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Old Jun 17th, 2016, 09:29 AM
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@ mmmperdu and Kathie

Thanks for the feedback.. I will add more nights to Java then for sure

I know there will be some time in transfers but it is what it is, we will have to bite the bullet in some spots. I found sound really good flights from Chiang MAit o Koh Samui and Da Nang that are really early in the morning with small lay over times so those are some examples of the flights I found that will be decent.

I will lessen the time in Hoi An then as I was reading what you mentioned as well. I am thinking to even do Hanoi and surroundings (Halong Bay etc) instead of Hoi An. Would this be smart?

Thanks guys
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Old Jun 17th, 2016, 09:49 AM
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"...Hanoi and surroundings (Halong Bay etc) instead of Hoi An. Would this be smart?"

I suggest either Hoi An or Hanoi, Halong Bay is a crowded waste of time on the usual excursions and you don't have time to go further afield. I would choose Hanoi, much as I loved Hoi An, and stay in the city. Hoi An is charming but limited by it's nature. Hanoi, on the other hand, is fascinating and I'd spend as much time as you can there.

Regarding "it is what it is"...not true, as you are the one making the choices and seem to be dismissing the effect of a jammed itinerary. Simply put, with a finite amount of time, the more places you go, the less you see. I always feel it's a shame to learn this basic lesson too late to inject some quality into one's adventures by giving one's highest priority destinations the time needed to really feel them, not just a cursory glance. But then again, maybe it's more a shame to me than to those on the move, who don't actually know what they're missing.
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Old Jun 17th, 2016, 10:22 AM
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very true. ok i will do hanoi then for 8 nights and check out what i can from the surroundings. i see flights from chiang mai to hanoi that have 5:30 duration time and hanoi to koh samui that have 5:25 duration time which i think will be good
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Old Jun 17th, 2016, 11:49 AM
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It's your trip, and I think you have a reasonable plan.

But some things to consider:

You are visiting just one location in VN, but will have to pay for a visa.

If your flight time is 5 hours plus, figure it will take most of the day getting from one place to another. You'll need to be at the airport an hour in advance of your flight. But the time it takes to move from one place to another should take into consideration checking out of one hotel, getting to the airport, wait time, flight time, waiting for baggage, getting to your next hotel, checking in, etc. So figure that the day you move from one location to another is lost time. It's true that if these are the places you most want to see, you just have to put up with losing the time.

If it was me - and it isn't - I'd cut VN. I'd add time to Indonesia, visiting both central and eastern Java. While I enjoyed Hanoi, I don't think it is as special as Java.

Whatever you decide, enjoy this very special part of the world.
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Old Jun 17th, 2016, 09:10 PM
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If you decide to include all three destinations in Indonesia, I'd suggest that you change the order of visiting so that you are either flying into Jakarta airport from Bali/Denpasar or from Central or Eastern Java.

Getting from the Gilis to anywhere in Java (including Jakarta) is not easily accomplished. Connections from Bali, Surabaya and Yogya to Jakarta are good and depending on the time of your departing flight you should be able to avoid spending a night in Jakarta.

I would include some time at the southern beaches in Bali. As I mentioned I think you'd enjoy the area around Batu Belig/Brawa/Batu Bolong/Canggu. There's a lot going on there and it would be a fun way to end your trip with an easy connection to your flight home.

My preferred order would be Central OR Eastern Java (2-3 nights), Bali Ubud (7 nights), Gilis (4 nights), Bali beach (3 nights), Jakarta.

I think you'll probably want to choose either East OR Central Java.

In East Java the main draw is the Bromo area which is a group of active volcanoes with amazing scenery. To access you fly into Surabaya, then go overland to Bromo. It's not easy to get to and can take up a full day in each direction. The area is sparsely populated, but sunrise in certain viewing areas can be a mob scene.

Central Java comprises the cities of Yogyakarta and Solo (Surakarta) and the ancient temples/monuments of Prambanan and Borobudur. The countryside around Borobudur is also profoundly beautiful (with active volcanoes). You can fly into Yogyakarta or Solo.

Either way if you're coming from Thailand or Vietnam travel will be complicated and take up a full day.
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