One month in ViETNAM

Old Jan 11th, 2023, 08:45 AM
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One month in ViETNAM

Hello Fodorites!

Would love your input on our February itinerary. We typically drive ourselves around when we travel. We have 30 days. Since since self driving isnít possible in ViETNAM I need to figure out how to maneuver around. We do not usually join tour groups but if itís necessary we can.

My rough outline;

Hanoi

Ha Giang loop - need an recommendation on a tour operator

Ha long bay - is it worth doing the overnight tour?

Tam Coc

Phong Na

Hue City

Ho Chi Minh City

Pho Quoc

After ViETNAM we will continue on to Laos and Japan.
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Old Jan 11th, 2023, 12:07 PM
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Ha Long Bay- I would only go there to have an overnight or more on a junk.
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Old Jan 11th, 2023, 01:47 PM
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30 days is a good amount of time for Vietnam and indeed, I think that is the maximum visa time you can get these days. I would allocate your time along these lines.
Hanoi - 4

Ha Giang loop - 5
Ha long bay - 2
Ninh Binh - 3
Phong Na -4
Hue - 3
Ho Chi Minh City - 4
Pho Quoc - 5

To be frank, I am not a fan of Ha Long Bay and would skip it. But, if you do want to go an overnight on a boat is a must. A day trip really isn't worth the time it takes to get there.

There are lots of options for Ha Giang from just getting the bus there and organising a car or motorbike and driver on arrival to a tour from Hanoi. We have used About Ethnic Travel | Ethnic Travel: insight into Vietnam a couple of time and have been very happy. alternatively, it is simple enough just to ask your accommodation in Hanoi to recommend someone.

​​​​​​​Getting from place to place in Vietnam is pretty straightforward, if time consuming. You can get the bus but be aware that it is not the safest option and I would avoid the night buses at all costs. Indeed, I would avoid most day buses too for all but a few short journeys. Flying is an option for the longer legs but bank on losing the best part of a day once you have factored in travel to and from airports, check in and waiting times etc. When travelling the length of the country as you will be we have mostly used the trains. It may seem counterintuitive when you see journey times of 10 hours+ but most journeys are overnight and, if you have a sense of adventure, it's a fun way to travel. You can find most of what you need to know re train travel @ https://www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm

There is more about train travel in Vietnam and our travels around the country over many years in our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/vietnam/

Other than Ha Long, the only other place I would think twice about would be Phu Quoc. The beaches in Vietnam aren't the best in Asia but if you want a beach break then Con Dao may be better.

​​​​​​​One notable place missing from your itinerary is one of my favourite regions , the Mekong Delta which would fit in nicely from Saigon

Happy planning!
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Old Jan 11th, 2023, 05:22 PM
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Thank you Crellston!

Awesome this is exactly the advice I was looking for Crellston! Iíll flip beach time for Mekong delta. Once I get it all planned Iíll post it here⭐️ Many thanks!!
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Old Jan 15th, 2023, 08:24 PM
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If you're looking for a fun but quiet stopover between Hue and Ho Chi Min City, I'd highly recommend Quy Nhon. It's a quiet but attractive little beach town set in a coastal mountain valley. And, if you like history, Quy Nhon is near one of the country's larger concentrations of Hindu Cham tower ruins that predate the Vietnamese arrival in the region.
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