1st time solo traveller on budget to Vietnam - is this a doable itinerary?
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Oct 14, 2012 9:19 AM Last Post By: gys23
Oct 13, 2012 2:40 PM
1st time solo traveller on budget to Vietnam - is this a doable itinerary?Hi there,
I am a female in my early thirties travelling to Thailand and Vietnam. My family were born in Vietnam of chinese descent and so I am planning a short visit to see what the home country is like. However, my parents are very worried about me going alone for fear of pickpocketers etc and I do not speak any Vietnamese, so I would welcome any advice for my itinerary below. I plan to spend around 10 days there:
Fly from Thailand to HCMC, stay there for 2 nights, primary aim is to visit the War remnants museum.
Then take either train or bus to Hoi An and stay there probably 1 night.
Take another train or bus to Han Noi, from Han Noi find a package deal to go Hualong Bay
Go back to Han Noi and then find transport to Sapa
Stay in Sapa 2 nights and return back to Han Noi for flight to Thailand
I briefly spoke to a friend who thinks it's too much and suggest i either pick North or South Vietnam to visit. The main reason for the HCMC visit is for the war museum but if i had to, i would probably drop this, my parents grew up in the North and so i planned to spend more time there.
I appreciate any thoughts and advice.
Thanks in advance!
Oct 13, 2012 3:19 PM
1Yes, it's too much. In terms of touching on roots, maybe:
- A few days in Saigon, including Cholon in District 5.
- Train to Danang (still where train stops in the area?) and taxi to
- Hue (slower paced, less touristed) or Hoi An (almost completely tourist-oriented and no, don't have clothes made)
- Fly Hanoi
- Hanoi and Halong
OR, take Air Asia BKK to Hanoi (still cheap I think).
- Hanoi 2-3 days
- Halong 2 days
- Fly Phu Bai and from there
- Hue few days
- Hoi An few days
Your parents are not completely off-base. Fair amount of bag-snatching happening in VN. You have to be smart. Educate yourself beforehand. Keep $ and passport in one of these http://www.rei.com/product/819720/eagle-creek-silk-undercover-money-belt. Don't carry a shoulder bag. Be prepared for some rudeness and comments, but keep on being polite. CONFIRM PRICES. See scams and related in SEA budget guide @ link below.
My wife and I recommend Camellia 4 in Hanoi (clean, decent breakfast, where VN section old town meets tourist section), Binh Duong 2 in Hue, and Kim Hotel (no gap year "backpackers," or broke-down drinkers). Mrs Kim (not really her name) runs a tight ship.
Recommend spending a lot of time on Travelfish via SEA link below and on this forum. Unprepared travelers in VN often don't do well. I hope you find the same magic in VN that my family has.
Edited by: Yersinia
Oct 14, 2012 8:24 AM
Oct 14, 2012 9:19 AM
3Hey, first time traveling to Vietnam will be very interesting, bet youre gonna have so much fun. Would love to share some budgets and other recommendations about Vietnam and other countries in South East Asia, hope the info helps. Feel free to check out http://travelagys.blogspot.com
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