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Vietnam First Timer

Adelaide, Australia
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Vietnam First Timer

We're looking at going to Vietnam in 2015 and I'm looking for advice on where to go. Would like a mixture of culture/scenery and beach/relaxation. I've been told Ho Chi Minh followed by Hoi An would be a good mix. What hotels would you recommend for a family of 4 (children aged 3 & 4) and why? Also what activities and places to go?

Thanks for your help

North Queensland
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1. Re: Vietnam First Timer

Hi there I notice you are a first timer to TA and I know it can be quite daunting, your queries at this stage are too general, you need to do a few things (1) read up on Vietnam, both on here by using the search key to find other postings with similar questions, read up on the travelfish site even buy a travel book such as Lonely Planets, even though their information can be a little out of date re prices etc, you will get a 'feel' for the place and places that then interest you. Then post what you are considering as a possible itinerary for fellow travellers to comment on. BEWARE of agents posting replies to you, you can usually tell from their address etc., they usually suugests far too much in a short time and with very young children you will want to take your time also re hotel recommendations look up sites like agoda and hotel.com then check out the hotel reviews on here, again be wary of glowing reports of hotels where the english doesn't sound quite right, unfortunately a lot of hotels pretend they are travellers and give great reports on their own premises. and lastly advise the time of year you intend to travel as Vietnam is a long country and has many different climates just like Australia. Hope this will help you start the process of planning your holiday and I am sure you will love it as most of us do Marlene

Ho Chi Minh City...
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2. Re: Vietnam First Timer

I agree with Marlene Ray, the plan for your travel is way too general. You can actually flight from anywhere to Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang City and Hanoi Capital.

You can set your Itinanery to travel from either North to South Vietnam or vice versa.

From North to South: Hanoi-Sapa-Hanoi-Halong Bay cruise-Hue-Hoian-Danang-Hochiminh-Cu Chi-Mekong Delta (boat cruise, floating market)

From South to North: HCM-Cu Chi-HCM-Mekong Delta-HCM-Danang-Hue-Hoian-Hanoi-Halong Bay-Sapa

-you should go to Sapa: beautiful scenery, lovely locals & lots of cutural experience awaiting you such as homestay activities, local daily life etc...

-Hanoi: Old Quarter Streets, Hochiminh Mausoleum etc... you should try the cyclo ride in Hanoi because the cyclo in Hanoi is different than the one in Hochiminh City.

-Halong Bay: boat cruise will be wise choice. You can cruise through the Halong Bay and witness its beauty as a UNESCO site. there are also some activities available such as kayaking, swimming... The TA know it better than me :)

-Hue-Hoi An: If you are in Hue, don't forget the boat ride on the Perfume River. In Hoian, you should go to Hoian Ancient Town, lovely place there.

-Danang: Beautiful beaches.

-HCM: busy city but have quite a lot attractions to enjoy. Most of them (those near the city centre) can be done by yourself such as the Unification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old City Post Office, the War Remnants Museum... For hotel in Hochiminh, you can stay in 3 star hotels such as Kingston Saigon Hotel, Ho Sen 2 Hotel.

-Cu Chi Tunnel: experience the life under the tunnels

-Mekong Delta: it's a watery areas. you should go there to truly experience the Southern Culture of Vietnam. Floating Market and hand-row sampan are on the list of activities you would not want to miss there. Staying in homestay while you are there is my advice.

Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: Vietnam First Timer

Thanks for your help. Mekong Delta floating markets sounds excellent. I will have a look at Danang as this had not yet been suggested to me.

To be more specific I'm looking for suggestions on hotels to stay with children and activities to do that young children can attend in Ho Chi Minh and Hoi An.

We have travelled extensively as a couple, but never with children so it's rather overwhelming.

New Orleans...
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4. Re: Vietnam First Timer

HCM and Hoi An sound nice. Due to your children are too young so I think you should join city tour in HCM that your family can visit some famous places in center of this city such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, etc. It’s convenient for you to take care of children, and if your children feel tired, you can take them to hotel, it’s quite easy. You can also shop in shopping malls and explore Vietnamese cuisine in Ben Thanh Market (should spend 2 days in HCM). In Hoi An, you can spent 2 or 3 days to stay here, visit Hoi An Ancient Town by walking to explore yourself the culture and the cuisine here. In addition, there is also Cua Dai beach, one of famous and beautiful beaches in Vietnam so you and your family can enjoy it to relax all day on the beach.

