Vietnam Itinerary - 9 nights

Jun 23rd, 2005, 03:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 13
Vietnam Itinerary - 9 nights

We'll be making our first trip to Vietnam in August. Do you suggest flying into Hanoi, or Saigon? From much research online, it seems that there are more tours that start from Hanoi (Halong Bay, Perfume Pagoda, Sapa, etc). Can anyone advise which area (North or South) is better for first time travelers with 9 nights' total stay? Ideally, we'd also like to visit some places in the Central part of the country, but time is tight and we don't want to rush. Thanks!
chrisliu19 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 03:49 PM
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You mention that most tours seem to start from Hanoi. Do you plan on joining a guided tour when you get there? You really don't have to, you can fly or drive between cities and hire private guides and drivers there. I don't think it matters if you start in the North or South. When I was there, we began in Hanoi, flew to Danang and had a driver and guide take us to Hoi An and Hue, and from there flew to Saigon. If you only have 9 days, you could do:

Hanoi--3 nights
Hoi An --1 or 2 nights
Hue--2 nights
Saigon--2 or 3 nights

If you could add more time to Hoi An and Hue, it would be worth it. 9 nights is not a long time but if you just want an introduction to Vietnam, this would be good, especially if you don't know if you will get back there anytime soon. It's much better to spend a lot of time in one or two places, as many on this forum will tell you, but not everyone has that luxury. Some people want to see as much as possible. You need to decide what you want. If you do add any more places to the above, you will be too rushed and not get a sense of the places.
laurieco is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 01:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I travelled on my own to Vietnam in January and was in the same quandry. I had 7 nights and after a great deal of research decided to spend 2 nights in Hanoi followed by 3 nights in Hoi An and then back to Hanoi rather than try and spread myself too thinly. The day I had in Hanoi at the beginning I had a private guide (not expensive) to show me the sites which were amazing. I then flew to Danang and stopped off at the Museum there which was great. I then went to Hoi An which is absolutely amazing. Very different. Lots of tailors who are excellent and very good value (best I have found in Asia) and loads of galleries. There is a beach there which is lovely as well but too many hawkers even in winter! Lots of great restaurants where you can stop and have a drink and people watch. You can take a trip on the river and I even fitted in a fabulous cookery class. I loved Hoi An and will go back to visit. Everyone is very friendly and it was the first time I had travelled on my own and I loved it. I am supposedly middle aged!!!! I went back to Hanoi and booked a day trip to Ha Long bay which was a long but great day. Sapa is supposed to be lovely but I think it is about a 3 day trip and do you really have time? I am longing to go back and next time will go to Saigon and probably back to Hoi An.

Hope this helps.
constanttraveller is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 333
I would do north and south, flying into one and out the other. I did a 9 day trip like that a couple of years ago. Flew into Hanoi, spent 5 days based there getting a real feel for the city. Loved it. Took day trips to Halong Bay and other places. Then flew down to Saigon and explored the Mekong Delta region. Also fantastic. Originally I had planned to add Hoi An and Hue in there too, but after arriving in Hanoi, decided it would be too much running around. A north-south combination is just perfect and worked out very well.
Mealea is offline  
Jun 25th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 13
Thank you everyone for your advice. It really points me in a much better direction and I'm looking forward to the trip!
chrisliu19 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2005, 06:26 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 424
Hoi An is a fun town. Great food.
If you like clothes, then can tailor clothes for you in a couple of days.
Here's a recommended restaurant
"Hoi An Hai San"
IsisMnroe is online now  

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