I plan to go to Hanoi on 29 Jan 07..i'm about to confirm my flight tonight.
But what I want to know is if i have 10 days in Vietnam..let's say fly from Kuala Lumpur on 29 Jan 07 and fly from Hanoi back to Bangkok on 6 Feb.
Where should I go and do? First of all i'm on tight budget. I wish to do as much as possible but please..not expensive.
If you could recommend a nice guest house safe for 2 girls travelling, please do suggest us.
Thank you very much for all your help in advance.
10 days is a great amount of time in Hanoi, though if you could squeeze in just one or two more it will be even better.
The first thing that you don't want to miss is Halong Bay. Best bet is to take a 3 days tour from Hanoi. You will spend the first day getting there and then sailing out on a boat. First night will be on a boat. The second day you will cruise around and then proablaby land on Cat Ba Island where you will stay the night. The third day you'll sail back to land and drive back to Hanoi. I think you can do tours in a day or two, but I can't imagine that you will see much, and it seems a bit rushed to me. Take the three days, its a beautiful place worth the time.
Then you'll want to head up to Sapa which for me was the highlight of Vietnam. Since you are short on time, book a hiking trip from Hanoi. You take a night train up, spend three days hiking, and then return on a night train. If you can get an extra day or two, Sapa is worth spending a day in just to relax and go to the market. The only thing about Sapa is that you might want to check the weather in Jan. I was there in May so I had fine weather, but something tells me it gets pretty cold up there that time of year.
Hanoi itself is a fantastic city so make sure you plan two or three days just to roam around the old streets, hang out at the lake, visit Uncle Ho, and drink 25 cent Bia Hoi. One hint is to get up as early as you can and head to the lake. At 7am its fantastic. Every Hanoian and their dog is up to walk, jog, do tai chi, and socialise along the park. Its very peaceful, yet very busy and is when the city really shows its charm.
From Hanoi ther are also a couple of popular day-trips that you don't want to miss. The perfume pagodo is a great little trip. Honesty, the temple itself wasn't anything worth writing home about, but the trip there is great, involving a relaxing boat ride, some great scenery, and a bit of excersise up a whole lot of steps.
Another popular day-trip is to Tam Coc. I didn't get to go when I was there, but the scenery looks amazing.
So that makes for a pretty jam packed 10: 4 days for Hanoi and day trips, 3 for Halong Bay, and 3 for Sapa. So if you have 2 extra days for one more in Hanoi, and one more in Sapa, you'll be able to relax a bit more.
As for budget, this will all be pretty cheap. Book things through the backpacker cafes, like Sinh Cafe, and you'll get things for great deals. Its been a couple years since I've been to Vietnam so I can't really recomend a hotel since I have no idea about prices or anything.
Degolasse gave you some good advice. I would ride the cable car up if you go to the 'Perfume Pagoda'. The temple really is not worth the hike up unless you are Vietnanese. It has significance to them, not to most of us. I have a few photos of this trip in my gallery. Also some of HaLong Bay and old HaNoi.
I am going to send you some hotel/hostel recommendations via PM.
i think that if you tell me how much tight burget do you have i could give you an exactly and good places for traveling as well as a resonable guest house 's price. you know?because you can visit so much wonderful destinations in Viet Nam for 10 days. tell me as soon as possible i will respond to you soon. Belive me because i am a saleswomen of VIetNamtourism-Hanoi so i know what you should do and what you should visit when you come VN
Thank you very much Degolasse and Mike and minhduc..you gave me very useful information.
I have further question to ask again..
My friend start his trip in HCMC and will meet up with me and my friend on 1 Feb at Hoi An or somewhere around there.
In this case, I would have 29 - 31 Jan for Hanoi only...
29 arrive 17.50 can do nothing much, right?
30 - 1 Feb..takes 3 days 2 nights package to halong bay + stop at cat ba island.
From Halong..how do i get to Hoi An? is it too far or should i skip hoi an and continue my own trip ( as Degolasse suggest ) without joining my friend in hoi an?
actually, i haven't set my budget yet. i just want as cheap as possible so i could prepare my money for this trip.
p.s. 25 - 27 Jan, i spend my trip in singapore
27 - 29 jan in kuala lumpur.
29 jan - 6 feb in vietnam ( my friend will fly back to bangkok from hanoi so just don't want to go too far from hanoi airport ).
my friend asked me to join his trip in vietnam and take a flight from saigon to siemriep on 9 - 11 Feb.
So, is there any low cost airlines from saigon to siemriep and how much would that be? i checked from agency ( well in europe ) it's about 111 euro something..which is extremely expensive for me.
sorry for too much question but I just cannot sort it out now what Am i to do..
I just returned from Vietnam on Sat and had the most fantastic time ever. I was only in the north for 10 days, and honestly I could have easily spent another 3 weeks.
Whatever you do, don't miss Hoi An. It is the most fantastic place to just chill out.
Hanoi is just great fun to get around and don't be put off by the traffic. With any luck after day 2 you will also be standing in the middle of the road reading your map. That is when you know you have mastered the streets of the Old Quarter.
I will PM you some great hotels in both Hanoi and Hoi An.