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Vietnam Itinerary

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1. Posted by userah (Budding Member 12 posts) 5y

Hello everyone. This is my vague itinerary for the two weeks I will be spending in Vietnam. If you guys could tell me if this is feasible or any suggestions/modifications to the trip, that would be much obliged

March 9th - Enter Hanoi
March 11th - Overnight train to Sapa
March 12th - Spend day in Sapa and take overnight train back to Hanoi
March 13th - Take 2 day 1 night excursion to Ha Long Bay - come back to Hanoi 14th night?
March 15th - Overnight train to Hue
March 16h - Spend day in Hue
March 17th - Leave at 9 in the morning on Hue Riders to Hoi An - arrive at 4pm
March 18th - Take excursion to Cham island diving center and spend the night there
March 19th - Come back to Hoi An and head straight to Da Nang for flight in the evening to HCMC
March 22/23rd - Take Bus/Boat to Phnom Penh

The goal is to get into cambodia by the 22nd/23rd. My dates are a little flexible so I can move schedule down a day or two at most if needed. What do you guys think? Too much to do? Can it be done? I figured I'm gonna have 3-4 days in HCMC so I can spend a day or two recuperating there before I head into Cambodia haha. Thanks again for any and all input :)

2. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 416 posts) 5y

It's busy, but it's doable.

With trying to get that much in, you'll spend an awful lot of time traveling and not a lot of time actually getting to know Vietnam. I mean Hoi An by itself can eat 4-5 days of your travel schedule as it's an awfully nice town with a lot in the area you can go and see.

I mean realistically you aren't spending a whole day in Sapa, a whole day in Hoi An or even a whole day in Hue. you'll get a glimpse of things, but thats really all.

Myself I'd probably knock a couple of days off somewhere. Maybe even take a few days off of HCMC, a place I actually like but many people don't, to spend them elsewhere.

3. Posted by userah (Budding Member 12 posts) 5y

Thank you for your input. The whole point of the trip was to get more than a glimpse of everywhere that I'm going. Maybe i'll push the vietnam trip back a few days and spend a day or two less in HCMC to give myself more time to really get a better appreciation for the country.

How about an extra day in Hue and leave on the 18th to Hoi An. Go to Cham Island on the 19th and come back to Hoi An on the 20th, stay the night and leave for HCMC on the 21st. I can stay there until the 24th. That gives me a bit more of leeway rather than just feeling like i spent two weeks traveling. What do you think? Basically pushed back 2 days to spend an extra day in Hue and an extra day in Hoi An. Thanks again :)

4. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 416 posts) 5y

Well I guess you have to ask yourself what you want to do and see.

Sapa is cool for the tribespeople and the trekking and spending a night in a tribal village is interesting and gives you some idea of how they live. I'm not sure it's really worth doing without spending at least one overnight unless you really want to trek and book something so that you are met at the train and taken right out to trek. You might also need to check the train schedule to make sure you can catch an overnight back that same day in any case. Maybe I'm not recalling it correctly, but I don't remember being able to overnight it in one direction.

But I think if all I could do was spend a single day there without an overnight, that I'm not sure I'd think it worth it considering all the effort involved in traveling both ways.

Otherwise I think you've got a good schedule, but try to be a little flexible. You might well find yourself loving some places and hating others. thats often more due to the company you meet up with than anything else, but I think it's hard not to like Vietnam.

5. Posted by userah (Budding Member 12 posts) 5y

In that case I'll just go to Sapa a day earlier and cut off a day in HCMC. I looked into Hoi An and besides going into Cham Island, I didn't find much I was interested in. (It's also relatively expensive to stay there since there are no hostels haha) Maybe that will change once I visit it and I'll fall madly in love and want to spend an extra day :)

I'd love to be flexible but since I'm flying out of Da Nang to HCMC, I figured I'd have to book that pretty early in advance, or is it pretty easy to book it like the day before at the same price? Right now, the flight from Da Nang to HCMC is about 50 bucks. Not to mention, the flight from Siem Reap to Vientiane that I'll have to book. Do you know if in general, prices for flights are pretty stagnant or do they fluctuate a lot? If I can find similar prices a day or two before, that allows me to be a lot more flexible with my planning.

Again, thank you for all your help. I really appreciate it!

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Feb-2011, at 13:58 by userah ]

6. Posted by Tri Nguyen (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y

Hi Userah
I think 2 day in Sapa is better.
You will arrive at Sapa at around 8 AM, the overnight train and 1-hour bus to Sapa will make you feel tired for any trekking tours.
In the afternoon, at this time of the year, you should leave Sapa at around 4PM as there will be too foggy to get to Lao Cai after that.
So probably you only spend 8 hours in Sapa for a one day tours.
You might want to check out some trekking tours in Sapa.

7. Posted by rockstarJ (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y

We are touring the same itinerary with yours, the difference is that we spent one night in Sapa before going to Halong Bay. We left Hanoi right after Halong bay trip so we saved one night in Hanoi. We are in Saigon now and it should be better if we had more time in Hoian. -snip- We think we were overcharged a little bit and we can shop around cheaper but they organized the trip quite well and take good care of us. Sapa is still cold at this time but it is pleasant. You should spend at least one night there! Train trip is nice too!

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

8. Posted by userah (Budding Member 12 posts) 5y

Hi guys,thanks for all your responses. Couldn't find flight on the 9th morning so I'm leaving 9th night and arriving 10th morning. This throws off my plans a little bit to say the least haha. I'll have to push everything back a few days and hopefully I can get in a trip to Sapa for a day or two before heading down to Hue, etc. Thanks for all your help!

9. Posted by userah (Budding Member 12 posts) 5y

I didn't want to start a new thread to just ask one question so hopefully I'll get a response here in my old thread. I booked 3 nights at Central Backpackers in Hanoi. Unfortunately I won't have local currency getting off the plane and Central Backpackers has stated that they do pickups from airport for 15 dollars. Now that seems kinda steep but I'm not sure how far it is from the airport. Is that waay too much to pay to get picked up? Can I get there much cheaper just taking a taxi on my own?

Benefit of taking it straight with central backpackers is that I can ask them to stop at a bank on the way to pick up money. I'd feel a bit wary of doing so with a random taxi from the airport. What do you guys think is the best option for me? Thanks for any and all input! I really appreciate it

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