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Finally decided - Vietnam

Travel Forums Asia Finally decided - Vietnam

1. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Yes l am fickle and changable and after posting questions on various destinations ranging from Israel, Morrocco and Thailand - we have yet again changed our mind and its to be Vietnam (definately - have gone to the expense of shelling out £15 on a travel guide so cant change our minds again!)

So we have approx - 20 - 25 days to spend, during November 07 and l have a rough itinerary

Days 1-6 HCMC (5 nights)

- see city
- recuperate after long flight
- take day trips to see Cu Chi tunnels, and Mekong Delta
- visit Cao Dai Holy See

Grab train to Nha Trang

Days 6-12 Nha Trang (5 nights)

- sunbathe, swim, snorkel - maybe do a learn to scuba course if on offer (can anyone recommend) and CHILL OUT!
- anyone advise of any sights to go visit

Grab open top bus or train - which ever is best (anyone?) to Da Nang

Days 11-13 Da Nang (2 nights)

- spend a couple of nights see the area/city

Bus from Da Nang to Hoi An

Days 13- 15 Hoi An (2 nights)

- see the town & maybe get some clothes made

- bus back to Da Nang to grab the train to Hue

Days 15 - 17 Hue (2 nights)

- see the town

Overnight train to Hanoi

Days 18 - 20 (2 nights)

- spend time in Hanoi - see the city, take in water puppet show, HCM Mausoleum. sample Bai hoi in the bars!

Days 20 - 22 (2 nights)

- 2 night trip to Ha Long Bay - spend 2 nights on boat on the Bay

Days 22 - 24 (2 nights)

- back to Hanoi

Fly from Hanoi to HCMC to get flight back to UK.

SO hows that for an itinerary, is it feasible - should we cut some places in favour of spending more time else where?

What about the transportation - l would prefer to take the train than the bus - the thought of spending any longer than a couple of hours on a bus doesnt appeal at least with the trains l can spend a bit extra and get a nice sofa bunk!

What can l expect from the train - especially the sleeper train - am l right in saying that we should just book our onward journey on arrival at each point?

Is there anything else l should know - lm booking the flights on Friday (well the international ones) and l will reserve our guesthouses/hotels cause lm a bit anal and organised and l like to have a plan and know that l have a bed for the night! So any input is crucial!

Also - now maybe lm blind but on the Vietnamese UK website for arranging visas - where is the fee? I will send an email now to them, but if anyone has details on cost that would be great - l think l can post off my passport or drop it in to London Embassy (which is fine cos other half works in London at least 2 weeks in every month!) - how long does it take - lm guessing about 7 working days?

Ok watch out for the barage of questions, but this is it, a final decision made (Michael (Utrecht) l know l told you that about Thailand but we got down to some serious planning on Sunday and Vietnam was a joint decision of somewhere we both want to go to and haven't been before unlike Thailand!)

Thanks in advance!

Heather

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Heather,
Nha Trang,
Take the bay tour. Everybody does, but it is fun and you get to see the bay and offshore islands. Cheap, lunch, all the wine you want, swimming, hard to beat that! Octupus & Coco Divers have been in NT for years and are recommended. Chat with the dive masters and decide who you feel comfortable with. Not much difference in price. I like the 62 Tran Phu Hotel. Beach is across the road, restaurants, bus departures, Sailing Club all within walking distance. Decent room at a decent price. You can hit the Po Nagar Cham Towers and then soak in the Thap Ba Hot Springs in the same trip, they are close together. Long Son Pagoda gives you a nice view of NT. Rent a motorbike if you feel adventurous, otherwise use a moto taxi or a pedicab to get around NT.

Hit the My Son ruins when in Hoi An, take the boat back, not the bus. Pay the fee and walk the historic district of Hoi An. A good cause and many interesting pagodas and houses, plenty of photo ops.

Bus travel has a few advantages; price and availability. You can walk in a NT travel shop at noon and travel to Hoi An that night. The train requires a bit more planning, esp. if you want a sleeper berth. Book a day early for the NT-Danang and Hue-HaNoi legs.

Heather, I have photos of most of your coming trip in my gallery. PM me if you have questions.

3. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Thanks Mike as we plan more l will definately take you up on that offer!

4. Posted by Darren7 (Budding Member 63 posts) 9y

Hi Purdy!

Be aware, you might hear a familiar Norn Iron accent when your away.....

I think at some point we will be passing....as I'm heading from Hanoi to HCMC over a 2 week period beginning 8th to 24th November!

Have you settled on a means of transport? I still haven't a clue whether to go via bus or train.

I tried going onto that Sinh Cafe open bus website yesterday, but its not there anymore.. Does anyone know if they've shut down?

5. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 9y

Quoting Darren7

Hi Purdy!

Be aware, you might hear a familiar Norn Iron accent when your away.....

I think at some point we will be passing....as I'm heading from Hanoi to HCMC over a 2 week period beginning 8th to 24th November!

Have you settled on a means of transport? I still haven't a clue whether to go via bus or train.

I tried going onto that Sinh Cafe open bus website yesterday, but its not there anymore.. Does anyone know if they've shut down?

http://www.sinhcafevn.com/

This site ??

6. Posted by Darren7 (Budding Member 63 posts) 9y

oops....thats them. though the website looks different from what i seen last time.

and there's no sign of them offering a Hanoi - Saigon route, only the opposite way.

Have you travelled round this area before paul?