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1 month in Vietnam South-North Itinerary! Is it any good?

  • Peachula

    Joined Travelfish
    7th June, 2011
    Posts: 5

    Okay, so I am a 20 yr old female from Canada traveling solo through Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and ending in Thailand. This is my first ever backpacking trip and after much searching the culture, beauty and excitement of SEA has drawn me in. I don't want to miss out on anything and have been doing a TON of researching (amazing help from this site, especially) so if anyone could help me out, I have a general itinerary planned out. I will be heading to HCMC last week of September and arriving back home just before Christmas.
    I plan on a month in Vietnam, 2 weeks in Laos, 2 weeks in Cambodia and a month in Thailand.
    Kay, so my (rough) itinerary is:
    Arrive HCMC (2 Days) - then one day tour of Mekong Delta (total of 3 days)
    HCMC -> (4h Bus) Mui Ne (2 days)
    Mui Ne -> (6h Bus) Dalat (2 days) [Is Dalat actually worth it? Everything I've read basically pans out to 50/50 a 'must see' or a 'can skip'. So I'm a little iffy if I should spend 2 days here or use these days somewhere else, or maybe just 1 day? It also uses up a lot of travel time as opposed to just going from Mui Ne to Nha Trang ]
    Dalat -> (5h Bus) Nha Trang (2 days)
    Nha Trang -> (15h overnight Bus) Hoi An (3 days)
    Hoi An -> (15h o/n Bus) Hue (2 days)
    Hue -> (14h o/n Bus or 13h sleeper Train) Hanoi (3 days)
    Hanoi -> (2h Bus) Halong/Cat Ba (2 days)
    Halong -> (2h Bus) Hanoi
    Hanoi -> (10h sleeper train) Lao Cai -> (1h bus) Sapa (3 days)
    Sapa -> (1h Bus) Lao Cai -> Hanoi
    [At which point I'll probably be flying in to Vientiane]

    I'll be traveling for about 4.5 days and the rest adds up to approx. 22 days which leaves about 3 days of issues allowed Visa-wise, haha.
    I want to know if this is a decent itinerary or if it should use some tweaking.
    I also was wondering if I get a 30 day visa for Vietnam and I'm doing a 3 month trip how do I fly back to HCMC to get back home, is it okay that I don't have a visa as long as it's straight from Thailand to HCMC then home?
    And transport-wise I am planning on just booking bus/train tickets as I go but is this possible or will I have to book some early?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

    #1 Posted: 10/6/2011 - 12:05

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  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 778

    That looks allright.

    Personally I would skip Dalat. The place didn't do much for me besides the (cool)climate but since it's at the start of your trip probably not needed. Don't get me wrong: The place has many things going for it but I'd rather spend those extra days as buffer to spend some more time in a place you might like along the way.

    For a single traveller Mui Ne may not be the greatest place. Nha Trang is far more social. I do prefer the beach in Mui Ne though.

    have fun

    #2 Posted: 10/6/2011 - 13:20

  • travellings-

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2010
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 679
    Total reviews: 11
    Places visited:
    At least 87

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I'm not a big Dalat fan either. The only thing that made the trip worth it for me was the scenery, but you're going to Sapa and the scenery there is more impressive. I also agree with eastwest about Mui Ne / Nha Trang too. So nothing to add but reinforcement is often useful!

    #3 Posted: 10/6/2011 - 13:56

  • mysticpaki

    Joined Travelfish
    24th April, 2006
    Posts: 10

    Dear Peachula
    I added 22 days as per what youve written so how do you add up 45 days in Vietnam.
    I plan to also spend 28 nights in Vietnam but in end June.
    If youve fine tuned your above itenary then do let me know please along with names and price of hotels.
    By the way i spent 24 nights in Laos and have written a full detailed itenary so if you want let me know your email and ill mail it to you.Its on www.Teakdoor and also on travelfish.
    I have been very often to Thailand so if you want to ask me anything go ahead.

    #4 Posted: 20/9/2011 - 04:10

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