Nth Vietnam itinerary - feedback please

Old Jan 15th, 2007, 08:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nth Vietnam itinerary - feedback please

Hi All,

After much research, Ive put together my first draft Itinerary for 11 days in Northern Vietnam. Any comments or advise would be really appreciated:

Day 0: Fly into Hanoi late the night before
Day 1: Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi, catch night train to Sapa
Day 3: Sapa
Day 4: Sapa, catch night train back to Hanoi
Day 5: Hanoi
Day 6 & 7: Halong Bay 1 night/ 2 day trip
Day 8: Hanoi. fly to Hoi An in afternoon
Day 9: Hoi An
Day 10: Hoi An
Day 11: Transit day back to Bkk

Questions:

1. 3 1/2 days in Hanoi - is that enough time to soak up the atmosphere of the place?
2. Sapa - Im thinking markets one day and a trek the other day - is it feasible considering I will have to make my way back to the train station on the 2nd day?
3. Hoi An - Im hoping to see My Son, and get some clothes made - 2 days enough for this?

If it is too rushed, Im considering cutting Hoi An from my itinerary to give me more time elsewhere - what do you think?

Thanks in advance!
simone99 is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2007, 08:20 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,601
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
This looks very rushed to me, and your days in Hanoi are cut up by arriving and departing on night trains. Why are you including Hoi An? Unless you really want to get some clothes made to measure (which you could do in BKK) I'd drop it in exchange for more time in Sapa and Hanoi.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2007, 08:24 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We had similar schedule in November. I believe it is enough. Hanoi 3 full days see Old Quarter, water puppets (book day before) and Ho Chi Minh mausoleum; 2 days in Sapa just enough and an overnight on Halong Bay is also enough time.
novir is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2007, 08:30 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,003
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think that cutting Hoi An is a good idea. You would actually fly to Danang and then go by road to Hoi An.

You could spend more time in Hanoi. Threee and a half days is good but, imo, would be better if you had at least a couple of consecutive full days. Scratch Hoi An and then you coulc have Day 1 Hanoi, Day 2 Hanoi, Day 3 Hanoi & train to Sapa, etc.

I think your plan for Sapa is typical for what you want to do. Even if you are going to travel independently you ought to take a look at the tour itinerary of Handspan or Buffalo Tours, etc. to see what the timing is like wrt the train.

With a second extra day you could stay a second night at Halong Bay or Cat Ba island. Some hiking there. Or kayaking.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Old Jan 15th, 2007, 08:36 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,003
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I see there were two other replies while I was writing. I suggested dropping Hoi An partly because you were already considering it but mostly because of your desire to "soak up the atmosphere" of Hanoi. With the itin including Hoi An, you will certainly get wet just not necessarily soaked!
mrwunrfl is online now  
Old Jan 16th, 2007, 07:35 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 231
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree with Thurdaysd. Have your clothes made in Bkk rather than HoiAn -they cut quite a "few corners" so to speak. Clothes made much better in Thailand.
albaaust is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2007, 08:25 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,601
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I wasn't suggesting that clothes made in Bangkok were "better" than those made in Hoi An, just that it was an alternative. How well clothes are made varies according to who is doing the sewing in both places.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2007, 10:58 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi: I am also planning the same itinerary doing it more consecutively. I have a question for novir: What was the weather like in Hoi an (I'm hearing about rain). is it a downpour or just lite rain. Is it better to get to Hoi An earlier in November or mid November. Thanks. Alana
alana is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 04:44 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Alana, we had to cut our trip short due to a family crisis and so missed getting to Hue and Hoi An. However, I found the following weather site excellent for Vietnamese towns/cities.
http://www.veloasia.com/resources/vnweather.html
Hope this helps.
novir is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 06:40 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were extremely disappointed with Hoi An town. No charm left, just multiple clothes shops. The beaches are very nice if you have good weather. The drive from Hue to Hoi An is excellent but going to Hoi An unless you want to beach will be less interesting than going to Hue.
Elainee is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 12:53 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,248
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We're just back from our 1st trip to Vietnam. Frankly, the big cities just didn't call to us at all. We only had one day in Hanoi, and it was Monday and all the museums were closed so we didn't go to any of those. For us, 1-2 days would have been plenty.

