Originally Posted by AdventurePoser
Hi and thanks for the input. When were you there last? Any other recommendations within driving distance of Saigon?
I went HCMC - Vung Tau - Phan Thiet - Mui Ne - Da Lat.
Mui Ne is fairly horrid: it really is nothing more than a strip of guesthouses and restaurants on either side of a road that follows a dirty strip of beach, and most of the tourists are the worst kind of boorish Australians and Russians. That said, there is a strip of beach-side BBQs with seafood that is straight from the water - the kind of place that sends travellers who ferret out good street food into paroxysms of delight - so if that's your thing ... There are also some natural attractions, like sand dunes, kite-surfing, etc.
Otherwise, I didn't see anything in the area around HCMC. My guess is that, like all of Vietnam, the cultural attractions wouldn't be worth the trip, and the low-lands of the delta are not likely to be all that scenic.
One thing that might be worth a trip is Phu Quoc, though I vaguely recall it being the subject of a concerted effort by the government to develop it for tourism, so it might be more tourists-and-over-sized-hotels than secluded-island-paradise.
I suppose that it depends on how much time you've spent travelling / travelling in the developing world. If not much, all of the things in guide books probably will be entertaining enough. If done it anywhere else in the world before, then you already know most of Vietnam: there isn't actually very much to see or do - dirty, developing world cities with a few, scrappy cultural attractions; 'authentic market experiences' where the only shoppers in sight are foreign; beach towns that are filled with white trash from all around the globe; towns where any hint of anything local disappeared when the tourists started arriving; etc - so head for the scenic places like Da Lat or Sa Pa.