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Help with our itinerary

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Help with our itinerary

Leave Melb 30/08/08

31st/8 - Ho Chi Minh City.Arrive late arvo( 3 nights)

03/9 - Fly to Nha Trang (3 nights)

06/9 - Fly to Danang -taxi to Hoi An (3 nights)

09/9 - Taxi or bus to Hue (3 nights)

12/9 - Fly to Hanoi

including 2 nights in Halong Bay.

? – Sapa -our concern is time we have

? - Fly to Hoi Chi Minh

? – Mekong Delta

? – Phu Quoc Island- spend last few days relaxing

Fly out of Ho Chi Minh...19/09/08

Questions-Help needed

We are in our early 50’s, this is a holiday we don’t want to rush around,we have plans of coming again with our grown up family.

We have only booked air-fare, so itinerary is really flexible.

Can we be sure of getting flights 2 days in advance?

Should we give Nha Trang a miss and spend longer in Hoi An or Hue ?

Get Hotels to ring ahead & book our next accom ?

looking forward to reading your posts,

Dave & Sue Butler

Greater Melbourne...
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59 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Help with our itinerary

Read my trip reports "Ausberg" they may help.

Why not do the Mekong while in HCMC the first time?

We spent 1 night in Halong Bay and that was wonderful but enough. No aircon until dinner time, no where to escape the heat which was extrmely humid and hot when we where there 4th July.

I wouldn't have enjoyed a second day as it would have been boring as the view didn't change outcrop after outcrop.

I love the 2 days/ 1 night we did spend there.

Two days in the Mekong would have been better than the 1 that we did. Got to Can Tho at 7.10 pm and didn't have time to look around and get a feel for the city as we left at 8.30 the next morning.

I booked a lot of our holiday through V'Explore and through the Hoi An hotel and Golden Sun Hotel directly through their websites.

The Hoi An hotel was really restful and quiet when we were there at the end of June.

We spent 3 nights in HCMC - Palace Hotel

1 in Mekong - Can Tho Golf hotel

! night back at Palace hotel

Flight to Danang. Hotel pickup to Hoi an Hotel 3 nights

Driver over pass to Hue - Saigon Morin hotel 3 nights.

Flight to Hanoi.

2 nights - Golden Sun Hotel.

1 night Halong bay - Santa Maria junk

4 nights back at the Golden sun hotel.

If I was to do this again I would cut back on Hanoi and add a day to Mekong and 1 night to Hoi An.

Hope this helps


13 posts
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2. Re: Help with our itinerary

To Ausberg,

thanks for your quick reply.

Thinking of Mekong on way to Phu Quoc Island, just have to work out times. ( will look at 2 nights in Mekong)

Dave and Sue Butler

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3. Re: Help with our itinerary

Dave & Sue,

I'm no expert on Vietnam travel...but i can give you my thoughts.

1. You say you don't want to rush to much so a minimum of 3 days in each stop seems appropriate? You have 19 days so have 5-6 stops?

2. I think you have to work out if you want to do Mekong and Phu Quoc or Sapa and Halong Bay. Too far apart to do both in my opinion in 19 days (but others have done it).

3. I would have a Viet Travel Co at least book your airfares in advance!!! You don't want to be stuck without a flight somewhere??? I would personally have them book all the accom too, but you might like to look around when you arrive in each stop etc. If you do the research and booking before you go you don't have to do the worrying and searching whilst on holiday???

4. Get a budget and decide what you like in a hotel. If you must have a pool or a beach front location etc. You can stay for $15 - $200+ a night.

5. I did the following in a recent 16 night trip (search - "shanan's 2c");

HCMC - May Hotel (Deluxe room)

Can Tho - Sinh Cafe Tour Mekong Tour

Rach Gia - Phuong Hoang Hotel

Flight VN485 - Rach Gia to Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc – Mai Beach House (beach front)

Flight VN478 - Phu Quoc to HCMC

Flight VN454 - HCMC to Nha Trang

Nha Trang - Asia Paradise (Superior Seaview)

Flight VN336 - Nha Trang to Danang

Hoi An - Thanh Xuan Hotel (Deluxe with garden view)

Flight VN323 - Danang to HCMC

Add 2 days for Hue and you have a rough itinerary.

If you like the look of Halong Bay and Sapa etc, go there instead.



Coastal South...
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4. Re: Help with our itinerary

Hi Dave and Sue,

I was born and grown up in VN, spent 30 years in Hochiminh City and travelled extensively throughout the country (VN)with my American students before moving to the US.

1. 3 days in HCMC may be a bit too short as you may want to relax and wander around town for 2 days, then take a day tour to Cu Chi or Vung Tau.

