We're trying to plan our first holiday in Vietnam and would be very grateful for advice on a couple of questions. We were thinking of going this November. We're seeking a sort of 2 /1 mix of cultural and beach holiday. We've got plenty of places in mind for the former - Hanoi and environs, then to Laos for Luang Prabang, then back to Vietnam for Hue and Hoi An and back to Hanoi.
But where in November would be suitable for the beach side of the holiday, which didn't mean travelling any further south? We're seeking snorkelling and quiet beauty - definitely not a loud beach party scene nor luxurious hotels and restaurants.
I had wondered whether beaches near Hoi An, like Cua Dai, might fit the bill - or the Cham Islands. Near Hue, Thu An beach sounded attractive - but can you snorkel there? We saw snorkelling advertised on Cat Ba island, north of Hanoi, but wondered whether November would be too cold so far north.
I'd be grateful for any comment on which of the above places might be best for what we're looking for - or anywhere else you know which could suit us.
Please say if there's a better month than November for what we're seeking. Vietnam's weather sounds so complicated!
Many thanks for any advice.
#1 EdwardTrunk has been a member since 7/9/2013. Posts: 35
I ran your question past our correspondent in Hoi An (who is having some trouble getting onto the site) and she said:
"November is the typhoon season on the Central coast and although occasionally it misses us, it's a bit of a gamble - even if you do get to go out visibility can be poor. Phu Quoc would be the best bet. The diving there is far better and so long as you keep off Long Beach you'll find it ticks all your boxes, beautiful beaches, incredible jungle interior to explore on non dive days and some great beach accommodation between the $10-20 a night range. There are also direct flights to the island that if you book early can be very cheap. It might be worth emailing Steve at Blue Coral diving (a Hoi An based dive company that did the season down on Phu Quoc last Winter), he'd be able to advise you on the best sites and what you can expect at that time of the year. "
So, while I realise you had mentioned not wanting to go further south, you will get better weather -- and snorkelling conditions -- on Phu Quoc Island in the far south. I've not tried it, but I'd imagine the waters of Ha Long Bay to be a bit chilly in November!
If you do decide to try Hoi An anyway, here are a few ideas on ways to fill in your time there.