Vietnam Itinerary - Please


Jul 29th, 2014, 03:04 AM
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Vietnam Itinerary - Please

My husband and I have been planning an 11 day trip to Vietnam for our 25th wedding anniversary. There is so much too see in this wonderful country with so little to time to do so. I have been struggling with the itinerary. Here is what I have come up with so far. Please comment if it is feasible. If not, what would you change? I know there is not sufficient time in Hanoi but plan on returning a second time to do more of the North (Sapa, etc)

Nov 5th - arrival in Saigon
Nov 6h - Saigon
Nov 7th - Mekong Delta and then overnight in Can Tho
Nov 8th fly to Phu Quok for 2 days of beach
Nov 10th fly to Hanoi
Nov 11th Hanoi all day
Nov 12th Halong Bay overnight in Junk boat
Nov. 13 leave Hanoi (fly or overnight train to Hue)
Nov 14 Hue
Nov 15 Hoi An
Nov 16 fly to Siem Reep from Danag
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Jul 29th, 2014, 06:22 AM
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I think you are trying to do too much and will end up feeling rushed and like you didn't get to see/do experience what you wanted in VN. Trying to do the whole country in 11 days is not realistic. I'd say choose just two areas of VN (North, South, Central). Right now you have "one day" in each Saigon, Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An. It takes 2 nights in a place to get one full day which is insufficient to see any city, IMO. Cutting one area will allow you time to experience a bit of a place.

You didn't ask about Angkor, but I highly recommend getting a copy of Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples well in advance of your trip so you can prepare for this portion of your trip. I do hope you have given yourselves enough time in Siem Reap, as it takes three full days just to see the major temples. If you are really interested in the temples, you'll want more time. We spent a full week there and would have enjoyed even more time there.
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Jul 29th, 2014, 06:33 AM
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I agree with Kathie in that I think you probably realise that you are trying to fit to much in to the time available. I suggest you leave one destination out in favour of increasing your time in other places. The problem with staying just one night in a place is that it increases the proportion of travel, as opposed to sightseeing time, quite dramatically. To get in one full day of sightseeing you really need to stay two nights min in each place.

As to what to leave out, that is really down to your personal preferences and wish list. For me, it would probably be Ha Long or Phu Quoc.

If you wanted to retain Ha Long then maybe consider flying to Hue from Haiphong.

Hue and Hoi An are both worth seeing but if I had to choose one it would be Hue.

If you are flying from Da Nang to SR then do try and fit in the train journey from Hue to Da Nang. It only takes 4 hours or so but has some spectacular views

Also have a look at
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Jul 29th, 2014, 09:57 AM
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Thanks for your replies. I will take your suggestion and remove a destination (probably Ha Long and maybe even Hanoi regrettably) and do it on a subsequent visit (to combine with perhaps a visit to Laos).

I do have the wonderful book from Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples and will definitely study it in detail!!

Any suggestions for a specific tour of the Mekong Delta?
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Jul 29th, 2014, 06:54 PM
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I would add the Mekong Delta time to Hanoi which I found to be extremely interesting.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 09:22 AM
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I would also cut out the Mekong portion as well as halong bay in favor of Hanoi. I would even go so far as to skip Saigon entirely, heading straight up north. If possible, get to sapa which was one of the highlights of our trip to vn. Hue & hoi an were also fabulous.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 09:24 AM
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If you skip the Mekong and halong bay, take some time in siem reap to visit the lake where you can see the floating
villages and life on the water.
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Jul 31st, 2014, 12:14 PM
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Agree with others that way too much for 11 days. Your cutback of 2 destinations does help. We spent 3 weeks in VN a couple years ago. You can scroll down thru our report and read our TR from our time there.
I found the Mekong Delta portion of the trip the least interesting of all. While I enjoyed Halong Bay (even in the fog) I agree to eliminate it. I liked Saigon but I found Hanoi to be a much more interesting city.
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Aug 2nd, 2014, 09:08 AM
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We did our Mekong Delta trip with Khoi of Water Buffalo Tours ( We enjoyed our time and really thought Khoi was an excellent guide. That being said, I would have to say that the Mekong was probably our least favorite part of the trip. In retrospect I would have skipped the overnight in Can Tho and just done all the activities we did the first day, then headed back to HCMC.

I find that we were opposite most people and really loved HCMC and thought Halong Bay was a highlight of our trip. However, I don't think your decision to eliminate Hanoi and Halong Bay is a bad one as just eliminating the north will make the rest of the trip more enjoyable We did not go to Sapa or Hue, but definitely plan on doing both in a future trip - probably combined with Laos, as you plan on doing.

We also really loved Hoi An! Here is a link to my trip report along with pictures:

My trip report for Siem Reap:
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Aug 7th, 2014, 04:49 AM
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Thanks everyone for all your comments and they were insightful I enjoyed reading some of your blogs and trip reports. I wish I had more time as there is so many wonderful must-see places in Vietnam. I have finally decided to cut out the Mekong Delta and Halong Bay.
thanks again!!
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Aug 7th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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Have a terrific trip and please remember to report back afterward.
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