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Vietnam sans central Vietnam, a mistake?

Vietnam sans central Vietnam, a mistake?

Jun 26th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Vietnam sans central Vietnam, a mistake?

I am thinking of visiting Vietnam early next year, I have read about the country and the sights. Central Vietnam (Hoi An, Hue, Danang, etc) do not appeal to me too much. Definitely would like to visit HCMC and Hanoi and spend a few days in each city and the surrounding area. Is skipping the sights in central Vietnam a mistake?

justshootme is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 01:06 PM
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No. Do what interests you.

Maybe I missed it, but I never saw any requirement to see every area of a country when you visit. ;-)
Kathie is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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hanoi is a must....many feel saigon is a miss...

my first visit was hanoi only and we are returning this fall and doing the whole string of coastal cities. mnay speak more highly of them...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 04:26 PM
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We preferred Hanoi to Saigon. We also loved Hue and Hoi An, but it depends on what you are looking for. What is the reason for you wanting to skip those cities and what are you seeking?
dgunbug is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 08:54 PM
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Some of Vietnam's best food is in Hue and Hoi An, and Hoi An is also great because it has a little of everything, and prices are very good there (Hanoi and HCMC are more expensive). I went to Dalat last time and really loved that mountain town - quite different and very low key. I agree with the others - Hanoi is the real gem of Vietnam. I also think Sapa is a real must - also very unique.

Everyone's taste is a little different. The spot that doesn't appeal to me is Ankor Wat.
daawgon is offline  
Jun 26th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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Danang has almost nothing to offer the tourist - this year they did have quite a nice International Fireworks event.
daawgon is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 12:18 AM
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HCMC and Hanoi are both great cities and definitely worth visiting - I would allocate slightly more time to Hanoi but both have a lot to offer the visitor.

Hue and Hoi An are the usual stops in the central region. Hoi An is very quaint but very busy with tourists and a bit overtly commercialised for my tastes. Hue has a lot of historical sites (the citadel, tombs etc.) and, as daawgon points out, both offer arguably the best food in Vietnam. I must have spent at least acouple of weeks in Hue over the years and do recall that it has rained pretty much every day I have been there (at varying times of year).

Da Nang has little to offer the tourist although one of the best train journeys in the world is along the coast and mountains from Da Nang to Hue - worth 4 hours of anyone time!

If you want time outside of major cities and, depending upon how adventurous you feel consider a side trip say to the Mekong delta from Saigon or may be Sapa or Mai Chau from Hanoi.

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html entries #13-16 cover Vn

A few photos of Sapa and Mai Chau

crellston is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 03:53 AM
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Definitely not a mistake. You seem to have researched well, so if the destinations in central Vietnam don't appeal to you on paper they are unlikely to do so in person.

While I enjoyed myself in central Vietnam I have never felt the urge to return. Conversely I like north Vietnam so much that I return for at least a month every year.
RedKite is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 08:23 AM
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You can never do everything!

I've been to Vietnam twice and only visited Saigon and the Mekong Delta. I never felt this was a mistake, as we had a fabulous time and were very busy with things there. I know I'll catch other parts of VN another time.

If you love the Hanoi and Saigon areas, you can always come back and explore other parts of the country.
lcuy is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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Here's another thought - if you have not yet done Cambodia and intend to in the future, you can do Southern VN with Cambodia, taking the Mekong trip along the way. Then you can add Sapa to Hanoi and if possible Hue and Hoi An as well.
dgunbug is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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Thanks for all the replies.

crellston, thanks for the links.

dgunbug, in responce to your question, I get the impression that alot of the sights in Central Vietnam were destroyed during the war (granted, this is true for the whole country) and that the sights will be somewhat repetitive. I have never been to Vietnam and I'm interested in sights that are unique in the country.

I am interested in Hanoi, Halong Bay, HCMC and the Cu Chi Tunnels.
justshootme is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 12:25 PM
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I was surprised how much there was to see in Hue, because they've restored much of the Citadel. And, the emperor's mausoleums are all intact. I liked Hue much more than I thought.
And Hoi An was an interesting diversion for a couple of days. Liked both better than Saigon and had no desire to go to the Tunnels. But, found the Mekong delta intriguing.
barefootbeach is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 04:46 PM
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I put both Hue and Hoi An very high on my list of great places to visit in VN. As Barefoot said, there is a lot to see in Hue and a lot has been restored. There are mixed reviews on Saigon and Hanoi, but for us, Hanoi wins hands down. The tourist attractions in Saigon can be seen in 1 day, but honestly, we didn't think they were all that great. As for the Mekong Delta, while we thought it was interesting, it is more of the same if you have already seen floating markets, or if you have been to the lake outside of Siem Reap. The Cu Chi Tunnels were interesting, but we thought that the drive was too long. There are tunnels which you can visit if you visit the Demilitarized Zone as a day trip from Hue and I suspect they are similar. I also see you are skipping Sapa, which was another highlight of our trip. But, you can't do everything and it depends on how long you have as well as the time of year. I'm sure whatever you do, you will have a fabulous time.
dgunbug is offline  
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