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Vietnam in January itinerary

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Vietnam in January itinerary

Hello, I was hoping I could get some opinions on our proposed trip to Vietnam in January. I've read a lot of conflicting comments regarding January weather, and am also trying to decide how long to allocate for each stop. We must travel in January so we don't mind if Hanoi is a bit chilly but are hoping we could spend sometime on a beach swimming or poolside further south.

We are a couple in our early 30's who like art, food,theatre. Usually when we travel we book an apartment in each stop for a week or more and do day trips from there. However I am planning shorter stops for this trip as there are many places we want to visit, but I don't want it to feel rushed. We are not the type to just do the checklist of top 5 attractions and move on, we like to explore more, maybe take a cooking class or 2 etc.

We plan on flying between most places to save time and it seems like the flights are well priced.

January 2nd -arrive Hong Kong for 3 nights - have never been and will want a break from the long flight from Toronto

January 5 -fly to Hanoi for 4 nights

- I don't think we want to go to Halong bay, it sounds beautiful but I don't want to spend 3 days on a boat and the itineraries for the 1 night cruises from most companies seem very rushed with only a few hours kayaking or exploring caves. I also assume it is too cold for swimming in January.

January -9 fly to Hue for 2 nights

January 11- train orbcar to Hoi An for 2-3 nights

We would like to spend some time in Hue or Hoi An by the beach & swimming. Is this possible? I know December is too cold but January weather seems warm enough, will the water temperature have warmed up enough by then?

Also is it possible to do Hue as a day trip from Hoi An? Or would you suggest staying in each city?

January 14 fly to Ho Chi Minh 4-5 nights

One day visiting the tunnels

Fly home on the 19th or 20th.

As you can see the # of nights don't really add up, I am trying to decide if we should cut some days from somewhere and head to a beach area in the south, perhaps someplace close to a larger city to eliminate travel time. I really would like to be able to go swimming.

Is there anywhere else we really should not miss or any suggestions for day trips from Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi that we shouldn't miss?

I have seen suggestions of only 2 days in Hanoi etc but it seems like that would be way to quick to explore in a large city.

Thank you very much for your input

Milan, Italy
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for Ho Chi Minh City
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1. Re: Vietnam in January itinerary

January is usually rainy and cold for beach time In Hoi An and Nha Trang.

Medford, Oregon
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2. Re: Vietnam in January itinerary

If you want to be assured of beach time you should head south. We were in HoiAn at Christmas time and it was definitely not beach weather but we still had a fabulous time there. We did an amazing street food tour with TasteofHoiAn.com, a great bicycle tour with Heaven and Earth Tours (vietnam-bicycle.com/bike-tours-vietnam.html) and spent a wonderful Christmas day in a cooking class with Van of GreenBamboo.com. Lots to do there even if weather isn't ideal.

We did not get to Hue, but I think it is too far to do as a daytrip from HoiAn. You might want to consider an overnight to the Mekong Delta from HCMC - especially since 4-5 nights is a long time there.


Hanoi, Vietnam
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3. Re: Vietnam in January itinerary

I do not think you should bypass Halong Bay. It has amazing scenery and you will love every minutes on the cruise top and watch the sky or water. Just do it!

For your itinerary, I would have a draft to help you have more ideas:

5-Jan-14 Hanoi In

6-Jan-14 Hanoi City

7-Jan-14 Hanoi - Ninh Binh

8-Jan-14 Ninh Binh - Halong

9-Jan-14 Halong - Hai Phong Airport - Danang - Hoi An

10-Jan-14 Hoi An

11-Jan-14 Hoi An

12-Jan-14 Hoi An - Danang -Hai Van Pass - Hue

13-Jan-14 Hue city + surroundings - fly to HCM

14-Jan-14 HCM - Cu Chi

15-Jan-14 HCM - Mekong Delta (Ben tre/ Cai Be Vinh Long/ Cai Lay/ Cai thia) - Can Tho

16-Jan-14 Can Tho - Cai Rang floating market - Fly to Phu Quoc

17-Jan-14 Phu Quoc

18-Jan-14 Phu Quoc

19-Jan-14 Phu Quoc

20-Jan-14 Phu Quoc - HCM depart

Hope it helps

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4. Re: Vietnam in January itinerary

Thank you for the confirmation that I shouldn't bother booking anywhere with an outdoor pool in Hoi An or Hue.

The street food tour and cooking classes sound perfect for us .

Thank you Bao-Oanh for the suggested itinerary, I think doing everything on it would be a bit rushed for us , I prefer to spend at least 2 nights at a time in order to devote a full day to an area and not feel rushed.

I do appreciate the suggestions for the side trips and the idea to stop in the Mekong delta and perhaps a beach stay at Phu Quoc.

One more question if you go on a 1-2 night tour do they usually have space to allow you to bring a full size suitcase if they are having a car/shuttle pick you up? If we did plan a tour to Halong Bay or the Mekong Delta I would prefer to not leave my luggage at the hotel and need to back track to it.

Thank you for all your help, this is rather intimidating to plan with so many stops

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5. Re: Vietnam in January itinerary

Hi I've revised my itinerary and was hoping for some thoughts on this version. I don't want it to be rushed but there are many places I would like to visit. Do you think it's too much? Should I cut a stop out?

I do realize it is busy season in the south so I should start booking hotels etc

Jan 2nd- 6am arrive Hong kong

Hong Kong 2 nights

Jan 4 -Fly to Hanoi arrive 7pm

4 nights/3days Hanoi

Jan 8 fly to Hue arrive 10am

* was thinking about possible overnight train but thought we might want to spend an extra night in Hanoi.

We wouldn't save much by skipping a hotel and taking the train as I don't really want to share a cabin with 2 strangers. I wouldn't really sleep well with others in the room and therefore we would need to buy all 4 beds. This does work out to the same cost as a hotel+ flights almost.

2 nights Hue

Jan 10 - take the train or drive to Hoi An

3 nights Hoi An- 2 1/2 days

Jan 13- fly from Daang to Ho Chi Minh arrive 7pm

3 nights Ho Chi Minh

Jan 15 Ho Chi Minh to Mekong Delta area

- Perhaps the 2 night stay at the Mekong lodge

Jan 18 Fly from Can Tho- Pho Quoc arrive 1:45

3 nights 2 1/2 days

Jan 21 Fly Pho Quoc to Ho CHi Minh arrive 10am

Ho Chi Minh to Hong Kong 11:30 am

Arrive Hong Kong 3pm

Jan 22 6pm fly home

*I am having a bit of a hard time deciding whether it is best to do a day trip to the Cu chi tunnels from Ho Chi Minh or stop on the way to Can Tho/ Mekong Delta area.

It seems stopping at the tunnels on the way to the Mekong would be the best use of our time can I just hire a car to take us for the whole day or is it best to hire a separate driver for each portion of the journey or take the public bus?

I have also been researching the floating markets and other activities in the Mekong Delta.

Is it best to do a tour/ overnight stay like the Mekong lodge or to book a hotel room in Can Tho or another area and do our own touring?

We are not really the type that enjoys crowded, organized tour groups and do prefer to explore on our own, however would we have a more intimate experience if we went with the organized tour of the Delta ?

Thank you very much for all of your help

6. Re: Vietnam in January itinerary

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