Almost hotels in HCM and Hoi An have family rooms so you can choose any hotels that’s suitable for your hobby and finance. I would like to suggest some hotels as below:

In HMC: Those hotels that I reffer are in District 1 – the center of HCM, near to Ben Thanh market so your family could walk on the streets to enjoy the night life of this city. It will be an unforgetable experience for you.

- Blue Diamond Hotel (3-star)

- Hoang Hai Long Hotel (3-star)

- Duxton Hotel (4-star)

- Kim Do Hotel (4-star)

- Caravelle Hotel (5-star)

- Sheraton Hotel (5-star)

In Hoi An: Those hotels are located in Hoi An Ancient Town so it will be easy for you to explore this place by walking.

- Essence Hoi An Hotel & Spa (4-star)

- Little Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa (4-star)

- Ha An Hotel (3-star)

- Vinh Hung Heritage Hotel (3-star)

Best regard!

Hallett Cove
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5. Re: Vietnam First Timer

Dear Kazza M

As a fellow Adelaidian I can tell you that the above advice is excellent.

We did a group tour (4 Seniors) starting in Hanoi. We di much of it by road with driver and /or guide. We enjoyed most of it.

Hanoi is bustling billions of motorbikes and honking horns which can be quite daunting - but fun in a way too. I loved walking the old quarter and looking at all the shops, stalls and cottage industry. A half day tour takes in temples Ho.s Mausoleum and a few other major spots.

Sapa was great, but you may NOT like the train trip: should you do this trip make sure you have an early book-in to your hotel as the train gets back around 0500....and nothing is open - which is something to consider with children.

Halong Bay...Stunning but go a bit upper class if you can afford it (better junk etc). Boats have activities, canoeing, cooking classes etc.

Da Nang has a couple of excellent golf courses but they are expensive.

Hoi An is a favourite (I would live there in a heart beat). The river cruise from the old town is inexpensive (cruise is an exaggeration - boat-ride) but enjoyable but beware the tourist traps, shopping side-trips and photo-opportunities that will cost you (but not heaps). Other option here is the Beach, not Brighton/Glenelg but good..LOL

Mekong is fine for some (dont go to the so-called zoo if you have a choice) if you do a Mekong boat trip. Chu Chi was really interesting.

Heaps to see and do in Saigon, Remnants museum is good but there is a lunch-hour break so be aware of timings for this activity. There are many hotels to choose from at very reasonable prices. Food great and the markets (night) are good to visit.

I envy you your trip....have a great time. Feel free to ask questions...cheers

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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6. Re: Vietnam First Timer

For hotels it depends on your budget. ??

I recently stayed at the Sunrise Hotel on the beach in Hoi An which was excellent for families. See my Trip Report belong it may assist you.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i39370-Trip_Rep…

I actually prefer Hanoi to HCMC - by that's just my opinion & taste.

Not knowing your budget ?

For Hotels in Hanoi - IMO you cannot beat the Metropole Legend Hotel its absolutely gorgeous.

For HCMC - Park Hotel ( pricey but worth every cent.) - an oasis in a very busy noisy city.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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7. Re: Vietnam First Timer

KazzaM1980, you are welcome and i am glad that you can find something useful on my suggestion.

I agree with JONHallettCoveJ, the golf-course in Danang is expensive. If you are not a golf lover than i guess that will not be your problem.

There are more beaches that i could recommend for you if Danang is not your choice:

-Phu Quoc

-Muine

-Vung Tau

8. Re: Vietnam First Timer

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Ho Chi Minh City...
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9. Re: Vietnam First Timer

What the poster from Copenhagen is saying do some research first via guide books and travelfish and Tripadvisor hotel reviews. Work out your budget then read reviews ignoring over the top glowing reviews from a one time posters, they're all fake from the hotel staff etc so just ignore them.

When you think you are closer to forming an itinerary come back to this forum and volunteer fellow travellers can help you fine tune it.

10. Re: Vietnam First Timer

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guideline with regards to harassment of another user. We will remove messages that include personal attacks or hostility directed at an individual user or group of users, threatening language or attempts to force a user to discontinue participation on our forums.

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We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 29 July 2014, 13:22