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April 2014 - Advice sought

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April 2014 - Advice sought

Evening,

Myself and three others are travelling to Vietnam in April. We are travelling for just over three weeks in the hope to see many different locations. After looking at numerous other posts and suggestions, I have come up with an 'itinery' that I believe best suits what we are after.

Now I know there are many other posts like this and some may get easily offended for me asking for some advice but I know there are many experienced and helpful posters on here who may be able to help with a few of my questions at the bottom.

Just as some background information the party will consist of 2 males and 2 females all aged 26. Whilst we are keen on seeing snippets of the 'old' Vietnam and the vast history it has, we are also keen to do the 'tourist' things and at times just chill out on a beach and enjoy the vibe.

Please have a look at my plan below and if you could help with any of the questions I have it would be massively appreciated.

DAY 1 Day – Flight from UK in morning. Night – Flying.

DAY 2 Day – Land in Hanoi. Night – Hanoi.

DAY 3 Day – Hanoi. Night - Hanoi.

DAY 4 Day - Depart for Halong Bay. Night – Halong Bay.

DAY 5 Day - Halong Bay. Night – Halong Bay.

DAY 6 Day - Return from Halong Bay. Night – Hanoi.

DAY 7 Day – Flight to Hue. Night – Hue.

DAY 8 Day – Hue. Night - Hue.

DAY 9 Day – Travel to Da Nang. Night – Da Nang.

DAY 10 Day – Da Nang. Night – Da Nang.

DAY 11 Day – Day out to Hoi An. Night – Da Nang

DAY 12 Day – Flight to Nha Trang. Night – Nha Trang

DAY 13 Day – Nha Trang. Night – Nha Trang.

DAY 14 Day – Nha Trang. Night – Nha Trang.

DAY 15 Day – Nha Trang. Night – Nha Trang.

DAY 16 Day – Flight to Phu Quoc (via HCMC), Night – Phu Quoc.

DAY 18 Day – Phu Quoc. Night – Phu Quoc.

DAY 19 Day – Phu Quoc. Night – Phu Quoc.

DAY 20 Day – Phu Quoc. Night – Phu Quoc.

DAY 21 Day – Flight to HCMC. Night – HCMC

DAY 22 Day – HCMC. Night – HCMC

DAY 23 Day – HCMC. Night – Travel to HCMC airport.

DAY 24 Day – Morning flight back to UK.

1) As a basic start - Any 'holes' you can see in this or anything that we could look at doing differently. I know each person will have their own opinion but would you say I need more/less days in certain locations?

2) During the trip there will be a total of 5 internal flights. Through Vietnamair and Vietjetair I have priced these up for around £150 which I thought was extremely reasonable. Do you believe there are too many flights? If so where could I look to cut down?

3) As April is just about in high season do you think I need to pre book accommodation at places such as Hanoi, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and HCMC?

4) We will be looking to pre book the Halong Bay Cruise and are keen on starting the trip off on a good foot. We don't mind paying a little more than average - could anyone recommend a cruise that may suit us?

Once again - any advice you could give me with the above would be extremely appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Andy P.

leicester
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1,832 posts
193 reviews
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1. Re: April 2014 - Advice sought

Hi Andy, there are lots of trips to Halong Bay and most people on here will only have been on one of them but Dragons Pearl, and Bhaya seem to get good reviews. we did Dragons Pearl for two nights and loved it. Great food, great activities and no complaints at all. It was mid price and drinks were inexpensive on board at a couple of dollars for a beer. Activities were kayaking, swimming, visit to a fishing village, dinner in a cave and it goes to the less busy part of the bay so you are not constantly looking out at other boats.

Re your itinerary, based on your ages and what you have said you want to see, I would try to add another day to Hanoi as you will be tired when you arrive and its one of those places that the longer you stay in it the more charming it becomes. If you are just passing through it can seem chaotic and noisy so I'd stay an extra day and in the Old Quarter. Hoi An gets mixed reviews but as a first time visitor it will no doubt charm you so perhaps give it more time. Vietnam isn't known for fabulous beaches, but the places you have picked are interesting in themselves so good choices. It's a while since I've been to Danang and I believe its changing rapidly but I wouldn't give that more than a night based on previous visits. People who have been more recently may advise differently.

Re your flights, when time is limited its better to fly as its quicker but you might want to consider going from Hue down to Hoi An with Hue Riders and go pillion on a motorbike over the Hai Van Pass rather than flying down. Although it takes around 7 hours including lots of stops on route its a great way to travel. Also, the Vietnam experience is added to by a variety of travel. Would say don't take night buses but night trains are fun, and remember that the airports are normally a good 45 mins away from the main city by taxi.

Re hotels, Hanoi will be no problem to book on the hoof as you go, and I would say most places would offer some accommodation but if you have a particular budget or rating then book ahead. And there is no need to pay over the odds, for around 30dollars you can get a decent room with breakfast if you look around and negotiate politely. We never paid above that last September though in April it may be slightly higher.

Happy planning...

Forster, Australia
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1,168 posts
97 reviews
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2. Re: April 2014 - Advice sought

Hi Andy, I would suggest you drop one night at Halong Bay and at least one from Nha Trang and include Sapa whilst in the north. Hoi An deserves more than just a day trip from DaNang - I would stay in Hoi An rather than DaNang. April is not full peak time so accomodation is readily available in most places. There is no airport in Hoi An, as suggested in post #1, but the idea of riding down is good, apart from the fact that you will need 4 bikes and be limited in what luggage you can carry. You could also get the train from Hue to DaNang, a very picturesque trip, then a van to Hoi An.

Greg

Los Angeles...
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3,576 posts
76 reviews
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3. Re: April 2014 - Advice sought

For me, the itinerary has too many stops. It’s not clear to me where your group’s true interests reside. Is it cultural or relaxation? You have many days in Nha Trang and Phu Quoc but relatively few in Ha Noi and Hue. Then again, I’m an ole fuddy-duddy, retired, and with plenty of time to stay as long as I please anywhere. You want to see as much as you can in a short period of time.

So from Ha Noi, I would fly to Da Nang. Find a great hotel there. From Da Nang, your group could rent a 7-passenger van, and drive up to Hue for the day. Based in Da Nang, Hoi An is not that far away as well. Some hotels in Da Nang, albeit the more expensive ones, offer free shuttles to Hoi An but I am sure there are other reasonable modes of travel. Da Nang maybe has better beaches than Hoi An.

Otherwise, everything looks good for ambitious, young travelers. Good luck and Happy travels!

Richard

4. Re: April 2014 - Advice sought

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Removed on: 02 October 2013, 12:53
Los Angeles...
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5. Re: April 2014 - Advice sought

#4 appears to be trolling for business. Suggest the OP consider other alternatives. Regards

Richard

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6. Re: April 2014 - Advice sought

Thanks for everyone's feedback. Really appreciated.

After looking closer at Da Nang and Hoi An I think it's best for me to spend my time in Hoi An rather than Da Nang. Is it better 'in town' or closer to the beach there? This is one place that I'm not too sure whether it's best to pre book accomodation. Is there plenty available?

A few people also believed that I had too much travelling within this itinery. I am unsure as to where or how I could actually cut this down? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

7. Re: April 2014 - Advice sought

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