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Itinerary Advice: Vietnam in May or June

Itinerary Advice: Vietnam in May or June

Sep 8th, 2019, 03:33 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Itinerary Advice: Vietnam in May or June

Hi, everyone,

It will be our first visit to Vietnam. We'll have 10 nights. We prefer to spend a minimum of 3 nights in each location, so right now we're thinking Hanoi, Hoi An, and one other place (and possibly an overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay, if that is recommended).

Any thoughts on a third destination that will be a nice complement/contrast to Hanoi and Hoi An?

We've been to SE Asia a couple of times before (Thailand, Cambodia, Bali). We like culture, history, good food, cities, hiking. Night life is not important to us.

Thanks very much in advance!
johnny99 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 11:44 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,557
Hanoi has so much to see and do you could easily spend 4-5 days there ( we have often spent a lot longer.). It would take two, very full days, just to cover the main sights.

I confess I am not a fan of HaLong Bay, but even if I were, with ten days to play with, I doubt I would spend two of those in an overnight trip to the bay. Ninh Binh is arguably more accessible and does of the opportunity for a little hiking, cycling and boating amongst the karst scenery which is very similar to that round Ha Long and Bai Tu Long Bays. Another option to experience rural Vietnam would be a lodge or homestay in the Mai Chau Valley ( not the main town) . Beautiful scenery .

Hoi An is very quaint and, as a result very crowded, mostly with tour groups from mainland China. Great food options and better to explore in the heat of midday when th tour groups have gone back to laze on the beach at their hotels in Da Nang, China Beach Etc.

Hue, a couple of hours away is another option. Loads of history both ancient and modern, some of the best food in Vietnam. The Imperial citadel and tombs are amazing and can easily be visited by bike.

Yet another option is Phong Nha Ke Be, home to the largest cave system in the world. We visited by overnight train from Hue and then got another overnight train to Hanoi. Te train can save actual sightseeing time and is an experience in its own right. Not sure how the timing would work but if you did want to include Phong Nha, the train could take you all the way from Hue to Hanoi via Phong Nha, and Ninh Binh.

Some photos and detail of our travels in the country on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/vietnam/

I would spend some time with a guide book to see what ticks your boxes. There are some good online resources at Travelfish.org and seat61.com is great if you did want to consider train travel.

Happy planning..
crellston is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 04:50 AM
  #3  
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 39
This is enormously helpful. Thank you very much!
johnny99 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2019, 07:29 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 80
Personally, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh and Hoian fit in 10 nights.
DinHo is offline  

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