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  #11  
Old 13-10-2006, 02:07 AM
Superdave Superdave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k974

jesus that fiddler pub in auckland is some spot late at night was in there the weekend of the ireland all blacks game all weekend lunatic asylum!!!! great craic tho!
tell me about it. took a while to break the spell of the place when i first got here. Kip of a place but the best of the very late night choices. can be good fun but will wreck your head eventually.

Have heard good things about saudi man. a 6 month stint would've been an experience. whats the plan for xmas?
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  #12  
Old 13-10-2006, 03:34 AM
k974 k974 is offline
 
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been in there couple different weekends was over in july march and june this year and lions last year to friends in auckland and twas always the same crowd in that pub! good for us for the change but i could see how you could get sick of it!

ya i asked around about saudi nothing like dubai and places, no beer women living in a secure compound working 65 hours a week and nothing to do there, didnt really appeal not really suitable for someone single in their mid 20's! maybe some other time

dont know yet, was going to head home, the day i paid the deposit on the flights i changed my mind that afternoon typical!! a few friends are working in queenstown so thinking of there maybe for new years, was in sydeny last couple years good for christmas and new years but you'd have to get out of it after that tis ireland on tour!

i dunno really know to be honest prob brisbane christmas day and maybe syd few days after that and queenstown or fiji or somewhere then for a week. have to get outta brisbane on the 26th anyway its dead everyone heads away.

whats your own plan???
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  #13  
Old 13-10-2006, 06:53 AM
Pez123 Pez123 is offline
 
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Fuckie sukie Ten dolla....
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  #14  
Old 16-10-2006, 11:15 AM
Reef Reef is offline
 
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Ok so I'm going to go out on a limb here and find fault with Vietnam. I was there for nearly three weeks in August and I wish I had used my time to visit another country. Sure, it's a beautiful country, probably the most physically pretty country in SE Asia. Culturally and historically it's also fascinating.

My problem was with the people and how they treat tourists. The school-tour syndrome mentioned earlier is chronic throughout the whole country. It is near impossible to travel on a non-tourist "VIP" bus, and when you arrive to a new town they drop you outside the city and try to force you to stay in a particular hotel. As soon as we checked into any room the manager would be in the room on top of us trying to sell us tours, bus tickets, you name it. If we bought tickets elsewhere they'd freak at us. Tying to buy things was often a nightmare, they often point blank refused to bargain after quoting a ridiculously high price. To top it off they're compulsive liers, you can't trust a word they say to you.

But I can understand they're businessmen and respect that on some level. The biggest problem is that I genuinely got the impression that a lot of them hate westerners. I know they have good reason with the war but in fairness it's a whole generation later and I'm Irish, not a yank. I had someone scream "Fuck you!" in my face twice when I complained about lying and scamming, and once was chased out of a travel agency when a guy threatened to kill me if I went to the police over shenanigans they had put us through. I met another person that same night who had been chased out of a different travel agency by a guy with a glass bottle. Crazy.

Nearly every traveller I have met who has visited Vietnam in the past year has had the exact same experience and would also not go there if they had their time over. That said, anyone I've met who was there 3-5 years ago has a completely different story, they loved it, and said the people were lovely back then. I wonder what could have gone wrong.

I've just spent three weeks in India and was terrified going there because of all the horror stories you hear about the place. I loved it, and found it far easier to travel in than Vietnam. The people in India are mad to make a buck, but at the end of the day they won't lie to you, and they aren't assholes.

Rant over.
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  #15  
Old 16-10-2006, 08:36 PM
Superdave Superdave is offline
 
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I'll agree with you to a certain degree, they are pretty deceitful people. I personally think this is down to the fact that their tourist market is the most developed of the 4 SEA countries and therefore their patience has been tried a little longer. The beginnings of these behaviours is visible in Thailand too although not at all in Laos.

I never had any of the problems you encountered though. Sure they can be a little aggressive with trying to sell things but a firm no usually did the trick. I'd like to know what level of luxury you were travelling at? Personally we were probably a touch flasher than backpacking, organised all things ourselves, and as much as possible took local buses etc. Also rented scooters and did our own thing. Getting away from other tourists is key to escaping this behaviour. Having said that Vietnam was my least favourite of the 4 but was still probably one of my favourite destinations.

India I found to be quite hard going at times. Did you make it Varanassi? Now that's intimidating.
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  #16  
Old 17-10-2006, 09:25 AM
Reef Reef is offline
 
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We were staying in the cheapest rooms we could find in general, usually around the $6-10 mark. Admittedly we had limited time so only went to the "main" spots, Mekong Delta, HCMC, Dalat, Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi and Halong Bay.

I definitely see where you're coming from with your point about the tourism being so developed but in fairness Thailand is far more developed and I found the people to be a lot more friendly there. I would never judge a country on a scammer, and we were fucked over a few times in Thailand too but my overall impression of the Thais is still a good one. I guess you could approach a random Thai person and expect them to tell you the truth. I really found it hard to trust a random Vietnamese person.

India was definitely tough going at times too (I didn't get up to Varanessi though), but particular bad experiences didn't spoil it for me. I had heard the bad stuff about Vietnam before going and was determined not to let a few bad things spoil it on me - I wanted to have a good impression of the place. But as time went on, and the further we went north, I found we had bad experiences several times a day, enough to make us sick of it.

I'l always remember people started clapping on our flight as it left Hanoi airport, and hearing people say "it's so nice to see people smiling again" when we arrived in Bangkok.

Again though, as you say, on the tourist trail you're bound to get more shit. I've friends who were in the far north (Sapa, Dien Bien Phu etc) and they loved it there. Hoi An was still great though.
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