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9D8N at Hanoi

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Singapore
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9D8N at Hanoi

Hello advisors!

My fiance and I will be heading to Hanoi this mid Oct (for 9D8N)

We did a little research on our own and we would want to make a trip down to (1) Halong Bay and to (2) Sapa (we chance onto Topas Ecolodge and thought it's beaitufil and it'll be nice if we could stay a night there) and (3) visit to the Ethnics Markets.

Apart from these tours, we will be tailoring suits and dresses for our upcoming wedding, do you have any recommendations on good tailors?

Apart from these, could you suggest me on places we should not miss out?

Our main itinerary would involve sight seeing, experiencing the cultures and life of the locals and lastly, R&R :)

We are on a very tight budget, and will be glad if you could offer us something within it. 

Looking forward to your response.

Cheers and have a good day!

Jacqueline

Hanoi, Vietnam
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1. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

Hanoi 1 day (Group tour 25$/person)

Halong Bay with Alova Cruise 2 days 1 night (Group tour 125$)

Sapa tour 3 nights 2 days. You shouldn't miss out Cat Cat, Lao Chai, Ta Van village.

Free day for tailor shop.

Accommodation : Hanoi Central Hotel (25$/room/night)

There are some good tailors on Ton Duc Thang street, for example Hong Hanh, focus on shirts and suits; Huong Tram, various kinds of clothings. There is also one on Tran Nhan Tong street, which is La Hang, a very famous tailor in Hanoi.

If you are in a hurry, you can tell them so that they can arrange the soonest finish date

Pennsylvania, USA
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2. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

Here are my suggestions for two weeks in the north, you can cut out the days you find less interesting:

…psu.edu/rxj9/Hanoi/2_Week_Itinerary.html

Do keep in mind that mid-October will be past the harvest season in Sapa. Therefore, rather than seeing terraced rice fields you will be seeing terraced mud fields. Sapa is still scenic and worth a visit, but the views are very different. I used to love the Topas Ecolodge but it has seriously gone downhill in recent years and is no longer worth the expense, especially given the time of year you'll be visiting. So given your tight budget you may want to check out reviews of it here on TA before making your decision. For ethnic minority markets try to plan to visit one either on your day of arrival or your day of departure so you dont end up doing too much driving. Most markets are closer to Lao Cai than to Sapa. Scroll down to the bottom of this web page and you'll find a map showing the market locations and the days they are held. Bac Ha is the areas largest although the small Coc Ly is my favorite.

Tailors in Hanoi dont have the fast turn around times like those inHoi an, but I do think their quality and prices are better. Therefore you should plan on visiting a tailor first think in Hanoi. I like Duc Loi (Queen Silk) on Hang Gai for most items but for more complicated/detailed items I go to Co on Nha Tho.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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3. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

In Nha Tho is Co Co Silk I guess

Pennsylvania, USA
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4. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

No Vinavolunteer. On the street named Nha Tho (Church Street) is a tailor I recommend. The name of the tailor shop is Co (not Co Co silk), located right next door to Mocha Cafe.

Also, there are definitely better cruises than Alova. Do a search here on TA for companies that consistently get rated highly. As for hotels, a lot depends on your budget. The brand new Church Hotel on Hang Gai is about $70 per night. Its a lovely hotel with a great location.

Edited: 19 September 2012, 13:20
Italy
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5. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

Also book a tour with the Hanoi kids, they're university students that offer free tours in exchange to practice their English, you only have to pay for entrance fees, lunch and transport. You can get mote info if you use the search box above.

Singapore
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6. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

Thank you all for the valuable advises.

Would you recommend a 2D1N cruise or a 3D2N cruise on Halong Bay?

I was browsing thru the forums and it seems like most travelers took up the 2D1N but there were still many encouragements to take up the 3D2N cruise.

For cruises, I see that V Spirit is popular, is this still the case now?

For Sapa tour, I should be able to reach there on a Sunday. Would you advice me to stay over at Sapa for a night or two?

I managed to get in touch with Hanoikids, but they were fully booked, so we will need to explore Hanoi on our own.. :)

Pennsylvania, USA
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7. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

I strongly recommend the 3day/2night Halong cruises if you can spare the time. The extra day on the bay is well worth it and many companies offer a nice set of activities on that day. I have never gone with V Spirit. I like either Indochina Sails, Indochina Junks, or Bhaya.

For Sapa, how long to stay really depends on your interests. If you like to hike then two nights will be better.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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8. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

I agree with Tecalli. For 3 days 2 nights cruise in Halong Bay, you can have a chance to go fullday kayaking for the 2nd day. I also recommend Paloma Cruise because they do 2 bays Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. Indochina Junk do a bit different route comparing to Paloma Cruise and Bhaya Cruise. For Hanoi, I recommend http://www.hanoifreetourguides.com/ . They also do the best thing like Hanoikids

Edited: 19 September 2012, 16:49
9. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

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Colchester, United...
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10. Re: 9D8N at Hanoi

Alova cruise 2day 1 night $125, you will definitely find this cruie at least 20% cheaper by not booking direct with the company itself and do not book tours

and cruises with hotels if you want to get the best price they usually charge premium rates