Hi Guys, I am a visiting Vietnam October 1st and would like to get some suggestions on places I should visit. I'll be in HCMC October 3rd to the 22 and was wondering if I can make it all the way to Hanoi and back to HCMC for a flight out? Any suggestions would be great, also any methods of travel that you would recommend.
#1 dkynyc has been a member since 8/6/2011. Posts: 2
Here is a quick reply before I race home...
I think you could cover key spots reasonably comfortably if you are prepared to fly one or two of the long hauls, and maybe take the odd overnight bus/train. My suggestions would be to pick and choose from the following (depending on what interests you):
HCMC - 2-3 days
Mekong Delta area - 3 days **
Dalat - 2-3 days - cooler mountain air, interesting little town that I enjoyed, but not too much in way of touristy things.
Mui Nue or Nha Trang (if you want a bit of beach time) - 2- 3 days
Hoi An - 3-4 days ** (there is a nice near by, spend more time here and skip the beaches mentioned above)
Hue - 2-3 days if you are into old temples, and/or want a trip to DMZ
Sapa - 3-4 days if you want to see villages and/or do some trekking (haven't been there yet myself)
Hanoi - 2-3 days **
Halong Bay cruise - 2-3 days (3d/2n is best option)
The ones marked with '**' are probably the 'must see' options, in my opinion. The others depends on what your interests are. The times that I have indicated are minimum - few places and more time is always better.
I would suggest you fly to avoid particularly long 12+ hr bu srides:
- Hue - Hanoi (to avoid 12+ hour busride)
- Into or out of Danang (near Hoi An) - depending on where you are coming from.
- Hanoi - HCMC
My ultimate suggestion would be to do an Easy Rider tour around the Mekong Delta area as a minimum, and/or through Central Highlands (ie to Dalat). I did this area as a 9-day trip and it was the best thing I have could have done!
The flight from HCMC to Hanoi is less than 2 hours as I recall, so that won't take more than half a day total. To save even more time you could fly the long leg from Hanoi to Hue , or if you wanted to skip Hue then Hanoi to Da Nang (near Hoi An). A train or bus from Hanoi to Hue or Da Nang will take the better part of a day.
Busylizzy's advice is spot on in my opinion, although Sapa was a highlight for me and if you'll be making the trip all the way up to Hanoi anyway I'd suggest Sapa if you enjoy fog rolling over majestic mountains and hill tribe life, etc.
Anyway, for flights within Vietnam you'll want to search www.jetstar.com.
Travel by air or train through Vietnam, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh, stops in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Hue, Danang. Nha Trang, Phuc Quoc, Ho Chi Minh. Travel by your self or by a travel agency arrangement.
Great advice from Lizzy. Just a couple of things I'd like to add. We're in Ninh Binh (an inland Halong Bay) at the moment and would definitely recommend a stop. It's only a few hours away from Hanoi anyway.
Also, if you don't want to fly, we met some people who were travelling from Hanoi down to HCMC by bus. They bought an open ticket and could stop off along the way for no extra cost(Ninh Binh, Hue, Danang, etc) and it was 700,000 VND(35 USD) which seems a good way to go to me.
We've just been around Sa Pa and done the North West loop, amazing place, don't miss it! If you want to get an idea we're putting stuff up on our blog at http://dabby-in-asia.blogspot.com/. Let us know if you've got any questions.