Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Hanoi or HCMC or Both

Posted by ColinToolbox on 28/9/2011 at 03:39

I am planning a trip to Vietnam at the end of November, staying for approximately 2 1/2 weeks. It will be a small group of lads so we are looking for places with a lively nightlife and adventurous things to do like caving, canyoning, kayaking, diving etc.

Where do you think the best places in Vietnam would be for us to go? Ideally we would like to go to 3 or a maximum of 4 places whilst there. I have been to Thailand previously and really enjoyed Phi Phi, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao.

Do you think it would be too adventurous to fly into Hanoi, then make our way down to Ho Chi Min City (perhaps flying between the two) departing from there. If you think it would be too much, if you could only go to one which city would you go to?

#1 ColinToolbox has been a member since 28/9/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by travellingsarah on 28/9/2011 at 09:24 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

This isn't really something I can give an opinion of from experience - as in, I've never been kayaking, diving etc. in Vietnam - but from what I've heard I'd suggest you head to Nha Trang and then go up to Dalat. You'll get lively nightlife and water related activities in Nha Trang and other activities up in Dalat. Regarding Hanoi and HCMC - neither will provide the activities you're after except the nightlife: HCMC has traditionally had a livlier nightlife, and that's still true, but Hanoi is expanding in this area all the time (as long as the police don't shut the place down).

Actually, just thought, that's not entirely true - if you do the Hanoi Backpackers' Hostel trip to Halong Bay from Hanoi you'll get to do rock climbing, tubing and stuff too.

If you want to see both cities (you'll get split opinion on this site about which is the "best") then fly into Hanoi - with a trip out to Halong Bay - then fly to Nha Trang, bus to Dalat, bus to HCMC and out from there. You could add side trips from Hanoi and HCMC to fill out your time, or add in somewhere like Hoi An - though it doesn't sound like that will be your scene so much.

#2 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
 Send travellingsarah a private message   Where has travellingsarah been?   Website 

Posted by JimmyCueball on 6/10/2011 at 02:47

Hi Colin,

I am a bit of an expert in travelling around Vietnam so I would follow the itinerary below if you have any sense:

HCM City-4 nights

There are lots of things to do here and you will love the nightlife. There are many bars/clubs and the place is full of backpackers (a little bit like Bangkok).
There are also some day visits that you can make such as the Mekong Delta and the tunnels. There are many places to get a massage to relax after a night on the town and you can get some suits made up here if you are a businessman.

Take a 4 hour coach ride to Dalat
Dalat -2 nights
Not much nightlife here but there are many activities including mountain biking, canyoning,kayaking etc
Take a 4 hour easy riders bike ride to Na Trang (so much fun and gets you off the beaten track!)

Na Trang - 5 nights
You will love it here. I compare it to somewhere like Ko Phi Phi with the excellent beach and nighlife! There are many backpackers and you can go on boat trips, go diving, and relax on the lush beaches.

My only concern is that the weather may not be great in late November as it may be cold and raining!!
Take a flight to Hanoi

Hanoi - 5 nights (including 2 nights in Halong Bay)

Hanoi is a great place to paint the town red and you will love it there. You should go on the Hanoi backpackers hostel trip to Halong Bay which is packed full of debauchery and activities...It lasts 3 days and 2 nights and will be the highlight of your trip!

Fell free to message me as as I said I am an expert this type of holiday in Vietnam . I could even be your tour guide if you paid for my holiday!

Let the good times roll buddy!


#3 JimmyCueball has been a member since 6/10/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by MADMAC on 6/10/2011 at 11:23

Jimmy, you write like I do. Debauchery in Vietnam? I wouldn't have guessed it.

#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
 Send MADMAC a private message 

Posted by stephanMc on 9/1/2012 at 06:21

Hi Jimmy,
On 20th January i'll ve in Hanoi and i'll travel Vietnam for 21 days.
Can u give me some advice about itineraries and night life?
Are a good idea to go to Hue and Hoi An?
How is nightlife in Pho Quoc island?
And how is the sea in Nha Trang?


#5 stephanMc has been a member since 17/11/2011. Posts: 6
 Where has stephanMc been? 

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.