Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Asia (
-   -   Vietnam itinerary 7 days (

moonininjuly May 16th, 2015 06:09 AM

Vietnam itinerary 7 days
Any thoughts on:
Dec 23: arrive HCM; catch evening flight to danang
Dec 24: full moon festival in hoi an
Dec 25: hoi an or danang
Dec 26: hoi an or danang
Dec 27: fly to can tho
Dec 28: cai ring market tour out of can tho
Dec 29: bus to Ho chi minh
Dec 30: Ho chi minh
Dec 31: fly home

? Does this look like good itinerary? Domestic Flights are cheap on viet jet air

crellston May 16th, 2015 07:07 AM

No it does not look like good itinerary. Factor in flight times, transport to and from airports, waiting at airports and you will end up spending very little of your time actually seeing Vietnam.

Saigon deserves 3 days. Choose the delta OR Hoi An. Da Nang hasn't got a great deal going for it although it is a good airport link. Personally, I much prefer Hue to Hoi An but you could combine both as they are quite close.

Here is a link to our blog which provide more info and photos of our time in these places ( excluding Hoi An) over last Xmas and New Year.

Kathie May 16th, 2015 11:30 AM

You have made the usual first timer's error - trying to fit in too much. I recommend choosing one area for your week - such as HCMC and environs or Hanoi and environs or Hue/Hoi An and environs.

moonininjuly May 18th, 2015 06:22 AM

We have young kids and were thinking Saigon would be too busy and hectic for us. That is why we chose to concentrate on the smaller cities and towns. However, we fly in and out of HCM. We could possibly add a day on to Hoi An or Can Tho and just sleep the last night in HCM near the airport. The flight to Danang on our first day is a day that is shot anyway, because of late in the day arrival into HCM from the states. The flight from Danang to Can Tho seems that it would not interefere much because it is morning. Just some thoughts.

crellston May 18th, 2015 07:25 AM

Saigon is certainly hectic, even more so around Christmas so you do have a point. I don't think I would want to take young kids there (not much to interest them anyway).

Hoi An is a lot smaller but is busy with tourists but loads quieter than Saigon and the weather probably won't be great that time of year ( but ok). Hue is a big city but it doesn't seem like it. Traffic is realtively light and getting around by bicycle is great fun. The Imperial Tombs are worth a day trip.

can tho is a city of some 2 million people but doesn't seem like it. The main reason for going there is Cai Rang Floating Market but that only takes a couple of hours. A homestay out of the city is worth a night or two to see the countryside and is something the kids may enjoy - local life, animals, rice factories, local schools etc.

If you haven't booked your flights consider Hanoi plus Ninh Binh and maybe Mai Chau.

Kathie May 18th, 2015 07:29 AM

"The flight from Danang to Can Tho seems that it would not interefere much because it is morning." It isn't just the flight time you have to consider, but think about the time from when you check out of your lodgings in one place until you check in at the next place - that's how much time you lose as you move from place to place. It's your trip - you have to decide what you want. But it is too much moving around for me in such a short time. And if you have young children, they are unlikely to be happy with it. Kids are typically happier if you can go somewhere and settle in for a while.

moonininjuly May 18th, 2015 12:05 PM

We are booked r/t from HCM, so the north would have to be left for another trip.

7 days is not long, but that is what we can take at this time.

It is true. The kids do like to settle in, but I guess we balance that with trying to make the most of what we can see and do. It is a good point to consider.

Do you recommend any particular homestays in the Mekong?

Kathie May 18th, 2015 12:16 PM

In South East Asia making "the most of what we can see and do" usually means going fewer places rather than more. A week is a nice amount of time for one area, not so good to try to do two areas.

I don't do homestays, but crellston may have some recommendations.

crellston May 18th, 2015 02:10 PM

We stayed at Kim LAN Homestay run by the hotel of the same name in Cantho. Nice enough place and people but did have a bit of a problem there. Riding there bike along the canal. The handlebars suddenly came loose and I went flying into a thorn bush. Injured my back slightly and my pride more! Could have been a lot worse so I hesitate to recommend it.

The place we REALLY wanted to stay at but was full was. Gets booked up way in advance so act now if interested. There are others.just search on TA or Google. All will be in striking distance of Cai Rang market. Lots of activities the children will enjoy.

You probably will want a big hotel in Saigon but if not Ms Yangs Homestay was great. We spent a coupl,e of weeks there . Nothing fancy but great value and the best hosts in all of Asia.avoid any hotels right in the centre by the opera house, Caravelle, Rex etc. the area is a cigantic building site because of the subway construction.

crellston May 18th, 2015 02:14 PM

Here is a link to our blog of our recent trip with more detail and photos etc. just realised I never did get around to posting about the Homestay!

moonininjuly May 18th, 2015 04:32 PM

Now my question has caused you to realize you have more work to do on your blog ;)

Your photos are beautiful, Crellston.

Thank you for your input, Kathie and Crellston. We have some thinking and prioritizing to do now on our end!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:34 AM.