Hi i'm trying to squeeze a holiday to Vietnam and Siem Reap into the school holidays in October.
I'm planning on spending:
2 nights at Hanoi
1 night at Halong Bay
fly to Hue
1 night in Hue
bus/car to Hoi An
2 nights in Hoi An
fly to HCMC
3 nights HCMC
fly to Siem Reap
2 nights siem reap
I know i'm trying to fit too much in but I don't know what to cut out. I'm really keen on the Halong bay boat cruise and on Hoi An. But I've heard mixed reports about a visit to Hue and I'm not sure if it would be better to save a day by cutting it out. Also don't know if Siem Reap is just too much to fit in, would like to go though.
Any advice would be good.
Also is early October likely to be the busy season?
#1 shinynewcoin has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 5
Normally I recommend you pre-book your Ha Long Bay cruise < www.Tropical-Sails.com >. On arrival check-in at your pre-booked hotel, go and get your cash (VNDong) and confirm your Ha Long tour obtaining your return time.
On your return to Ha Noi is will be in the afternoon. OF COURSE, SURPLUS BAGGAGE can be left at the hotel you stayed at pre-Ha Long.
Your two nights in Hue may be too long if you need more time.
Arriving at Hue in the morning, take a cab to your hotel. I recommend:
Nguyen Tri Phuong Hotel
56 Nguyen Tri Phuong
USD$12 other rooms.
as it is right in the centre near tourist services, etc.
Immediately book a City Tour with Trekking travel (the hotel can do this as NTP Hotel is 3 doors away from Trekking). You can pick up a snack for the trip from Missy Roo - right next to Trekking and by the time you return around 18.00H you will have seen the Citadel, a whole bunch of tombs, etc. and will have essentially 'done' Hue.
On the following day you can get up early and take the 08.00H (An Phu or Sinh) Opentour bus to Hoi An arriving around 12.00H OR take the 12.00H bus (arriving around 18.00H) and the explore a little more of Hue - although there is not too much except French colonial style buildings, etc.
In Hoi An I recommend the:
Nhi Nhi Hotel
60 Hung Vuong
Hoi An, Quang Nam
which is close to downtown and only a 7-minute walk to the ancient area.
Remember to confirm your flight from DA NANG (the nearest airport) an buses and taxis do the Hoi An >> Da Nang run.
October is a good time to travel in VN.
#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349
For flying within Vietnam you can choose to fly with Vietnam Airlines or Pacific Airlines.
I shopped around for Halong Bay tours. A number of tour operators in Hanoi are known to be very dodgy so watch out. Sinh Cafe is one of the oldest and most reliable tour operators in Vietnam. Their is about 30+ store fronts that advertise as Sinh Cafe tour operators.
A tour operator I would recommend is Ocean Tours (www.oceantoursvietnam.com) for a day trip to Halang Bay. They received positive feedback from a number of travellers on Travelfish.
Rising Dragon Hotel (www.risingdragonhotel.com)
61 Huang Be Street (Old Quarter) area.
Single room with AC, TV, fridge, free breakfest and internet was $13.
It's a newer hotel and close to the where all the good shops are located (Old Quarter area). The normal rate was $15. Always ask for a better price as their is so many good inexpensive hotels in Hanoi. They also offer a day trip to Halong Bay as well.
Canh Tien Guesthouse
9/66 Le Loi
Tel: 054 822772
Single room with AC and TV was $10
A newer hotel located on quiet street. You can book a full day city tour that will take you to the 3 Tombs and Citadel for $7. Entrance fees is not included in the tour price.
Thien Nga Hotel
52 Ba Trieu Street
Single room with AC, TV and free internet was $10
If you are interested in having some tailored clothes made I would highly recommend Yaly's. Also, check out the beach. Very nice!!
40/18 Bu Vien Street
Single room with AC, TV and free internet was $12-$15 depending on the location.
Located in a very good area (District 1).
District 1 has alot of good resturants and bars. You can book a day trip to the CuChi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple from one of the many tour operators in D1. I would recommend Kim Cafe as I did a full day tour for $5.
Check out Booby Brewers Coffee Movie Theatre. A cosy little theatre (couches) located on the 3rd floor. It's located on 45 Bui Vien Street.
Siem Reap (I would recommend that you spend 1 less day in HMC and 1 more day in Siem Reap)
Single room with AC, TV and free internet is $15.
Close to the Old Quarter
The Angkor National Museum (www.angkornationalmuseum.com).
The Sunrise Children’s Village Orphanage (www.sunrisechildrensvillage.com) offers a Khmer dance show every Sunday at 14:00.
Singing Tree Café (www.singingtreecafe.com) offers a weekly movie night every Wednesday night.
Les Chantiers Ecoles is a school specializing in teaching wood and stone carving techniques to young artisans. It gives artisans fulfilling and stable working conditions and provides them with a vocation, so that they can express their talents and continue to develop their skills. The school has a shop on site called Artisans d‘Ángkor (www.artisansdangkor.com)
#3 ernieh has been a member since 21/3/2007. Posts: 49
Sounds like a good itinerary to me. We did it not much slower than that and felt like we got a reasonable look around. Of course you always wish you had more time everywhere.
Only suggestion I'd make is that you take the train from Hue to Da Nang and a taxi to Hoi An. Only a couple of hours and it is very scenic through the mountains.
#4 LionelHutz has been a member since 19/12/2005. Posts: 7
Thanks so much for all your advice. I'm really looking forward to our trip now!
#5 shinynewcoin has been a member since 11/7/2007. Posts: 5