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VN Newbie heading in seeks advice.

I'm a VN newbie coming from the USA and will be arriving next week to HCMC starting off in District 1. Looking for things to avoid.. warnings.. you know stuff to be wary of.
Am probably heading to Vung Tau after then maybe even Da Nang or Hanoi but am leaving my options open.
I plan to play tourist a little but also want to be immersed in the Vietnamese culture.. street food, shopping..
Advice, ideas, thoughts are all welcome.
Thanks..

Welcome n00b!
I'm afraid open-ended questions won't get good results on this forum, because, same on any forum, too general. Many questions have been answered recently by volunteers and there is good history. You should either search the forum, or go ahead and ask more specific questions!

Tip 1: I get better results with google site search instead of forum search. One reason is filtering, another reason is:
Tip 2: There is both a 'Ho Chi Minh City' forum and a 'Saigon' forum, yet they geographically overlap. Expat.com is still thinking about merging those.

So google search like:
site:expat.com  "Vung Tau"
Use quotes for exact string match.
You can filter for newer posts with Search Tools button for Time range, like from Jan 2015.

http://i.imgur.com/gSWcE63.png

Rule 1...don't get involved with a girl that you feel it's just too damn good to be true.

Rule 2... Always refer to rule one when going to the ATM to withdraw money for your new princess.

excellent advice. ty

You definitely should visit Hanoi now. Just good time. Hanoi's autumn is very beautiful and the weather is nice too :)

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