Hi, thanks for reading!
My husband and I have almost four weeks for a vacation this summer, and we're debating between Vietnam and Bali. I've been to Thailand and Cambodia before in 2006 and I loved it, but he's never been to Asia at all. The flights we've been looking at include a 26-hour stopover in Tokyo on our way from Canada so we can have a brief taste of Japan, as neither of us have ever been there, and then down to Hanoi, potentially. This gives us about three weeks actually on the ground in Vietnam (or Bali??) before leaving from Ho Chi Minh City. As you can see, we've been leaning towards (pretty much decided on) Vietnam, but I just want to be sure before we go ahead.
My question is this - when I've already been to Thailand, will Vietnam seem too similar? I know Thailand and Cambodia were worlds apart in my experience, so I guess I don't know how Vietnam will fit in. Is it possible to do both Vietnam AND Bali in that amount of time? My husband desperately needs some time to chill and relax at a resort, so we don't want to be bouncing around everywhere, but I'd also like to see something new. We could
a) do two weeks in Vietnam and THEN go to a resort in Bali for the last week
b) just stay at a resort in Vietnam and forget Bali for this time
c) cut the Vietnam end a bit shorter and see more in Bali.
Which do you recommend??
We also want to get our PADI Open Water dive certification, so that will take 3-4 days, which can be wrapped up with our week at a resort in whichever country we end up at. (I did some diving in Thailand on Koh Tao and I LOVED it). Speaking of Koh Tao, it's a tiny little island near Koh Samui and Koh Phangan - way smaller and quieter than it's two bigger neighbours. I know Nha Trang is actually quite a large city (350,000), so while it's known as the "dive capital" of Vietnam, we don't want to stay and learn there. We want small, quiet, secluded-ish - we want relaxation, the beach, diving, and us (other people at the resort are fine, since we can't afford "ultra-exclusive"), but we don't care about or want nightlife, etc. For this kind of experience, do you think Bali or Vietnam would have better options?
I know that Bali is often said to be over-touristed and full of drunk Australians, especially in July (sorry Australians - nothing personal!). It just looks beautiful and I don't want to miss out when we're already going to be in the area (sort of - I know it's kind of like popping in a trip to Florida since I'm already in Boston...)
Other than the diving/relaxing, we also like to see cultural and historical sites (temples, floating markets, natural wonders), experience some local culture, etc. As mentioned, we're not into partying or nightlife.
(To explain the urgency, my husband and I have to officially book our flights within the next couple of days for work reasons. We can fill in the details on the ground later, but we need to know where specifically we're going, at least!)
THANK YOU SO MUCH in advance for your help and insight!!
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Vietnam AND Bali for 3 weeks in July? (Scuba, adventure, relaxation)
Hi, thanks for reading!