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A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

Tel Aviv, Israel
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A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

Hello people.

Me and my friend, both well travelled in Asia, are going to spend a week in north Vietnam in the end of February. I have been already to the south, and now we want to explore the north, in what a week can allow.

Our plan is to fly in from Laos (Luang Prabang) to Hanoi and wish to make the most out of 7 days in the north.

Can you recommend a good 7-day tour in the northern part, which will include the highlights of the north?

We would like to combine city life and markets with some nature, some local culture and villages. Sapa is a must I assume, Halong bay we would see if there is a way to do it in a less touristic way, and any other recommendations will be highly appreciated.

The plan is to fly out from Hanoi a week after arriving.

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leicester
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1. Re: A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

Going to Sapa will use up 3 of your days as a minimum as it is a full night on a train each way plus a night in Sapa. Halong Bay is a minimum one night and no matter how touristy it may appear it is still beautiful and well worth visiting as is the experience of spending a night on a boat in the bay and related activities which most decent boats include. 7 days gives you very little time so if you wish to do both your viewing of all Hanoi has to offer will be limited. Sapa will be cold in Feb, and the views may not be great as it may be misty. You could consider Ninh Binh area about two hours from Hanoi which is very scenic and could be an alternative. With such little time its hard to advise an itinerary, personally I'd skip Sapa and do Halong and Nnh Binh just because the Sapa trip is tiring and would be better done if you had more time.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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2. Re: A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

Hi OrAriela ,

With 7 days, you can visit best places in North Vietnam such as Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa.

I'll give to you an itinerary as suggestion:

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival – Lao Cai

Day 2: Lao Cai – Sapa

Day 3: Sapa – Lao Cai - Hanoi

Day 4: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Day 5: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Day 6: Hanoi Full Day Tour

Day 7: Hanoi Departure

If you have enough time, i think you should spend one more night in Hanoi for relaxing and one more night in Halong Bay to enjoy beaches. Overnight on board is a great experience. Moreover you could participate in some nice outdoor activities.

Wish you have a nice trip!

Tony Nguyen

Vietnam Style Travel

leicester
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3. Re: A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

The above may be Vietnam Style,it certainly wouldn't be my style...far too busy and unless you are a great sleeper the nights spent travelling to and from Sapa will no be restful so you will be exhausted by day 5. A lot of the above time would be spent travelling. 4to 5 hours to Halong and 10 hours to Sapa from Hanoi.

Pennsylvania, USA
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4. Re: A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

Do keep in mind its winter in north Vietnam in February. While it will be cool in Halong Bay and Hanoi, it will be cold in Sapa-- a possibility of snow. In addition to the cold, it being winter in Sapa means you wont be seeing the terraces of rice fields, just terraces of mud.

I'm not sure how VietnamStyle expects you to enjoy the beaches of Halong Bay when it will be way too cold to swim, kayak, or do other water activities.

Given the weather, I would advise you to concentrate on Hanoi. 3-4 days in this fascinating city will still leave you wanting more. And even though its cold, an overnight trip to Halong Bay will still be enjoyable for the scenery. Then you could consider doing a few day trips from Hanoi for the rest of your time. Here's a list of things you can do in and around Hanoi: …psu.edu/faculty/…Sightseeing.html

5. Re: A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

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leicester
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6. Re: A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

Tony, we left Hanoi on the train at 7.30in the evening and arrived in Lao Cao at 4.15 in the morning with an additional hour trip after that on the bus. Halong took us four hours each way with a half hir stop in the middle for a comfort break. These timings may be quicker in less traffic of on certain trains but a reality for most of us tourists.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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7. Re: A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

Thanks for all the info ! we are considering going only to Laos :)

8. Re: A week in the north of Vietnam - what to do?

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