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20 day Vietnam itinerary in August -need help!

20 day Vietnam itinerary in August -need help!

Dec 9th, 2011, 05:19 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 19
20 day Vietnam itinerary in August -need help!

I am wondering how best to spend approximately 17 days in Vietnam (plus 2 day travel time). We will be traveling with 2 kids aged 8 and 11 yrs old and flying in from NYC. We will be traveling from August 11 - August 31 in 2012.

We decided to just spend our time all in Vietnam and not go to any other SE Asian country.

Here are my tentative plans:

Nha Trang -5 nights (chance to chill out/get over jet lag). how are the beaches?

Fly from Nha Trang to Hanoi

Hanoi -6 nights

Hire a driver to take us to Halong Bay

Halong Bay -2 nights

Fly from Hanoi to Hue

Hue -4 nights (too long a stay?)

Hue return to NYC.

Too many flights?

Would love any suggestions! Open to going anywhere in Vietnam.

Thanks a lot!

Sue
Keilor18 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 05:52 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Nha Trang is totally not worth five nights! If you insist on beach time you'd be better off looking at Mui Ne.

I doubt there are any international flights out of Hue, you need to fly into Saigon and out of Hanoi, working your way north by plane or train - see seat61.com for info on the trains. You could look at spending some time in the delta for your jet-lag recovery, or I think there's a pricey island resort in that area - not my kind of thing.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 07:00 PM
  #3  
 
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What kind of travelers are you and your kids? We loved the 12 days we had in Vietnam, but think we would have wanted to "move on" -- meaning 6 days in Hanoi is probably 2 days too many, as are 4 days in Hue. Why not add some hill country (Sapa?), HoiAn and Saigon to your itinerary?
sf7307 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 07:34 PM
  #4  
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It sounds exhausting to be going on an off planes but maybe we should think about train travel as well. Would it be best to travel by train to the other areas like Sapa and Hoi An?

Thanks to you both for responding!
Keilor18 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 07:36 PM
  #5  
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One more question. Do you think it best we start off in Saigon and work our way north to Hanoi? or vice versa.
Keilor18 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 10:25 PM
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It will be much wetter in Mui Ne than Nha Trang. Plus you'll have to endure the 5 hour terrible car ride from Saigon vs. the 45 minute flight to Nha Trang. I'd go to Nha Trang, but 3 days is plenty. Fly into Saigon and out of Hanoi.

If you have the $$, I'd fly to locations where train and plane are both options. Saves a lot of time.
Bisbeee is offline  
Dec 9th, 2011, 11:04 PM
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I agree--Nha Trang is OK but only for a couple of days. There were big waves on beach while we were there in November--you have to be strong swimmers, comfortable in the ocean, to enjoy them. The kids might enjoy a trip to the islands off Nha Trang--there's a Disney-like cable line overhead that will take you to Vinh Pearl island and the amusement park and aquarium there (didn't get there, but we did go to a wacky aquarium on another nearby island). Mui Ne has a nice sandy beach with kite-surfing and jet skis, but not much else to do, or at least as far as we could see.

Rather than 6 days in Hanoi, which may be a couple of days too much, how about taking the train to Sapa for a night or two and doing some light trekking there? It'll be a break from the heat, and the villages and mountains might appeal to your kids. You can reserve your own compartment on the train (4 bunks) and do the trips overnight. Or consider doing at least an overnight trip from Hanoi to Mai Chau, where you can stay in a stilt house in an ethnic village bordered by rice fields--a really nice experience.

Four nights is probably too long in Hue, but you could do day trips from there to Hoi An, etc., for a change of pace.

Good choice to spend two nights on Halong Bay--you can kayak, visit floating villages, swim, and relax. Makes the crazy drive from Hanoi worthwhile. Not sure what the weather will be like in August (we were there in November)--hope for sunny days. I recommend the Dragon Pearl boats.
aprillilacs is offline  
Dec 10th, 2011, 12:27 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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I think your route should be from North to South will better.
First, Fly in to Ha Noi - and stay in Ha Noi for 2D1N. Then hire a car to Ha Long better by bus from Ha Noi to Ha Long because the driver stops at many points to get the passengers. It would be comfort to you and your family. Stay Ha Long Bay for 2D1N on cruise. Back to Ha Noi by bus, then fly to Da Nang and take a taxi go direct to Hoi An. You stay at Hoi An for 3D2N for discovering all of Hoi An sightseeing. Then Hoi An by bus to Nha Trang, stay at Nha Trang for 3D2N, then to Ho Chi Minh city by night train. Stay in Ho Chi Minh about 3D2N then the Mekong Delta Rivers for 2D. Then back to HCM for relax and fly back to your country. I think with this route you can have more time to rest also to discover all Viet Nam's the hiden charm!
Crystal82vn is offline  
Dec 10th, 2011, 05:35 AM
  #9  
 
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Unfortunately, none of those places are "hidden"! Vietnam ahs been well and truly discovered, and you'd need to get much further off the beaten path if you wanted "hidden charms".
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 12th, 2011, 04:46 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Just got back from 3 weeks in Vietnam. Our itinerary was:

Hanoi - 3 nights
Four nights in the northeast (Cho Ra and Cao Bang) to see a lake and waterfall
Back to Hanoi for one night
Halong Bay fro 2 nights
Back to Hanoi for 1 night
Hue for 2 nights
Hoi An for 2 nights
HCMC for 3 nights
2 nights on Mekong Delta
Back to HCMC for 1 night

I'll be posting a full report as soon as I get some sleep (just got back today). If you want more details, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]
jcasale is offline  
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