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“Fine - if just passing through”
Review of Vinh

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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
43 reviews
50 helpful votes
“Fine - if just passing through”
Reviewed July 5, 2011

Originally I had intended staying in a hotel but the selection that comes up on the internet isn't that great. Once you arrive though it turns out there are far more available (mainly cheap and cheerful type places). As it was, room was found for me, by my extended family, to stay in a private house.

The airport isn't the most exciting place I've been to. Just a building and a runway - when you check in, go upstairs. It's air conditioned, whereas downstairs there are just some fans running. Any vehicle entering the airport is charged 5000 dong. Mail Linh taxis are everywhere.

Visiting Vinh City in June isn't something I'd recommend, unless you like the nearby beach. It gets very hot (average 3c above Hanoi's temperature) and very humid. It rained for about 10 minutes in the whole week that I was there. The city centre lacks character. Bombed in the war, the main street (long and straight) has lots of concrete building in various stages of construction. Definitely not something to write home about. Big C (4 floors) and Metro have supermarkets in the city. There is a local market (Cho Vinh) but it turns out on the evening of our departure, a serious fire took hold, such it won't be opening again for quite some time.

Being near the birth place of Ho Chi Minh, there is Ho Chi Minh Square located in the city centre. There you can get close to a really big statue of Ho Chi Minh (lit up at night). I say close, the guards will not allow you to go up the steps to get near the base of the statue. Instead they suggest you go take a walk around the rear, up the hill. That would be nice except the Vietnamese have allowed the trees to block out the view that you normally have of the river. You get glimpses of it as you walk along. The square gets very busy in the evening but closes at 10pm (an announcement is made). Unfortunately, while I would like to say I enjoyed the park, the people of Vinh really need to stop looking at foreigners as if an alien has arrived. The stares (some will actually hang around near you), 'allo's', 'how are you' and 'where you from' soon make you wish you'd gone elsewhere.

The roads around the area and into the mountains, heading towards Laos really do have some nice views. One thing that does quickly sink in is the long hours these people work. I saw them in the fields before the sun came up and they were still there long after sun set. Due to the way they dump the rice plants on the road, driving around at night isn't a good idea. I didn't see any places renting out motorbikes or for that matter bicycles. if it is something you need, enquiries via your hotel might well be the best way to proceed.

As a visitor, Vinh City isn't some place I'd spend too long. The nearby beach though could take a couple of days, soaking up the sun.

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