Vietnam - Profile
- After years of isolation, the late 1980s saw an opening up of the country to independent travel. By the 1990s foreign tourists were enjoying a remarkable amount of freedom to visit the interior of the country.
- However, the general consensus seems to be that Vietnam still falls into the "too hard" basket as a cruising destination. The Vietnam race - HK - Nah Trang was only ever held once despite being conceived as an annual event, as the logistics were just too hard and the cost of immigration services was prohibitive. Several competitors were impounded on their boats because they did not have the right type of visa. Since then there have been further reports of yachts being impounded because of visa/clearance problems, and therefore any sailor would be very well advised to research all bureaucratic requirements before entering Vietnamese waters.
- Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is the largest city and main commercial centre of southern Vietnam, where evidence of the new climate of free enterprise is very much in evidence.
- Haiphong lies on the delta of the Red River and is the main port serving Hanoi, to which there are rail links. Nearby is the spectacular Halong Bay where some 3000 chalk islands form strange and fascinating shapes and grottoes.
- Facilities for yachts are very basic. Fuel and water are available in Ho Chi Minh City and provisioning, especially with local produce, is plentiful. Repair facilities are limited although workshops dealing with local fishing boats would be able to deal with some emergencies.
The north is subtropical with dry winters and wet summers, while the southeast has a monsoon climate with the rainy season from May to October.
Brunei Bay Radio operates a regular voice broadcast sked of METAREA and local coastal forecasts for SE Asia waters, the NW Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean. For details of Brunei Bay Radio broadcast skeds and frequencies, see http://www.bruneibay.net/bbradio/bbrschfvoice.htm and http://www.bruneibay.net/bbradio/bbrscweathMSIbcasts.html
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