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Vietnam forum

Itinerary check, please

Posted by Lodestar on 22/9/2009 at 16:18


Was wondering, if someone could check the following itinerary and make any suggestions/recommendations/changes, please!

day 1 - boat from PP to Chau Doc
day 2 - Chau Doc to Phu Quoc (daoble in one day?)
day 3-5 diving, hiking and relaxing in Phu Quoc
day 6 - make our way to Can Tho
day 7 - to HCMC through the Delta (reasonable in one day? how would you do it?)
day 8 - HCMC
day 9 - HCMC and Chu Chi tunnels (night train to Danang)
day 10 - 11 - Hoi An
day 12 - Hue (night train to Hanoi)
day 13 - Hanoi
day 14-15 - Halong bay
day 16 - Hanoi

That's pretty tight, i am aware of that, but i don't really have a heart to drop anything :( if you had, to, what would it be?
And - i know it's a tough question, but if you had to choose between Sapa/Lao Cai and the Delta, which would it be? And would one full day be enough to get at least a bit of an idea about Sapa?

Any suggestions are more than welcome!
Thank you so much for taking the time to think with me :)

#1 Lodestar has been a member since 7/9/2009. Posts: 19

Posted by somtam2000 on 22/9/2009 at 17:19 admin

Hi Lodestar,

Start with a question:
What time of year?

A couple of thoughts:
Chau Doc to Phu Quoc in one hit is unlikely unless there is a new afternoon boat running. More likely you'll need to overnight at Rach Gia and get the boat in the morning. This means you'll have a half day less on the island.

Rach Gia to Can Tho is no problem, then I'd say do the floating markets (that being your Delta experience) from there and kick on to Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon. If you decide to skip the Delta, fly from PQ to HCM.

Cu Chi, I'd skip and spend the day sightseeing in Saigon -- there is a lot to see in the city and you have enough time moving around already!.

Skip Hue and get the night train from Da Nang straight to Hanoi.

With the Delta Vs Sapa question, if you're going to PQ anyway, then you're already in the Delta - you certainly don't have time to fit more in.

Really, unless you're really set on PQ, I'd skip it totally. Go bus from PP to Saigon then northwards and give the extra days to Sapa and maybe fit Hue in.

Above is perhaps a bit ruthless, but you're trying to cover a lot of miles in very limited time - VN is a big place and getting around slower than you may anticipate.

More questions, ask away!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,939
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Posted by Lodestar on 22/9/2009 at 18:20

Thank you so much!

Start with and answer: October :)
We are not so dead set on PQ, however, we are really really looking forward to doing some diving. And as far as i understand it comes down to a choice between Nha Trang and PQ, out of which PQ seems so much more appealing.
The Sapa vs. Delta question actually rose out of a thought that maybe we'd end up skipping PQ cause of the weather or something, catch a direct bus to Saigon from PP and then would have to choose, whether or not to do the Delta. So, just thinking if it would be wise to skip the Delta and do Sapa for a day or two instead.
Cu Chi is a must for my military-history-fan boyfriend, so can't skip that :( Skipping Hue, however, is something i've been thinking about... I guess the idea of the boat trip from PP just seems really appealing, and maybe i'm concentrating too much on that, thus spending too much time on something that's not really worth it, compared to many other things. Is the boat trip as special as the Lonely Planet and other sources crack it up to be? Probably would save quite a bit of time just taking the bus to Saigon, doing a two-day tour of the Delta and diving in Nha Trang for a few days. However, as far as i understand and have read/seen, the Nha Trang area is one big concrete resort and not really a white sand-blue water heaven PQ is supposed to be... Would love a half-day on a pretty beach somewhere between the dives as well. Where?

And yes, i do realise that it's pushing it quite a bit, but as i said, don't have the heart to skip anything. Would love it, if i could afford (time-wise, mainly) to spend a month or two in the area, but life is what it is :( And just trying to make the best out of what i have.

sorry for the extremely long post :)
and thanks again for taking the time...

#3 Lodestar has been a member since 7/9/2009. Posts: 19

Posted by KazAussie on 23/9/2009 at 15:19

Lodestar, In October you may be able to go diving off Cham Island near Hoi An, that might save you some time. We were planning a dive there but have changed to PQ because we won't be there until December.

You can check out the Cham Island Diving here.

#4 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by Lodestar on 23/9/2009 at 19:31

Thank you so much, KazAussie!

Have been trying to get some info on diving in Vietnam in October, but not much out there. I get that it is a shaky time weather wise, so going all the way to Phu Quoc does seem a bit uncertain.
Do you know if there is any other way of getting to the island besides the 2-day trip offered by the dive club? Any chance of going there on our own or isn't there much of a point?

Thanks a lot for the suggestion!

#5 Lodestar has been a member since 7/9/2009. Posts: 19

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