I will be visiting Vietnam with my wife in May for 28 days, so far we have scheduled the following itinerary
Day 1 Hanoi
Day 2 Hanoi
Day 3 Hanoi
Day 4 Sapa
Day 5 Sapa
Day 6 Sapa
Day 7 Hanoi
Day 8 Halong Bay
Day 9 Halong Bay
Day 10 Halong Bay / Hanoi / Hue
Day 11 Hue
Day 12 Hue
Day 24 Ho Chi Minh
Day 25 Ho Chi Minh
Day 26 Ho Chi Minh
Please could you help me fill in the missing days or offer any further advice.
#1 system243trd has been a member since 30/9/2013. Posts: 5
So Central Vietnam.. I think it might help if you were to give a teeny bit more information on what you are hoping to do and how you are getting to HCMC to take the guess work out. Hoi An would be an obvious onward destination if heading south from Hue, but probably not worthy of 11 days unless you want to use it as a base to explore or just to relax. Further south the coastal road down to Quang Ngai is absolutely stunning, Mui Ne has some quite interesting spots, inland Da Lat is quite stunning at that time of the year..
I have left Day 13 to Day 23 blank becuase these are the days that we are not sure what to do, not because we have decided that we will be staying in Hue for 12 nights.
What am we 'hoping to do'? Mmmm, explore Vietnam and visit different places and that is why I am asking for ideas of what to do in between these dates. Not sure how we are going to get HCMC - it will probably depend on where we go.
I'm looking for ideas and places of where to go between these dates - I have read that the Mekong Delta is also worth visiting!!
#3 system243trd has been a member since 30/9/2013. Posts: 5
It really depends on your interests - for instance May is the best time of the year to go diving off the Cham Islands, the route from Hue to Hoi An via the Hai Van Pass is an incredible motorbike trip, Nha Trang is great if you are looking for beach and beer, the Mekong Delta can be done in day trips from HCMC if you are the sort of traveller that likes to dip in and see the highlights on group tours - but is best discovered over two or three days.
'Explore Vietnam and visit different places' is a tough guideline to workout how best to fill your free days with an itinerary that suits you and your wife - there are so many possibilities!
Some highlights that you might like to look into would be to take the coastal route from Hue to Da Nang via car, motorbike or train - https://www.travelfish.org/blogs/vietnam/2012/08/25/da-nang-to-hue-by-train/ You could then choose to spend a day in Da Nang - Vietnam's fastest growing city to take in the sights, architecture, food, Cham museum and My Khe beach before moving onto Hoi An - where you could easily spend two or three days - the town is a little touristy, but incredibly beautiful, it's very easy to negotiate and makes for an easy break - the beaches are at their best in May and the countryside is within easy reach on a bicycle. If beaches, diving or snorkeling is of interest a couple of days over on Cham Islands is a must do - easily organised from Hoi An and for the moment relatively unspoilt by tourism (which is due to change in the next few years). https://www.travelfish.org/blogs/vietnam/2012/07/25/cham-islands-hoi-an/
If beaches have no interest for you then you could go inland and head for the ethnic minority villages towards the Laos border (you could do this from Hue and bypass Hoi An - Khe San to Komtum, a scenic mountainous loop that takes you through tea plantations, tribal villages and war sites. Or you could head north from Hue and visit the Phong Nha park and cave system before heading back south.
Those suggestions by no means cover all your free days, but if you let us know which destinations from the above interest you then it would be easier to point you in the right direction for the rest of your trip. What would also help to know is are you flexible on accommodation types - some of the more interesting destinations are not well equiped with plush hotels and homestays (or even hot water), if that does not bother you then it opens up more destinations to visit (as does prefered transportation choice).
Yes, everyone has different interests. I happen to like large cities, and consider Hanoi to be the most interesting of cities in VN, and Hue the dullest. Saigon is great too, except that it's very spread out and not a walker's paradise. Most tourists love the village of Hoi An because it has great shopping, restaurants and a good beach. Avoid road travel - VN highways are dangerous places!
Travelfish has plenty of good info under Destinations and Wires - first timers should not try to see all of this county in one short trip.
i've never been to vietnam. do you mind if i ask a few follow-up questions to your post? first, how many days to you think a first-time visitor would need to spend to do hanoi properly? what is it that makes hue dull, at least compared to other locations? finally, the OP has 26 days to spend. is that really not enough time for a north-to-south trip through vietnam?
thanks for the feedback. cheers.