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vietnam- should I go to the beach?

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at xmas my family of 4 (kids in university) are going to vietnam. our itinerary looks great (hue/hoi an, hanoi /halong bay, and luang prabang. lots of adventures are planned!

we swapped luang prabang in and HCM city out as we felt there was more to do in LP (we will go hiking, elephant experience, etc) and are not city people.

however flights have changed since our initial plan, and it is now much more expensive to fly return from toronto to accommodate this plan.

It is much cheaper now to fly in to HCM and out of Hanoi, and this would let us start in the south, and probably go to PHO QUOC to the beach. this means leaving something out, and it would have to be Hoi An and Hue.

The new plan will save us $800 each in the return airfare alone from toronto (ie, if we do the beach instead of Hue and Hoi an we save $3600 in airfare!). Can anyone suggest an amazing place to stay at the beach? Is is worth giving up Hue and Hoi An, or should we just do it anyway and damn the extra cost? We are not really beach people, but if there is somewhere stunning, for a couple days at the beginning to relax its not the end of the world either....
or are the beaches just ok, and we shouldnt wast any of our precious time (we only have 2 weeks altogether) on just another beach.....

thanks in advance!

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