Hubby and I are travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia for 20 days. We are allocating 8 days towards Northern Vietnam and are struggling piece together the optimal itinerary. Would like to receive feedback from TA travellers whether the itinerary below is too aggressive. Flights are already booked so the total number of days is inflexible. However, the order in which we visit these cities is still flexible since hotels, trains, tours, etc are not yet booked. Travelling from Oct 12 to Oct 20:
Day 1 - flight in from YVR via HKG to HAN. Recover from jet lag and sleep.
Day 2, 3, 4 - Hanoi
Day 5 - tour of Halong Bay, overnight on junk boat
Day 6 - Halong Bay morning, return to Hanoi, go straight to train station for Sapa overnight train
Day 7 - arrive in Sapa, visit terraces, town, mini trek
Day 8 - Bac Ha Market morning and early PM, travel back to Sapa, sleeper train to Hanoi
Day 9 - arrive in Hanoi early AM, go straight to Noi Ba airport for flight to Danang (11:20am)
We are more into culture and food so the city appeals to us. However, are we missing out on Sapa or Halong by not giving either places enough time? Should one day in Hanoi be reallocated to Sapa? Halong Bay?
What should we be doing with luggage? Lug everything with us onto the Halong junk boat and sleeper train or entrust our baggage with a Hanoi hotel reception desk? Thoughts?
All feedback welcomed.