2 weeks in Vietnam starting and finishing in HCMC
Replies: 23 - Last Post: Jul 11, 2012 10:07 PM Last Post By: mooslie
Jun 21, 2012 6:16 AM
2 weeks in Vietnam starting and finishing in HCMCHello,
My partner and I will be travelling around Vietnam in the second fortnight in August. Our plane arrives in and leaves from HCMC and I want to see the main points both in the north and the south.
I've designed an itinerary but I have a few doubts and I'd like some advice.
It is roughly like this (the order can be altered):
2 days Phu Quoc
3 days Mekong delta
overnight train to Nha Trang, 2 days 1 night there
overnight train to Danang to spend 2 days 1 night in Hoi An
overnight train to Hanoi
3 days Halong Bay
flight back to HCMC
-I know it's the rainy season in Phu Quoc- do you think it's worth visiting though?
-I also know the ferry to Phu Quoc can get hard with rough seas so I'm thiniking of a plane -do you think if I wait to see what the weather is like and leave it to the last minute might be too risky?
-Any recommendation on a combined tour to Mekong delta and Phu Quoc ?(PLEASE DON'T ANSWER IF YOU WORK FOR A TRAVEL AGENCY!!!!!)
-plane Hanoi HCMC- do you think it's easy to find cheap prices if I buy it on the dot?
-Nha Trang -is it worth going or is it too spoilt by tourists?
-Halong Bay and Mekong delta-I thought of 3 days but do you think 2 will be enough? we're a bit tight.
Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!
Jun 21, 2012 6:22 AM
1Is there a reason for spending so much time in Mekong delta and Halong Bay? If it is scenery and wildlife you want then that is understandable. But you seem to have no time allocated for Hanoi or the other main cities other than as stopping places. Hanoi especially is a fascinating city and warrants more than a whistle stop if you are interested in architecture, history, street scenes, etc.
2 days in Danang and 1 in Hoi An:
You can visit the one from the other quite easily without having to make 2 arrangements.
Jun 21, 2012 7:39 PM
I'm afraid that it rains in Phu Quoc so that you should't go to. You can get 3 days to spend in Nha Trang - one of the most beautiful beach in Viet Nam. According to flight, you can find out by internet. Vietjet Air is a suggestion.
I give you a route to consult
Day 1 : Arrival
Day 2 : Ho Chi Minh City - Tay Ninh - Cu Chi tunnels
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Cai Be - Vinh Long – Ho Chi Minh City
Day 4: Saigon – Day train to Nha Trang
Day 5: Nha Trang city and beach
Day 6: Nha Trang – Flight to Da Nang
Day 7: Hoian
Day 8: Hoi An - Hue
Day 9: Hue
Day 10: Hue – Hanoi
Day 11: Hanoi - Halong bay – Hanoi
Day 12: Departure
Jun 21, 2012 7:44 PM
Jun 21, 2012 10:20 PM
Jun 21, 2012 11:04 PM
Allow me help you with your thoughts, I think 2 weeks is enough time for you to go hightlight Viet Nam spots ( as places that you choose).
+ It's now the rain season in the south Viet Nam, includes Phu quoc , but it's not gonna rain all the time. It'll be turned off very quickly, like a shower.
+ The point is that it's not easy for you to go to Rach Gia to catch a ferry( actually fast boat) to Phu Quoc island. It's not matter about" rough sea" you're thinking about. Sure you can wait to see how the weather gonna be, then make up your mind later, at least one day before you want to go. becoz there are about 4 or 5 flights to Phu Quoc per day, so have no worry.
+ About combined tour Mekong and Phu quoc, in my opinion you shouldn't do that, here is my advise: first you should take a trip to mekong 2, 3 days or whatever, joining with group, it's cheaper, or you can do it on your own by taking private tour. Then come back to HCM to book a fight and explore Phu quoc by yourself. Another option when the Mekong trip end,tell the driver to get you off at Can tho or Rach Gia to book a flight from there, if you do that you can save lot of money while you dont miss any spots.
+ Jet star airline has the cheapest price.
+ Nha trang has anough place for you to enjoy, if you don't want it to be so crowded, you can change to nearby beach, it will be crowded in the center of the beach, at the time: 5h00 Am and 5h00Pm, the others time as good as Hawaii ( Aloha).^^
+ Ha long bay and Mekong 3 days is too long, 2 days is better, save your time to see more.
