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Thoughts on my itinerary around Vietnam (chart wont load)

Thoughts on my itinerary around Vietnam (chart wont load)

Old Jan 9th, 2020, 09:15 AM
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Thoughts on my itinerary around Vietnam (chart wont load)

Hello,

We're visiting Vietnam at the beginning of April this year for 3 weeks and I have drafted the plan of places we wish to visit whilst there.
In my opinion i feel like we may need to drop one of the places so give enough time at the others.
My current dilemma is whether to stay longer in Nha Trang and leave out Phu Quoc spending longer in HMC to explore the delta and the city or miss out one of the central areas (i hear hoi an is too crowded these days)
We have had to miss out Da Lat already too.
Anyway the itinerary is below.
If you can suggest alternatives to some of the places too that'd be fantastic

Place Dates Travel to next place


North

Hanoi ...............3rd - 6th .............3 hour bus on the 6th evening
Halong Bay ......6th - 8th............. 6hours bus on the 8th evening
Mai Chau .........8th - 10th ...........3 hour bus 1 hour plane on the 10th night
Hue .................10th - 13th ..........2hour bus on the 13th evening
Da Nang .........13th -15th ...........1 hour bus on the 15th evening
Hoi An............. 15th -17th ..........3 hour flight on the 17th evening
Nha Trang........ 17th - 20th........ 3 hours flights on the 20th evening
phu quoc......... 20th - 23rd......... 1.5 hour flight on the 23rd evening
Ho Chi Min .......23rd - 26th


Last edited by zacholt5065; Jan 9th, 2020 at 09:19 AM.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 01:06 PM
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I would skip Nha Trang altogether, and spend more time in Hanoi
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 01:10 PM
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Really, we didnít think hanoi looked very good to be honest, we are watching the f1 whilst we are there and then leaving the day after giving a day and half to explore.

Apart from phi Quoc, Nha Trang seems to be the second best place for a chilled beach break and to do abit of scuba diving.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 01:12 PM
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we didn’t think hanoi looked very good to be honest
Where on earth were you looking? Admittedly it has been a while since I was there, but I found it interesting enough to visit three times for several days each time.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 01:18 PM
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Weíve spoken to people and watched the YouTube travellers videos and it doesnít seem to offer much more than what we can probably see in a small amount of time, old quarter, french quarter, the train tracks through the narrow streets.

what other places would you suggest?

we just wanted to get the most of our relatively short time here.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 01:49 PM
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Suggest reading a guidebook or two instead of watching YouTube.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Suggest reading a guidebook or two instead of watching YouTube.
Iíd beg to differ, you can see what itís like now rather than from a still image.
thanks for your help
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 04:05 PM
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We spent a full week in Hanoi - much to do and see. But we were more interested in the culture and din't go to VN for the beach. I'd suggest reading about VN, not just looking at pictures.

DaNang has become a line of high rise hotels. I'd skip it. And I wouldn't go to VN for the beaches. If you want beach time, choose one, as otherwise you'll waste a lot of your time going from one beach to another.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 04:07 PM
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https://www.fodors.com/world/asia/vietnam/hanoi

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/vietnam/hanoi

https://www.roughguides.com/destinat...oi-and-around/

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/t...-in-hanoi.html
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zacholt5065 View Post
Weíve . . . watched the YouTube travellers videos and it doesnít seem to offer much more than what we can probably see in a small amount of time, old quarter, french quarter, the train tracks
Think of the time, money & effort you'll save by staying home & just watching videos. You'll never have to get off the sofa again except for snacks.

I know, Fodors can start a video travel site complete with forums. Hmm, I should do it myself.

For everyone else, Hanoi is great. It isn't only about sights but walking around the neighborhoods, riding buses, talking with people, eating on the sidewalk sitting on a little plastic stool. Best of all was mailing a box at the main post office, fascinating. I spent weeks, forgotten exactly how long, met an Australian woman who lives there & I could imagine it myself. Anyone lucky enough to get to Hanoi, stay as long as you possibly can.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MmePerdu View Post
Think of the time, money & effort you'll save by staying home & just watching videos. You'll never have to get off the sofa again except for snacks.

I know, Fodors can start a video travel site complete with forums. Hmm, I should do it myself.

For everyone else, Hanoi is great. It isn't only about sights but walking around the neighborhoods, riding buses, talking with people, eating on the sidewalk sitting on a little plastic stool. Best of all was mailing a box at the main post office, fascinating. I spent weeks, forgotten exactly how long, met an Australian woman who lives there & I could imagine it myself. Anyone lucky enough to get to Hanoi, stay as long as you possibly can.
The whole reason why we have been watching bloggers YouTube videos is to just get a feel for what places people are visiting in each region and to get some up to date tips and recommendations. Similar to what lead me to post on here. I feel like itís frowned upon watching YouTube videos which is very confusing as they do give some great advise.

