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What to do? Is it Worth it?

Enniskillen, United...
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What to do? Is it Worth it?

I have several questions if anyone can answer them all it would be a great help

I'm going to be in Singapore at the end of March. I'm thinking of extending my trip to include 12 days in Vietnam, then make my way through Cambodia towards Bangkok where I fly back to the UK.

This is what I was thinking:

- 3 days in/around Hanoi

- 6 days - making my way to HCMC, maybe pick 2 locations along the way and spend 2 days at each?

- 3 days in/around HCMC

My first question; is 12 days enough to do this? Is my plan realistic?

If so what is the best means of transport, I have heard of overnight trains this would allow me to explore during the day, are these the best option?

What two sights/cities/locations do you recommend I stop at between Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh ?

Lastly what is the average daily spend in Vietnam including food, accommodation, travel and tours. In other words how much would I need to budget for 12 days?

Many thanks in advance!

Simon

Edited: 25 February 2014, 13:00
vietnam
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1. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

As your stay is short in Vietnam I would fly between Hanoi and HCMC. Stopping at Danang / Hoi an and then Nha Trang. As you are by yourself go for group tours in the different cities, not expensive. Hard to say how much a day you would spend as there is a big choice of hotels and also depends if you are eating Vietnamese foods or western? $100 a day would get you by nicely.

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

I would say "not worth it" in 12 days.

But you can, yes, and the places mentioned above is also my choices of destination if I were to rush through the country, which again would be a terrible mistake.(:

I would read about both Hanoi and HCM and decide which of them sounds most interesting to you, then choose one of them. Do either the North, South or Central only in one trip like this, espescially if its your first trip.

Enniskillen, United...
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3. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

Thank-you for the replies so far, it all helps me make that final decision. While I understand more then 12 days would be ideal the reality is I may not be back in this region or Vietnam again and therefore a short trip might be better then none at all. It will depend on the overall cost.

In terms of transportation if I was to do it all in 12 days taking several flights most likely during the day would take up time, and may work out expensive.

Are sleeper trains good, easy to use and readily available at a reasonable cost?

vietnam
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4. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

The train is ok but slow. Planes do not cost that much more and if you book soon you should be able to get a good price. Have a look at Vietnam airlines, Vietjet and Jetstar websites for prices.

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5. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

As you rightly say, more time would be ideal but 12 days is enough to get a 'feel'.

Personally I'd go for 2 nights in Hanoi, 1 night (2days) to Halong bay and then another night in Hanoi

That still leaves 8 nights- say you use 3 nights in hue/hoi an, another two nights in nha trang and 3 nights in Saigon

Doing this you are clearly kissing chunks of vietnam and it will be rushed but is enough to see the key places in each place and 'get a feel for vietnam'.

Fly between places if possible

If beaches have no appeal then swap nha trang for something else (eg Mekong delta from HCMC)

As for costs, ignoring transport, would suggest that $80 a night should get a solid hotel, food, admission and some left over for nightlife. Obviously will vary enormously based on where you plan to stay and what you plan to do

Enjoy!

Enniskillen, United...
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6. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

Very helpful thank-you Cjb210

That gives me an itinerary to follow. Its clearly going to be rushed, I just might be able to squeeze a couple of extra days in the country and if so this would take a little pressure off leaving time for travelling between places.

Australia
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7. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

I partly disagree with those saying fly - for instance you can get on the train in Hanoi at about 6.30pm and be in Danang shortly after sunrise the next day. Compare that with the taxi trip to Hanoi airport, the check in time, the flight time - I think train some of the legs and fly the longer ones.

If you are on a budget you can get good Hotels in most places for $25 or less. You can eat for as little as $2 a meal, a beer for a dollar. You can buy 5 litres of water for maybe a bit more than a dollar. Short taxi trips maybe 2 dollars.

Happy travels!

Enniskillen, United...
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8. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

Rather then Hotels are guest-houses an option in Vietnam similar to what you find in Thailand priced around $15-$20

Ho Chi Minh City...
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9. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

I'd definitely recommend flying between Hanoi and HCMC - while it is more expensive, it's much more convenient that the 72 hours it takes you on a train or bus.

I'd suggest perhaps spending a few days in Hoi An (in between Hanoi and HCMC) - I loved it when I went there a couple of years ago. It's a small historic town surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.

If you're more of a party animal, I'd suggest skipping Hoi An and heading to Nha Trang instead (only a few hours north of HCMC) - the beaches here aren't as nice but it has quite a raved about night life.

Hope this helps!

http://cokerri.wordpress.com

Enniskillen, United...
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10. Re: What to do? Is it Worth it?

I think Hoi An sounds good, I will have travelled Thailand and done the Full Moon Party so my Vietnam trip would be more about culture then partying.

I'll check out the price of flying from Hanoi to Hoi An and then fly from there to HCMC.

Can you tell me which area would be best to hire a motorbike for the day and get out into the countryside maybe see some sights? Would like to spend a day maybe doing this.