Well thx to everyone who gave us tips for our trip. Time to give a bit of feedback.
We stayed at Elegance 2 hotel; staff were fantastic and couldn't have been more helpful. I would highly recommend.
We went to Sapa on 3 night 2 day trip. It was exhausting but well worth it. i would recommend making sure you can get a shower at each end even if room is not available (email and ask hotel at each end)(note: most hotels have an area that is used by staff whic is a small toilet and shower; not really a shower just a spray hossel over toilet but its worth its weight in gold). Don't expect 5 star service; accept you will get some basic amenities and you will have a geat time.
This time of year is very hot and humid. We stayed at Royal Hotel in Sapa; bit like faulty towers. Fantastic view and room was good but level of service was marginal and food was very basic; we had meal vouchers but elected to go out for dinner rather than eat in (which we had paid for). In the end we went to Chocalete and Baggette and had fantastic meal (must try the Sapa Foggie Cocktail and crepe suzette). On the second day we went on great hike but if you get a choice take the river option; its wonderful. The local guide was fantastic and I think its something you must do.
We arrived back at hanoi at 5am; Hotel picked us up (thank goodness) we were exhausted and not in the mood for hasselling with local crowds. got breakfast and headed off to Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum; it was 34 degrees and 100% humidity and forgot it was local school holidays. We queued for about 2 hours and lost our sense of humor :))). I think it was worth it.
Warning: we got scamed on cabs twice :((( after HCM Mausoleum we were so exhasted we caught local cab home (these are small cabs; DO NOT CATCH); bill 175,000 which was about 10 time amount; only about 2km. I was too tired to fight so after heated discussion paid with bad taste in mouth (would much rather tip those that helped me) I then did search on trip advisor and found we should book from hotel or Mi Lingh (not sure on spelling)(green taxi sign and drivers wear green tie). When we arrived in HCMC we used mi linh taxi and cost 75,000. When going back to airport the hotel organised and taxi was supposed to be metered, he asked for 200,000 we had major (heated)discussion as we has cashed in and only had 100,000 left. So message is only use Mi linh taxis. This was only bad part of trip.
Sorry; I get diverted; we also did trip to Ha Long Bay through Columbus tours (santa maria). we had a FANTASTIC trip; great group; great weather and we were away from the many 100s of other junks. Sure; its not 5 star but you get what you pay for. The room was Ok and ensuite was a small toilet; basin and spray unit over toilet (but what do you want; your on a junk) I thought it was great (food was great) and well worth the money.
We booked everything through Elegence 2 which meant we organised from australia and didn't need to worry about coordination; probably cost a few extra dollars but in my opinion well worth it.
One other comment; we spent last 2 nights in HCMC; its the best place for shopping; enjoy Hanoi and shop in HCMC (at the market area)
Lots more to report but that's the basics; if anyone would like to ask specific questions; please ask; Vietnam is such a great place; enjoy.