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travelling vietnam

Travel Forums Asia travelling vietnam

1. Posted by fenda (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

Travelling through Vietnam for two weeks as a family. Limited time. Trying to plan an itinerary but don't know alot about where to start. Arrive Hanoi, would like to do an overnight stay on junk at Halong Bay, not sure then how long to stay at the following places, Hue, Hoi An and Nha Trang. We want to then go from Saigon to Siem Reap but the flights appear very expensive, does anyone have any feed back on the bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh, and then either bus again to Siem Reap or fly? We will only be overnighting in Saigon so not sure about booking arrangements. Any feedback would be great.
Cheers

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

Fenda,
Take a look at my blog. It covers some of your itinerary. NT, DaLat, HCMC, Phnom Penh. My photos cover all of your trip.

DON'T book anything until you get to HAN. There are so many travel shops, the competition is intense for booking tours. Get at least 3 quotes on HaLong Bay tour before handing over your money. Do go see the Water Puppet show. Many times to pick from, you can buy tickets at the theatre or pay a small fee and let your hotel/travel agent do it. Personally, I would stop at the ticket office when you are down by Hoan Kiem Lake. I really recommend you stay in the old quarter. Heaps of decent priced accom. plus you can walk to the lake, prison, art gallery, other sights in HaNoi.

I would take the open tour bus system that travels between HAN & HCMC. Overnight bus to Hue, 2-3 days, Hoi An, 2 days, overnight bus to Nha Trang, 2-3 nights, (see blog). Overnight to HCM or visit DaLat or Mui Ne. Beach is just fair at Mui Ne, but interesting sand dunes. I vote DaLat, cool, pretty. 3-4 days for tunnels, delta when in HCM. Many tour companies run buses HCM-PP. I prefer Sinh Cafe, biggest and best buses. Both for open tour and over to PP. They take care of your Cam. visa on the bus. You can now go HCM to Siem Reap via bus. Once on De Thom St in HCM, there will be several options on companies. I would go to PP and break up the trip. 2-3 days in PP is enough, then bus or boat to SR. 3 day pass for Angkor.

Send me a PM if you have questions.

3. Posted by CatAttack (Inactive 15 posts) 7y

DON"T see Water Puppets show, waste of time and money. Made me fall asleep and lots of friends agree. It's just a tourist trap. But young kids would probably like it though.

I've taken the bus a few times in Vietnam, I reccomend spending extra cash on the train. The bus is uncomfortable and full of backpackers. No matter how enticing the photos are. Train is comfortable, and if you're a family of 4, you can have an entire cabin to yourself.

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

Quoting CatAttack

DON"T see Water Puppets show, waste of time and money. Made me fall asleep and lots of friends agree. It's just a tourist trap. But young kids would probably like it though.

I've taken the bus a few times in Vietnam, I reccomend spending extra cash on the train. The bus is uncomfortable and full of backpackers. No matter how enticing the photos are. Train is comfortable, and if you're a family of 4, you can have an entire cabin to yourself.

Cat,
Yes, the Water Puppet Show is for tourists, but I enjoyed it. I am sure the kids will as well. The bus vs train debate will go on endlessly. Pricewise, no comparison. The open tour bus system is significantly cheaper than the train for any overnight section. I think the biggest selling point for the open tour is convenience. You can go over to the bus office at 5:00pm and leave the next day. Very doubtful you can do that on the train and get the seat/berth you want. Travelling via train simply takes more planning, and money 'Fenda' will have to decide once in HAN what mode of transport suits their family.