Vietnam April 5 - 16

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Nov 16th, 2017, 06:56 AM
  #1
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Vietnam April 5 - 16

Dear All,

After spending time in Bangkok (which I previously wrote to you about), Luang Prabang and Siem Reap, we arrive in Vietnam for 11 days. We start our journey there in Ho Chi Minh City and plan to conclude it in Hanoi. We have booked one night on the Indochina Junk in Halong Bay at the end of the trip.

Our early plans include 3 nights in HCMC, 3 nights in the central coast, 4 nights in Hanoi, and 1 night on Halong Bay.

We are already feeling like it is too short a time! After seeing many temples earlier in our trip, we want to be careful not to get temple fatigue. Some of the sights we are considering are the Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Hue and the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

We are active 58 and 63 year olds without children. We prefer higher end accommodations and though we like to hike, camping is not something we want to do. We are also not beach people other than enjoying specular views.

The central coast has a lot to offer but is not logistically possible to see everything. For example, we are torn between seeing Hoi An and Hue but the photos of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park and its caves look breathtaking and I wonder if it would be nice to get away from the crowds for awhile (though camping may be the only lodging there).

I would really appreciate you comments and suggestions on our itinerary and recommendations of things to see and do. Thanks in advance!

Megan
MeganWD is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2017, 10:40 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I will be returning to VN for my 5th visit next month. It is an enjoyable and affordable country to visit. You will want to return.
We especially like Hanoi and Hoi An.
I would be inclined to concentrate on those two with your day at Halong.
Hue can be visited as a day trip from hoi an I believe.
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Nov 16th, 2017, 05:41 PM
  #3
 
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11 days is not a lot to sample all that Vietnam has to offer but April is a pretty good time of year weather wise you could choose from the entire country.

Phong Nha Ke Be is incredible, truly one of the wonders of the world. No need to camp, we stayed at the Phong Nha Farmstay http://www.phong-nha-cave.com the best accomodation in the area. Very comfortable, decent food and they have a plethora of different options for visiting the caves and elsewhere. We got there by train but it should be easy enough to get a transfer by road from say, Hue.

We love the Mekong Delta, but it really needs at least 2-3 nights to make the most of it. A quick one night stay in Cantho would give you the opportunity to visit Cai Rang floating market in the v. early morning before returning to Saigon. The Victoria Can Tho is the best hotel on the city that I know of.

Central HCMC is undergoing a lot of work at the moment for the new subway so choose your hotel carefully. In terms of 5* hotels, I would consider the Rex, both historic and luxurious. One full day would provide sufficient time to see the main sights in D1, two would be better. We just spent 10days there but I know that’s not for everyone!

Hanoi deserves at least three days. Be aware that a trip to Halong involves a drive of four hours each way from Hanoi which will wipe out a chunk of your Hanoi time. Most of the lux chain hotels are out by the West Lake which is away from many points of interest, the old quarter etc. In the French quarter the Sofitel Metropole is the highest rated although we were not that impressed ( but our stays there were several years ago).The Apricot is right by Hoan Kiem Lake and would be worth a look.

Some photos and detail of our recent travels in Vietnam on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/vietnam/

Finally, I would add that you should not expect to get away from the crowds at Phong Nha Ke Be. Whilst the countryside is quiet and peaceful, te caves themselves are the most popular destination for domestic tourists and will likely be very busy at most times.
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Nov 17th, 2017, 05:44 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
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Your early plan looks ok - Focus on HCMC, Hoian and Hanoi. Phong Nha and Hue for another trip!
DinHo is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2017, 05:47 AM
  #5
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We are now thinking we may spend some time on the Mekong Delta and leave the central coast for the next time. That way, we eliminate one inter-country flight and are not so rushed. Thank you all!!!

Megan
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Nov 19th, 2017, 06:52 AM
  #6
 
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I think that is a wise decision. Have a great time.
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