First post and need some help. I'm going to Phuket + Vietnam with my boyfriend. Vietnam is a first for us and will probably won't be returning hence want to get the most out of it.
- 4 nights days at Phuket (We arrive later afternoon, so really its 3 days - 1 day of Phi Phi Island tour by speedboat. Maybe one other day at Old Phuket Town)
- Overnight at Bangkok (We've been here before so not too fussed about not getting much done)
- 4 days Hanoi (2 days, 1 night in Halong Bay)
- 2 days (overnight) Hoi An
- 4 days HCMC (2 days, 1 night at Mekong Delta)
We'll be taking all flgihts so that helps minimize our travel time. I'm aiming to get an early flight and arrive at our next destination by early afternoon.
Any comments on our itnerary? Is it too rushed?? How should I allocate my days?
As far as Vietnam goes, you're not seeing much of this country (some really interesting places in the north that you're missing - such as Sapa in the mountains and Mai Chau in a beautiful valley).
I like Hanoi very much and Saigon much less so. Hoi An is very nice and you will enjoy that - great food there.
I just think it's a waste to speed through Vietnam so fast. Another really nice area is the Central Highlands. Vietnam is nothing like Thailand, and I really think you should do Phuket after Vietnam (Vietnam is much harder to travel in - far fewer conveniences, and certainly much poorer). In other words, you will be spoiled by the easy life in Thailand, and then the shock of Vietnamese life will make it less attractive (you could even dislike it totally). I happen to think the Vietnamese are friendlier in spite of many problems.
To see Vietnam half way decently, you'd need at least 3 weeks on the ground (travel there is slow and it shouldn't be rushed).
[ Edit: Edited on 20-Aug-2012, at 21:31 by Daawgon ]
Might be a suitable program for you:
1. Early flight to Hanoi. Sightseeing in Hanoi
2. Trip to Halong for 2 days/1 night program with cruise on Halong Bay
3. After lunch on board in Halong take a trip from Halong to Ninh Binh. Overnight in Ninh Binh
4. Explore Tam Coc- Bich Dong caves, back to Hanoi. Sightseeing in Hanoi + Water puppet show.
5. Early flight to Hoi An. Sightseeing in Hoi An ancient town. Boat trip on Thu Bon river.
6. explore Hoi An : visit Tra que village or My son - holy city of Champa. Evening flight to Ho Chi Minh City
7. Sightseeing in HCMC: city tour + Cuchi tunnel
8. Trip to Mekong- Delta via My Tho for boat trip on the Mekong river. Overnight in Can Tho
9. Boat trip to Cai rang floating market in Can Tho, back to HCMC.
10. Sightseeing & shopping in HCMC + your departure flight.
i agree with #2 that you should not miss out Vietnam, spend more time for it if possible. but if you are having problem with time limitation, skip either the north or the south 'cause you cant fully cover it.