Vietnam in 3 weeks

Old Apr 30th, 2012, 01:27 PM
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Vietnam in 3 weeks

Hi there,

Heading to Vietnam for exactly 3 weeks at the end of Aug, starting in Hanoi and flying out of HCMC, so travelling top to tail.

Cannot wait and want to see as much as possible but also don't want to feel rushed from place to place. I love sightseeing, beaches and good social life. So basically HELP! Looking for an itinerary that sees it all, would like to know best places to go and how much time to spend in each place.

Many Thanks,
N
Naoimh_Quinn is offline  
Old Apr 30th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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There is, of course, no way to see it all. You have to choose whaich places/experiences are most important to you.

Hanoi is a fascinating city, so make sure you give it enough time - 3 or 4 full days minimum. Outside of Hanoi, consider whether you want to visit Sapa or Halong Bay. You won't have time for both unless you cut other areas.

In central VN, you'll want to visit Hoi An and Hue.

In southern VN, you'll want time in HCMC and perhaps some time in the Mekong Delta.

Do you have a guidebook yet?

Also, read some of the recent trip repotrs here. There are several that go to off the beaten track places. Fascinating, but it takes more time.
Kathie is offline  
Old May 1st, 2012, 06:09 AM
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We just spent 3.5 weeks in VN this winter. Timewise we spent 5 days in Hanoi, 2 days at Halong Bay, 4 days driving from Hanoi to Sapa with 2 days in Sapa, 3 days in Hoi An & 3 days in Hue, 2 days in Saigon, 3 days at the Mekong Delta and then a final night in Saigon. We could have easily cut a day from the Mekong & Saigon and a day from Hue and or Hoi An although we enjoyed all of the time in VN.

U might want to look into going to Sapa which is up in the mountains. U take an overnight train to get there and back. Weather should be quite nice at that time of the year. If you want to get off the beaten path a bit you could do the loop leaving Hanoi, driving to Mai Chau which is beautiful and then around to Sapa. We had a driver for this portion of our trip and not certain I would want to drive it myself. Some of the roads are not that great, very narrow mountain roads with some portions of the road not in great shape and we encountered very dense fog. Not sure if u get much fog in the summer though. I's a beautiful trip, takes about 4-5 days and takes u into some of the small villages and markets in the area. U end in Sapa which is much more developed in contrast to the other villages u go thru. Or u could just go to Mai Chau for a couple days.

Halong Bay is another option to consider --we really liked it despite the misty weather. Others are not so impressed with it. It's about a 4 hour drive to get to the bay and it's not a particularly interesting drive for sure. The karst formations in the bay itself are striking. Also u can go kayaking & swimming which would be nice in the warmer weather.

Have a fun time planning your trip.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 01:39 AM
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The highlights of Vietnam are pretty self explanatory. For your stated interests I would say the following:

- Sightseeing: for natural sights Sapa and HB, war related would be Saigon and, to a lesser extent, Hanoi, architecture and old town would be Hoi An.

- Beaches: Nha Trang (also combines social life), outside Hoi An, Mui Ne.

- Social Life: Saigon, Nha Trang.
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Old May 24th, 2012, 02:34 AM
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All great suggestions above but do check out the weather in August - http://www.lonelyplanet.com/vietnam/weather as it is not the best time to visit the central region and this may influence your choices (particularly the beach part!)
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