My friends and I will be in Vietnam from September 25 to October 2. Our plan is to visit Hanoi, Ha Long Bay , Hue , and Sapa; we'll depart Noi Ba International Airport on October 3, at about 12:30 AM. Do you think our itinerary is possible? Another thing is if we can travel from Ha Long Bay to Hue by train. (If it is, then how long is the travel time.) Please advise. Mammoth thanks!
hi Im Claudia from Vietnam
The Itinerary will be :
Day 25 /9 : you arrive Hanoi , maybe late so just take a look around the bustle city.Over night in Hanoi
Day 26/9 : HANOI city tour .Over night in Train : Hanoi - Lao Cai
Day 27/9 : Visit Sapa : you can take the trekking tour : SAPA - CAT CAT - SAPA or SAPA - LAO CHAI - TA VAN - SAPA.
in sapa you can choose stay in home stay or stay in hotel depend on your budget.
Day 28/9 : Take a short tour visit around Sapa town and take train back to Hanoi
Day 29/9 : Go straight from Hanoi - Halong Bay .Over night on Board
Day 30/9 : Back from Halong .Take Train :Hanoi - Hue
Day 1/10 : Hue city tour .Over night on Hue
Day 2 /10 : Hue - Danang Hoi an .Here you can take flight from Danang - Hanoi for the next days to Noi Bai airport or If you want to take more adventure can go by Train
Day 3/10 : Departure .
You arrive on the 25th? And you leave at 12:30 AM on the 3rd, which is basically the night of the 2nd?
If that's correct, you only have 6 full days.
Even if it were 8 full days, I'd personally skip Hue and just stick to the north. Sapa is beautiful -- if I were you, I'd allot any extra time to the countryside around Sapa and perhaps a visit to one of the markets out of there.
Hue is worth a stop for the history if you're spending time in the central region, but it's not worth going so far out of your way for on such a short trip. If you're really keen on Hue, I'd say to fly there in the morning and spend a day there, then head down to Hoi An for two or three days, and hit Ha Long Bay before you leave, skipping Sapa.
Just my two cents.
Thanks a lot. Yes, ETA at Noi Ba is 12:30 AM, September 25. My friend fancies historical landmarks, but I'm aware that (the short) time will be a problem. Nothing final yet, so I appreciate your thoughts. By the way, it's not raining in northern Vietnam during the month of September, right?
I'm with DLuek. I don't generally discourage people from trying to fit lots in, but the itinerary suggested by Claudia sounds exhausting! Stick to Hanoi, Halong and Sapa - that offers a great mix of experiences. It shouldn't be too rainy in September, but neither should it be wet, gray and 20c in April, yet it has been! Generally September is a good month for weather.
Many thanks, travellingsarah. I'm certain that Hanoi , Ha Long Bay, and Sapa will be part of our itinerary. I'm just wondering if it's possible to see Tam Coc for a day. Are there any tour(s), where we'll leave Hanoi at early morning, and then return (to the capital) at late afternoon/early evening?
Tam Coc is perfectly feasible for a day trip as it's about a 2 hour drive from Hanoi , and lot of travel agents off it as an option. Trips usually also include a visit to Hoa Lu (the ancient capital) as well as a boat trip. It's a good day out, if the weather's good, but you're so tight on time, and already have a lot of travelling (to Halong and Sapa), so do you really want to spend another day on a bus?
In your 6 days, 2 will be on the boat in Halong, 2, ideally 3, will be in Sapa, leaving you just 1 or 2 days to enjoy Hanoi. You could always leave it as an option for your last day, then if you get to Hanoi and decide you only need a few hours in the city you could book the trip on arrival.
Agree with Sarah and DLuek. Don't forget each day that you travel, you essentially lose 1/2 - 1 full day in transit. That can be nice for the scenery, etc - but a protfio of that time is also wasted getting to/from airports/train stations, waiting to checkin/out, etc. This ends up being a high % of time when you're on a relative short trip. Cut down the desintations (eg Hue) and focus on having a better time in the ones you do get to.
Tam Coc seems tempting, after looking at those stunning photos (in the Internet). But it will be our first time to set foot in northern Vietnam, so we'll focus on Hanoi, Ha Long, and Sapa. Thanks again, really appreciate your replies.
One more question, before this thread ends. Can you recommend a good tour agency/operator for the Ha Long Bay cruise? Or we won't have a problem (looking for one) once we arrive there? Many thanks (again).
Hi ! Im Claudia . you can check on the agency there are many travel agency suggest the package to Halong Bay , but most of the time travel with my tourist they took the tour for 2 days/1 night in Halong , stay overnight on Board , so you can book from now to choose the good price or when you arrive Vietnam you can book also .Write me if you want anything for the Halong tour : firstname.lastname@example.org