Vietnam Coracle: Support Page


If you like Vietnam Coracle and the work I do, please support this website.

I never receive payment for anything I write. Everything on Vietnam Coracle is free to read, independently researched & personally financed. There’s no sponsored content whatsoever.

There are 7 ways for readers to support Vietnam Coracle.

Click an option below for details:

Thank you,

Tom |

1. Make a Donation

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3. Book your Accommodation

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4. Book your Transportation

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Questions, updates and trip reports are all welcome. However, please keep comments polite and on-topic. See commenting etiquette for details.

  1. shane Cornell says:
    January 4, 2024 at 5:53 AM

    Hello Tom

    My first question was going to be do you actually exist?. As I have contacted a number of websites only to get no response. Im returning to Saigon in October 2024 & have really enjoyed reading your blog.
    We are in Saigon for 6 days for a wedding reception but unsure as to what to after this if anything. We did the big overland trip to Phon Phen some years ago.
    Beaches in October possibly not that good in Southern Vietnam …. nice mountain towns close to Saigon?
    Any suggestions? and if you are real 🙂 how do I support you?

    1. Tom says:
      January 5, 2024 at 11:55 AM

      Hi Shane,

      I’m happy to hear you are enjoying my website.

      October is the shoulder season in southern Vietnam – between the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the dry season. This can actually be a great time to visit the southern islands, such as Phu Quoc and Con Dao, because there are fewer visitors and prices are lower, although there is still a chance of rain.

      You might want to look at Dalat if you prefer mountains – there’s a lot to explore around there, or you could base yourself in a nice mountain lodge for a few nights, such as Ivory Falls.

      You might like to take a look at my Weather Guide and then search my site accordingly, either by typing key words into the search box at the top right corner or browsing by category and sub-category using the navigation menu in the top left corner.

      And if you would like to support my website you can make a donation or become a patron.



  2. Deirdre Fearfield says:
    August 26, 2023 at 10:55 AM

    Hi Tom Thanks for your excellent recommendations. I hope you don’t mind me picking your brains…. We’ve decided to travel to Hon Son island for Christmas I’m having difficulty booking the limousine bus from Ho Chi Minh to Rach Gia, could it be they haven’t released dates yet ? Or they just don’t run in December.
    How would you recommend travelling to Rach Gia in reasonable comfort? Would appreciate your guidance.

    Much appreciated

    1. Tom says:
      August 27, 2023 at 8:37 AM

      Hi Deirdre,

      Yes, the Thien Thanh Limousine is definitely the best and most comfortable way to travel between Ho Chi Minh and Rach Gia. The bus runs every day (even at Christmas) at least 4-5 times each day. Check out their website here. You don’t need to book more than 1 day in advance. And take a look at my guide to the limousine service here.



      1. Deirdre Fearfield says:
        August 27, 2023 at 9:42 AM

        Thanks for your help ! Keep up the fantastic work, 😊

  3. Derya says:
    April 16, 2023 at 2:19 PM

    I enjoyed reading your website. We are coming to Vietnam this July and this will be our first time. I am planning a roundtrip and I want to end either in Phu Quoc or Con Dao. What can you advise us also because it is raining season in the South.
    I will come with my husband and 3 children which are in the twenties.

    My personal thought is to go to Con Dao.


    1. Tom says:
      April 17, 2023 at 1:21 AM

      Hi Derya,

      In terms of weather and sea conditions, it should be better on Con Dao than Phu Quoc at that time of year.

      However, because of the weather and sea conditions, July is high season on Con Dao and low season on Phu Quoc.

      Personally, I would choose Con Dao over Phu Quoc in July.

      I’m currently updating my Con Dao Islands Guide, which should be finished by the time you arrive.

      Also, for a bit more information about weather in Vietnam, check out my Weather Guide.



      1. Derya says:
        April 17, 2023 at 11:03 AM

        Hi Tom,
        Thank you for your reply. I will check your website for the update!

  4. Nils says:
    March 19, 2023 at 12:49 PM

    Hello Tom,
    Do you have experience entering Laos by motorbike?
    Today I tried to drive my motorcycle to Laos at the Lao Bao border crossing. The border officials turned me away and explained that it is not allowed to travel to Laos by motorbike.

