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Hanoi - Vietnam

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1. Posted by felice821 (Budding Member 24 posts) 8y

Planned to go Hanoi, Vietnam this coming June. Got few things need to enquiry so that i can have a smooth and budget trip.

Yet to plan how many days because i got no idea how many days i need to be there to cover to place that i wanted to visit. I plan to visit Hanoi, Halong Bay and SAPA. From Hanoi to SAPA need to take 9 hours train..

As i read from few thread, a lot of travellers been to this places. How many days is enough? Definately will be using 2D1N in Halong Bay as i decided to overnight there.

For those who ever overnight on board at Halong Bay.. May i knoe which agency or contact offer good budget? In Hanoi, i will stay at backpackers hotel. As is budget travel..so better everything cheap.

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

I spent about 10 days in Hanoi, and it was not enough. Hanoi - the most interesting and varied city of Vietnam. Prices are up (I paid $16. for a cheap room and later $35. for a really nice one). Beer (Bia Hoi) is cheap, as is street food (go for the Kabob sandwiches - 15,000 VND).

Sapa is just plain super! I loved it there, and so will you. The tourist trains (about $25. for a good berth) are quite nice and punctual. Have your hotel meet you at the train for $2. I stayed at the Anh Dao Hotel ($13.) in downtown Sapa - extremely nice and large for the price w/breakfast & balcony.

Sadly, I did not see Halong Bay at all.

enjoy...

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

This posting from Tripadvisor is so descriptive that I'm crossposting here:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293924-i8595-k1929213-Trip_Report_April_2008-Hanoi.html

4. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 8y

I spent around 3 nights in Hanoi - and took a 3 day 2 night side trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay. I prefered Saigon to Hanoi - it was cheaper, and l found people more friendly.

A city is a city so l was glad to get out of Hanoi and spend time in Halong Bay which was pretty spectacular, one night was spent on a junk in the middle of the South China Sea and the second night on Cat Ba Island.

I didnt do the Sapa trip - didnt have the time but my cousin did it a few years back and l know she spent around 3 nights in Sapa as well.

We arranged our trips via Kangaroo Cafe in Hanoi - more expensive than others out there that lm sure you will be able to find on every street corner in Hanoi but we were really well looked after; food and standard of accomodation was brilliant also.

5. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 8y

Since it was a few year ago now (actually, now that I think of it, I arrived in Vietnam 5 years ago today), I can't recommend any tour companies or hotels. Sorry about that.

I would recommend spending at least 3 days in Sapa and taking some sort of hike that gets you out to the villages and lets you stay with the locals. I think its the best way to see the place. I did a 3 day, two night hike that I booked in Hanoi with whatever company offered us the best looking deal. We also had a day in Sapa when we arrived, and most of a day before left. These days were most appreciated to relax, do some shopping, and just hang out. I didn't get to go, but if you are in the area on Sunday, then the Bac Ha market is said to be pretty good.

For Halong Bay, I would recommend 3 days and 2 nights. Make sure you get to spend on night on the boat. I've heard many complain about the night on the boat, but for me it was fantastic and highly recommended. I also spent a night on Cat Ba Island which was great too. There's a short hike you can do on the Island which is well worth doing for a great view.

Hanoi itself is worth as much time as you can spend. I spent around 5 days maybe and it wasn't quite enough for me. I loved the city. I think its much more interesting and beautiful than HCMC and it's actually my second favorite city in Asia (next to Hong Kong). Don't miss the water puppets, and if you can, try to get down to the lake around 6am or so when the place comes to life with early morning excersizers. And don't forget to spend one whole day sitting on the patio of a restaurant, people watching, eating some of the worlds best food, and drinking the cheapest beer you'll find anywhere.
For day trips, the Perfume Pagoda is worth visiting.

6. Posted by DieuThuy (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y

hey!
If you plan to visit Hanoi and you want a free tour, you should contact with the group Hanoikids- they will give you an interesting tour, they are students who want to improve their english skills and want foreigners love their city, so you will have free tourguide, I guess
I think some guys in this forum know about them, I read some blogs which mentioned about Hanoikids but I don't remember whose blog is. You may ask someone else
by the way, I would suggest you coming here in Autumn or Winter , maybe Autumn is the best time to go around the city, lol...but June is still fine though.
yeah, you should take a tour to Halong bay and Sapa, they are both nice places
if you come after 20th June, I think I can help you some places to go in the city, if before that time...lol...I would be very busy because of the exams...
but you'll find out alot of helpful information and people which can help you have a great vacation in Hanoi

have a nice trip
bb

7. Posted by dwitch (Budding Member 26 posts) 8y

Visited Hanoi last year.Plenty of budget hotels in the old quarter We stayed in the Royal hotel $14:00us The lake just around the corner very convenient to everything we loved the area. Didn't book just walked in and asked for a room great staff very helpful. They were about to do renevations when we departed so prices may have increased.Did a day trip to Halong Bay we were disappointed we certainly didn't get what we paid for. Enjoy your trip we will return to Vietnam in August this time starting from Ho Chi Minh.

8. Posted by DieuThuy (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y

hey
I got something for ya
information about Hanoikids
you can read contact them if desire
http://www.travelblog.org/Forum/Threads/3290-1.html

9. Posted by vngreen (Full Member 71 posts) 8y

hi
You'd stay Hanoi 2nights, trip Halong bay 2days/1night, sapa 4nights/3days(2nights on the train to and back )

10. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

Quoting DieuThuy

hey
I got something for ya
information about Hanoikids
you can read contact them if desire
http://www.travelblog.org/Forum/Threads/3290-1.html

I also used Hanoikids - they were just plain EXCELLENT too - really the highlight of my Hanoi stay! (Ask for Duc and Thuong)

here's their picture: http://tinyurl.com/4qrkjg

[ Edit: Edited on May 5, 2008, at 10:22 AM by Daawgon ]