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First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

Geraldton, Australia
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170 posts
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First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

Hello, a friend and i are thinking of going to Vietnam (possibly March 2014) for the first time. There is so much info that it can become quite overwhelming. Vietnam seems to be a beautiful and very diverce country. After much reading on the forums, we are thinking of flying into HCMC, then onto Dalat for 4 nights and then to Nha Trang for 4 nights. We have limited time unfortunately so will fly between places if practicle :(. For first timers, do you think we will get a good taste of some of what Vietnam has to offer? We are young (ish) 50 year olds who will be travelling without husbands. I know my question is quite vague but we are stil trying to sift through all the info we have found. Many thanks

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

IMO, the length of time you have in Vietnam should govern how many stops you make. Posters here will advise you one more day here and one less day there. If you're limiting your trip to three locations (Sai Gon, Da Lat, and Nha Trang), eight to 10 days might do for a whirlwind tour, taking in the city, highlands, and beach (diversity). Good luck and Happy travels!

Richard

Ben Tre, Vietnam
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2. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

Another option that I would do as I think 4 nights in Dalat is a bit much IMO, you can spend 2 night Dalat then drive to Ninh Thuan for 2 nights and then Nha Trang for 4 nights. It is a beautiful drive from DaLat to Ninh Thuan and then Nha Trang. you can stop in between to visit the Cham ruins and their villages.

Cheers

Nhung

vietnam
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for Nha Trang
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3. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

You will have a great time here no matter where you decide to go. 4 nights is a bit much for Dalat, rather add some extra nights on to Nha Trang or have 2 nights in Mui ne.

Llanbrynmair...
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4. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

Oh dear, I simply have to disagree that 4 nights in Dalat are too much.

I spent just 3 nights/2.5 days there and it was nowhere near enough to visit all the places of interest in the town itself and in the surrounding countryside. I still haven't got around to returning, but when I do it will be for at least 4 nights, even though I've been before.

HCMC plus Dalat plus Nha Trang (or perhaps Mui Ne/Pham Thiet) will give you a good initial taste of the diversity Vietnam as a whole has to offer.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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5. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

In my opinion, there are much nicer places than HCMC and Nha Trang (namely Hanoi, Sapa and Hoi An) - just my 2 cents!

4 nights is too much time in Dalat unless you plan to tour the Central Highlands as well

Edited: 27 October 2013, 23:59
Geraldton, Australia
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6. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions. I will have a look into the other places you have suggested. This is probably a silly question... BUT do you think it is better to fly into HCMC or Hanoi? Both are easily do-able from Perth. Does each city have its individual feel - we prefer a little less hectic than more so but realise that both are manic compared to sleepy Perth :) Are both airports easily negotiable and close (ish) to the cities?

Thanks again for your suggestions and thoughts, it is very much appreciated.

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

Good question! You can easily do a collection of destinations from either landing point. My recommendation for the north would be Ha Noi, Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa, and maybe Ninh Binh but that's stretching it.

I would give Ha Noi a couple nights, Ha Long Bay two nights, Sa Pa at least two nights, not including the overnight train ride, and Ninh Binh three nights. That would be a total of nine to 10 days depending.

If you don't have enough time, you could cut Ninh Binh for this trip. Again, Ha Noi - city, Sa Pa, mountainous minority areas, and Ha Long Bay, the ocean and much-visited bay. Diversity. Regards,

Richard

Hanoi, Vietnam
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8. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

Yes, and you can arrange your flights to get into the country in either HCMC or Hanoi and fly out from the other. March is the best time for Halong bay cruise, so consider spending one night there, you will not regret it!

San Diego...
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9. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

Haven't been to HCMC, but recently spent 2 full days in Hanoi's Old Quarter (staying at the Art Trendy Boutique hotel which I highly recommend) and from what I've read I suspect flying into and visiting the Old Quarter in Hanoi may be better than going into HCMC. We bused to/from Hanoi from China so I don't have direct experience with the Hanoi airport, but.I understand that the Noi Bai int'l Airport is about 40-50min. by car/taxi from the Old Quarter, and you should only take a taxi from one of offical taxi queue lines or make pickup arrangements through the hotel you'll be staying at..

Edited: 28 October 2013, 02:10
Los Angeles...
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10. Re: First time to Vietnam - getting lost with so much info!

You will regret staying only one night on the junk, especially if you want to do extra excursions associated the cruise, which can easily extend the time on the junk to three nights. Factor in several hours of travel time to and from Ha Long Bay from Ha Noi (traffic and road conditions). Regards,

Richard