2. Nha Trang is beautiful, but 3 nights may be too much. In stead of flying to Nha Trang, you can take a train (buy an tourist train) or take a bus to Nha Trang. The overnight train is quite pleasant as it leaves HCMC around 7-8pm and arrive NHa Trang 5-6am next day. You can also consider Phan Thiet as the beach there also very beautiful. If you go to back packer area (Pham Ngu Lao str in HCMC) you can buy a bus ticket to Phan Thiet and Nha Trang at any time. Maybe you can take a bus to Phan Thiet, stay there for 1 night or 2, then take another bus to Nha Trang and spend a day or 2 in Nha Trang. Phan Thiet is on the way between HCMC to Nha Trang. It takes 5h from HCMC to Phan Thiet. Personally I prefer Phan Thiet than Nha Trang.

3. Hoi An is really nice and a "must see" spot. However 2 nights should be enough.

4. Sapa is also another "must see". The best way to go there is go to backpacker area in Hanoi (Hang Bac street if I am not wrong) to book a tour is the best way to go. Remember to go to "Bac Ha" market on the weekend.

5.If you go to Phu Quoc, Mango Bay resort is recommended.

If you don't want to spend too much money, then tour agents in backpacker areas in Hanoi or HCMC city are the best places to book tours.

I always buy airtickets at Hong Ngoc Ha Co. This company is located right at Ben Thanh market. I don't remember its address, however phone # is 848-8273878. The earlier you book airticket the better.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Have a great trip!

5. Re: Help with our itinerary

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6. Re: Help with our itinerary

We did this trip 4 years ago,

1 night Hanoi

overnight sapa -markets

overnight homestay-trek

1 night sapa

1 night hanoi

overnight halong bay

flight to hoian for 3 night rest

1 night Hue

1 night Siagon

2 nights mekong

1 night Siagon

We saw a lot and did a lot

We have been back another 2 times and spent time at Muine and last time Phu quoc.

The 3 days rest at Haion was much needed as we were also over 50s but still extremly active.

los angeles
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7. Re: Help with our itinerary

Just returned last night from 16 days in Vietnam and Siem Reap. We are also middle-aged couple and didn't want to rush around. But you have more time, so you could be even more relaxed about it.

We didn't feel we had time for Sapa and didn't relish the idea of spending a night on a train, a night in Sapa, and a night back on the train.

We designed our itinerary keeping in mind the fewest number of packings and unpackings.

I will post a full trip report, but our itinerary was as follows:

Flew into Hanoi and had that afternoon plus 2 full days in Hanoi. That was the right amount of time for the city itself, but not enough for any day trips.

One night HaLong Bay on Valentine (deluxe) junk.

One night was fine, but if you are really into kayaking you might want to consider another night. But do a lot of research on the 2-night trips. The one-night trips are no-brainers.

We got back to Hanoi in plenty of time to leave for airport to catch 7:30 p.m. flight to Hue.

2 nights in Hue gave us one full day there. If I had extra time, probably would add a day here so we could see more. Loved our day there.

Next day car/driver over Hai Van Pass to Hoi An.

4 nights in Hoi An at the beach, giving us 3 full days. Loved this for the R&R beach time, the tailors, the shopping, the lovely town, great food. I have not been to other beach resorts in VN, but if I had more time I would probably opt for another night or two to enjoy Hoi An and skip Nha Trang. (again, i have not been to Nha Trang, but would try to minimize the number of stops.)

We flew from Danang to Siem Reap and had 3 nights there, but that doesn't seem to be on your itinerary.

WE flew to HCMC and liked it much more than expected. WE had 3 nights/2 full days there. One day for the sights and one day for day trip to Mekong Delta. We could have used more time so we could get to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Our day trip with Jason (many postings about him) to the Mekong Delta was great as we chose the Cai Be option with lunch at the boat driver's house. Really loved this whole day. It was probably enough of the Mekong for us as we also visited remote villages in Cambodia. However, if I was to do a 2 or 3-day trip to the Mekong I would go for something special like a homestay or talk to Jason about planning something special like a trip to his home village for his mother's cooking.

I didn't research Phu Quoc, but from what i've heard that might make a nice end to a 2 or 3-day Mekong Delta trip and then fly back to HCMC.

I would book flights and hotels in advance. You don't want to spend your time in the heat or rain trying to find accommodations or have to change your itinerary because of a full flight.

Although if you are willing to be very "loose" on your itinerary and don't mind having to shift things around or miss some spots, then with 20 days you might be more footloose than we were.

We only booked hotels (cheaper thru a Vietnamese agent than you can do yourself), junk, flights and Jason ahead of time. Arranged anything else there. And we coud have easily waited to book a junk there, but again -- we wanted certain one and we were very limited in our time.

Hope this helps. PM me with any questions and I'll be posting a full trip report shortly.

we had a great time!

Cincinnati, Ohio
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8. Re: Help with our itinerary

Hello I would drop a day off the Halong Bay trip, as someone else said here, one night is enough: the scenery does not change much. I also would take a night off of Ho Chi Minh and/or Hue and take the extra nights to go up to Sapa, the northern countryside has a very different feel than the rest of the country, peaceful. Hoi An is perfect for three nights: beach side town, good restaurants, Rent a bike for a dollar a day to tool around on. Have fun. As for booking hotels, either ring ahead or sometimes email works just as well, it is in writing, it is easier to understand written English than spoken.

9. Re: Help with our itinerary

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