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Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
3 posts
25 reviews
Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.


I'm planning to visit Vietnam (Hanoi and HCMC) next month, solo trip, for my birthday. I'm reading a lot about Ha Long, Sapa and Ninh Binh and various excursions. My questions is how much time, 3,4 or 5 full days and what are considered must sees in Hanoi. Ninh Binh sounds a lot like Ha Long (being on the water) but less tourists. Sapa sounds like a long trip from Hanoi and I'm curious is it really worth the amount of time and effort to get there. Kinda the same for Ha Long. I like being in the city and being immersed in the culture when I travel and curious if a day trip to Ha Long and/or Ninh Binh will be enough or a full overnight two days. I guess I'm getting confused with all the info I'm reading. Any feedback would really be appreciated.

9 replies to this topic
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
6,114 posts
15 reviews
1. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

You could plan it as you go. Stay in Hanoi until you have had enough and go to the other places. I had 5 days in Hanoi and could have done another day. Ha long probably needs an overnighter due to the distance.

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
3 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

Ross m thanks for your feedback. However, because of round trip airline tickets I do need to determine the number of days in each Hanoi and then HCMC. But I do appreciate the idea of what/where I visit while there to be left open. Well, actually I can't really do that either because of hotel reservations. If I'm over night in Ha Long, etc. I have to factor that into my hotel reservations. But point taken on over night in Ha Long.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
15,197 posts
74 reviews
3. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

Ninh Binh would be better (my opinion) - takes less time/much cheaper than a cruise, but Hanoi city is so interesting that you want the max amount of time here. HCMC just another large Asian city, but Hanoi is unique and very friendly to boot.

Ben Tre, Vietnam
Level Contributor
2,537 posts
1 review
4. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

Hanoi (2 or 3 nights)

Halong Bay (1 night)

Ninh Binh (A day trip or 1 night stay)

Sapa (3 nights including 2 night trains)

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
27 posts
5. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

I spent 3 days in Hanoi, 3 days in Ninh Binh and 4 days in Mai Chau (similar to Sapa) last December.

Read more on my blog https://bigsmallmoment.wordpress.com

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
8,923 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

Can we stop with the "just another large/big Asian city" please; JD in particular.

How many of the 24 districts of Saigon have you visited?

How many canals have you traveled or ride along side?

How many alleyways have you stroll or ride through.

Do you know that at least 60% of what's going on in Saigon happens in the alleys?

Do you know that it's the only place in VN where you can find all the 54 ethnic group?



Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
16 posts
66 reviews
7. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

One day is enough in the city itself.

Level Contributor
16 posts
19 reviews
8. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

I'm interested in finding out too.

Planning a solo trip in Nov 2018 and it's drawing near and I've yet to plan anything. :(

Wanted to go to Sa Pa initially but I guess I will skip Sa Pa this time round and just stick to Hanoi, Ninh Binh and Halong Bay.

Need advice on the following:

3-4 days in Hanoi?

2D1N or 3D2N in Halong Bay?

2D1N or 3D2N in Ninh Binh?


Portsmouth, United...
Level Contributor
2,383 posts
42 reviews
9. Re: Experiencing Hanoi but how many days.

Koinsg (post #8....

Forget 1 night stays anywhere, unless it's to make an onward connection.

1 night = 2 consecutive travel days. With afternoon hotel check-in and morning check-out, hardly time to do anything worthwhile.

Look closely at the 'Things to do' link for each place. That will give you an idea of what interests you and therefore how long to stay.

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