suggestions on itinerary

Jan 30th, 2019, 02:26 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8
suggestions on itinerary

HI!
I am planning a family trip to Vietnam (and Angkor) end of July/beggining of august. We are five (kids are 15, 13 and 12), I love photography, and the young ones like the outdoors and being active. I like to have all hotels and flights planned before hand, but this means i need to trust things to go well, and i don't know if i should add more wiggle time just in case. My head is a mess, i keep adding and removing sites based on what i read, but my current itinerary looks like this:
day 1 Fly Barcelona-Hanoi
nights 2/3 arrive Hanoi, 2 nights MERACUS 2 HOTEL.
night 4 Halong bay cruise (1nignt)
night 5 overnight train to Sapa
night 6 Sapa area homestay
night 7 Hanoi (1 night)
nights 8-9-10 Phong Nha
nights 11-12-13 Hue MOONLIGHT HOTEL
nights 14-15-16 Hoi An HOI AN CHIC / HOI AN ANCIENT HOUSE VILLAGE / OTHER?
nights 17-18 HCMC
night 19 Mekong delta
nights 20-21-22-23 Angkor MONTRA NIVESHA RESIDENCE / BOREI ??

I have been told i should add Nin Bin, but this feels crowded already! Maybe remove the visit to the mekong delta and go to nin bin between sapa and phong nha? Should i even go to HCMC if I will not visit the mekong delta? If i did add nin bin, what would be the best organization between SaPa and Phong Nha??

Any recommendations regarding hotels?

Thanks for any input!!!

krabio is offline  
Jan 30th, 2019, 04:57 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,509
Your itinerary is extremely full on even for two adults, let alone with three kids in tow! You may like to have all your flights and hotels sorted, but you need to take a step back and have a think about how you intend to get between locations.

Arriving from Barcelona you will Be jet lagged and will likely barely of got over that before heading off to Halong - four hours by bus and the same to get back ( although it maybe slightly less with te new road.

You would get back from Halong in the afternoon and, from memory the train to Sapa leaves around 10.00 pm and gets in around 04.30 am - another tiring day/night, likely with little sleep.

Phong Nha Ke Be is amazing and lots to do besides the caves; boat rides, bike rides and duck farms. Three days is a good amount of time but you need to be aware that it does take time to get there. Train to Dong Ha from Hanoi is possibly the best option as long as the times work. Travel on to Hue also takes a while but with 5 of you a private car transfer would be a viable option.

We love the Mekong Delta but you don’t have enough time to do it justice plus, to get to Cambodia, apart from by river, which is a lot of fun, you would need t9 fly from Saigon so I would add a night there.

Ninh Binh is on the train line between Hanoi and Dong Ha and Hue but adding in an extra destination is just not a great idea.

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

In terms of hotels, Meracus 2 is a good choice. A good location just off the lake, stayed there on our last visit. Another good option is the Silk Path Boutique Hotel. More upmarket but still reasonably priced is L’Opera.

In Phong Nha, we stayed at Phong Nha Farmstay, probably the best option. Lots of activities and tour, swimming pool and decent food.

There are lots of choices in Hue and Hoi An. We have stayed at quite a few at all levels but not the ones you mention. In Hoi An, I was our be inclined to stay a few blocks outside the old town as it does get horrendously busy. In Hue, the opposite is true, I would stay towards the centre, near the river where all the restaurants etc are.

Apologies if this sounds unduly negative, but better to learn from my mistakes than find out yourself on the road!
crellston is offline  
Jan 30th, 2019, 01:47 PM
  #3  
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8
Crellston, I thing you are right! I did not realise that when i fly east i am usually more jet lagged (jet lag is usually not much of a problem the times i've flown west). i have added one more day to Hanoi at the start of the trip. I might move the additional Hanoi night to in between Sapa and Halong bay.

my plan was to fly to Dong hoi (to get to Phong Nha), i can arrange to be picked up from the airport. I see that the train seems to be an overnight train again... Phong Nha to Hue and Hue to Hoi An, i thought private car would be the best. This would mean that there are two full days each in Phong Nha, Hue and Hoi An. I know that the two choices i had in Hoi An are a bit outside, i'll check the location for the one in Hue.

I will have to skip Nin Bin and the Mekong delta. By the way, i did not feel that your comment was too negative. I was already feeling that the beggining was too crowded, so i just needed your confirmation. I have a tendency to fit in more than i should,
Thanks!
krabio is offline  
Jan 30th, 2019, 11:21 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,509
You are welcome. That sounds a lot better. If getting a private car from Hue to Hoi An, do stop of at the Marble Mountains. The driver will likely suggest it. Well worth a look and it only adds 1-1.5 hours.
crellston is offline  
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