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Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

Sydney, Australia
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Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

We are a family of four travelling to Vietnam for the first time and would appreciate some input on our plans. Looking at mid-end Sept/early Oct. Our high level itinerary at this stage is:

Hanoi – 2 nights

Sapa – 1 or 2 nights? Plus 2 nights overnight train.

Hanoi – 1 night

Halong Bay – 2 days/1 night or 3 days/2 nights? Our boys really enjoy swimming, kayaking etc. so as long as there is lots of action they would be happy!

Hoi An – 4 or 5 nights. Thinking riverside, not too far from the town, but with a pool for the boys to let off steam. Aware that the weather may be questionable at the time however we are really keen to visit Hoi An.

HCMC – 2 nights

I know there is a whole lot more to see and do but we don’t want to spend our whole trip travelling between locations. We like the idea of a few days on a quiet beach in simple accommodation rather than a western style resort, and Phu Quoc seems to fit the bill. However, my husband is not so keen on us taking another flight. Would anyone have a suggestion for somewhere that has a similar feel to Phu Quoc but is closer to some of the other destinations we are travelling to?

Ho Chi Minh City...
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1. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

your Itinerary seem fine. In Hoian, you can stay in the resort near the beach so that your boys can enjoy all the fun in the water. Beside Phu Quoc, you can actually go to Vung Tau City, it is not far from Hochiminh City at all (about 1.5 hours drive) and it is also a beach city. Or you can enjoy the watery landscape of the Mekong Delta Provinces like Ben Tre or Vinh Long. While you are in Hochiminh City, you should visit Cu Chi Tunnels, i think your boys will love it.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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2. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

Tell your husband domestic flights are cheap in Vietnam and even last minute flights are not that dear. I wouldnt lock in accommodation in Hoi An till you are about to leave Hanoi as you may need plan B.

If it either storms or worse still typhoons are heading towards Central Vietnam then consider flying direct to Phu Quoc from Hanoi or even Danang should you go to Hoi An and the weather turns nasty.

Experience has taught me that it pays to always have a plan B when travelling in Asia.

Indeed if PQ has bad weather Nha Trang or Mui Ne could be basking in sunshine.

Its a long narrow country and the climate varies somewhat.

Edited: 11 July 2014, 04:53
San Francisco, CA
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3. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

I was just there was a single mom with my 10-year-old boy. Definitely, two days at heylong bay. Amazing kayaking, but not really swimming because of pollution and trash. hoi an was really special also. Biking, beach and amazing restaurants along with all that history. Your itinerary looks good to me.

San Francisco, CA
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4. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

Just read the end of your email. We stayed five days at la veranda on phu quoc and I am so glad that I spend the extra money for this place. If it is still the rainy season find a place with lots of areas for everybody to hang outl I found a good price on to Agoda.com for law veranda. Also remember most hotels. Her only a buffet breakfast in the morning so make sure this meal is included with your hotel.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it.

DPOT Holding back on booking Hoi An and having a Plan B sounds like a sensible approach. I guess there are so many hotels in the more touristy areas that booking at the last minute isn't an issue?

It isn't the cost of flights that are the issue, it's more the 'being in transit', however it's useful to know, thanks. I guess there are so many hotels in the more touristy areas that booking at the last minute isn't an issue?

SantanasWind Did you stay two nights on Halong Bay? Disappointing to hear about the pollution but I get the impression that is something we will have to get used to. Also good to hear that you enjoyed La Veranda. Do they have family rooms? Mai House Resort on Phu Quoc looks like it would be good for a family of 4, relaxed and not flashy.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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6. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

I could say booking for hotel room in last minute can or can not be a problem depend on the date. If the date you want to book is close to the public holiday dates then you will end up with the harsh time to find a room to stay. 30/4, 1/5 and Tet Holiday are few date that you need to avoid for the last minute booking.

7. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

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Edited: 12 July 2014, 08:36
Hanoi, Vietnam
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8. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

Ps: July and the early August maybe you will have a bit difficult for booking hotel and airticket, because this time are Vietnamese family's holiday vacations period, people travel a lots .In the late of August and September are more convenient for u.

Best regard!

Edited: 12 July 2014, 04:05
San Francisco, CA
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9. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

I wished we could have stayed two days at Malong bay. there are enough water activities and you have to get off the boat early am anyway so you should be able to keep the boys busy.

I saw several big rooms for families at La Veranda. If you book here make sure your booking includes breakfast at all the hotels in Vietnam only have buffets and La Veranda's is $15.00 a head otherwise. Keep in mind the rainy season so the hotels you choose have more than just your room to hang out and/or they are close to town. With that said you do need to take a cab to town from La Veranda but there are about 6 restaurants on the street to the hotel so that made it easy to not eat there. Depends on what you are looking for. We were actually OK with just staying at the hotel by that time and all the tours will pick you up at your hotel wherever you end up. I

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I also wanted to add that there is an island off Ho An which you may explore if there are hotels there. I do not recall the name....

pacific palms
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10. Re: Itinerary advice please: family trip (8&10 yr old boys) Sept

JoHooHa, Sept/Oct is the middle of the storm season, however I would not allow that to change your plan as the length of VN gives you the opportunity to run to the south if anything looks like cropping up. Indeed I would include Mui Ne (Ham Tien ) on your Plan B as it is a good small scale Beachside destination that has the lowest rainfall in VN being on the tor of the Binh Thuan Desert. It's a bit like Byron Bay, or Noosa 20 years ago.

I would come to VN on the fly and keeping an eye on the better weather sites you can judge where the rain will be (Phu Quoc, Mekong Nha Trang etc) and plan accordingly.

I cannot agree that Aug/Oct is high season so last minute plans (48 Hours) will be OK.

Cheers Ross