will be arriving in Hanoi in the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd of June
will be leaving around the 9th
Halong Bay is a definate, but will we fit in a trip to Sapa as well?
Is this too much?:
Tuesday, 2 June 2009 Kuala Lumpur - Hanoi
Wednesday, 3 June 2009 Hanoi - Halong Bay
Thursday, 4 June 2009 Halong Bay
Friday, 5 June 2009 Halong Bay - Hanoi
Saturday, 6 June 2009 Hanoi (dep)
Sunday, 7 June 2009 Sapa (arr)
Monday, 8 June 2009 Sapa (dep)
Monday, 9 June 2008 Hanoi (arr)
Or should we forget about Sapa and just chill out in Hanoi for a few days instead
#1 Doggins has been a member since 15/4/2009. Posts: 5
Hanoi is so interesting that I would skip Sapa - just too time consuming for such a short trip. A friend of mine went to Halong Bay for just a day recently - he said it was great. I recently spent 8 days in Hanoi (only broken up by 24 hours in Mai Chau - sort of a flat Sapa - very beautiful there.)
#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,111
I see nothing wrong with going to both Sapa and Halong. I did both (but not on the same trip) through the Sinh Café tours and was completely satisfied with their service and rates.
In my opinion, however, Sapa is only worth it if you want to do some of the trekking. The city itself is not fascinating, but the environs are definitely worth it, even though I was not in shape and some of the Vietnamese laughed in my face to see me huffing and puffing through certain areas. They are an unkind but honest people.
#4 kerouac2 has been a member since 3/4/2009. Posts: 5
Great to go to both Halong and Sapa. I have some information for your trip. It takes about 3hours from Hanoi to Halong( or Halong to Hanoi) by car or the same one.It takes about 8hours from Hanoi station to Laocai station by train and then, you must travel by car or motorbike in 2hours and ahalf from Laocai station to Sapa. everybody usually takes night train for Hanoi-laoca for saving time trip.
#5 minhnguyen16051986 has been a member since 21/4/2009. Posts: 13
It's possible. And a nice time of year to be visiting.
Day 1 & 2 Ha Long Bay (stay overnight on the boat, it's a long drive for a day trip)
Day 3 & 4 Hanoi (Night 4 take the overnight train to Lao Cai)
Day 5 & 6 Sapa (Night 6 take the overnight train back to Hanoi
Day 7 Hanoi.
#6 tingers has been a member since 9/4/2009. Posts: 36
I'm also against rushing up to SaPa, just because it's there!
If you're not that into cities, you could always try adding another day or 2 to the Halong Bay excursion and go beyond the concrete jungle of Ca Ba. On this, check out Travelfish's..
- - - -
An alternative is as 'daawgon' suggests, go stay in a white Tai stilt house at Mau Chai. From there, you can go walkabout around the villages, and across the rice paddies.
Hi Doggins, I recommend
Tuesday, 2 June 2009 Kuala Lumpur - Hanoi (takes 4 hours so if you arrive in the afternoon, you can enjoy a stroll around the old quarter and if you had not done so already, you can book your tour for Halong Bay and buy your train tickets to Lao Cai for Sapa .)
Wednesday, 3 June 2009 Hanoi - Halong Bay 1 night on boat
Thursday, 4 June 2009 Halong Bay 1 night on Cat Ba
Friday, 5 June 2009 Halong Bay - Hanoi (dep) - Lao Cai (you should be back from your Halong Bay tour by 4-5 PM. Immediately board a night train to save on hotel)
Saturday, 6 June 2009 Sapa - Do a long trek to Ta Phin or Ta Van on your own
Sunday, 7 June 2009 Sapa - You can do Tram Ton Pass by tour/motorbike rental or if you are
too tired, do Cat Cat village
Monday, 8 June 2009 Sapa - Lao Cai - Hanoi - wake up real early to trek to Cat Cat village or just chill. There are plenty of excellent eats. Board the night train back to Hanoi
Monday, 9 June 2008 Hanoi (arr) You will arrive real early. While I would recommend a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, I reckon it will be too much of a hassle with luggage. So book an early flight home. 9:30 am onwards flights should be safe.
I've did this on this timetable and trust me, it's no rush. Visit both Sapa and Halong Bay, and next time, you can go to Saigon instead of Hanoi.
Do not sacrifice the Ha Long Bay trip and with the time investment to get there and back you definately want to stay 2 nights and 3 days - I don't care what anyone else says. I would highly recommend looking into Indochina Sails as they are the first and I think only one of two companies that go to Bai Tu Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is so crowded, that you will really want to go the other direction, 'off the beaten track', as they say.
Sa Pa, I would go for sure if I were you. Reasons are many but let me just tell you a couple. Sa Pa is getting to be a tourist trap really quick and the local officials realize it and are trying to curb the growth, but it is almost a loosing battle. Get there while you can before everything gets out of control - the sooner the better.
The trick with Sa Pa is that everyone arrives in Lao Cai at various times in the morning, drives to Sa Pa, which is not 2.5 hours by the way, closer to an hour actually, and then they spend the day in the valley 'treking'. The next day is normally spent driving to a particular village for 'market day' and seeing some other sights before heading back to Lao Cai for the train. The key is to know which ethnic minority is having it's market day on what day. Conveniently they are on different days - but by knowing this information you can better plan what days you want to be in Sa Pa.
#12 anhluc has been a member since 15/5/2009. Posts: 32
Which Singcafe did you use them?
May i have website to reffer.
#13 susanhaokhan has been a member since 9/6/2009. Posts: 3
There are several 'copy' Sinh Cafe tourist agencies. To find the real one, go here:
PLEASE be very careful before you book a Halong Bay tour with any travel agent who is not in charge of their own boats.
I think Sinh Cafe is a good travel agent. But, Sinh Cafe does not have its own boats, it merely sells trips on someone else's boats.
If you want a good experience for Halong Bay, go ONLY to any of the many boat operator websites.
I have used, and enjoyed, Columbus Tours - they have their own boats, that's all they do. Go look at: