Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

3 weeks in Vietnam - Advice

Posted by ChrisJenko on 20/11/2010 at 10:07

As the title suggest i am looking to start my trip with a south to north 3 week tour of vietnam.

I am looking to book a flight from Sydney to HCMC on the 4th January 2011 with a flight from Hanoi to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the 27th Jan 2011. This leaves me with 23 days to get from south to north and im after any advice on my itinerary, transport, must see sites ect.

So far it looks like i will land in HCMC spend a few days here and a day trip thro the Mekong Delta possibly to Can Tho and tp the Cu Chi tunnels.
Then onto Dalat 1-2 days - Nha Trang - 1-2 days - Da Nang 2-3 days ( with a side tour of the My Son ruins) - Hue 2-3 days - Hanoi 4-5 days ( with a 2 day Ha Long Bay Tour ) - fly out of Hanoi to Phnom Penh.

Is this a reasonable amount of time? Am i missing anywhere of interest? Suggestions for must see place along my route?

Thanks in Advnace, Chris

#1 ChrisJenko has been a member since 4/11/2010. Posts: 18
 Send ChrisJenko a private message 

Posted by rawjer on 20/11/2010 at 11:56

That is a lot of stops in only three weeks, although it definitely can be done if you are motivated to see as many places as possible. Part of the problem is, except for the part between Danang and Hue, each of those trips will take up almost a whole day. With a bus or train ride of 7 or 8 hours, plus getting to and from the station, most people aren't ready to go sightseeing the moment they arrive.

I visited all those places earlier this year, and my subjective opinion is definitely replace Danang with Hoi An , which is a 30-minute taxi ride away anyway. Hoi An is many people's favorite stop in Vietnam, while Danang isn't really even a tourist town, except for the "China Beach" strip of beach resorts on the way to Hoi An.

Dalat is interesting, but it's not on the train line, so I'd consider skipping it on a short trip like this.

I'd skip Nha Trang as well. It's a big, long beach, similar to Manly Beach, but the town is nothing special at all. If I were looking for a pleasant beach with cheap hotel rooms, food, and beer, I think Nha Trang is a decent place to go, but if I'm exploring Vietnam Nha Trang is more of a distraction.

So one way of reducing the amount of travel days is to take a train from HCMC to Danang (for Hoi An), which is a long ride, probably best done overnight, but it cuts out 3 of the other trips.

#2 rawjer has been a member since 20/1/2010. Posts: 104
 Send rawjer a private message   Website   Twitter 


Posted by sems on 19/12/2010 at 07:57

I too would replace Danang with Hoi An , Danang is ok but it's just a city. Hoi An maybe a touristy town but there is heaps to do/see/buy/eat and it has a charming appeal. My Son is approx 55kms from Hoi An so is about perfect for a 1/2 day trip, you can take a tourist bus, hire a scooter and take yourself, both options a lot cheaper than a private car or taxi. I can recommend Hoi An motorbike adventures for a trip that takes you to the tourist spots via back roads and offers a "real Vietnam" experience (one of the highlights of our trip).
In Hue you can easily walk to the Citadel (despite the touts telling you otherwise) and to get to the tombs cheaply we took a cheesy bus tour, not our usual style but it was easier than haggling for a driver and still gave you enough time to look around, we booked though a tour desk at our hotel for $8 (this does NOT cover the entry fees) and you get lunch. They were also taking in the Citadel in the afternoon but as we had already been and it was bucketing down with rain (make sure you buy a Vietnamese plastic rain poncho to chuck in your backpack) we ditched the tour and went to the backpackers for an afternoon of beer! If you are arriving in Hue in the morning I would say that 2 nights will be plenty. Travel safe :)

#3 sems has been a member since 8/8/2010. Posts: 28
 Send sems a private message 

Posted by sems on 19/12/2010 at 07:58

I too would replace Danang with Hoi An , Danang is ok but it's just a city. Hoi An maybe a touristy town but there is heaps to do/see/buy/eat and it has a charming appeal. My Son is approx 55kms from Hoi An so is about perfect for a 1/2 day trip, you can take a tourist bus, hire a scooter and take yourself, both options a lot cheaper than a private car or taxi. I can recommend Hoi An motorbike adventures for a trip that takes you to the tourist spots via back roads and offers a "real Vietnam" experience (one of the highlights of our trip).
In Hue you can easily walk to the Citadel (despite the touts telling you otherwise) and to get to the tombs cheaply we took a cheesy bus tour, not our usual style but it was easier than haggling for a driver and still gave you enough time to look around, we booked though a tour desk at our hotel for $8 (this does NOT cover the entry fees) and you get lunch. They were also taking in the Citadel in the afternoon but as we had already been and it was bucketing down with rain (make sure you buy a Vietnamese plastic rain poncho to chuck in your backpack) we ditched the tour and went to the backpackers for an afternoon of beer! If you are arriving in Hue in the morning I would say that 2 nights will be plenty. Travel safe :)

#4 sems has been a member since 8/8/2010. Posts: 28
 Send sems a private message 

Posted by owee on 22/12/2010 at 00:04

Posted from within Vietnam.

rawjer.... Skip Nha Trang.... really?? IT is the most visited destination in Vietnam and probably has more things to see and do than anywhere else....the problem is that most people cannot escape the lure of the bars in the backpack area.... but anyway....
As others have said, Hoi An and Hue are the places to stay. If spending a few days in Nha Trang, you can organize an overnight or even a day to dalat from here.

Owee
www.owee58.com

#5 owee has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 10
 Send owee a private message   Website 

Posted by eastwest on 22/12/2010 at 13:29

Owee,

I agree with Rawjer regarding Nha Trang. Phuket is probably also the most visited destination in Thailand and I would skip that as well.

But perhaps I haven't seen it that well because "probably has more things to see and do than anywhere else" is quite a statement.
Please enlighten us

#6 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778
 Send eastwest a private message 

Posted by JiroIsCounting on 24/12/2010 at 11:32

Posted from within Vietnam.

I will skip Nha Trang and replace with Muine...

Nha Trang is fine but nothing really special to-date....

#7 JiroIsCounting has been a member since 23/12/2010. Posts: 24

Posted by abc on 25/12/2010 at 23:30

Posted from within Vietnam.

I would spend more time in Nha Trang .Lots to do day and night and not expensive.North and south of Nha Trang there are good beaches and islands to see.Many tourists don't go there and they miss out on a lot.

#8 abc has been a member since 21/6/2010. Posts: 24
 Send abc a private message   Website 


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.