Suggestions on Itinerary

Old Jul 21st, 2022, 10:58 AM
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Suggestions on Itinerary

Hello. My husband and I will be traveling to Vietnam in January/February 2023. We are in our mid-60s and fairly experienced travelers, although this is our first trip to Asia. We like to stay in places for several days rather than just stay a night or two. Here is what I have planned so far. We will be coming from spending 8 days in Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai) and we have to fly into and out of Bangkok. Any suggestions are appreciated!

30-Jan, flying from Chiang Mai to Hanoi, staying at Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel
31-Jan Hanoi
1-Feb Hanoi
2-Feb Ha Long Bay cruise on Orchid
3-Feb Ha Long Bay cruise
4-Feb Hanoi (rtn @14:30 from boat)
5-Feb fly to Hue and take Hai Van Pass transport to Hoi An (staying at Anantara Hoi An)
6-Feb Hoi An
7-Feb Hoi An (visit My Son)
8-Feb Hoi An
9-Feb fly to Bangkok

In particular:
1. are we spending too many nights in Hanoi? Because the cruise returns so late, we have to overnight before moving on to Hue the next day, but I could cut a day out from before the cruise.
2. do you have any suggestions for tours/ tour guides?
3. do you have any suggestions for tailors in Hoi An (I'd like to get some clothing made)

Thanks so much!
MaryInAustin is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2022, 07:08 PM
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I would do 1 night stay in Hue or fly Cat Bi airport (Hai Phong) to Danang (Hoian).
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Old Jul 22nd, 2022, 11:18 PM
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Firstly, no I don't think you have too much time in Hanoi. It is an amazing city with a huge amount to see and do. The hotel you have chosen is not in a bad location but personally, I prefer to stay closer to Hoan Kiem Lake. A great place for a dawn walk and to join the Hanoians in the morning Tai Chi sessions.Lots of interesting museums and places of interest - Women's, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh house, Military Museum Hỏa LÚ Prison. Also the Police Museum around the corner from Hỏa LÚ Prison was a surprising good find we stumbled across. Don't miss getting a fresh beer and weird snacks sitting on a tiny stool at beer corner.

​​​​I love Hanoi and would probably skip Ha Long and spend the whole time there. Alternatively, check out Ninh Ninh as an inland alternative to Hanoi

Hoi An is achingly quaint but usually jam packed with Chinese tour groups (as they are not currently travelling it could be a good time to visit!). You can see all of Hoi An in a day, maybe another out in the countryside (renting bikes is the best way to get out of town).

​​​​​​​Hai Van pass I have always found does not live up to the hype. The Marble mountains make an interesting stop and the train ride between Da Nang and Hue is one of the best in Asia.

​​​​​​​My Son is an interesting half day trip from Hoi An but go very early as it get VERY hot amongst the ruins. A couple of interesting stops along the way at temples and markets.

It is a shame that you have no time scheduled for Hue as there is a lot to see. I prefer it to the very touristy Hoi An. The Imperial Citadel and the Imperial Tombs strung along the perfume river are truly amazing.

You can't walk along and street in Vietnam without falling over a tour operator or agent. Safest, if most expensive option is to ask you hotel to organise any tours you want. Any taxi will take you on the run from Hue to Hoi An - usually cost c$50. They will stop at Marble Mountains and Hai Van Pass and will want to take you to one of the beaches to eat seafood (one looks at the prawns warming in the hot sun was enough to convince me to move on! Don't bother.

The tailoring scene is controlled by the local "mafia" expect price to be much the same anywhere.Quality is variable and I would keep it to simple items to avoid disappointment. Be wary of a 24 hour turnaround. Best to go immediately on arrival to give them time to do a decent job. Again, you hotel can probably help.

Here is a link to our blog of some of our travels in the country. https://accidentalnomads.com/category/vietnam/ I have been visiting for 30 plus years and never tire of the place. Indeed, I would probably steal a couple of days from Bangkok and Chiang Mai to extend your time there.

Hope this helps. any questions, just ask.



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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 08:45 AM
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Thanks so much for the feedback!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 09:35 AM
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There’s no such thing as too many nights in Hanoi. I, too, would skip Halong Bay & spend the time in Hanoi. But that’s, of course, after having spent 2 nights there & wishing I hadn’t bothered, not what I’d imagined. I wish I’d looked for advice at the time but didn’t.

Regarding having clothes made in Hoi An, I’ve had things made in a number of places in Asia & more often than not, the results have been disappointing, to say the least. I’ve found shopping for readymade clothing a far better option as you can see the quality & fit before parting with your money. By far my best experiences were in Bali, not good in Hoi An even with a week.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 10:56 AM
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Thanks so much for your input. Definitely helps. I've wondered about Ha Long being a disappointment but was hoping doing Lan Ha might turn out better.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2022, 11:21 AM
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I should add regarding shopping for clothes in Hoi An, I found the shop of a local designer whose well made & interesting readymade clothes fit my larger western size. I still have those things while the made-to-order items soon made their way to a thrift shop. So, again, I’d advise enjoying the shops around town & you may very well find something you love (think accessories). The situation is understandable, tourists blowing into town for a couple of days, wanting something in a rush, they’ll never see us again so the quality of fabrics on offer & workmanship is far from the best. For the same reason, local recommendations are often questionable as they’re geared to the profit of friends rather than us, perfectly understandable.




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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 08:15 PM
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Hi, here are my opinions.
3/4 days in Hanoi is just fine. There are lots of things to do and you will have time to know the country before moving one. Don't need to cut off a day there.
Don't skip Halong Bay. It is a must and landscape also amazing. Some maybe feel disappointed but if you say you has travelled to Vietnam but not visit Halong, that would be a regret. Lan Ha Bay is quite similar to Halong but will less tourists.
A question. Why don't you fly to Da Nang then transfer to Hoi An? It's only 30-40 minutes. From Hue then more than 3 hours on the road. Fly to Hue but not stay there, only take Hai Van Pass road to Hoi An I think it isn't worth.

For tours/tourguides you can search on internet. Take your time to contact local agency first via mail and let them advise you. If it sounds good then book the tour. There are group and private tours. If you take private tours you will have a private driver and private guide. It would be more convenient.

In Hanoi you can do a city tour or day trip to Ninh Binh.
In Hoi An yes My Son is worth a visit. A tour to countryside and villages is nice as well.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MaryInAustin View Post
Thanks so much for your input. Definitely helps. I've wondered about Ha Long being a disappointment but was hoping doing Lan Ha might turn out better.
Bai Tu Long bay (3D2N) is even better than Lan Ha bay.
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Old Aug 10th, 2022, 10:13 AM
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Thank you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I really appreciate it.
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Old Aug 13th, 2022, 08:40 PM
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Good programme except that I would cut one day in Hoi An and add one night in beautiful Hue

For Along, open the websites of two of the best 5 agencies in Vietnam:
Oriental Bridge Travel
www.orientalbridgetravel.com
Parfum d'Automne, more expensive, for only deluxe private junk, but, if you stay at the beautiful Anantara, you can afford the junk.
www.parfumdautomne.com
Take a PRIVATE junk, which has only advantages.

Best restaurants Hoi An:
Madam Kieu, Dao Tien and Secret Garden. The Indian Ganesh is the best Indian restaurant in Vietnam and the Italian Good Morning Vietnam is superb (chef from Bologna)

Taylor: Bac Diep 28 Tran Hung Dao St and 71 Phan Chau Trinh
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