Just want a bit of advice for the Itinerary we are planning for Vietnam for the beginning of next year. Any advice on time where we should take longer or shorter in certain places or anything big we are missing. We have maximum days we have would be about 37. We intend on starting in HaNoi and finishing in HCMC. We will be taking trains/buses around.
Day 1-4 Ha Noi (want to see the markets, water puppetry, city tour & take a trip to Ninh Binh maybe)
Day 5-7Sapa (stay in a homestay & do treks)
Day 8-10 Ha Long Bay (Cat Ba Island, snorkelling, kayaking, fishing village)
Day 11-12 Thanh Hoa
Day 13-14 Vinh
Day 15-17 Da Nang (China Beach, cooking school in Hoi An)
Day 18-21 Nha Trang (Vinpearl Land, Whale Island, Snorkelling, Kite Boarding)
Day 22-27 Mui NE (Dunes, Beach, Kiteboarding)
Day 28-29 Ho Chi Minh (Dam Sen Park, Zoo & Botanical Garden)
Day 30-33 Mekong Delta (Night on the Mekong)
Day 34-36 Ho Chi Minh
Obviously this is just a rough Itinerary ideas would be much appreciated. We are not planning on booking anything so we are flexible when we get there.
Looks pretty good to me. Be careful of the dates around Feb 3rd TET - the holiday could slow you down with transport being booked. Have you been to VN before? I've been there 3 times, and about to go again in Nov. VN highways can be dangerous, so I warn everyone to use as few buses as possible! I like Vietnam Airlines. Missing anything? - Dalat is quite nice, might add a few days there out of Nha Trang. Mai Chau is also nice out of Hanoi. I see you're thinking of staying in China Beach? - I think you'd like Hoi An town more, but basically it's the same beach. Hoi An has the shopping and fine dining that China Beach is missing. My favorite place of all is Hanoi - a very interesting place. The one place that I would not go back to was Cat Ba Town - a real dump!
The very best thing about this country is the people - friendly and outgoing. Be sure to book the free student guides - Hanoikids, Danangkids and Saigonhotpot.
[ Edit: Edited on 21-Sep-2010, at 10:54 by Daawgon ]
Thanks for that info very helpful!
First time to Vietnam so very excited we are also doing a week in Cambodia and Laos before Vietnam. I'd love to fit in a few days in Boracay at the end but that would mean cutting about 5 days off Vietnam and not sure if it's worth doing that. There is never enough time.
Yes I read about Dalat and did want to fit it in. The crazy house is there isnt it.
Note that, there's no snorkeling on Halong bay.
You can cut off Thanh Hoa or may be Vinh (just my opinion) for Hue (2 days Max) or later relax on Phu Quoc Island (3 days min)
You should cut : Thanh Hoa and Vinh to spend this time in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong delta...
Sapa is a best tourist site for trekking and discovering the daily life of ethnic group such as : H'mong, Dzay, Dao.... . I am sure , you will have impressive time if you visit Sapa.
Wish you have best time in Vietnam
I totally agree with Daawgon, your itinerary is very relaxed and it seems that you love beaching and watersports.
I personally would skip Vinh Long and DMZ. If you are interested in war history, the tunnels are more interesting than Cu Chi Tunnels
nearby HCMC, but it´s much more time to go there. I have not been to Thanh Hoa province and city, may be it´s a good experience,
because it´s not such a touristic area. If you plan to visit the Ben En National park, you mentioned to go to Ninh Binh, the Cuc Phuong
National park is the better one. I personally dislike the national parks for sweating and the resultant mosquito attacks.
If you skip both, you have four more days, may be to visit Hue, a one day sightseeing is pretty cool or Da Lat to cool down a bit,
before going to Mui Ne. To stay on Mekong sounds nice, but look out for good guide or agency. Many mekong tours are touristy and
you might be bored, especially as you will be filled up with all your wonderful travel impressions at this juncture of your travel.
To get a better feel of Vietnam visit my website [snip] It´s a non commercial site and filled up with many
"you get what you see" videos of many popular travel destinations allover Vietnam. Speechless, cause only a speechless video says more than a thousands words.
Have a fantastic vacation
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[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]
One of my favorite travel sites is Travelfish because they specialize in SE Asia. You might want to read these tips to successful travel in Asia - I think they're damn good advice.
seems pretty cool that you have an idea of what to do.
but always remember and be flexible because plans never go as planned!
i had a friend whom i met in sapa, the very first day she arrived, she only intended to stay 3 day in sapa and head of to Hue/Hoi An. in the end, she spend a total of about 7 days in sapa. something like that. and she went home straight from sapa, home means europe. haha.
i would agree with you not to book anything at all, even when you are there, dont get anything booked. you never know if you want to spend a longer time in a particular place.
i think you might want to go to Hue and Hoi An because I heard a lot about these 2 places - heard that Hue is really beautiful.
by the way, there are a lot of backpackers in halong bay doing crazy things.. so maybe you wanna spend a longer time there too.
personally i think 2 - 3 days in Sapa is too short. especially with you saying that you want to do treks - there is 1 trek that will take about 2d1n to complete. on top of that, a trip to Sapa will not be complete if you dont do any homestays! have you considered doing a homestay in Sapa too?
by the way, did you include traveling time into your itinerary?
just a reminder not to schedule your next transport to another place too near your connecting bus/plane/train. i was in lao cai waiting for the train back to hanoi, the train got delayed, and secondly, it took 12 hours to reach back to hanoi (it should only have taken bloody 8-9 hours!) and i personally know of a family who totally missed their transport to halong bay in hanoi because of the train. bummer.
have a fun trip!
HI! From Nha Trang to Mui Ne beach if you have time to do The Central highland from Nha Trang - Lak lake - DaLat - Mui ne - Mekong delta for 6 days. all of the place you been are touristy so why don't you try get of the beaten track and see the real Vietnam ...-snip-
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Itinerary looks great and the comments are also excellent.
I suggest you hire a motor bike at Ninh Bin and spend a day or 2 - magnificent scenery (like Halong Bay on land).
While in Sapa get a tour to the Bac Ha on market day.
I was a tour guide 30 years ago in Europe, SE Asia & north Africa and until Vietnam had never been on a guided tour other than my own. In Vietnam the tours to Sapa (+ Bac Ha) and the Mekong Delta were cheaper than I could do myself so I took one of each - fantastic value.
Also blew the budget on the back of an Easy Rider motorbike bwetween Saigon & Dalat which turned out to be well worth it.
Having said all that, Vietnam is my least favourite country in SE Asia after Singapore as the people are much tougher than surrounding countries.