Iíll be doing most of the things mentioned throughout our time in Vietnam eating street food, speaking with locals over coffee, riding local buses etc so as we only have 3 weeks the holiday is all about seeing what Vietnam has to offer from north to south. We wanted 2-3 days however where we arenít doing much and can just wind down preferably at the beach.

We was going to visit my son and the marble mountains whilst in da nang, would you miss these?
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 10:18 PM
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What I & others have been trying to tell you is that you seem not to be getting "great advice" from the videos. Information is best gotten from a variety of sources and as your opinions are based just on the videos, what we frown on are the false impressions. Or, I could be completely wrong & for your personal travel style the videos may give you all you need to know and 3 days in Hanoi will be plenty.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 11:18 PM
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You can visit My Son from Hoi An, no need to sleep in Danang.
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Old Jan 11th, 2020, 10:59 AM
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A few thoughts on your itinerary:

Hanoi deserves a lot more time than you have allocated. I would suggest three full days to cover the highlights. Not sure what havoc the F1 circuit visiting will wreak on the city. Even more chaotic than usual. Will be fun though!
Halong Bay some love it but I am pretty ambivalent about it. Yes it is spectacular but parts are very crowded and polluted. I can imagine it being even more crowded with additional F1 visitors if other F1 locations I have been to are any guide.
Mai Chau was great years ago but was heaving with tourists last time I went around three years ago. Avoid weekends. The Valley is beautiful but I would try and get away from the main town.

An alternative to Ha Long would be to combine a visit to Mai Chau with some trekking amongst the minority people villages in the Black River valley, te national parks etc. ro NInh Binh, sometimes described as Ha Long on land due to its similar karst scenery. Easy enough to get the overnight train down to Hue or Da Nang to avoid back tracking to the airport.


Hue is a city I have grown to love over the years. The food is amazing, the Imperial Tombs and Citadel are wonderful for an insight into the history of the country.

Da Nang in contrast is a place I would avoid unless you like mega hotels of which there are many - last time we drove that way they seemed to go on forever along the coast highway but it was probably ONLY 20 kms or so of continuous development. IMO it holds little interest for tourists unless you want hotel luxury and beach time.
Hoi An is very pretty, very quaint and is heaving with tour groups most of the time. The town itself can be covered in a day and IME, is best explored either side of mid day and the mornings and evening tend to see the (mostly Chinese ) tour groups descending from said mega hotels. Nice to rent bikes and get out to the countryside or maybe take a half day trip to My Son.

Nha Trang is a love it or hate it sort of place. The type of people who love it nowadays tend towards drunk Russian tourists and partying backpackers. Fine if you are ok with that but many would like somewhere a little quieter. Great for diving though. Decent reefs or at least there were when we dived there but it is a few years ago now. We saw loads of fish, big and small although the dynamite fishing when we were down at 30 metres was a little disconcerting!

Phu Quoc apparently has diving but not as good as Nha Trang. Con Dao might be a good, if expensive alternative for scuba

Ho Chi Minh City is well worth some additional time. Great museums, great food and nightlife. I would spend some more time there combined with a trip into the delta region where you could spend as much time as you like. Definitely an overnight stay, preferably two nights but it depends on your interests.

Where to cut or add time really depends on what interests you. From your itinerary above it seems that you have spent time sorting out the logistics of getting around. I would suggest however that you double check some of those timing and allow some wiggle room for when things go awry, which they often do in Vietnam. It has often been said that "less is more" when it comes to travel in Asia. Fewer destinations will allow you to explore places properly and not spend so much time on buses, planes and trains. I would avoid traveling by bus at night at all costs. In fact I would avoid travelling on many buses in the country. Go for teh best company you can and avoid the cheapies.

Re the debate on YouTube v other sources of travel info. I see YouTube as just another channel of information. No harm in using it to get a flavour of a place but do bear in mind that in many cases all you are getting is cursory view from someone who has whizzed through the country with a GoPro stuck to their eye, helmet or whatever. Hardly an in-depth insight into the culture and history of a country. There are some good ones about but they are few and far between. Same with travel blogs. Our own blog is aimed primarily at family and friends who like to follow our travels (although I do occasionally post links here when I feel it is relevant to a question asked) When I look back, I sometimes see stuff from year that I wouldn’t necessarily think is current now. The world is changing fast and that is why guidebooks are out of date as soon as they are published and are in decline although I still find them/some very useful for planning a trip.

Forums such as these possibly provide the most current information but you need to be aware that the demographics of each forum is different. This one seems to be mainly populated by an older generation where as other forums such as LP Thorntree and Travelfish tend towards a younger participant. Tripadvisor is probably a bit of a mixture.

Hope this helps a little. Happy travels.
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