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Struggling with SE Asia Itinerary for November

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I've been thinking for months about a trip to SE Asia in November (first half), but am struggling to get my mind settled on an itinerary and have had limited time to research. We are an active couple (50 and 60) and love great food, culture (but not tons of museums), and hiking/outdoors stuff. Will have 12 nights on the ground...I know that ideally would probably mean 3 locations, but I'm willing to move a bit more and/or miss a few things and am focused on likely 4 spots for this trip. This will be our first trip to SE Asia, but we are experienced travelers (China, India, Peru, Argentina, Africa - TZ and SA, over a dozen trips to Europe, etc...). I feel ok in sorting the planning...but am hoping for some thoughts/insights from others here to help me finally choose a general itinerary to work with...I've been jumping all over the place on this one and need to commit!

I was originally planning on Vietnam alone or with Siem Reap, but that included time in Hoi An/Hue. The more I read, it seems that the first half of November may not be a great time for Central Vietnam. Thoughts?

Assuming that we skip Central VN, I am toying with a few thoughts and roughly 3 nights in each spot although a bit flexible on that - I know many folks say 4n for REP, but we don't feel we need to see all the major sights there. And, while I love the IDEA of Halong Bay, I am not sure we have time and keep hearing mixed feedback on it. Is it a "don't miss?"

Ideas: Hanoi, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, HCM. OR, something like Hanoi, Siem Reap, Song Saa (or other Cambodia beach stay or river trip of some sort), HCM. I think we'd like something like Sapa, but I'm concerned will be too chilly by then? Have also toyed with Thailand but hubby has been to BKK and we are likely to pair that with Myanmar/Burma on another trip.

I'd appreciate any input! Thanks!!

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