BOAT TO CHAM ISLAND WARNINGS
Getting on and off Vietnamese boats is very different to else where.
If you do the Cham Island tour, just be aware, that when getting on and off the boat at Cham Island, it is difficult if you are older, out of condition, short, or a woman!
When arriving at a the small jetty at Chong Beach, it wasn't too bad getting off, but on return, the tide had gone out, so the Boat was sitting high above the Jetty. Somehow you had to climb back onto the boat, with a push from somebody behind you and pull from above!
Its also a good idea to take something warm to put on for the return trip, AS it was very windy and everybody was frozen.
The seas were very rough too, so if you are inclined to get sea sick, I think you would on this trip.
- Sailing and Boating
Dodgy bag/shoe shop!
Just a quick note to say avoid one of the bag/shoe shops in Hoi an...as you enter walking street from the north on the road Nhi Trung the first shoe/bag shop on your right hand side (called something like Trai thong cho.....something, long name!) We went in as were interested in a bag and were immediatly taken through the back and surrounded by about ten woman(!) Main woman shouted at us to 'PAY NOW' which we thought dodgy. We had agreed on a price of $50 and asked how much it was in dong to which she replied a price. Their bully like tactics scared us slightly and we made excuses saying we didnt have enough money and would go get some, the woman almost grabbed my partners wallet saying 'give me what you have' we quickly left only for one woman to grab my arm and say 'that way to cash machine'..I pulled away and we left. It was only after we sat down for lunch after the madness that we realised the price the woman had asked for in dong amounted to $95!!! So she had tried to scam us out of $45. To make matters worse we were heading back to our hotel only to be approached by a woman on a bike..she was from the shop and we think she had been following us around!!!!! Be careful, they tried to scam us and then proceeded to follow us?! AVOID!
MOTOR BIKES..Beware of....
Motor bikes, they are everywhere!
Here a just a couple of things you should be aware of.....
If using a Motorbike Taxi, and it rains, and quite often it is heavy rain, You may be a little bit uncomfortable in the wet weather cover!
Tours.......On my "My Son Tour", I was taken by motorbike to where the Tourist Bus departed.
I don't know what would happen if you didn't agree to this, (no previous notice of this going to happen) as it was a long walk, and the owners of the Travel Cafe didn't have a car, only a Motorbike!
- Road Trip
WANTING MONEY FOR PHOTO'S TAKEN
One thing to remember not only in Hoi An, but all over Vietnam, is, IF YOU TAKE THEIR PHOTO, THEY PROBABLY WILL WANT MONEY.
The man in the photo did a "set - up display" of throwing a fish net in and then catching the fish, as you can see in the photo, it wasn't alive.
He then held his hand out to all the people on tour, wanting money.
King Kong Bar
I first arrived in Hoi An in January and that night ended up in the King Kong bar. Other than being quite small and a little grungy there didn't seem to be a lot wrong with the place. The free shots were certainly welcome and added to an already alcoholic night :D! However having lived in Hoi An since January I have become aware that the King Kong bar is not a particularly safe place to go. I've spoken to a few people who've gone there to make use of the free rum and coke between 10 and 11pm and when they've gone to leave they've had problems with the staff getting very aggressive and also turning violent. I know that when the alcohol flows tempers can rise and things get out of hand and also that some people go out looking for trouble but the people I've met who've had problems weren't those sort of people. A friend of mine got punched in the back of the head becuase he left after the free drinks finished, I also spoke to someone else who ended up with a hand around his throat because he left. There have also been reports recently of muggings and theft by the King Kong motodrivers. If you do go to the KK bar just be aware of problems people have had and keep an eye on your belongings.
Hoi An is a gorgeous town, I hope you enjoy your time there!
May disturb sensitive viewers!
Pet-lovers should be aware that domestic pets in Vietnam are not necessarily accorded the same treatment as pampered felines elsewhere. For example, I was quite disturbed when seeing a clutch of newly-born kittens scampering around for safety among the rushing feet of Hoi An traders at the riverside market in Hoi An.
There was nothing my wife or I could do to ensure their safety - too many, no resources to take care of them - so we hurriedly turned away to avoid seeing anything we'd rather not! From a quick glance it already seemed as if one of the kittens may have suffered a broken leg.
Definitely not a sight for pet lovers like myself! So, be warned...
