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South Vietnam tips and guidance please!

Travel Forums Asia South Vietnam tips and guidance please!

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Vietnam
1. Posted by Liddi (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Just wondering if anyone can offer any tips for my husband & I who are travelling to Vietnam - for the first time - in Feb for about 2 weeks. We want a balance between beach relaxation and cultural experiences. We especially love great food, bustling local markets, beautiful scenery and really fine quality crafts. I was thinking of using Saigon as our base, mainly because of the climate and proximity to beachy areas. (The shame is that it sounds like we might prefer Hanoi, Hoi An and Hue for the cultural aspects.) We don't want to get on the party circuit, but like places where there are things to do - not total seclusion, but not overly touristy stuff either.

One option is to keep the commuting minimal by heading south to see some of the Mekong (maybe going up the river for a couple of days?) and moving on to Phu Quoc Island for some beach time at the end. The other option is heading north (flying) to Danang so we can get to see Hoi An. Then moving south to the beach at Nha Trang.

We want to find a place that has a clean and lovely beach that isn't over-run with tourists (or touts)! This holiday it's important for us to keep to a budget, and not try to do too much moving. Also any recommendations on places to stay would be appreciated! We go for mid-range boutique style smaller hotels or villas with a bit of character.

Thanks all!!

2. Posted by Dent Tran (Inactive 11 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Dear Liddy,

I think you do tour to Nhatrang / Mui Ne beach and Hochiminh and surround Mekong Delta. 2 Weeks are enough for your husband and you.

Day 1. Saigon Arrive
Day2. Saigon heading to Nhatrang or Muine beach for 5 days relax
Day 7. Back to Saigon
Day 8. Saigon Cuchi
Day 9. Saigon Mekong
Day 10 - 12. Saigon Phu Quoc
Day 13- 14. Free shopping in Saigon

Danang and Hoian are nice place but if you do it very rush for you if you travel by car (by plane is ok)

Have a nice trip

Ps: is this your honeymoon trip? if i correct pls let me know. i will send you very romantic itinerary


3. Posted by Liddi (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Dent!

No, it's not our honeymoon (that was 10 years ago, in India!)... your advice is appreciated. Although a few romantic places wouldn't go astray!

I was thinking that if we go to Hoi An we would fly there to save time. My concern is that it seems like Hoi An would be the kind of place we'd enjoy. But it is taking time out of our holiday in commuting there - even if we fly.

Can anyone tell me how long it takes to get from HCMC to either Phu Quoc or Nha Trang areas? And which mode of transport is recommended for the least amount of grief? We don't mind paying for a couple of flights if it makes life easier and saves time.

Also, any tips on the Mekong area would be appreciated ... have not begun looking into it as yet!

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2012 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

They were saying over on Tripadvisor how Nha Trang has been spoiled of late what with all the high-rise construction. I don't think you can beat the Hoi An area since it has just about everything that you'd like - the accommodations there are superior to most other places in VN and the food is very good there too. I find Saigon too darn Westernized, polluted and heavily populated for me. Since air travel is so easy and inexpensive in VN, I don't know why you have to restrict yourself to the south. I was personally quite disappointed in the Mekong Delta - just too many expressways now and Can Tho is a very large city!

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 12, 2008, at 7:05 PM by Daawgon ]

5. Posted by Liddi (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

On further investigation, I came to the same conclusion about both Nha Trang (over-developed, expensive) and the Mekong (Can Tho) having not much to offer. I now think that it would be better to stay at Mui Ne, and to fly up to Hoi An and stay in the old city area.

We might also be able to get over to Phu Quoc (also by air), and 'bookend' the trip with a couple of days either end in Ho Chi Minh. I am a little concerned about that bit, as some seem to prefer Hanoi over HCMC due to the colonial influences and quieter pace.

However, I don't know if we really want to be spending hours and hours flying here there and everywhere. Also, we know it's very cool climate in the north at that time of year - when what we really need is a dose of heat and saltwater.

The possible places to stay I've identified on my list are: Blue River, Elios or Metropole (HCMC); Coco Beach resort (Mui Ne); Sea Star resort or Cassia Cottage (Phu Quoc); Vinh Hung 1's special 'Michael Caine' room or Ha An hotel (Hoi An).

Has anyone stayed at any of these places recently? Am I on the right track???

6. Posted by tonytant (Inactive 1 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

hi there

welcome to vietnam in right time, from now up to next april is better weather , within 2 weeks is long enough to see deep insight the country. i think you should do half city tour and half day cu chi tunnel, half day you visit major city sites of saigon, then amazing historical site of CuChi tunnel, then 2 day 1 night mekong home stay, then flight to Da Nang get taxi ride to Hoian. most of my freinds stay there for 3nights, Hoian is my best favourit place, great foods, great people, premium beach, cheap shopping, slow pace, hotel there is most afforable in vietnam, my holiday a partly book through -snip-, then you can take tourist bus to Hue, very recommended one day motoking around, man ! it fast help explore in and out of great culture historiy city from there you can keep travel up to Hanoi by train or short flight, about more 60 usd vietnam airline ticket to Hanoi, hanoi is nice,strange and crzay city, absolutely worth to see, once gain that travel agent hold 3 day 2 nights trip to halong bay, which combining bettween home stay to enjoy soft cycling to see real vietnam and no touristy next day short bus ride to halong bay overnight on boat, great adventure kayaking and swimming. if you have time sapa is good destination to come, just 3 days 2night, 2nights on nice comfortable train, one night in sapa hotel, or Mai chau good destination just need 2 days you can experience ethnic culture of Thai by treking or home stay. in case dont have time enjoy you can go to explore handycraft village just out skirt of Hanoi.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

7. Posted by Dent Tran (Inactive 11 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Dear Liddi,

Fly to Nhatrang and Phuquoc is same time ( 30-45minutes). However, to Nhatrang is more flights
For mekong, you can start from Saigon to Vinhlong and homestay there or heading to Chau Doc stay at Victoria, do daily tour around Chau Doc

Good trip

8. Posted by loubylou (Respected Member 664 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I wouldn't recommend Nha Trang, it's very developed and high rise now. It very much reminded us of Rio de Janerio. We much preferred Mui Ne, a quieter beach town but the beach had a lot of sandflies, was quite windy and the sea was very rough. Maybe this was just the time of year we were there (August). It's about 5 hours by bus from HCMC.

We loved Vietnam and would definitely recommend Hoi An, it's a lovely town with fabulous food, lots of tailors and shops for things to take home! We spent 3 nights there and could have stayed longer.

We didn't like HCMC as much as we liked Hanoi, but as you are flying in and out of there, we recommend the day trip to the Mekhong delta and the half day trip to the CuChi tunnels...fantastic trips!

We have heard that Phu Quoc island is nice...if you are short on time just fly to there and Hoi An, I think the airfares are pretty cheap, it will certainly save the time. Just to give you an idea from Nha Trang to Mui Ne it was a 12 hour overnight bus journey, the same from Hoi An to Nha Trang. I think with limited time like you have flights will be better

9. Posted by travelolic (Full Member 12 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,
If you can book your flight to Da Nang airport thing would go much easier.
- Da Nang - Hoi An
- Da Nang - Nha Trang - Doc Let (50kms north of Nha Trang, quite unspoilt, cheeper, you can stay at Paradise beach bungalos) or to Whale island to escape from the touts
- Nha Trang - Sai Gon
- SAi Gon - Phu Quoc or spent 2 night on Indochine Cruise (this Junk do trip to mekong delta, and provide good quality accom aboard)
- Sagon to Home

Happy travel