Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

3 weeks in the nam.what do u guys think

Posted by hotdiggeydog2 on 3/5/2008 at 10:33

Hi all

My lovely wife and I are going to the nam for 23 days and doing a bit of research on thorn tree and travelfish have tried to come up with a it goes

HCMC 2 days
Mekong Delta - Hire a motorbike and cruise around for 3 days
Travel HCMC to Dalat 1 Day (Bus)
Dalat 1 day
Travel Dalat to Nha Thrang 1 day (Bus)
Nha Thrang 2 Days to Dive.I really need to dive!!!!
Travel Nha Thrang to Danang then to Hoi An (Fly)
Hoi An 2 days
Travel Hoi An to Hue 1 day (car)
Hue 1 day
Travel Hue to Hanoi 1 day (Fly)
Hanoi 1 Day
Sapa 3 Days
Halong Bay 2 Days
Travel Hanoi to HCMC 1 Day

ffffeeewwwwww..I'm puffed already

I am ready for some constructive critisim and really would appreciate any advice. Have I bitten off more than I can chew......etc

Thanks in advance for any input and for spending your valuable time helping me.

Cheers and all that jazz


#1 hotdiggeydog2 has been a member since 3/5/2008. Posts: 6

Posted by CatBa on 3/5/2008 at 21:12

Posted from within Vietnam.

Actually 3 weeks is just the right amount of time to get a very good sense of VN. Visiting the Mekong adds to ths, something many visitors miss.

First of all, remember that the time / distance ratio is way different in VietNam with everything taking longer, much longer to achieve than it might in your home country. Your timings are a little off.

HCMC 2 days - [about right if you are not travelling from North America (jet lag)]

Mekong Delta - Hire a motorbike and cruise around for 3 days [please note you will have minimal insurance or even none - if your steed is over 75cc which is the maximum you can legally drive without a VN licence. Effectively it means you have no coverage for moving offences. Bring your own substantial lock and buy chain link over here from Dan Sinh Market in HCMC. Motorcycle owners are known to 'steal' their own bikes from unsuspecting tourists and then expect you to buy a new one! Have the rental agent point to any damage you find on the motorbike and take a picture of him and the bike to avoid getting false claims. Get COPIES of ownership, insurance, etc.]

Travel HCMC to Dalat 1 Day (Bus) - [Use Mai Linh {HCMC: 929-2929 - Hai Ba Trung and Lamson Square near Caravelle/Park Hyatt area} or Sinh (De Tham Street). Actually it will take you 6 hours. Remember to book onward bus travel 24 hours ahead.

Travel Dalat to Nha Trang 1 day (Bus) - actually three hours is all it takes ON THE NEW HIGHWAY, Via Thap Cham it takes 6 hours.
Nha Thrang 2 Days to Dive.I really need to dive!!!! Jeremy What nots dive school has complaints about overcrowded boats, busy, minimal attention. Check out the several dive outfits in NT.

Travel Nha Trang to Da Nang then to Hoi An (Fly)
Hoi An 2 days

Cheaper accommodation located on Hai Ba Trung Street, Hue

Travel Hoi An to Hue 1 day (car) - Use Mai Linh Express, they only take 4 hours,
Hue 1 day - You will NEED 1.5 days

Travel Hue to Hanoi 1 day (Fly) - given the airport access times, etc you might as well take a sleeper train and save money on travel and air. Overnight train takes 12 hours and will get you into Ha Noi by next morning.

Immediately book your HL cruise and when you know your return date IMMEDIATELY book your Sa Pa train for the evening of your return to Ha Noi from HLB. This arrangement saves time as you have to book rail tickets 2 days AHEAD of Sa Pa travel. Visit Ha Noi in between side excursions.

Recommended cruises: Smaller boat {15 cabins} <>; Larger boat {Over 40 cabins} < >

Hotel in Ha Noi? Good luck. NOT Ha Noi Blue Sky OR Lucky Eden OR several others! You should make sure you can leave excess baggage there whilst you visit HLB


Prices rise on Fridays and Saturdays - AVOID QUEEN HOTEL as there are multiple reports of theft from baggage. Also Mountain View Hotel has shabby record.

You will have to buy return portion of ticket in Sa Pa, most likely.

Return time in Ha Noi early around 05.00H.

There are VietNam Airlines and Pacific Airlines flights to HCMC - about 90 minutes.

#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

Posted by somtam2000 on 3/5/2008 at 21:27 admin

you're touching base in a lot of places -- allowing just one day in Hanoi seems a bit harsh -- I'd suggest skipping Da Lat and adding the saved time to Hanoi.

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,651
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Posted by CatBa on 4/5/2008 at 03:08

Posted from within Vietnam.

A stop in Da Lat is a good place to take a break - better to take a day off the Mekong.

HCMC >> Mui Ne >> Nha Trang is about 13 hours by bus whereas via Da Lat, the time drops to around 9 hours/

#4 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

Posted by daawgon on 7/5/2008 at 23:46

Recently I did 24 days (south to north also). If you fly open-jaw you can avoid flying back to Saigon. I flew Asiana from the US and it didn't cost extra (into Saigon and out of Hanoi). Hanoi is a real gem, and you need at least 2 more days there. I did not do Dalat or Nha Trang or Halong. Sapa and Hoi An are the other 2 gems in VN. I was not terribly impressed with Hue (it's very nice looking and all - I found it a tad boring). I think you'll love the north much more than the south, as I did.

#5 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,130
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Posted by HoChiMihBob on 14/5/2008 at 13:48

Posted from within Vietnam.


If you go to the Can Tho (Meking) a great place to stay is a Homestay called Minh Viet.

It is a little out of the city, but is great place to stay, it is peaceful, clean and is situated right on a river.

When I went to the Can Tho, this hotel made the whole trip so much better, I really recomment it.

245/1 P. Thuong Thanh
Q. Cai Rang
Tp. Can Tho
telephone: 0986 767726

Also if you have time Mui Ne near Phan Thiet is worth a visit.
The website
has a nice write up on it under the heading Day Trips.

#6 HoChiMihBob has been a member since 14/5/2008. Posts: 2

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