This was our first trip to Vietnam. We first went to Saigon for three days which was wonderful then on to, what we thought, was Phan Thiet. Although the hotel was very nice, the staff couldn't do enough for you, and it was beach front, it is most definitely not in Phan Thiet. Phan Thiet is approximately 60-70 miles away. The hotel is very isolated so much so that we felt it would be better as an all inclusive resort there is absolutely nothing else around - nowhere else to eat and when you are on a bed and breakfast basis its a bit annoying that there is nowhere else to try - luckily the food in the hotel was very good. The worst part of it was that on top of being very isolated we found that we were in fact the only guests! This didn't make for much atmosphere.
In the end we hired a scooter and went into the small town about 5 miles away - waste of time not much there either.
As mentioned above the staff were lovely, didn't speak much English but we all got by with pointing and smiling. The manager and Assistant Manager were very helpful and did speak good English (the manager is in fact German). The manager took us out one day to Phan Thiet (at a charge) not sure that it was a good idea as we could see exactly what we were missing!
Although the hotel was beachfront I would not recommend going to South Vietnam in May as the weather was very mixed with quite a bit of rain. Of the two weeks it probably equated to one of sun. Also although the beach was clean and quiet we were eaten alive by sand files (still got marks nearly a year later) so if you go take lots and repellent.
Generally we found the Vietnamese people very friendly and welcoming (not so much with Americans!) and would recommend it as a slightly 'different' place to go. We intend to try the North at a later date and were recommended to visit during October.
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