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Suggestions for time for Vietnam itinerary, please

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Hi SEA experts,

DH and I, newly retired, will be taking a Viking river cruise in Burma, beginning Dec. 17 in BKK.

We've decided to spend some time in north and central VN before the river cruise. (We have been to HCMC.) I know where we want to go, but am at a loss as to what would be a reasonable amount of time to spend in each place. We are not overly constrained with time limitations.

My early thoughts:
--Fly into Hanoi, spend 4 nights there. See museums, Old Quarter, Temple of Literature
--Fly to Hue, 4 nights - citadel, tombs, day trip to DMZ for DH.
--car & driver to Hoi An, 3 nights - old quarter architecture, temples
--car & driver to Danang , 2 nights - Cham ruins.
--fly Danang to Hanoi, Hanoi to BKK.

I know we are skipping some wonderful places (Ha Long Bay, Sapa, etc.), but weather may be an issue in Dec.

What do you think about the time I've allocated? Any other sights not to be missed?

I'm thinking of contacting Tonkin Tours to arrange the transportation. Any experience using them? I have seen them mentioned favorably on this forum.

Can I apply for our visas before I know our exact arrival date in VN?

Any comments or suggestions will be much appreciated.

--Kathy

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