Hi - early planning stage - I have 10 nights:
Two ideas below:
Night 1 & 2: Hanoi
Night 3: Halong Bay (would like a 2 night cruise if time permits)
Night 4: o/n train to Sapa
Night 5: Sapa - would also consider an extra night here as well
Night 6: o/n train from Sapa
Night 7: Hanoi or out to Phong Nga homestay
Night 8: Hanoi
Extra night in each Sapa & Halong Bay would make up the 10 nights
Or do I keep the same until night 7 and fly to Da Nang & spend 2 or 3 nights in Hoi An fly back to Hanoi for 1 night and then out?
The other question is I am looking at travelling around the 10th of June or do I hold off until Sept - weather wise I don't want to travel to Sapa or Halong Bay and not see a thing!!
Thanks for any help you can give...
sept will be good as june is raining season is abit hard to move around esp if u r in mountain area.
#2 sn0wman has been a member since 8/3/2012. Posts: 11
I'd stick with the North in the time you have and given it sounds like you're hankering after an extra day in Halong and / or Sapa . Also note you can't just do a day at Phong Nga Farmstay from Hanoi - well, you could but most of the day would be spent at the airport / on flights - so I'd skip this or go there instead of Sapa or for those last couple of days if you have a particular interest in the caves.
Regarding time of year - you know, I have no idea! I've spent 2 full summers in Hanoi now and I haven't spotted a clear pattern. But the rainy season supposedly runs from June to September, with the worst months being July and August, so on that basis June and September are likely to be similar. Unfortunately visibility is hard to guarantee in Halong and Sapa at any time of year.
Thanks Sn0wman and travellings-arah - since posting I have pushed my trip back due to the weather - I'm looking at arriving mid Oct, also decided a 1 night cruise in Halong would be enough and opted for 2 nights in Sapa (plus 2 nights on the train) - rest of time I am looking at spending in Hanoi ; keen on a cooking class (highway4 ??)and we both love markets and taking in the local sights as well as visiting the nearby craft villages; seeing less of more but relaxing eating, drinking and observing. Just a couple of questions if you can help 1. Halong Bay - thinking of the Indochina Junk Red Dragon expensive but is it worth the splurge and 2. o/n train to Sapa is a 4 berth sleeper the best option or worth paying for a 2 berth also is it best to book online directly or thru yr hotel 3. Looking at staying at the Hanoi Charming2 in Hanoi seems a good option - any help with this or other tips would be appreciated. Cheers, Kerrie
i intend to do all these in nights - 2 hanoi / 1 halong / 3 sapa / 2 danang / 2 hoi an / 1 HCMC
After asking a few frens quite a few of them say no pt do 2 night in halong as there is not much to see. If u take junk boat than is easier for u to move around as u not need to transfer from city to boat again. If u intend to stay city (cheaper option) than it take time to move from city to boat again.
#5 sn0wman has been a member since 8/3/2012. Posts: 11
September is harvest season in sapa so you can see ripe yellow paddy fields in this area. it is a special of Sapa. September in general still not much rain. It is still sunny. However, June is in low season so you can receive some good package than September. From June to September is ok to see and if you wish to take photo of yellow ladder field in sapa take trip on september
#6 ecotravelvietna has been a member since 21/3/2012. Posts: 13