Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

2 weeks itinerary in Vietnam - advice needed

Posted by blimunda on 17/11/2011 at 06:13

Hello,

I've been reading for quite a while this amazing website and I am here to see if someone can help me with my itinerary. I will have 3 weeks vacation in May and it will be my first visit to Vietnam. I would prefer to dedicate 2 weeks to this country and then the last week in Krabi Beach/Koh Samui (yet to be decided) or some other place with very nice white sandy beaches just to relaxe after all I'll be doing the first 2 weeks of my itinerary.

Your advice would be very much appreciated concerning how I should split my time and also if you have any suggestions regarding the one night 2 days tour to Sapa or if maybe I can spend more days in one place more than another. Places I really want to see: Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Hoi An , Mekong Delta, nice train trip from the north to the south in the reunification line but avoiding the overnight stays in a train, and I really want to rent a bycicle because it is one of the things I love the most and just visit citys or places this way. I don't mind missing big touristy places if it means me having more time to spend walking around absorbing the culture and what I do care about is eating well.

I have also a good hotel deal at Nha Trang but I don't know if it really interesting for me to go there. I don't care about night life (for me that means sleeping) and I just want to visit beautiful places and taking my time in them.

Is it enough time in each place? Do you recommend any specific tour operators for Sapa and Ha Long Bay? If there are threads with these answers just direct me to them I don't want to be a bother asking always the same questions. Now for my itinerary and thank you in advance [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

Day 1 - 13 may - Paris – Kuala Lumpur arriving at 6am
Day 2 - 14 may - Kuala Lumpur one night
Day 3 - 15 may - Kuala Lumpur – Hanoi with AirAsia arriving around 9am
Days 3, 4, 5 - 15-18 may - Hanoi
Days 6, 7 and 8 18-20 may - overnight train to Sapa and 1 night in Sapa plus overnight train back to Hanoi
Day 8 - 20 may - 1 night in Hanoi
Day 9 - 21 may - flight from Hanoi to Hue arriving at 7am + day trip train from Hue to Danang from 11am to 2pm + visiting Hoi An and overnight stay
Day 10 - 22 may - Hoi An taxi to Danang airport to Ho Chi Min with Jetstar
Days 10 and 11, 22 – 24 may - 2 nights in Saigon
Days 12 and 13 - 24-25 may - flight from Ho Chi Min to Singapura with Tiger Airways and 2 nights stay in Singapura
Day 13 - 26 may – flight Singapura to Krabi with Tiger Airways
Days 13 to 20, 26 may to 2 june - beach 8 nights
Day 21 - 2 june - fly back from Krabi to Kuala Lumpur to Paris (flight at 11pm)
I've added nights at Kuala Lumpur and Singapore because I don't know those places. Do you thing it is worth it? And how many nights?

#1 blimunda has been a member since 16/11/2011. Location: Portugal. Posts: 9

Posted by daawgon on 19/11/2011 at 12:41

You sure don't give very much time for Vietnam, and the time you give is all broken up rushing from one place to the next. Vietnam is not a small country and deserves much much more time. No, it's not worth doing it the way you've outlined.

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,082


Posted by blimunda on 19/11/2011 at 12:54

Thank you! You are absolutely right, I am not really very good at this itinerary thing. I've been reading guides and this and other websites and I'm going to change everything, I'll stick to the North and centre and I'm not going to Saigon nor Singapore, that way I'll have 2 weeks in total to dedicate to the North of Vietnam down to Hoi An. Would that be more feasible?

Thanks again for the honest reply.

#3 blimunda has been a member since 16/11/2011. Location: Portugal. Posts: 9

Posted by tyler on 19/11/2011 at 14:09

Two weeks in the north is much more realistic. I think you have enough time for a short visit to Hanoi , Ha Long Bay, Sapa and Hoi An. Keep in mind that to get to and from Sapa from Hanoi will take the better part of a day/night as will Hanoi to Hoi An.

#4 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257
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Posted by busylizzy on 19/11/2011 at 14:55

My suggestion would be to consider skipping Singapore and Krabi , and add that time to Vietnam. You can get your 'beach fix' in Vietnam. One option is Nha Trang which you were looking at - but to be honest, I was underwhelmed by it. There is supposed to be a pretty good beach not far from Hoi An (maybe 5-6km away?) - one that I regret not visiting during my time there. Mui Ne is another option as is Phu Quoc much further south.

By skipping Krabi, you will save significant costs and reduce your travel time by 2-3 days. And this will give you a much better experience in Vietnam. Why are you going to Hue - you haven't allowed ANY time to see anything there. And only one day in Hoi An? Actually it looks like less than a day...

If you really want to get to Krabi, then skip Hue and flight direct from Hanoi to Danang if you can, and skip out HCMC. Reduce your time in Krabi and add an extra day or two to your time in Hoi An.