    Best regards from Lao Bao

    1. Tom says:
      March 20, 2023 at 5:35 AM

      Hi Nils,

      I’m afraid I don’t have much personal experience of riding in/out of Laos from Vietnam. However, I’m pretty sure there have been some useful recent threads about this on the Vietnam Back Roads Facebook group – try searching ‘Laos’ on the group page.



  5. jeffrey Mark says:
    January 12, 2023 at 1:25 AM

    Traveling to Ho Chi Minh in march and I understand that travel insurance is required for entry to Vietnam, can someone recommend a provider that I can use? Thanks in advance.

    1. Tom says:
      January 12, 2023 at 2:15 PM

      Hi Jeffrey,

      I’ve never been checked for travel insurance when entering Vietnam – I don’t know anyone who has. But it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance. I use Pacific Cross. But it’s probably best to google for more options or perhaps ask the question in travel forums.



      1. Jeffrey Mark says:
        January 15, 2023 at 4:13 PM

        Thanks for the info Tom.

  6. Peter O'Connell says:
    November 1, 2022 at 6:32 AM

    We really enjoyed your outline of the Pu Luong nature reserve and plan to head there next year. I wanted to ask if you had any local guides based close to Pu Luong nature reserve, not Hanoi, that I could get in contact with to show us around for a few days. I don’t want to pay a company if I can pay a local. We will be using your accommodation guide and food suggestions and expect to have a ripper time. Thanks again for all your information it is so nice to have an independant view from a local.

    1. Tom says:
      November 2, 2022 at 6:33 AM

      Hi Peter,

      I don’t have any specific recommendations for local guides in Pu Luong, but when you are at a homestay there, they will almost certainly have some one local who can guide you around.

      It is a wonderful area. Please bear in mind that my guide to Pu Luong Homestays is now a few years old, so some things are bound to have changed. Check the comments section at the bottom of the guide to see other readers’ updates.



      1. Peter O'Connell says:
        November 2, 2022 at 11:30 AM

        Cheers Tom.

  7. Laurie Beckel says:
    May 6, 2022 at 1:21 PM

    Hello Tom
    My friend and I will be visiting Vietnam for the first time in a couple of weeks. My grandson will be graduating from UNIS in Hanoi the end of May. His mother is the principal at one of the other International schools in Hanoi. We are so excited!

    I really appreciated your piece on climbing Fansipan as this is something we want to do when we visit Sapa. Even though we are strong hikers (climbed Kilimanjaro in 2005), we would like to have a guide go with us. Do you have a recommendation?
    I will also make a donation to your work as it is really terrific!
    Laurie Beckel Idaho Springs, Colorado USA

    1. Tom says:
      May 7, 2022 at 12:05 PM

      Hi Laurie,

      Thanks so much for your kind and generous donation to my site – I really appreciate it and it really helps keep this site running.

      Good to hear you’ll be coming to Vietnam when your grandson graduates. Actually, a friend of mine, Biên Nguyên, also works at UNIS in Hanoi. In fact, he’s about to start writing some articles for this site.

      I’m afraid I don’t have any specific recommendations for good guides for the hike up Fansipan. I’m sure there are some and that once you start researching in Sapa you’ll be able to find a good one quite quickly. But we did the hike a few years ago now and things change so quickly in Sapa (and with the pandemic taking hold the last two years) that I’m rather out of touch. Also, we specifically wanted to climb independently, and the guides we did encounter on the climb were not very professional. (Although I’m sure that’s the exception, not the rule.)

      Sorry I can’t be more help.



  8. Minh Hennessey says:
    April 15, 2022 at 1:50 AM

    Hi Tom, really enjoy reading your posts, always very informative. You certainly have inspired my husband and I to explore my beautiful birth country. The rides we have been on with friends have certainly been fun and very memorable! Thanks and keep up the great work. Will definitely book through your recommended hotels. The picture above this article, can you advise which bay this is and if there is accommodation there?

    1. Tom says:
      April 16, 2022 at 7:51 AM

      Hi Minh,

      Thank you for your kind words. I hope you can enjoy exploring Vietnam sometime soon.

      Which picture are you referring to? The image of the coracle?



  9. Matt Tennant says:
    September 19, 2021 at 10:49 AM

    Hi Tom,
    I just donated $10 not a lot but I usually only donate to Charities, great work & keep it up. My family and I love Vietnam and I love your posts.