- Travel with Pets
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
Free ride to King Kong Bar
If you happen to be in Tam Tam bar and it's nearly closing time, and an Australian couple come in saying come to a bar that they know that is having a great party. Don't bother. There was a group of us and we were told that there were motos waiting downstairs to take us there. The first two would be free and the others would charge us 10,000 per bike. We got there first, no free ride. The moto driver demanded 30,000. Settled on 20,000. We told the Australian guy, he didn't seem to bothered. The bar was crap and over priced. It's a hostess bar. Don't bother with it.
- Budget Travel
moto drivers who rip you off
We were talked into going to the King Kong Bar over the river from Tam Tam bar as there was supposed to be a great party there. We decided to leave as it wasnt great. It was a 5 minute ride back to where we wanted to be. We were asked for 40,000 to take us back. The rise should be 5000 max. We said that it was far too much, the moto driver wouldn't budge on the price. He said that as we were from the UK that it was not much over a pound and that we could afford it. I tried explaining that it is too much and we are travelling. So we walked away, another moto said 20,000. We accepted it, just to get away from there.
- Budget Travel
Be VERY careful in the Markets
The Market Place (this is a mess of open air tables and stalls and baskets on the ground in the middle of Hoi An) is always crowded and colourful. For sure. But we were warned by several of the locals not to go there at all. They said it was not safe and one said that she lives in Hoi An and she doesn't go there.
To back this up, while we were there another Australian in our hotel had a nasty experience. She was walking alone in the Market when a motorbike came along and snatched at her bag held over her shoulder. She went down, they didn't get that bag but they did get the other one in her hand - with her cameras, jewellery, cash and cards. She broke her collar bone and chipped her knee.
To make it worse, the local police, who have been charged with cleaning up this problem, would not believe her (she took a local shopkeeper as a translator and the police started to yell at the local "why are you helping her, she's lying.." which was a bit awkward as the translator had to live there). The police would not provide her with a report for her insurance company. They kept saying it wouldn't be anyone from Hoi An.
Eventually she was evacuated by her insurance company.
Another couple had their wallets stolen by pickpockets in the Market - we were in Hoi An four days.
So be alert and aware, if you go into the markets...there are probably no bargains there for tourists, but it is interesting.
Buses not dropping you back at hotel-scam
We had this happen to us when we took the tour to Myson. We expected to be picked up and dropped back at our hotel.
What happened is that we were dropped off at some depot where there were a lot of motorbike riders who then offered to take us back to the hotel. When we decided that we were not going to support that ploy and make our own way back their next response was, "you look hot, don't you want a ride back?".
We ended up taking a trishaw ride back to our hotel. (the trishaw riders did not seem connected to the scam!)
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
- Budget Travel
Hoi An is, for good reason, a tourist magnet. Since Vietnam has a landmass roughly equal to New Zealand, but with 16 times the population, locals tend to converge on tourism hotspots.
There's only 75,000 inhabitants of Hoi An, but the volume of tourists has created a high tout density in town. Since there is so much competition among the motorbike drivers, silk shop advertisers, market vendors, lighter hawkers, sunglass sellers, tour leaders, restaurant promoters, marijuana dealers, prostitute peddlers, and any other kind of enterprising local I missed, the touts tend to be more aggressive than in other parts of Vietnam. At times, walking around Hoi An feels like using a computer that's been infected with pop-up ads.
A single "no" sometimes doesn't work as it does in most other Vietnamese towns and cities. Be persistent in your refusal, but don't raise your voice or get angry as that does little to deter the touts. You can even have a little fun with it: if someone asks you where you're from, tell 'em, "My mother" and they'll usually laugh and try to hassle someone else.
- Budget Travel
sometimes it's better not to know
Third World countries are not known for their compassion when comes to how to transport and store animals destined to be meals. Not that Western society probably does much better behind the scenes, but I guess sometimes what you don't know doesn't hurt you. In Southeast Asia, you may see some things you might now like, especially when checking out the local markets. From frogs strung together by their webbed feet to overcrowded chickens, it's not for the squeamish or animal rights activist.
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
riding a motorbike anywhere in vietnam is dangerous i think. but we got talking to one guy who had just fell off his. the story goes that 50 meters down the road a dog ran out in fron of him and he fell off, gashing and grazing his elbow really bad. its even harder in hoi an with the roads been so narrow and tight.
One thing that is more annoying than a warning or a danger is the constant tide of little children comming up to you asking for money or trying to sell you things, from what I noticed more oftern that not they are working for someone else, an example was another tourist gave a little girl some money who in turn gave it to a man watching on.
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