Hanoi to Hue by bus
We booked an a/c bus through our guesthouse for $9US/p. Our bus left at 7:30pm for an overnight 12hr rough ride. This bus seviced a lot of vietnamese a well, and some of them ended up sitting and sleeping on the stool on the aisle. The company might've overbooked the bus, or it could be their normal system. The passengers seemed to be ok with their situation. We didn't hear any complaints or see attitude from them.
We made a few short stops and we got a few short sleeps as well. The bus often released a burnt rubber smell, often hit a puddle, and often honked like the rest of the traffic.
7:30am at Hue. We were once again crowded by guesthouse vendors. After reviewing which area we wanted to be in, we gave one of the vendors a chance to show us his offer with Thai Binh Hotel
Hue to Hoi An by bus
We bought our tickets from a travel agent for a bus to Hoi An for 35,000Dong/p ($2Usd). We left at 8am for a 3.5hr ride which included a 45min rest stop at some beach resort. 10mins before our final stop, a representative of the bus company joined us with warm welcome remarks and an offer to stay at their hotel and take their tours. We chose to walk around to shop for a guesthouse ourselves and we found Pho Hoi 1 Hotel
Hoi An to Danang by bus
This bus ride was for 40,000Dong/p ($20Usd). The bus goes to their office in the northern part of Danang, but we asked to be dropped off at the Cham Museum (about 2km earlier). From the museum, we walked for 2km more towards Danang Int'l Airport. On our way to the airport, we stopped by a street vendor for some coffee. This vendor normally sells sugar cane juice. We kept gesturing for 1 coffee (1 finger plus point to her coffee sign) but the lady kept gesturing 2 (2 fingers sign). Later we learned that she meant 2,000Dong. The lady later on gave us sugar cane juice. Well, we just added this to one of our head scratchers.
Danang to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) by plane
We checked-in at the airport and the lady there told me that it's ok to hand carry my souvenir Bow and Arrow. Of course at the boarding gate they questioned it. The officer there was nice enough to offer help though. He said he would take care of it. He asked one of his colleagues to wrap it in cardboard and write "fragile" on it. After finishing a roll of packing tape, the guy gave me my souvenir back, with a smile, then charged me 20,000Dong. I was never told that there would be a fee so I questioned it. The guy asked another colleague to explain to me why I have to pay. She told me that there's always been a fee of 10,000Dong for packing fragile items. So it was actually only 10,000Dong.
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 2:05pm but it got delayed by an hour. We flew with Pacific Airlines for 1.5hrs. We bought our tickets when we were in Hanoi for 775,000Dong/p ($37Usd).
At Tan Sun Nhat Airport (Saigon), we took a local bus #152 from outside of the Int'l Departure area to Pam Ngu Lao. This area is packed with tourists and is like Kao Sok in Thailand, only bigger. We had a hard time looking for a cheap place to stay here. Most offers we got was $15US for a double fan room. There were a few for $7US but we were still hoping to stay with our $5US budget. We found one at Anh Dao Room For Rent (not recommended). We were tired and hungry so we stayed here but with a 1-night-stay-only promise.
Early morning of the next day, we checked-out and took a walk around the area more. We then found Luan Guesthouse