I'm going to Vietnam this summer to do voluntary work in DaNang for a month. My work there starts on 1st August, but i get to Hanoi on the 17th / 18th July. I've bought books about what to see etc, but i'd like to know what i really can't miss out on and have a few questions..
Will there be travellers in almost any hostel / guesthouse? (i.e. will i meet people i may be able to travel with ? )
I'd love to trek for a day or two to see 'real vietnam' and meet some of the tribes etc, what's the best way to organise this + cost ?!
How quickly can i get from Hanoi to Danang, is train a good option?
What should i see once I'm in and around Danang?
After my placement in Danang i travel south to HCMC(1st sept - 9th)..Anything not to miss out on the way or down in the Mekong Delta?
Thanks for your help!
wow, a lot of questions.
I spent a long time in VN visiting my VNese friends. I stayed in their houses as I was travelling in the whole VN. no any recommendations for you about the place to stay.
most of people will go to Sapa for trekking in VN. I like there very much. but, it looks a little bit far for you only going to spend 1 or 2 days. you can get the overnight train from Hainoi, and then 2 hours by van after you get off the train in the next morning.
you can go by yourself for most of the tourist spots in Sapa with a map. however, you also can hire some tribes girls as a road guide to go back their home that 10 to 20 km. far aways from Sapa town. it is much cheapper that way. they can speak very good Enlgish, and smile when you photo them. it is a fun trip for a day. and, if you want to trek more, you can hire the read tourist guide, but talk with them before you hire them. some are not too good. good luck.
and, i like Sapa because i only paied few dallors to get a moutain view room. most of the guesthouses there have moutain view room. just pick one you like.
in your case, train is better for you. the train from Haino to Danang is not too bad. it is also a overnight train. leave Haino at night, and arrive in Danang in the next day noon.
when you are in Danang, you can go to Hue, Hoi An, and My Son. of coruse, Danang is a good place to going around. and also there are some beach resorts between Hue and Danang. OH, i like a place between Hue and Danang, now i can not remember the name. but, you can see the whole Danang city from that point. you can check with the local people.
the Mekong Delta is also my favorite.
don't miss eating in Danang. they have a lot of the local good food there you can not find in Hanoi or HCMCity.
In Hanoi, you should stay in The Old Quarter, then you can meet many people. Remember to join in The "Bia hoi" Corner( Beer Corner), you can meet many new friends there. There are some cheap hotels in The Old Quarter, can try Cat Tuong Hotel in 10D Dinh Liet street, you can find a room with about 5 - 9 usd. Tel: 04.8266054. That was where I stayed when I was there, really like at home, beacause of very friendly staffs, alsway eager to help you. Should take a trip to Halong bay, and like aaabbb wrote, should visit Sapa. you go to Sapa by night train to Lao Cai, then bus Lao Cai to Sapa. A trip to Sapa cost total arround 60 usd. Find Catcat hotel, Mountain view hotel or Royal hotel for a mountain view room.
From Hanoi to Danang, can go by train, then you can see many beautiful sceneries on the way. Takes about 14 hours. Should stay for the beaches in Danang,visit Mable mountain for the panoramic view of city and beach then bus to Hoian takes 2hours. From Hoi An, visit My Son, Cua Dai beach. Dont miss tasting Cao Lau in Hoian.
From Hoian, you should visit Nha Trang and Phan Thiet, the two famous seaside destinations in the South. The sea is blue, clear and calm. But the wave is excelent for water sports.
Arround Hochiminh city, take a boat trip on Mekong Delta, then Cu Chi tunnel, Cao Dai temple, also try Phu Quoc island to see the fish sauce industry.
Any more help, can P.M me.
Have a good time in Vietnam.
P/S: Thank you very much for your voluntary work in Vietnam. Can you tell what is your works?