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Third trip to Asia, first with boyfriend instead of daughter; Vietnam

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After scrapping the idea of a trip to Argentina because I'm not physically up to the hiking I wanted to do (back/hip problems), I've now got my heart set on Vietnam. This will be my third time to Asia - some of you may remember my trip with daughter Julie back in 2006 to Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia - but the first Asian trip with my boyfriend of 2 years, Tom.

Here's the rough itinerary we're considering:

Hanoi - 3 nights
Mai Chau - 2 days, 1 night
Back to Hanoi for 1 night
Leave for Halong Bay, overnight
Back to Hanoi and overnight
Fly to Hue - 3 nights
Hoi An - 3 nights
Ho Chi Minh City - 2 nights

We're debating whether to take a group tour (G Adventures) that does this exact itinerary, just slightly more rushed, or doing it independently - with help from an agency like Tonkin.

I originally wanted to go to Sapa, but I'm not up for much hiking, and the night trains aren't appealing because of my back; after much research, Mai Chau seems to fit the bill for us.

Would very much welcome any thoughts on the itinerary, which i know is very standard, or suggestions to help with the planning. The trip reports I've read here have been very helpful.

Ho Chi Minh City doesn't appeal to me much, and I'm not interested in the tunnels or Mekong Delta. Did floating markets in Thailand and a river trip in Luang Prabang. Am I short-changin the area?

Thanks,
Karen

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