We took the overnight train to Lao Cai on a Saturday and the went to the Bac Ha market on Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon we hiked in the vicinity of Bac Ha. Monday morning we set out on a an overnight trek with a homestay at a Hmong family. (Do not do a homestay unless you are a true camper. Conditions are VERY primitive. We camped a lot when we were younger, and we were still a little blown aswy by the conditions we were staying in. OTOH, this was certainly an insight into how lucky those of us are who were born in developed countries. Intellectually I knew people lived in conditions like these, but until I saw it for myself, I truly didn't understand how different life is in third world countries.)

Tuesday, which was our final day, we trekked to the market at Coc Ly and then took the boat trip down the river Chay. We probably could have skipped the market, but it was in an interesting setting with the need for us to walk over a suspension bridge to get there. (Those who came in the day tour minivans were delivered right to the market) We really enjoyed the boat trip however. From there we were driven back to Lao Cai to wait for the night train to Hanoi. 3 days in the north was about right for us. I don't know the time of year you are going, but people we talked to who had gone to Sapa in Jan. were, for the most part, disappointed. They couldn't see any further than 12 feet in Sapa itself, and it was rainy and cold. Lower down where they were trekking the views were better.
julies is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 06:05 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 442
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
another thought: Hue. We loved it. It doesn't get rave revues here, but we decided to go based on my husband's sniffing through articles, and the recommendation of a traveler on another chat line. He was right. We walked through a beautiful park filled with sculptures, bought art work that was creatively reconstructed to fit in our suitcase (in the space of time between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. when we were leaving). We ate great food, and had a wonderful driver who took us to Hoi An. On our drive down, the manager of the hotel we had just left called on the driver's cell phone to speak with us. He wanted to know if our stay was just right, and what his hotel could do to make it better.
We loved Hue. (expect rain but don't let it stop you.)
jodo is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2007, 06:16 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Jodo: What hotel did you stay in Hue. I love art, where did you purchase in Hue. thanks. alana
alana is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2007, 02:07 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Simone,

Your draft itinerary really makes good sense.

1. 3 1/2 days in Hanoi is quite enough time. Tourist spots that you can see include Hanoi inner city, the vicinities with many traditional villages. Hoa Lu & Tam Coc.

2. Sapa: a 3N - 2D Sapa is advisable, the point is that you should book the trip with a good tour operator in Hanoi. (I can suggest some such as: Hanspan Travel which is opposite our hotel at 85 Ma May Street, or APT travel).

3. Hoi An: Fly from Hanoi to Danang, then take a bus to Hoian. It is feasible but you should prepare sometime to come back Hanoi for a flight to BKK.

Everything is easy & fun in Vietnam if you find a good tour advisor - which based in Hanoi. You may find one yourself or confer with a staff in a good hotel, like ours (see www.hanoielegancehotel.com)

Good luck,
Hanoielegancehotel is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2007, 08:27 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 58
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We talked about some of those places: Hanoi, Hoi Ana and Ha Long on the most recent episode of my show which was about Vietnam. I will say one of the couple that I interviewed would decide next time to spend more time in the south and less in the north.

Chris Christensen
Amateur Traveler (podcast and show on Sirius Satellite Radio)
chris2x is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2007, 09:25 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Chris, have you been to VN? What was your opinion about spending time in the north vs. the south? Frankly, second hand reports about someone you intereviewed on your show is not especially helpful. There are many, many reports here from travelers about their preference for north or south, etc.

Also, your posts seem more interested in advertising your show on Sirius than in providing useful travel information. While I'd love to see Sirius get more subscribers (full disclosure: I am a stockholder), Fodors forum prohibits commercial advertising.

We're glad to hear about your personal travel expereinces, but please refrain from advertising here.
Kathie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Rushil
Asia
12
Feb 2nd, 2014 04:32 PM
love2travel2LA
Asia
6
Dec 26th, 2012 02:33 AM
tansmets
Asia
6
Mar 8th, 2011 12:58 PM
bella17
Asia
5
Sep 12th, 2006 08:53 PM
3angels
Asia
5
May 30th, 2005 08:02 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -