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1st Time Travel to Vietnam - need advise pls.

  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    Hi,

    Im planning a 10 days trip (june) to vietnam with my partner in a backpacking style and I have a sample itinerary as below but kind of stuck in concluding:

    - sin->hanoi : stay in the old quarter for ard 2days
    - hanoi->Sapa: stay green valley hotel? for 3days
    - Sapa->hanoi: 1 day rest
    - hanoi->haiphong->halong bay-> ???

    Pls anyone kindly offer some better suggestion or advise for me on the above?
    Thankyou...

    #1 Posted: 16/5/2007 - 16:09

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  • vuh

    Joined Travelfish
    1st May, 2007
    Posts: 24

    Hello!
    your itinerary seems feasable.
    Allow 2 days for HaLong Bay, it is really a minimum

    I can give you few advices:
    - Hanoi: visit the old quarter. Do not miss the "Hoan Kiem Lake", the wonderful Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (really worthwile, the Water Puppet spectacle.
    - To reach Sapa, take a night train, departure around 9 pm and arrival in Lao Cai at 6:am. From there, take a minibus to Sapa (1.5 hours).
    Try to be in Sapa on Saturday because the Saturday market is very colorful.
    You can do a trekking (with a guide) but I recommand to stay overnight in a tribe house, the experience is really pleasant. The cheapest guide is from Mountain Hotel, at the end of the main road. Their service is really nice.
    - In Halong Bay, if you're short of time, just walk around on the beach. It is very easy to go there, all agencies have offer.

    Hope it was helpul, do not hesitate to ask me more

    #2 Posted: 17/5/2007 - 04:55

  • somtam2000

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    If you're looking for another sidetrip out of Hanoi, I'd suggest either Mai Chau or Ninh Binh -- both have enough to keep you busy for a night or two.

    #3 Posted: 17/5/2007 - 09:53

  • robstuar

    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2007
    Posts: 10

    We spent 3 months in VN in '05. We're returning in Feb. for 2 months. Too bad you can't give it more time. You are on the right track. Paid tours are the only way to go. We had great success with APT Tours (check out their website). We plan to stay at their guesthouse this time around. Their 3 day/2 night trek to Halong Bay is a knockout, but opt for the PRINCESS HOTEL, not the boat for sleeping!!

    You can contact us direct at deleted please see terms of use

    Robin & Stuart

    #4 Posted: 18/5/2007 - 07:26

  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    Thankyou!

    I have to re-plan my route bcos i hav just managed to book tickets on june to HCMC. This time round I have to start off from HCMC.
    Any advise on this. shall i take a internal flight to hanoi upon reachin HCMC & then travel down from thr:

    1)HCMC->hanoi(2days)-> sapa(2days)->hanoi(1day)->hue(2days)-> hoian(1day)->saigon(1day)->HCMC(end). OR
    any better suggestion?
    Thankyou.

    #5 Posted: 18/5/2007 - 13:21

  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    Now i think would hav to skip some plc as i only hav 9days of travelling. Which have to start from HCMC.
    Pls anyone could advise me a better itinerary and i would hate to miss out places like hanoi,hue,hoian,nahtrang n dun even talk abt sapa n halong which i tink i nid another trip to cover.

    thanks

    bello

    #6 Posted: 18/5/2007 - 13:37

  • robstuar

    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2007
    Posts: 10

    It is too much of a nuisance communicating via TRAVELFISH. Write us direct. We are a goldmine of info.

    deleted please see terms of use

    #7 Posted: 18/5/2007 - 13:40

  • LeighA

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2007
    Posts: 6

    Hi, has anyone travelled by train in Vietnam - Reunification express? I would like to go from Hanoi to Hue or Hue to HCMC. Any experiences out there? Are they reliable (ie reasonably on time) and comfortable?

    #8 Posted: 19/5/2007 - 19:54

  • LeighA

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2007
    Posts: 6

    Have read cannot get a visa for Laos on arrival from Cambodia - is this true and if so, where can I get one prior to leaving.

    #9 Posted: 19/5/2007 - 19:56

  • robstuar

    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2007
    Posts: 10

    It's Robin & Stuart again. If you have only 9 days and are arriving in HCMC, the logical thing is to limit your travelling time. Frankly it would be madness to travel overland to Hanoi. If you want to see both ends, then fly.
    There is much to see in HCMC, there are excellent and cheap 3 day/2 night tours of the Delta area. If you gave 3 days to the city and 3 to the Delta, you could also include a 2 night stay in Dalat only 5 hours away.

    R&S

    #10 Posted: 21/5/2007 - 13:17

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  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    Hi robstuar,

    Thankyou for the advise. My flight in d morning 7am fro sin n will reach HCMC ard 8.45am(viet). Thinking of taking another internal flight fro d same airport to Hue. Stay thr for 2days then tak train to Da Nang for Hoi An n stay thr for 2days. Then to Nha Trang for 2days follow by Dalat for 1day then back to HCMC for last 2 days.

    HCMC->Hue->Da Nang->hoi An->Nha Trang->Dalat->HCMC.
    Total 9days.

    Any1 can advise on the above. Like transport to Hue or follow?

    Thanks alot....

    #11 Posted: 21/5/2007 - 13:50

  • robstuar

    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2007
    Posts: 10

    The cheapest and best way to do what you're planning is to buy HCMC to Hue Open tour bus tickets, and then buy tickets in Hue for the reverse trip. Don't get started with trains. Buses go at various times of the day. To save time, take night buses when necessary. If you are on a tight budget, take the $5 taxi ride from the HCMC airport to the tourist ghetto, and there is a wide choice of options. A clean a/c room with all services should be under $20. We had one that was OK for $12. Hoi An will be the most expensive part of the trip. Don't stay in Danang.

    #12 Posted: 21/5/2007 - 14:09

  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    when u say buying tickets fro hue for d reverse trip means returnin to hcmc fro thr? but i looking at travellin to hue dwn to danang for hoi an then to nha trang follow by dalat then bk to hcmc(last stop).

    i will take ur advise on takin bus to hue n bcos i heard tat takin train fro hue to da nang will leads u to a breathtaking scenery along d journey whr u hav to switch to bus for hoi an. Probably for hoi an, i will tak night bus nha trang n fro thr i believe its all about bus trip to dalat n hcmc.

    any better suggestion on the transportation part of my mentioned itinerary?

    many thanks. : )

    #13 Posted: 21/5/2007 - 14:35

  • vuh

    Joined Travelfish
    1st May, 2007
    Posts: 24

    Hello Robin & Stuart

    How can I contact you direct at deleted?
    When you said : "You can contact us direct at deleted please see terms of use"? What does it mean ?

    #14 Posted: 21/5/2007 - 15:19

  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    Hi vuh,

    their contact has been deleted due to the terms of use of TravelFish.

    #15 Posted: 21/5/2007 - 15:34

  • moseme

    Joined Travelfish
    21st May, 2007
    Posts: 1

    hi. im travelling to vietnam for the first time in october can i get some cheap computers or lap tops there. or any electronics?

    #16 Posted: 21/5/2007 - 16:07

  • somtam2000

    admin
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    At least 113

    sorry for the late reply to this, I've just had a week in Singapore and just caching up on answering some questions.

    Seems a few different questions have ended up in this thread...

    LeighA -- you'll find an answer to your reunification express question here. You can get a Lao visa in Phnom Penh - see the visa and border crossings FAQ for more info.

    vuh -- as per Bello's comment, I deleted robstuar's email contact due to Terms of use -- it's more useful to all readers if this kind of advice sits on the messageboard rather than in private emails.

    Bello, looking at the above, your latest itinerary is:
    HCMC->Hue->Da Nang->hoi An->Nha Trang->Dalat->HCMC -- all in 9 days. Robstuar gave some good advice further up about seeing less and spening more time in each (eg delta tour, saigon and Da Lat, but trying to cover six destinations in nine days really doesn't strike me as a very hot idea -- even with internal flights.

    Take a look at the suggested itineraries for Vietnam and you'll get an idea of the time involved in getting from A to B to C to D etc -- Vietnam is a BIG place.

    If you've got nine days, and absolutely must get to the centre of the country, then I'd suggest:
    1) HCM - fly to Hue
    2) Hue
    3) Train to Da Nang (it is worth the extra time as the trip is stunning), then continue on to Hoi An
    4) Hoi An
    5) Hoi An for the day then overnight transport (bus or train -- latter you'll have to backtrack to Da Nang) to Nha Trang
    6) Nha Trang
    7) Transport to Saigon (can fly or train or bus)
    8) Saigon
    9) Saigon and depart

    Trying to fit in Da Lat will mean you'll just be adding too much travel time to get to places where you'll have a day and then have to press on -- take a breath and slow down!

    You've got super cheap tickets from Sing to Sgn, so make use of them and see Vn at leisure over a few trips rather than rushed jobs.

    #17 Posted: 21/5/2007 - 16:55

  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    u have jus woke me up somtam. think u r absolutely right on seeing Vn at a more comfortable style than a rushed 1. robstuar has oso given some gd advise.
    Actualy, i would to skip hue n hoi an but heard tat its a must visit plc so i added them in. as for dalat, its a hilly n cooling atmosphere i heard n hope to experienc it b4 returnin to the city life(HCMC). however, from all ur good suggestion, i will plan it in a more time manageable n leisure way to enjoy d scenerary.
    reach HCMC airport at ard 8.30am, i will visit some near area n return bk to airport for the 3pm flight to:
    1) HUE(have checked the airline-either 7am/3pm). reach HUE at ard 4.20pm (stay 2nights-fri+sat)
    depart on sun for morning train to:
    2) DANANG follow by 3)HOI AN. (stay 2nights-sun+mon).
    depart fro hoi an on tues morning (by fligth/train) to:
    4) DALAT(stay 2 nights-tues+wed if any transport allows) else fly back from DANANG to:
    5) HCMC(stay for 2 nights-thurs+fri)
    morning flight bk home on sat.
    If to cancel out dalat for gd then will stay additional night in HOI AN and HCMC.

    GD?

    sorry for longwinded. im vry green to this.
    Thanks for ur patience though.

    bello : >

    #18 Posted: 22/5/2007 - 20:48

  • robstuar

    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2007
    Posts: 10

    This is our last reply. YOU ARE TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH IN TOO SHORT A PERIOD OF TIME.

    WE WITHDRAW FROM THIS THREAD!!

    R&S

    #19 Posted: 23/5/2007 - 04:03

  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    yes robstuar. i will try to sort it out cos i mayb too eagar to see many things. : )
    anyway thanks for ur past advise, pls dun get aggitated over this.
    i will do research n explore thru books n other webs n will heed somtam's advise-to hav a leisure n comfortable journey. yeah..
    Thank ya!

    cheers!...

    bello

    #20 Posted: 23/5/2007 - 10:37

  • Bello

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2007
    Posts: 28

    yes robstuar. i will try to sort it out cos i mayb too eagar to see many things. : )
    anyway thanks for ur past advise, pls dun get aggitated over this.
    i will do research n explore thru books n other webs n will heed somtam's advise-to hav a leisure n comfortable journey. yeah..
    Thank ya!

    cheers!...

    bello

    #21 Posted: 23/5/2007 - 10:39

  • legrand

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd May, 2007
    Posts: 1

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Hi all !
    I'm expa live and work in travel agency in Hanoi Vietnam.
    If you need any informations about Vietnam you can contact me.
    Have a nice day !

    #22 Posted: 23/5/2007 - 11:22

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