One last thing you miss 2 hottest spots in Viet Nam. DA LAT, SaPA, Quang Binh ( Phong nha Cave).
have a nice day!^^
P/S: Next time don't be so sensitive, Agency is a name, and the person who work for it is a creature, and there are many sorts of people, "it takes all kind, to make a world", It's harmless to hear people's ideas, becoz you the one who make the decision.
Jun 21, 2012 11:31 PM
Jun 22, 2012 12:15 AM
Jun 22, 2012 1:21 AM
Jun 22, 2012 10:31 AM
9Thanks everyone (except touts of course). I guess someone called Halong Luxury is not probably a traveller...I don't have anything against agency employees -just want advice from travellers only (which I guess is what one looks for in an independent travellers'website!).
You're right RK, I wasn't clear in my post -I AM planning to spend days in cities, above all in Hanoi, I just took it for granted and didn't say how many days. Still not sure about last minute flight arrangements- will check with different airlines.
Jun 22, 2012 7:11 PM
10That tells you all you need to know about this poster. Tout? @#3 (rk he has a tout name)
bam it's presented in the usual touting format.
bam he obviously doesn't know that nearly a million turds a day flow from the Cai River into the Nha Trang Beach area! He also doesn't realise that 340 natgeo experts voted it as one of the world's worst beaches!
who knows he may be Einstein's cousin? But if Vietnamese I guess not!)
Jun 22, 2012 7:39 PM
Jun 22, 2012 8:40 PM
Jun 22, 2012 9:42 PM
I think you should stay in Halong bay for 2 nights instead of 3. Spend 1 night there for another destinations
Jun 23, 2012 5:19 AM
I did quite the same august 2010. I attach my thread and you could see the initial plan and how I changed it due to people's recommendations. I think it might be of help for you.
All this was written before my stay in Vietnam. I did make some recommendations to other travelers after my stay there. Let me copy here the ones I think could be useful for you:
About Halong Bay:
· More comfortable (but more expensive) to book it from Hanoi. There are two options:
1) 2D1N: 4 hours van from the agency to Halong Bay, day in the boat, sleeping in the boat, another day in the boat (you do some activities like kayaking, a visit to a cave...) and then 4 hours van to Hanoi.
2) 3D2N: the same than before but second night you go to Cat Ba, to a hotel (beach). I didn't do that. They say it's really good... but I was traveling alone and am not a resort type guy. Could skip this if you want.
Note: Be carefull with your choice for Halong Bay. Take into account that every day hundreds of boats depart from the peer. It's very crowded. It's worth to pay a bit more: you will get better boat (do not imagine anything luxurious... for this I assume you really need to pay more), better food (they brought us to a floating fishing farm to buy the fish we eat for dinner :-P), and better sleepint spot (quite, not crowded with ten boats sleeping in the same place). I did it with Handspan Adventure (don't remember it's location in Hanoi but easy to find in LP) and recommend it. Local well formed guides with entrepreneur minds. Correct.
· For Hanoi, two really complete days at least. It's much better than Saigon. Saigon is more like a modern city... but hanoi old quartier is very interesting!!
About Nha Trang:
· I would skip Nha Trang... it's a very touristic beach like anywhere in the world. Probably best beach in Vietnam... true... but I was told to skip this :-(
· Otherwise you might consider to do Sapa
· For Sapa, take night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. Arrive at Lao Cai very early in the morning and van to Sapa. Spend the day in Sapa. Sleep there. Second day in Sapa. Here you should stay one more night but if you can't, then night train to Hanoi. But at least two full days in Sapa. Night train arrives about 04h at night in Hanoi, it's a bit hard... I had to find a hotel to take a nap lol. Both trips last about 8 hours... you could use the train to sleep.
· Sapa is nice. A bit too touristic but still ok. Globalization changed the people from the hills though. They might sleep in hill cotages, but all the youngs have facebook... ahahaha.
· There are many options there. Going on your own to small little towns close to Sapa (you go on foot)..., booking a tour with a small group (on foot or by car), or even hire a motodriver that can take you further. As I stayed 3 days, I hired a motodriver the first day... and we could see many little villages. Well, this motodriver was a real guide (I did not take him from the street but from an agency). And the other days i visited the area on my own.
About Mekong Delta:
· You can book a trip in Saigon... including all the transfers and a guide for a small group. There are many trips, from 2 to more days. Different options (boat, visiting farms, biking... lot to choose from). I booked with Sinhbalo Adventures in HCMC. Again more expensive than others. But those were the only tours I booked, so I decided to choose a good option. It's easier for a solo traveller like me. The rest I did on my own. Very easy too.
Hope this helps :-P Regards and nice planning!
Salutacions desde Barcelona. Que vagi molt bé!
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