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Vietnam - where to go?

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam - where to go?

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1. Posted by kts (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Hi everyone,
I'm heading to Vietnam for 2 weeks in August. As this is not a very long time, I'm having trouble deciding what to do and where to go. I was thinking about going to Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hoi An -Nah Trang - Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - Cu Chi Tunnels. Is there something else I should not miss? I really want to relax, so don't want to be too busy whilst I'm there. Should I go to Sapa? Also, I was thinking about flying within Vietnam, but after reading these forums, I'm thinking about taking the bus. Would this save me much time? And are the buses safe?
I would really love some help! Thanks.

2. Posted by danalasta (Respected Member 519 posts) 10y

The Vinh Moc Tunnels are an amazing 2.8 km tunnel network, which can all be visited. Unlike their counterparts in Cu Chi, these tunnels remain unaltered and therefore offer an authentic view of underground life during the War. .

And if you are interested in tranquility, Pleiku is an area of rugged beauty with its raw unspoiled landscapes of jungles and waterfalls. It is also home to a variety of ethnic hill tribes. ... the other is the mountain town of Cao Bang, close to Chinese border...it is home to nine different ethnic minorities including the Tay, Nung, Dao and H’mong. About 270km north of Hanoi!

There are a host of other places...that is if you get off the beaten track!

But if you are sticking to your plans from Hanoi to HCMC by bus, get an open ticket (USD25, I think)from travel agents (Sinh Cafe is one)...with it you can get off anywhere along the route you have worked out.

dana

3. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 10y

Travelling by bus is probably the cheapest way, although not the most comfortable, it's hit & miss whether you'll get a nice bus. Prepare for bad roads & hell raising driving. On the upside if you travel during the day you get to see a lot.

You might want to also consider visiting the town of Hue, I didn't stop there, but heard it was very interesting.

Enjoy your time in Vietnam.

4. Posted by routard (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

Hello,

I deeply recommend you to do one tour of one day from Hanoi city, called Parfume Pagoda. You could arrange from your hotel. It is like a trekking on the mountain and trip by samll boat by the river. You will enjoy a lot nature and sightseeing. Very cheap too.
Have a nice trip.

5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

I enjoyed almost everything in VN except the Perfume Pagoda. The small row boat is scenic and the mountain area is pretty, but the pagoda at the end is not worth the 3 km hike up to it. The Perfume pagoda has special significance to Buddhists, but not to the rest of us. If you go, take the cable car option unless you really need some exercise. If it is raining, pass on it completely. That is my best advice.

6. Posted by suwannaphu (Budding Member 51 posts) 10y

You should definitely go to Sapa if you like to see hill tribe culture and mountainous&natural surrounding of VN's north! The classic way to go is take an overnight train from Hanoi to say good morning at Laocai town. Then take taxi/bus or van from Laocai to Sapa.

In Hanoi, visit to Hoankiem lake and have drinks at one of restaurants by the lake, visit to the temple of literature, one-pillar pagoda, and see the water puppet show are must-sees.

I used services from the Sinh Cafe and it turned out OK.

Enjoy the Phue (VN noodle soup)!

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 10y

I would recommend taking an internal flight somewhere along the line if you can as this will save you some precious time on a tight itinerary. I flew from Danang (closest airport to Hoi An) to Nha Trang with Vietnam Airlines for $40.

8. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

Quoting bex76

I would recommend taking an internal flight somewhere along the line if you can as this will save you some precious time on a tight itinerary. I flew from Danang (closest airport to Hoi An) to Nha Trang with Vietnam Airlines for $40.

Flying is faster of course, but you do not save anything if you use the overnight bus; Hoi An-Nha Trang. On your last day in Hoi An, check out of your room and let them store your bags. Do your sightseeing and take the 7:00pm bus to Nha Trang. You save one nights accommodation and arrive at 6am the next day. My 2 cents worth of advice.

9. Posted by kts (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Thank you all so much for your help! I really appreciate it. I think I will be taking the bus option, especially if they do go overnight as I don't have much time. How far in advance do you have to book the bus? And how do you book it?
Thanks again.

10. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

Kate,
I will send you the info in a PM.