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Vietnam forum

15 day itinerary- advice please

Posted by LauraLeaf on 11/10/2016 at 16:48

Can I please have thoughts/advice on my 15 day itinerary from North to Central Vietnam. I found a travel blog that suggested this itinerary and it includes all the places in Vietnam I would love to visit.



Day 1- Flight into Hanoi early morning- spend day and night exploring Hanoi.


Day 2-5 - Depart for 2 day 1 night cruise on Bai Tu Long Bay with Paloma Cruise.
- Get back to Hanoi around 5pm on day 5- grab some food then get night train to Sapa for 2 day 1 night trek and homestay.
-Night train back to Hanoi evening of day 5.


Day 6- Arrive back in Hanoi and spend the day doing some more exploring/relaxing.
-in the evening get the night train to Dong Hoi .



Day 7- Arrive in Dong Hoi and travel to Phong Nha at our leisure.
-Boat tour of Phong Nha Cave in the afternoon.
- Stay the night in Phong Nha.


Day 8- Organised tour of national park to include Paradise and Dark Cave.
- Stay the night in Phong Nha.


Day 9- Early morning bus/train to Hue .
- Spend the day and night in Hue.


Day 10 and 11- Easy rider tour from Hue to Hoi An via Ho Chi Minh Trailincluding a night in a homestay in P'rao. On day 11 see sights such as Marble Mountain, My Khe beach and My Son.
Arrive in Hoi An in the evening of day 11.


Day 12-14- 3 days of chill time in Hoi An wandering around the ancient town, hiring bikes, going to the beach.

Day 15- Flight out of Da Nang.


Like I said this itinerary is ideal in the way that it includes all the places I would love to visit but I am slightly concerned it will be too rushed. What is everyone's thoughts?

If I had to miss one thing/place out what would it be? My thought had been perhaps Sapa as the thought of the night train there and back seems a lot and I could add those couple of days to Hue and Hoi An?

The fear of "missing out" is there as I do not know if I would manage a trip like this again! If people think the itinerary sounds doable then I will be delighted


Thanks in advance for your help

#1 LauraLeaf has been a member since 5/7/2016. Posts: 6
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Posted by daawgon on 12/10/2016 at 10:57

What time of year is this?

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,155
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Posted by LauraLeaf on 12/10/2016 at 11:31

Sorry should have included that.
Mid March-early April 2017.

#3 LauraLeaf has been a member since 5/7/2016. Posts: 6
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Posted by tigershoot on 16/10/2016 at 14:10

Just to cram more in!! After getting back from Sapa on the overnight train, instead of more exploration of Hanoi , you could get the 6am train from Hanoi down to Ninh Binh which gets you there at 0830. Then it's a shortish taxi ride to Trang An grottoes. Pretty sure there must be somewhere there (it's a big ticket office/restaurant area place) that you could leave your bags - you certainly couldn't take them on the small boats.

We stayed in a hotel (Mua Cave Ecolodge) for a few nights and used that as a base, but I can't see any reason why you couldn't see the grottoes and explore the wonderful area there. Taxis are cheap and at Mua Cave you can pay to go in and climb the steps to one of the best views in Vietnam. Then have dinner and catch the night train to Dong Hoi. Just a suggestion.

Phong Nha - we stayed at Phong Nha Lakehouse and hired a good scooter from there. The roads are quiet and we explored Paradise and Phong Nha cave ourselves. For the latter, just go into town and wait around the ticket office until others arrive and the girl there will make you up into a party of about eight, sort out who pays what and away you go to the boat. That, and riding to Paradise Cave ourselves saved big money.

From Hue we used Le Family Riders (they are excellent) to get to Hoi Ann. They must do overnight trips I would have thought - we used their one day trip down to Hoi Ann.

#4 tigershoot has been a member since 24/2/2015. Posts: 18


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