Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Trying to decide between Hue/Hoi An and Phu Quoc / Dalat

Posted by alexandra13 on 15/8/2009 at 01:50


I have been reading the forum for days and have found so much good information and great ideas - thank you!

Now I have too many great ideas and am wondering if you can help with a decision... We are planning an 18 day trip to Cambodia and Vietnam from Sept 16 - Oct 3. We plan to fly in to Vietnam and back home from Cambodia. We are having trouble deciding how best to spend our time in Vietnam - though we have narrowed it down to the south so as to make crossing into Cambodia easier. We have 3-4 days that we could either spend in Hue / Hoi An or in Phu Quoc (and use one of the extra days for a day-trip from HCMC to Dalat). We had originally thought to relax on the island, but then reading about Hue and Hoi An makes us think it might be worth going up there, though admittedly it is pushing it, time-wise. The itinerary would look something like this:

1 Arrive Da Nang afternoon - bus to Hue
2 Hue
3 Hue / Travel to Hoi An
4 Hoi An
5 Flight to Saigon / Saigon
6 Saigon
7 Mekong
8 Mekong
9 Boat to Phnom Penh
10 PP
11 PP
12 Travel to Siem Reap / SR
13 SR
14 SR
15 SR
16 Battambang
17 BTT back to SR
18 Fly out of SR

So, the question is, on a trip this length, would the time be better spent flying straight in to Saigon and adding those 3-4 days to Phu Quoc after a Mekong Delta tour, then travelling by land/boat up to PP from the island? That alternative would look like this:

1 travel to Saigon
2 Saigon
3 Saigon / Dalat
4 Dalat
5 Dalat / Saigon
6 Mekong
7 Mekong
8 Phu Quoc
9 Phu Quoc
10 Phu Quoc
11 Travel to PP
12 PP
13 PP / SR
14 SR
15 SR
16 SR
17 SR
18 Fly out of SR

Thanks so much for any suggestions you might have!

#1 alexandra13 has been a member since 14/8/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by chrispyrolls on 15/8/2009 at 03:17

Hi Alexandra,

Arriving in Hoi An in mid Sept may not be the best time at all to lay on the beach -

On the other hand Phu Quoc will be much drier, maybe the odd shower but deffo warmer... Rach Gia gives you an idea

page down a little on both to get seasonal averages and precip...

A very weather-centric view of things for you there...

#2 chrispyrolls has been a member since 2/11/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 197
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Posted by somtam2000 on 15/8/2009 at 09:33 admin

SO, you're looking at commencing your trip in Saigon or Da Nang -- right?

If the later, then I'd def go see Hoi An , then return to Da Nang and fly to Saigon, if the former, I'd stick to the south and save Hoi An for another trip.

Also, bear in mind that if you go into the Delta, you can get the ferry to Phu Quoc Island rather than flying from Saigon, and then when you're done cross via the coastal border crossing into Kep in Cambodia, from where you can head north to Phnom Penh and onto Siem Reap.

See this story for details on the coastal route (you'll need to read the story backwards)

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,931
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Posted by violets on 16/8/2009 at 10:10

Hue is my favourite place in Vietnam, though I generally avoid the tourist area and stay on the citadel side of the river. For me, seeing the old citadel and a couple of the tombs and walking around different areas of the town gives a more "Vietnamese' experience than lying on a beach in a resort, although the town market on Phu Quoc is interesting. If you come from somewhere where there are no beaches you might feel quite different about this.

September is wet season on Phu Quoc and probably not a great time to be there anyway and, unless you're going to Rach Gia, takes a fair time to get to from the Mekong. There is a flight from Saigon.

#4 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 153

Posted by alexandra13 on 20/8/2009 at 00:12

Thank you for all the helpful replies! I think we will try not to do too much and will stick to the south for this trip and save Hoi An, Hue and the rest of the north for next trip!

#5 alexandra13 has been a member since 14/8/2009. Posts: 6

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