Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

20 day Vietnam itinerary - help please

Posted by kanz on 30/11/2011 at 02:03

Hi, we are first time visitors to Vietnam and have compiled the following itinerary. Any input would be much appreciated. I am seriously considering completely changing the following and just doing the Northern and Southern regions and saving the Central region for another trip.

10/1/2012 Hanoi
11/1/2012 Hanoi
12/1/2012 Hanoi/Sapa
13/01/12 Sapa
14/01/12 Sapa
15/01/12 Hanoi/Halong
16/01/12 Halong Bay
17/01/12 Hanoi
18/01/12 Hue (but Train)
19/01/12 Hue/Da Nang
20/01/12 Hoi An
21/01/12 Hoi An
22/01/12 Hoi An
23/01/12 Hoi An
24/01/12 Da Nang
25/01/12 HCMC (by Air)
26/01/12 HCMC
27/01/12 Mekong Delta
28/01/12 Mekong Delta
29/01/12 HCMC
30/01/12 HCMC

Also quite concerned about the amount of travel (to/from Sapa, Halong, Hue by train, and then HCMC.

We love nature, culture, beaches and just relaxing. If we have missed anything crucial or a 'must do' please let me know [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

Thoughts/comments/feedback please. Thanking you in advance [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

#1 kanz has been a member since 30/11/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by chinarocks on 30/11/2011 at 03:13

Looks doable, and similar to something I did myself.

I would limit your time in Danang to the airport and nothing more.

Consider Nha Trang for your beach element, maybe instead of Hue and a day less in Hoi An.

Otherwise there is plenty of culture and relaxing (and nature I guess) in your itinerary.

Finally, I assume you need to fly home from HCMC, rather than head on to Cambodia next. If so, then fine. If not, you can enter Cambodia through the Mekong Delta.

#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

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Posted by daawgon on 30/11/2011 at 13:45

Yes, I like your plans. I do have to disagree with Chinarocks on Nha Trang (this party town has seen quite a bit of violence against travelers this year).

My favorite places are Hanoi, Sapa and Hoi An. You don't want to rush too much in this country, and try to keep it as flexible as possible (frequent schedule changes/cancellations are the norm here). I usually plan for a minimum of 3.5 weeks in VN. (HCMC and Hue are not terribly interesting to me)

One tip about the cruise - pick a "good" boat - not an area that you want to skimp on!

#3 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by kanz on 30/11/2011 at 15:23

Thank you both, you have provided some reassurance. I can't help but think that one week more would have been perfect.

To keep things flexible, do you guys book hotels etc as you go? or book everything in advance and have to sacrifice a night here and there?

Does anyone have thoughts on: Mai Chau, Da Lat, Chao Doc, Phu Quoc Island? Would you guys try and incorporate some of these places in my itinerary or should I do a Vietnam Round 2 trip to cover these?

Advice re Halong cruises noted, hope it turns out well. We are travelling in January too so I expect it will be freezing. Also hope we can see stuff in Sapa.

Can't wait to eat pho and bahn mi.. mmmm

#4 kanz has been a member since 30/11/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by swag on 30/11/2011 at 16:14

Hi agree with most of the above. Certainly that does look doable I wouldn't be trying to put anymore into it though. We spent 3 weeks in Vietnam and didn't get any further south than Hoi an. Am leaving the South until until I have a good 3 weeks available. Hope you get some fine weather in Sapa as it was a favourite of ours. You'll need warm clothing for that trip. I wouldn't worry about the transport to Sapa and Halong thats all good pretty easy to organise. We really only booked the first two nights in Hanoi and the Sapa accommodation. Organised our mid range Halong trip when we got there. Pre booked the Sapa train as we knew the dates we were travelling.Hope you have a great time any questions feel free.


#5 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331
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Posted by johnkazy on 1/12/2011 at 06:53

Posted from within Vietnam.

If you go to Sapa, please try to go to Bac Ha sunday market.
If you go to Halong bay, please try to stay 01 night at private beach bungalow in Cat Ba island
If you go to Mai Chau, please make a bicycle trip round the village for real local life
If you book a tour at a travel agent, please think that you will get what you pay for

#6 johnkazy has been a member since 20/11/2011. Posts: 4

Posted by huecity on 3/12/2011 at 02:59

Posted from within Vietnam.

With your trip in Vietnam, I think that you can choose a Travel Agent in Vietnam to handle your trip. Depend on your budget you can ask Sales give you the suitable cost. The draft you post is ok for your trip.
Ask a Travel Agent you can have the cheaper package cost than you arrive in Vietnam and book services day by day. Sometimes some services are not available for you because January is high season of tourism in Vietnam.
A private package with your budget is as yoru expectation than come and join group tour, The quality of group tour daily isnot good.
If you need any help you can send email to me:

#7 huecity has been a member since 1/12/2011. Posts: 7

Posted by kanz on 7/12/2011 at 23:53

Thanks all for your informative replies. How important is it to book accommodation and trains/flights in advance? We will be traveling in January (high season). I would like to have flexibility and just wing it but not sure if this is a good idea or not. So far we only have the first two nights in Hanoi and a flight from Da Nang to HCMC booked.

Other things we want to book when we get there are:

- Sapa tour
- Ha long tour
- Train from Hanoi to Hue (overnight)
- Accommodation in Hue/Hoi An/HCMC
- Perhaps a Mekong Delta tour

Many thanks!

#8 kanz has been a member since 30/11/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by foxglove2012 on 8/12/2011 at 02:33

Posted from within Vietnam.

No need to stay in HCMC 4days, it waste your time
Like above recommend, you can go to Nha Trang, among Da Nang and HCMC, can you from Da nag by bus... In Nha trang, there has a nicest beach in Vietnam

#9 foxglove2012 has been a member since 11/1/2010. Posts: 2

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