Considering Hanoi- Hue -Hoi'an for between 6-8 days as a forerunner to my trip to Malaysia at the end of January. I have a friend moving to Hue and thought I'd take advantage to go visit just before the start of Tet - then I'm off to KL.
Of course I've looked around the sight, but respect all your opinions and having never been to Northern Vietnam I thought I'd ask for recommendations for your particular favorites. Given time, and that I've seen karsts and want to travel budget, I'll probably be skipping Ha Long Bay. Rather, I see a night or two in Hanoi, a couple nights in Hue and a couple nights in Hoi'an.
Feel free to recommended budget accomodation (as that is the recommendation I am seeking after most) - but also any activities (day trip style/places to explore) you think shouldn't be missed.
I think you should visit North Vietnam, first day arriving Hanoi city tour, 2th day you visit Ha Long bay mystery one day, after you can flight to Hue about or Da Nang 20h last second day.
3th day visit city Hue, 4th day you go to Hoi An older quater one night in Hoi An, 5th day come bank to HN flight to KL
- Flight domestic in vietnam is cheeper: HN to Da nang or Hue 1,000,000- 1674,000 vnd (50 - 80 $/) one way.
- Train: 750,000 vnd (36$)
- Van: 550,000 vnd (27$)
safe & save !
#2 thanthithanh123 has been a member since 14/10/2011. Posts: 1
Hanoi - Hue - Hoi An sounds just about feasible in 8 days but would be a struggle in less, especially as you're visiting a friend so probably want to spend more time in Hue than most would.
To make the most of it you could consider travelling from Hue to Hoi An by motorbike (either driving or pillion). That way, even if you don't have much time to spend in Hoi An you get to experience the great views down the coast in your own time - my boyfriend did this with his brother and hired bikes one way through Hue Backpackers' Hostel. However, if this doesn't appeal or the weather's terrible, the train and bus give good views too.
A couple of days in Hanoi gives you time to just wander and absorb and also to visit the key sightseeing spots like the Mausoleum, HCM Museum, Hoa Lu Prison etc. Don't try to do everything listed in your guidebook, just pick out the places that appeal most and then fit in others if you feel like it and have time.
Then best to fly to Hue - I'd usually recommend the train but it always leaves me tired the next day which isn't great if you don't have much time and are meeting a friend. But it's an option if there are no cheap flight deals.
Plenty of cheap and decent accommodation in Hue - we stayed at Binh Duong III which is slightly above backpacker level but they had another one on the same street (II maybe) which was cheaper and still decent. Or if you want a dorm try Hue Backpackers' Hostel. Definitely have pancakes at Cafe on Thu Wheels and go on a 1/2 day motorbike tour with them - the highlight of both of my trips to Hue.
In Hoi An, if you're on your own I'd go for Phuong Dong Hotel on Ba Trieu - it's the cheapest yet decent place I found there. If price is more important than niceness then the dorm room at Hop Yen is only about $5.
I'd recommend hiring a bike and cycling around the town and the countryside and stop off at the beach for a couple of hours on your way.
We'vejust spent our 3 weeks holiday in Vietnam and Hoi An was our favourite. We hadgreat time with Hoi An volunteer students and spent lovely morning for Kim Bongvillage – Cam Kim island. It’s FREE- Amazing. We did not know this tour untilwe got a flyer from a student when walked around the old town. We read carefullyand checked on their website: hoian-tourism.com. We were lucky enough to jointhis free tour on Sunday. The local guide and some volunteer students came tohotel and took us to the local ferry where we had nice pics with local people,children at kindergarten and local farmers. We joined with 3 other groups who come from Australia. We bike aroundvillages and see stunning rural scenes, rice paddies, fishing villages, fieldsof water buffalo and Bamboo Bridge. We learnt and got many insides which arenever written on guide books. It was fabulous. That'sa rural place and non-tourist for sure! Water buffalos are everywhere.How lovely they were to us! That's the nicest free bicycle tour we had in ourlife.
#4 jenniferong has been a member since 27/9/2011. Posts: 7
I just did a similar tour - Hanoi , Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An in 8 days. Was a bit hectic as I was sleeping in a different place every night, but overall quite good.
Hanoi --> you don't need that much time here, maybe 2 days should be enough to see the major things and enjoy the city. it's pretty hectic and crowded and i enjoyed going out to halong bay to get some peace and quiet! in my time there, i walked the old and french quarter, did the ho chi minh stuff, hoan kiem lake, van mieu and watched the puppet show.
Hue --> I took an overnight train from Hanoi to Hue, which left Hanoi about 8pm and reached Hue about 10am? (bit delayed, there was flooding so we were about an hour delayed), which I personally thought was quite alright as the tourist train was quite decent and I like being able to lie down to sleep, but if time is an issue, I suggest flying - it's only an hour and not that much more expensive for the time you save (about US$65/13hrs for the train, US$100/3-4hrs for the estimated flight and airport transfers)
Hue's good if you're into the historical stuff of the old Kings and the Vietnam war era - I'm not so a city tour in a day (citadel, pagoda, 3 tombs) was quite enough for me. But the floods had just subsided and it was still pretty rainy when i was there so perhaps I'm being a little biased...
Hoi An --> pretty nice when the weather is good, I only spent a day there but wished I had maybe an additional day or 2 to explore the place! it's safe enough to cycle (which I did), and you probably want more days there if you're going to do the touristy thing of making clothes/shoes (you need time for fittings and to ensure they do a good job). i didn't go into any of the museums/old buildings, but just exploring the town and heading out to the beach was quite nice.
Maybe consider Danang/My Son too since you're in the central area? i wanted to see the marble mountains, and danang has mroe beaches, an My Son has more cultural stuff if you like that sorta thing.
hope this is helpful! you might want to check out my blog at theoccasionaltraveller.com in the next few weeks though, because i'm going to be putting up posts on my trip there which you may find useful =) drop me an email if you need any help!