau bus station --> Taxi (2 USD, 5 mins) --> Vung Tau Hydrofoil dock (8USD, 1.5 hours) --> Ho Chi Minh City

Option 2: Taxi from Phu My dock (25USD, 1.5 hours)--> Vung Tau Hydrofoil dock (8USD, 1.5 hours) --> Ho Chi Minh City

Options 3: Forget about the hydrofoil, one you get to Road 51, catch a bus backward to Ho Chi Minh City (4USD, 2 hours)

Travel Tips for Ho Chi Minh City

electronic map

by locbuuloc

Sorry the post above has quite a fewtypos, I just want to repost the message with correction. It should be like this"

Try this site:

This online map can help you find locations, roads, and much more in most cities in Vietnam. The thing is that because it is designed for Vietnamese, there is not English instruction in the site at the present (They plan to have the English version for tourists though but not known when).

I can provide you with some guide and key words to help you read the map.

Ban Do = Map
Quan = District (Quan 3 = District 3)

Red capitalise words mean names of province or city, smaller blue words indicate districts, towns, and suburbs, and if you zoom the map in, you will see names of streets shown right next to the roads ro streets.

On the right hand side of the page is the list cities in Vietnam, so you just need to move the mouse to the city you are after and then click. Basically, everything after that just uses common sense to nevigate yourself (if you are familiar to Google Earth, you will find no problem because the system has similar features).

Vietnam also has GPS available but I do not know if GPS devices from Singapore will work there or not. However, if you got one bring it with you and see if it helps. Look for the site or something like that where you can find more information about GPS in Vietnam and how to use it.

Have great time

Day Tour - Travel Agent

by Mikebb

We booked a tour to the Mekong Delta through a local Travel Agent. The tour was great, a good English speaking guide, a modern bus and a great destination. Lunch and other refreshments ( fresh fruits and tea) were included. Details of the Travel Agent are:

71 C Dong Khoi Street
District 1 HCMC
(84-8) 8 230611

The tour cost was US $18 per adult. I have also included the Cu Chi Tunnels brochure US $13


by Blatherwick

Tet Nguyen Dan (Feast of the First Morning), more commonly known by its shortened name Tet, is the most important holiday in Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese New Year which is based on the Chinese calendar. Tet shares many of the same customs of its Chinese counterpart. It is celebrated from the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tet by cooking special holiday foods and cleaning the house. Vietnamese people usually return to their families during Tet. Some return to worship at the family altar or visit the graves of their ancestors. Others return to where they grew up.

Saigon is particularly fun during the eve of Tet. Thousands of people make their way to the city centre to celebrate the coming of the new year and to watch the fireworks that will go off at midnight. Remember the traditional greeting for Tet which is "Chuc mung nam moi." There are other sayings but keep it simple and have fun.

Preparations for Tet start months before the actual celebrations. People try to pay off their debts in advance so that they can be debt-free on Tet. Parents buy new clothes for their children so that the children can don them when Tet arrives. Because a lot of commercial activity will cease during the celebrations, people try to stock up on supplies as much as possible. In the days leading up to Tet, the streets and markets are full of people. Everyone is busy buying food, clothes, and decorations for their house.

The first day of Tet is reserved for the nuclear family. In Saigon, the streets are pretty much empty as most people stay at home or leave the city to visit their close relatives in the countryside. Children receive li xi (lucky money) from their elders in red packages.

Don't bring much.

by GottaTry

Take as little as possible. Just buy what you need or have your hings laundered. There really wasn't a need for anything "dressy." Don’t worry about getting medicine if you become sick while you’re in Vietnam. I took along Cipro with me in case I ate something that didn’t agree. Not only did I have no problem with the food/water I found I could get what I needed at the local pharmacy far cheaper than what I pay in the U.S.
I managed to come down with a fever/cough/sore throat while I was in Vietnam. I stopped by a pharmacy and had no trouble conveying to the woman behind the counter what my symptoms were despite the language barrier. She offered me a selection of medications for my problem and let me read the English inserts that came with the medications to be sure I was getting the right thing. I bought just the amount I needed and the price was only a few dollars. I took along a gel neck pack to help me stay cool and it was a great help! They work better in dry enviroments where there is more evaporation but it still helped so much! You should be able to find them a at good outdoors/hiking store.

Of Ghosts and Garages in ol' Rex Hotel

by bpacker

I've heard of this grand dame even before I went to HCMC, thanks to my hubby's spooked suppliers.

These poor sods were the early investors in VN and the only decent (but expensive) hotel at that time was this 4-star joint.

I guess sacrificing all their children's college funds for the dinghy corridors and the musty carpets must have driven crazy. They reportedly saw strange things at night after checking in.

I won't elaborate what they were but will go on to say that Rex Hotel has a long history. Do you know it was originally a French garage? It later became a hotel and then the BOQ for American soldiers during the Vietnam War . Its conference room was the scene of the daily press briefings to journalists and by 1976, the announcement by the former North Vietnam of the unification with South Vietnam was announced in the same room.

Well, I didn't see anything extraordinary when I was there. How can ghosts remain when there is a crazy onslaught of merry makers at the roof top?

For more wierd stories and pictures, visit b'packer's hcmc page


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