I am off to visit my girlfriend who is teaching in Hanoi, Vietnam at the end of the year. I have given myself a month total to spend away, I would like to spend the final two weeks of the month with her in Hanoi, however for the first two weeks doing a little travelling, I have looked at spending a couple of days in alternate countries around Vietnam but would like some advice on where to go if I only have a short time in each place, and where to go. I will be okay for saving a fairly substantial budget but due to work commitments could not go for a longer period. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks, Nick.
You don't say too much about your own interests so it is a little harder to give you advice.
Nonetheless an area where you might like to check out would be SW China, I am talking specifically Guangxi and Yunnan provinces. You could do a nice little 2 or 2.5 week loop around this region where there are lots of places of interest. Specifically, the rice terraces, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Yangshuo.
If you aim to finish up in Nanning it is about a 6 hour bus journey from there to Hanoi. You may wish to start out in Kunming as you can get there by air from the usual suspects in SE Asia (or any of the mjor Chinese cities).
Depending on your age (i.e. if you are a little older), China may interest you more than the usual trail in SE Asia.
#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
Hi yeah you're right, I've never actually ventured out of Europe, but whenever I go anywhere I love the old town aspect of cities, one of my favourites being in Tallinn, Estonia.
I had never thought about china as I looked more into the possibility of Laos, Cambodia etc. however this may now be a good idea to look at I will do a but research tonight on the areas you've mentioned,, thanks for the reply.
Part of the reason I suggested China, apart from it being the best country I've ever visited, is that this particular area of China is good for getting to Hanoi . If your girlfriend was based in Saigon then Cambodia would be perfect for a couple of weeks. However, it would require a flight or two (or a few dogs of bus journeys) to get you up from Cambodia to Hanoi in your timeframe.
#4 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
Bangkok is an awesome city to explore. Thailand has great islands and beaches too if you're into that. But yeah you need to give more details about what you want to do. Also you'll need to look at flight options that work.
#5 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Hi, I've considered flying as I'd priced up short flights between countries, so know this is a fees able option.
I know I haven't stated what I want to do as, to be honest this is a different type of travelling to what I've done previously in Europe. I'm hoping to gather what others have done,and has been what they believe truly worthwhile in order to make the most of my very short time away
SEA is a hot humid area so it's a fair bit different from Europe. A lot of tourists go for the beach activities but there's plenty of hiking and temples inland. Chiang Mai has some good hiking tours while temples are all over. If you want water activities like kayaking and snorkelling then I'd suggest Krabi as the best place to go.
#7 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
I sort of assumed (maybe incorrectly) that in his two weeks in Hanoi that they might be taking a few side trips (to Sapa, Halong Bay etc) so didn't contemplate what Geer1 said.
Otherwise the North of Vietnam is a good option for sure, with two weeks you could almost include Hoi An as well.
#9 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
Hi yeah I will be visiting the likes of halong bay when I'm in Vietnam, thanks for the suggestion of krabi, the idea of the kayaking is really appealing so will be looking into that further, as that'll vary the trip from just sightseeing.
Another piece of advice I require is where to search for flights, I've used various comparison websites but is there any more unheard of websites that's good for bagging a good price?
Near Hanoi you have Halong Bay, Sapa and Paradise Cave. You could start in the South and work your way up to Hanoi then see some of the nearer options during your time up there if that is what you were planning.
Otherwise if set on seeing some other country would need to know what in particular you would prefer to see/do. Sit on a beach, see historical sights, see natural sights etc.
Krabi area with a trip to Khao Sok would be nice if you are looking for relaxing and scenic. Temples in Siem Reap are probably the best historical site in SEA.