Vietnam in January

May 5th, 2016, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: May 2016
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Vietnam in January

Thinking of a trip to Vietnam in January, but I cannot leave work for two weeks. Certainly there will be many missed opportunities, but can someone comment on or done a "two camp" north/south base plan for an eight day trip? Flying from NJ so I thought we would arrive in HCMC and stay there for four days. Would use that location to do day and half-day tours from. Fly to Hanoi for the last four days and do the same. The alternative is to latch onto one of the tour companies and run ragged across the entire country which does not sound very relaxing to me. First time visitor to SE Asia, wife has been to Bali before. Thank you.
kikutwo is offline  
May 5th, 2016, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Will you have 8 full days on the ground after you figure in travel time? If so, a two-city trip makes sense. If the 8 days includes travel time, choose just one city. I'd always recommend a DIY trip rather than a tour. Do some research and decide what interests you most in VN. With perhaps four days in each city, I wouldn't do more than one day trip from each as there is so much to see and do in both cities.
Kathie is offline  
May 5th, 2016, 11:55 AM
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Are you going to Vietnam to get you out of the possibly cold and snowy weather in NJ? If so, be aware that Hanoi can be cold and damp in Jan. We were in Hanoi this past January and it was cool to cold. The high one day was 42 degrees, which was very unusual. If you go to Hanoi make sure to bring some warm clothing , just in case. HCMC which we loved would be much more temperate in Jan. If you have 8 full days, I'd split them between 2 cities, as Kathie has suggested.
shelleyk is offline  
May 5th, 2016, 12:07 PM
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Thanks and yes with the weekends I can make 8 full days in country. 42 sounds nice after last winter, maybe a good "cool down" prior to the flight back home! What was the weather down south in January?
kikutwo is offline  
May 5th, 2016, 02:13 PM
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It was sunny with a high of around 86-87. We did lots of walking and did not mind the heat at all.
shelleyk is offline  
May 6th, 2016, 06:29 AM
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4 days in each city is entirely feasible but I would worry too much about side trips out of either Saigon or Hanoi. Both cities have more than enough to hold your interest for that time. Alternatively, base yourself in one city only and then side trips become viable. Hanoi has a lot going for it but weather wise HCMC will have its best weather at that time of year.

Maybe combine, a few days in HCMC with a longer trip into the delta. Our favourite place on our last trip was Chau Doc. A bit further out than the usual delta trips but loads to see, the Cham people's villages, the submerged forests, Sam mountain to name but a few and you could proably fit in the Cai Rang floating markets near Cantho on the way back.
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crellston is offline  
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