Hello! My boyfriend and I have scored teaching jobs in HCMCity and will be there for around a year. We have two weeks up our sleeves before we start teaching so we thought we would spend that time checking out North Vietnam as we can explore South easily from where we will be based.
Basically we want it to be as relaxed as possible as we are in need of a holiday but any information you can give me on the following would be GREAT
1) Suggested itinerary for the North for two weeks including where to stay, what to see, how long to stay for.
2) What is the weather like at this time of year?
3) What are good tour companies to book short trips with for Halong Bay etc..
4) Something perhaps romantic???
5) Any other info about holidaying in the North and any info about living in Vietnam would be great
#1 sista has been a member since 10/3/2008. Posts: 3
You obviously want to arrive in HCMC on time, so you should know it takes 30-40 hours to travel by LAND between Ha Noi and HCMC.
I suggest Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa, Ha Noi and Hue will give you great insight into Vietnamese culture and lifestyles in the 'real' VietNam. Lifestyles of Ha Noi and HCMC are not much different than other great cities in the world.
Sequencing is important in your travels, especially when you use rail.
Once you have settled your Ha Long Bay tour - I recommend Tropical Sails - this will also be the romantic item as Tropical uses 15-cabin boats and have female staff - you should BOOK YOUR SA PA RAIL TICKET BEFORE LEAVING for HLB by buying your ticket to Lao Cai (Sa Pa's station) from the rail station at 120 La Duan IN PERSON.
This will cut your costs (travel agents in VietNam have more tricks than most) as well as allowing you to select your class of travel. Lao Cai trains leave around 22.00H BUT YOU SHOULD BE THERE EARLY and it will be safe to book your travel on the evening of your return from HLB.
Don't be surprised if you cannot buy a return ticket, you can easily get a ticket in Sa Pa.
Ha Long Bay will take 2 days; Sa Pa will take 4-5 days; Ha Noi will take 2 days.
After seeing this part of the country, an overnight sleeper train will take you to HUE - the former imperial capital of VietNam. YOU SHOULD BOOK YOUR TRAVEL 2-3 days before travelling - even if from Sa Pa.
Hue can be seen in a day. If your train arrives in the AM, you can check into your hotel and then catch a half-day tour to see the city's essentials. Buses leave for Hoi An around 12.00H (Sinh and Mei Linh are best) where you will arrive around 17.00H.
A few days in Hoi An are followed by a trip to Da Nang where you can fly to HCMC or take the rail to HCMC. Buses south leave from Hoi An - 30 hours in a bus is no fun!
#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349