I would like to do a 3 day/2night tour departing Hanoi to Hoa Binh Province in mid february.(returning to Hanoi)
What tours can you recommend for a solo traveller like myself? Is it possible to do on your own and how does one get there from Hanoi? If on a tour what would the cost for this be?
Also, since I am travelling 2.5 weeks from top to toe in Vietnam in February, I dont know if its worth me taking my hiking boots with just for a 3 day hike? I know its Winter in Feb, but would I be ok just taking my rock sandles (tevas) and normal trainers for this?
How cold does it really get and what type/amount of clothes should I take for a 3 week trip inluding this Hilltribe tour?
A lot of question --i know!, but I need answers please.Thanks
#1 jzar has been a member since 6/1/2008. Posts: 11
Two and a half weeks to 'do' VietNam is very tight and will involve good planning.
Independent transportation, i.e. no tour op, is fairly easy as a bus ride from Ha Noi to Hoa Binh and then a motorcycle to Mai Chau.
I suggest you check out < http://www.sinhcafe.com.vn/Desktop.aspx/News/Mai-Chau-trekking-2-3-days/ > as it will save you a lot of time. This SINH is the ORIGINAL SINH and generally their buses are of sound mechanical state - DEFINITELY better than the An Phu, Trekking Travel, Camel or Vung Thanh buses.
Boots sound like overkill - especially for a civilised area - and an unnecessary weight which will undoubtedly attract the attention of airport security neanderthals.
February is cool (around 10C) in Ha Noi but if you get a silk king size sheet and have a seamstress sew it into a bag you will have a warm bed liner that will isolate you from dirty bedding and keep you warm
You should get an OpenJaw ticket (best from an agent) that allows you to fly into Ha Noi and exit through Ho Chi Minh City.
If you even consider going into the Mekong do so BEFORE looking at HCMC so you will spend your last sight-seeing days in HCMC and thereby minimise any risk of missing your flight. Transportation delays are common here in VN.
#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349
Thank you so much for you reply
I will be in Vietnam 1 day short of 3 weeks and have a well planned itinerary (so I think)
I arrive in Hanoi on 9th Feb,10th Feb spend timein Hanoi, and then I plan to do a 3day/2night Hilltribe tour leaving 11th Feb and returning to Hanoi on the 13th.
The SINH tour seems to offer only a 1 nighter? I’m sure a 3 day tour can be arranged, but as you can see the price per solo traveller is quiet pricey and not sure if its worth it—need suggestions here please. Otherwise, to do it independently I am told that i can catch a bus from Hanoi to Hoa Binh, and from there a bus to Mai Chau.If i do this independently, where should I stay for 2 nights(1 night machau and then 2nd night?)If i trek to another village the 2nd day,is accommodation easy to find—ie homestay) and on day 3 do i need to make my way back to Mai Chau to go back to Hanoi? I thought homestays need to be prebooked?Also, since i will have a backpack, your trip mentioned the 2nd leg on motorbike—I am an experienced rider, but not sure with a backpack?If I get to Mai Chau , can I hire a local guide?
The king size silk bag bed liner sounds awesome. Where can i get this done in Hanoi and at what price so as not to be ripped off? Since i am visiting Thailand prior to VN, is it worth getting this done in Bangkok right at the beginning?What can i expect to pay there?
I fly out of HCMC on 29 Feb-so at least i got that right! Lol
Im thinking that maybe the Sinh tour is the better option,since its prearranged and I don’t have to worry about anything,but again—is it worth the price. Should I prebook or book the tour in Hanoi on 10 feb for the 11th?
Thanks for your help and for reading my thesis.
#3 jzar has been a member since 6/1/2008. Posts: 11
I found this link
which is the "Mai Chau Trekking 3 days"
What do you think?
#4 jzar has been a member since 6/1/2008. Posts: 11
but still the differnce between prices on 1 person or 2/3 persons is $60! Can I not book the tour and do it with other people as to reduce my cost as well as theirs?
#5 jzar has been a member since 6/1/2008. Posts: 11
The silk sheet can be purchased at almost any market in Ha Noi or HCMC and finding a sewing machine with operator is a breeze.
Be very careful when choosing a TourOp / Travel Agent as many in VN are like no others - especially in Ha Noi - they have more tricks to separate you from your money and then cheat you than many countries.
Most OpenTour, and other buses, have only minimal insurance and what they have doesn't include personal injury / death of passengers!
#6 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349