I'll be traveling through Vietnam in Jan.-Feb. 2012. I've booked a room my first night in Hanoi but haven't booked anything else yet. Do I need to consider booking a room ahead of time to consider the Tet holiday? How long does it last?
Secondly, Phu Quoc seems to be difficult to find accommodation as well. Do I need to book ahead in Phu Quoc to secure a 'good' place in a good location or can I wing it?
Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
I have no experience of this, but what I've read is that everything is more expensive around tet. So everything you do is depended on your budget. For example there is a dozen flights from Hanoi to HCMC daily and they just can't be all fully booked. You just probably have to pay more. And I think the same goes for accommodation.
I think it gives you a freedom to choose (and is more fun!), when you don't plan everything ahead. Just don't expect list prices on flights and hotels/hostels.
#2 peuge has been a member since 8/11/2011. Posts: 15
PQ book for sure - can be very difficult to find anything in high season. I would also book Sapa around Tet (2 wks before and after - the Viet Kieu are usually in country then). All the rest should have some rooms, but they will probably be much more expensive.
I would disagree with peuge on transport - that might be much more difficult than rooms? Try to stay off the roads as much as possible - terrible drivers in this country. I believe bus and train tickets go first and have probably sold out by now.
Everything on Phu Quoc island was booked up when I was there a few Tet ago - so I would book ahead even if you are planning to stay around that time and not exactly during Tet holiday. The good places will book up a couple months in advance and you'll usually be left scampering about trying to find any bed anywhere when it comes to an island like that. A lot of people travel into Vietnam during Chinese New Year from China as they have a holiday, and even though many Vietnamese like to spend the holiday with their family, many also travel with that family.
My recent experience with Langkawi (Malaysia) was similar, I was booking tickets two months ago for Chinese New Year and a lot of the highest rated and most recommended options were already booked up when I contacted them (Malaysia has a big Chinese population that takes an extra long holiday at that time - same as Tet).
I leave tomorrow having booked my first two nights in Hanoi, three nights in Saigon during Tet, and five nights in Phu Quoc at Mai House. During my research, I found Phu Quoc was the only place that booking really felt necessary. It was also the only place I had to secure the booking with a credit card.
See you on the other side...
Portland, OR USA