I have not used this forum before but have enjoyed reading messages from others in relation to Vietnam. 4 of us - 2 adults and 2 teenagers are looking into doing an Intrepid travel "spirit of Vietnam" tour in December. My husband and I did alot of backpacking through Asia before we had children but none since. The kids have not done any more travel than to Australia so have never been to Asia. I wondered if anyone had done this tour and whether you would recommend it or any other 10 day tour. We only have about 10 days which is not alot and it has to be around Christmas unfortunately. As the kids first experience of Asia we thought it maybe easier to do a tour than to arrange independent travel which we might otherwise do. The tour includes
Ho Chi Minh, flight to Hoi An, Hue, overnight train to Hue, Hanoi and Halong Bay.
Any suggestions if you have had good or not so good experiences with this tour company would be great.
#1 joanne123 has been a member since 26/9/2009. Posts: 2
I would do this independantly, last year we did about 11 days and it was rushed to say the least, this year we are taking more time to go to places we didn't get to, but for 10 days I would have a couple of days in Saigon, half day to cu chi tunnels, wouldn't bother with Cao Dai(the other half day) and see the rest of HCMC yourself.
Fly to Danang(no airport in Hoi An )And use this as a base to go to Hoi An and My Son, over the Hai Van Pass to Hue for the Imperial City and the Royal Tombs, back to Danang and fly to Hanoi. I didn't really like Hanoi, just half day to have a wander round the lake. I would consider leaving Halong Bay for another visit, and go for a trip on the perfume pagoda instead
#2 roynolan has been a member since 29/1/2009. Posts: 48
Like roynolan above, I've not done the tour, but with only ten or eleven days, regardless of it you do it on a tour or independently, I'd be inclined to not try and cover the country north to south but pick one or the other.
Taking the north as an example, you couple fly into Hanoi , spend a couple of days there, take the night train to Sapa , spend two or three days there, night train back to Hanoi then take a two night three day tour to Ha Long Bay, followed by another day in Hanoi and you'll be done. For something like that, there's absolutely no need to do a tour, you'd still fill in the days and see a lot of stuff...
Xmas in Sapa will be COLD!
More questions, ask away.
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,706
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just to add to the above post, what I've read about sapa, nothing about the place appeals to me, even thought most people say it is a must to visit, we did 11 days south to north by train, just long enough to get a taste for the country and see the main sites. I would not reccomend the trains for overnight, and I would never use them again, which is why we are flying from place to place. I don't know how old your teenagers are, or what interests them, but I think they might be bored just being in the north. Worth doing some more research to find the places that suit you all the most.
#4 roynolan has been a member since 29/1/2009. Posts: 48
Thanks for all your replies and good ideas. Unfortunately the cost of airfares has meant we can't afford the trip this year - maybe next year. Happy travelling
#5 joanne123 has been a member since 26/9/2009. Posts: 2