#5 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by busylizzy on 19/11/2011 at 14:59

Also - have you seen the travel planners on this site:
http://www.travelfish.org/trip_planner/vietnam-hanoi-to-saigon

Scroll down to the bottom of that page and you will see a useful table of travel times between locations. That will give you a good idea of how much time you can expect to be sitting in a bus or whatever. Then add another couple of hours of waiting time, checkin/checkout times at your accom, and then a bit more waiting time.

#6 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by Huetourist1 on 28/11/2011 at 21:20

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi,
I see that your draft is so rush. The following is my suggestion:
Day 1 - 13 may - Paris – Kuala Lumpur arriving at 6am
Day 2 - 14 may - Kuala Lumpur one night
Day 3 - 15 may - Kuala Lumpur – Hanoi with AirAsia arriving around 9am - free time & city Ha Noi
Day 4 - 16 may - Ha Noi - Ha Long. Overnight on board
Day 5 - 17 may - Ha Long - Ha Noi
Days 6 - 18 May: Ha noi city - overnight train to Sapa and 1 night in Sapa plus overnight train back to Hanoi
Day 7 - 19 may: Sa Pa visiting minority village
Day 8 - 20 may - Sa Pa - take night train back Ha Noi. overnight on train
Day 9 - 21 may - flight from Hanoi to Hue arriving at 7am + city Hue (because it isnot comfortable to arrive Hue and leave to Da Nang and Hoi An )
Day 10 - 22 may - Hue to Da Nang - Hoi An
Days 11- 23 may - Hoi An visit
Days 12 - 24 May: Hoi An - take flight to Ho Chi Minh & city Ho Chi Minh
Day 13 - 25 May: 25 may - flight from Ho Chi Min to Singapura with Tiger Airways and 2 nights stay in Singapura

By this draft you can see everything at place you arrive. With your suggestion, you arrive Hue and Hoi An but you don't have time to see and visit these cities. This will waste your journey when spend flight to here.

For more questions, you can send email or chat with me

#7 Huetourist1 has been a member since 25/11/2011. Posts: 7

Posted by travellingsarah on 28/11/2011 at 23:02 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

I agree with busylizzy - some of the stops you're making aren't worth doing as you're not actually spending any time there e.g. Hue / Danang / Hoi An . Your time allowed in Hanoi / Sapa is realistic but where does Halong Bay fit in there? It's worth thinking about how you fit this in your schedule and whether you want to go for 2 or 3 days.

Re Hue / Danang / Hoi An - are you going there for any specific reasons? Have a read about each place on this site and decide if you want to stop there or not. As busylizzy says, if you're interested in Hoi An anyway then you could use that as your beach time - although note that staying on the beach there is very expensive so you'd probably want to stay in town, which might not meet your relaxing beach requirement.

Also, you mentioned the Mekong Delta but haven't really allowed enough time in HCMC to cover that - unless you just want to do a day-trip. Eek, I've run out of time to write any more but I think your main considerations should be where to do the beach bit and which places in Vietnam are your priorities.

#8 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 679
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Posted by vietnamvisit1 on 16/12/2011 at 04:27

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi,
Do you have decision of your trip inVietnam or not ?
For the 2 weeks in the North to Hoi An you can spend your time to visit Ha Noi, Sapa, Ha Long bay, Mai Chau & homestay, Cuc Phuong national Park, Van Long nature reserve, Hue, Hoi An, My Son.
If you need information of brieft itinerary as well as services, feel free to answer me. I will help you.
Or can send to my email: cuontheochieugio181@yahoo.com

#9 vietnamvisit1 has been a member since 15/12/2011. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 12

Posted by blimunda on 16/12/2011 at 05:32

Thank you very much to all of you for the detailed responses. I have actually decided to leave Vietnam for the next vacation and not this one after all. Last April I went to Thailand in a backpacking two weeks vacation which was just perfect and next May I'll be going to Indonesia instead and spend my three weeks over there.

I thought about what you said and I read a lot, really a LOT, of things about all the countries in SE Asia that I want to visit it I since I really want to spend at least one week in a nice beach, there was no point in rushing from the north to the south of Vietnam to save one week for the beach in Krabi . And I've read here that late May there's a lot of rain in Krabi as well, also I feel there is no logic to go to Vietnam only to end the vacation again in Thailand. This was also due to the fact that I absolutely loved Thailand but you are right and Vietnam deserves full attention.

I also read the itineraries you mentioned, busylizzy so thanks again that helped quite a lot.


I will be posting my new itinerary to Indonesia so if someone could help me over there that would be very much appreciated. Please be nice! I already (but only) bought my flight from Paris to Kuala Lumpur so I still have quite a few options open for this itinerary.

Thank you all!

#10 blimunda has been a member since 16/11/2011. Location: Portugal. Posts: 9


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