Hello Wordly and Knowledgable People,
I need some help planning my first trip to Vietnam.
I am spending 3 weeks in SE Asia in Sept. My first week is Bangkok and Phnom Penh then I'll be bussing from Phnom Penh to HCMC.
Does anyone have any tips on where to/to no go?
What I've planned so far (with info from travel sites and different forums) is:
HCMC - 3 days
Nha Trang - 2 days
Danang - 3 days
Hue - 2 days
Hanoi - 3 days
Should I cut out one of the stops so I am able to spend more time in HCMC or Hanoi?
I'm travelling solo and am not booking anything past my first couple of nights in HCMC so it's going to be entirely flexible but I'd like to have a rough idea of what I am doing.
And basically, I like shopping, pubs and seeing things. I'm sure I'll spend part of a day lying on a beach but I'm hoping to do a few cycling tours around the place and I like to go out and explore, none of this sitting around by a hotel pool (hence why I'm travelling alone, been overseas too many times with people who would rather laze by the pool than get out there and do something. Hello? Who goes to Waikiki and doesn't want to climb Diamond Head at 6 am when you were out drinking til 2 am???? Hangovers are for work time only).
Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated!
#1 boobookitty has been a member since 18/6/2012. Posts: 2
I would eliminate the timeline though. What if you get to Saigon and you love it and want to stay longer? What if you get there and you hate it and want to move on. A rough plan is OK, but a rigid one kind of defeats what the region is all about.
Madmac, there is definitely no real rigid plan, that's why I haven't booked anything yet. But I'm worried that I'll stay too long in one place and then miss out on something else.
Obviously, I don't have enough time and will have to do a return trip but I'd like to make the most of this time because lord only knows when I'll get a chance to go back!
Ecotravelvn, I'm definitely going to hoi an and my son. Is that worthy of a day trip or should I stay over night? Halong Bay is also on my to-do list. Haven't read about the speed boat, I'll definitely have a look into that. Cheers!
#3 boobookitty has been a member since 18/6/2012. Posts: 2
Just don't book in advance and you should have all the flexibility that you need.
As for missing out - this subject has come up often here on travelfish. The general (though not universal) consensus is this is a place that is about the pace of life and the overall change of cultural scenery more than it is a place about seeing specific things. The first time I came to SEA I went to one village and stayed there for 30 days and flew home. I never left the province and I never went anywhere. But it gave me a great feel for the pace of village life.
I agree on keeping things flexible as much as you can, but you do still only have a limited time so you need to make sure you have enough cash as a back up if you find you need to fly somewhere because you can't get a train booked at late notice. That said, flying isn't that much more than taking train these days anyway. Personally I'd skip Nha Trang and fly from HCMC to Danang. (1) It's rainy season in Nha Trang in September and (2) there are great beaches in Danang.