    1. Tom says:
      September 19, 2021 at 1:47 PM

      Hi Matt,

      Thank you, that’s very kind of you, I really appreciate it. And I hope that you and your family get the opportunity to visit Vietnam again sometime.



  10. Ted says:
    May 16, 2021 at 8:45 PM

    Hi Tom,

    Biked (bicycled) from Hue to Vung Tau a few years ago. Your journals, maps, lodging recommendations were extremely helpful and informative on that trip. Looking forward to another Vietnam bike tour when I can travel again, eagerly reading your journals for ideas. Thank you, posting a small Paypal donation, with gratitude, be well, Ted

    1. Tom says:
      May 17, 2021 at 2:00 AM

      Thank you, Ted, that’s very kind of you.

      I hope you can come back to Vietnam soon and try some more routes. Perhaps 2022, but who knows.



  11. tuti says:
    March 7, 2021 at 4:17 AM

    hello. i want to donate.
    what currency do you use? or best currency for you?

    1. Tom says:
      March 7, 2021 at 10:13 AM

      Hi Tuti,

      Thank you, that’s very kind.

      Either GBP or USD is best for me, but it doesn’t really matter. Just use the currency that’s easiest for you.

      You can use the instructions above on this page to make the donation through PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account to do this – just a credit card).

      If you have any problems or more questions, you’re welcome to email me:

      Thanks again,


  12. Andy says:
    April 19, 2020 at 2:03 PM

    I have a motorbike trip from Ho Chi Minh to Bao Loc to Mui Ne to Ho Chi Minh. Please tell us your recommended route.
    (each 1night stay)


    1. Tom says:
      April 21, 2020 at 3:34 AM

      Hi Andy,

      Please take a look at the following guides for route suggestions between those destinations:

      Back-Roads to Dalat
      Binh Thuan Back-Roads
      The Ocean Road

      I hope this helps,


  13. Thomas says:
    March 10, 2020 at 2:45 AM

    Hi Tom,

    I’ve been reading your website to prepare my trip in Phu-Quoc and my holidays were just magic thanks to your precious advice.
    Now I plan to travel to Saigon and again, tour website is of great help!
    So I wanted to thank you for your much valued work and made a small Paypal donation.

    Thx Tom!
    Keep going!

    1. Tom says:
      March 10, 2020 at 1:32 PM

      Hi Tom,

      Thank you for your message. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip and that my guides were useful to you.

      And thank you so much for your donation – I really appreciate it.



  14. Bob Forse (Roberto Forsellini) says:
    February 25, 2018 at 2:10 PM

    Tom, love your site and will be visiting Vietnam in March/April. I’ve made a small donation to help a bit with your efforts. Please keep up the great work. Bob Forsee

    1. Tom says:
      February 25, 2018 at 4:14 PM

      Hi Bob,

      Thank you, that’s very kind of you.

      It’s great to hear you like me site and I hope you enjoy your visit here in March/April.


  15. Umar Yusufu says:
    October 17, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Hi Tom,

    I would just like to extend a warm thanks to you for sharing all of this information and knowledge with everyone. Such a valuable resource, which has taken the panic away and filled the space with utter excitement. I will be booking everything I do through your site and will share as much as I can. Fantastic Job and you obviously are a very good human. Thanks


    1. Tom says:
      October 17, 2017 at 11:56 PM

      Hi Umar,

      Thank you. It’s really great to hear that you are enjoying the website, and thanks so much for booking through it – that’s a great help to me and it’s a big part of what keeps this site running smoothly.

      I hope you enjoy your time in Vietnam,


  16. Wolfgang Thiel says:
    October 13, 2017 at 3:38 PM

    Dear Sir,
    as I intent to move to VN and to live there what do I have to mind?
    I’m an Austrian citizen and as I retire I want to stay there.

    Thank you in advance
    Wolfgang Thiel

    1. Tom says:
      October 14, 2017 at 2:33 AM

      Hi Wolfgang,

      I suggest you check visa requirements for Austrian citizens who want to live, work or travel in Vietnam for an extended period of time with your closest embassy. I can’t supply that information myself as visa requirements are different for different nationalities and change quite regularly.