I really need to keep to a 3 week trip but so far have come up with the following - 25 nights plus flying time. Any ideas on where I can trim it back?
I am not a trekker but a keen photorapher so should I drop the Sapa section and save 3 nights or drop the Delta section instead?
Any help much appreciated.
Fly to Hanoi arrive evening spend 2n,Halong Bay 1n, back to Hanoi 1n, then overnight train to Lao Cai/Sapa, Sapa 1n then overnight train to Hanoi fly to Hue 2n, Hoi An 3n, fly to Nha Trang 3n, fly to Phu Quoc via HCMC, Phu Quoc 4n, fly to HCMC 3n (including a day trip to Cu Chi tunnels), Chao Doc 1n, Can Tho 1n, back to HCMC fly out 9pm.
Currently you've got for a 21 night trip at least 24 nights:
Hanoi 2 nights
Ha Long Bay 1 night
Hanoi 1 night
enroute to sapa 1 night
Sapa 1 night
enroute to hanoi 1 night
Hue 2 nights
Hoi An 3 nights
Nha Trang 3 nights
Phu Quoc 4 nights
HCM 3 nights
Chau Doc 1 night
Can Tho 1 night
Phew! So where are you going on holiday to get over the above! :-)
Here's a couple of things that stand out:
1) First, why are you going to Chau Doc? It's out of the way - most people go there enroute to Cambodia... I'm not saying it's a dump -- I quite like it, but it's quite a detour...
2) Fly one way to Phu Quoc, but go the other way overland -- that way you save the time spent having to loop through Saigon. So for example go:
HCN ->fly ->PQ ->overland ->Can Tho ->overland HCM
3) If you've got 4 nights on PQ you don't need 3 nights in Nha Trang. The beaches on PQ are FAR better and you can dive there as well (I'm assuming that's why you've got a long stay in NT).
4) If you're a keen photographer, then I think you'd find Sapa worthwhile, as the people and the scenery there are, well, photogenic! Many opt for the overnight each way and one night there, so your time there isn't unusual.
If all the above fails, just take a longer holiday ;-)
Thanks for your prompt feedback.
So if I drop Chau Doc thats 1 night any other ideas?
I thought about going overland 1 way to Pho Quoc after I posted or do I also drop Can Tho and fly both ways?
I have opted for 3 nights in Nha Trang for some more downtime or do I skip it altogether?
The start of the trip is messy but I can't see a way around it if we want to visit both Halong and Sapa.