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Vietnam forum

Itinerary Assistance/Recs

Posted by a114 on 18/2/2009 at 08:50

Me and 3 friends will be traveling to Vietnam in May. We'll be arriving in HCMC late on the 2nd and have a flight back home, also leaving from HCMC, on the 10th. That gives us about 7 days to see as much as we can.

Right now the plan is to travel up the country via bus and train then fly from Hanoi back to HCMC. Our current plan is as follows:

May 2nd - arrive in HCMC at 23:00
May 3rd - 8pm over night open tour bus to Nha Trang
May 4th - arrive in Nha Trang at 6am
May 4th - 7pm over night open tour bus to Hoi An
May 5th - arrive in Hoi An at 6am
May 6th - 8am open tour bus to Hue
May 6th - arrive in Hue at 1pm
May 7th - overnight train to Hanoi
May 8th - arrive in Hanoi
May 9th - fly to HCMC
May 10th - fly home

It's a busy schedule and only gives us a minimal amount of time at each location. Would there be a better/faster way to travel between each place?

Right now, everything is up in the air. The only must visit place on our list is Hoi An. Anybody have an itinerary they'd like to share that would work with our timeframe?

Thanks!

#1 a114 has been a member since 18/2/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by somtam2000 on 18/2/2009 at 16:59 admin

Hi a114,

That's a very ambitious schedule -- you'll be needing a holiday to get over it!

As it stands you're spending about half of the 7 days in transport so I'd say either reduce the number of places you're seeing, or fly domestically for most of the legs.

Vietnam is a big place and it takes ages to get around. In 7 days you could see Saigon, a couple of nights in the Delta and perhaps Nha Trang -- but not more.

If you want to see Hoi An , then after arrival, fly to Da Nang and come back south - Hoi An - Nha Trang, Saigon. You could do that in 7 days, but even that would be a rush.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by a114 on 20/2/2009 at 14:05

Thanks for the advice! I prematurely posted out itinerary as we have now decided on a completely different and much more sane plan. After some consideration, we've decided to limit ourselves to 3 destinations, HCMC, Phu Quoc, and either Dalat or Hoi An . 3 nights and 2 days in HCMC, 2 days and 2 nights in Dalat or Hoi An, and 3 days and 3 nights in Phu Quoc.

A few questions:

Which would you recommend, Dalat or Hoi An?

What's the best and cheapest way to get to and from Dalat from HCMC? I know the bus is the cheapest way, but 7 hours might be a bit much. I hear that you can hire a private driver and get to the city in 2.5 hours for about $65US. Is this true?

What's the best and cheapest way to get to and from Hoi An from HCMC? I'm thinking an overnight sleeper train to Da Nang would be our best bet, assuming there is one.

Thanks in advance!

#3 a114 has been a member since 18/2/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by Archmichael on 21/2/2009 at 08:57

Hello, a114:
As Somtam said, your first itinerary sounded pretty exhausting. Because of distances, and my personal preference for having time to be places vs. trying to get to places, I would vote for Da Lat over Hoi An.....simply due to proximity to the other places you've listed: Sai Gon and Phu Quoc.

Have fun!

#4 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by Archmichael on 21/2/2009 at 08:59

Hello, a114:
As Somtam said, your first itinerary sounded pretty exhausting. Because of distances, and my personal preference for having time to be places vs. trying to get to places, I would vote for Da Lat over Hoi An.....simply due to proximity to the other places you've listed: Sai Gon and Phu Quoc.

Have fun!

#5 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by Stigron on 22/2/2009 at 08:25

A114,

We're about to do our 3rd Vietnam trip. And we've learn't from experience. don't try to see too much.

In seven days I'd stigk to the HCMC area. Get familiar with it and enjoy it.

If you're travelling at night all the time you'll be tired and cranky for the day that you are visiting places. Thats not a holiday. VietNam is a big place and the hot humid climate makes hard travelling very exhausting.

#6 Stigron has been a member since 15/2/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 28

Posted by DLuek on 25/2/2009 at 09:50 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi,

I'm in Hoi An now, and although I haven't yet been to Da Lat , Hoi An has been my favorite stop in my 3 weeks here so far. You can fly from Saigon to Da Nang (near Hoi An) on Jetstar for around U$30 each way, so if you do it that way it will cost you less time than a train or bus to Da Lat will. I hear Da Lat is beautiful too, though it looks like I'm not going to make it there. Hoi An, I can say, is quite a place - it's a gourgeous French-Chinese influenced artsy town on a picturesque river with really friendly locals and a great beach. The nearby daytrips of Marble Mountain and My Son are well worth it as well.

Whatever you decide, have fun!

#7 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,173
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Posted by a114 on 25/2/2009 at 13:00

Thanks for all the help! This website has been great for helping plan my trip. And thanks for recommending Jetstar. I didn't realize they had such cheap flights to Da Lat. It looks like a good option.

I'm definitely leaning towards Hoi An . Mostly because I'd love to try out some of the tailors and because we would end up in Hoi An for the monthly Full Moon Festival. Is there anyone out there whose been in Hoi An for the festival and would like to share their experience? Also, any decent tailor recs?

#8 a114 has been a member since 18/2/2009. Posts: 4


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