vietnam- should I go to the beach?

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May 31st, 2014, 07:10 AM
  #1
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vietnam- should I go to the beach?

at xmas my family of 4 (kids in university) are going to vietnam. our itinerary looks great (hue/hoi an, hanoi /halong bay, and luang prabang. lots of adventures are planned!

we swapped luang prabang in and HCM city out as we felt there was more to do in LP (we will go hiking, elephant experience, etc) and are not city people.

however flights have changed since our initial plan, and it is now much more expensive to fly return from toronto to accommodate this plan.

It is much cheaper now to fly in to HCM and out of Hanoi, and this would let us start in the south, and probably go to PHO QUOC to the beach. this means leaving something out, and it would have to be Hoi An and Hue.

The new plan will save us $800 each in the return airfare alone from toronto (ie, if we do the beach instead of Hue and Hoi an we save $3600 in airfare!). Can anyone suggest an amazing place to stay at the beach? Is is worth giving up Hue and Hoi An, or should we just do it anyway and damn the extra cost? We are not really beach people, but if there is somewhere stunning, for a couple days at the beginning to relax its not the end of the world either....
or are the beaches just ok, and we shouldnt wast any of our precious time (we only have 2 weeks altogether) on just another beach.....

thanks in advance!
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May 31st, 2014, 07:26 AM
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If you are "not really beach people" then why even consider the beach? Two weeks is no time at all in Vietnam and just a few days out of 15 would mean you are missing some very special places. If you need time to chill after a long flight, I would be inclined to spend the cash on upgrading to really nice hotel for a couple of nights in Saigon - splash around in the pool and splash out on a massage.

Personally, I would not give up a visit to Hue in favour of the beach. Hoi An is close to the beach anyway so I suppose you could stay on the beach there rather than in the quaint, picturesque but very busy town.
Mayb if you posted details of you planned itinerary it would help others to make suggestions.
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May 31st, 2014, 07:27 AM
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you can go to the beach near hoi an at china beach... nice hotels there.. easy access from danang airport on way to hoi an.

use Vietnam air in country, easy and cheap... have Tonkin travel help you...

fine to fly into HCMC and out of Hanoi.. only need a couple of days in HCMC... 3* hotels are very nice in VN...

hua is a major site..

I personally would give up halong bay if you need to cut back
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May 31st, 2014, 07:59 AM
  #4
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we were going to go to the beach in pho quoc only because of the weather ( lovely in the south at xmas, not so much near danang I understand.

I suppose we could give up Halong Bay and do the mekong instead if we have to arrive in HCM? (our initial plans had us arriving in danang from Hong Kong, so we were no going to HCM city at all, and staying in saigon or the environs really does mean giving something else up...)

sounds like pho quoc not that special, is that what I am hearing?

I thought halong bay was a highlight- I am surprised that rhkmk you say it is expendible!

other thoughts anyone?
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May 31st, 2014, 08:13 AM
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I am not a beach person, so perhaps my view isn't that valuable, but I did visit the beach in Vietnam (although at Mui Ne and Nha Trang) and didn't find it noticeably different from beaches anywhere. Unless you are going somewhere especially noted for its beaches, specifically to visit the beach (e.g. Thai islands, the Maldives), why bother? I didn't find the delta area that exciting either. I would give the time to Hue and Hanoi.

I did enjoy one overnight on Halong Bay, but it does take a long, boring drive to get there and back.

Don't ignore the trains. I'd suggest the night train from Hue to Hanoi. See: http://www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 09:05 PM
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Mui Ne and Phu Quoc are warm enough for beach time in Vietnam. It's around 20 degrees in Hoi An in last Dec. so for 2 week you should spend about 12 days for the tour from the North down to the south and last 3 days for Phu Quoc beach Island
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 04:52 AM
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If you really want to have the beach relax during Dec – Jan , the beaches in the Southern Vietnam (Phu Quoc or Phan Thiet) are better choices.
Hoi An beach (in the Central Vietnam) is nice, there are many resorts on the beach, but Dec is not suitable time for swimming.
2 weeks is enough time for your trip from the South to the North of Vietnam. I think you should not miss Hue city and Hoi An ancient town which are cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO. You are right, Halong Bay is highlight in the North and is worthy to see.
If you want a bit adventurous tour, you should have a trek in mountainous area such as Sapa (soft trek or hard trek, it is up to you).
The draft itinerary should be as follow:

OPTION 1: HCMC / Mekong Delta/ relax on the beach / Hoi An/Hue/Hanoi/Ninh Binh/ Halong
Day 1: Arrive in HCMC. A half day city tour. Night in HCMC.
Day 2: One day tour to Mekong Delta (visit My Tho or Ben Tre). Night in HCMC.
Day 3: Flight to Phu Quoc ( or drive to Phan Thiet ).
Day 4-5: Free time on the beach
Day 6: Phu Quoc/HCMC (by air) or drive Phan Thiet/HCMC (around 200 km).
Day 7: HCMC/Danang (by air), then drive to Hoi An (45 km). Night in Hoi An
Day 8: Hoi An ancient town in the morning. PM: Drive to Hue (150 km). Night in Hue
Day 9: Hue
Day 10: Hue / Hanoi – Half day city tour with the most attractive spots in Hanoi. Night in Hanoi
Day 11: One day tour to Ninh Binh province. Night in Hanoi.
Day 12-13: Halong Bay with the night on deluxe /luxury boat
Day 14: Departure

OPTION 1: HCMC / Mekong Delta/ Hoi An/Hue/Hanoi/Sapa mountainous area / Ninh Binh/ Halong
Day 1: Arrive in HCMC. A half day city tour.
Day 2: One day tour to Mekong Delta (visit My Tho or Ben Tre)
Day 3: HCMC/Danang (by air), then drive to Hoi An (45 km)
Day 4: Hoi An ancient town in the morning. Afternoon tour to My Son (30 km from Hoi An). Stay on the beach in Hoi An.
Day 5: AM Drive to Hue (150 km). Hue city tour in the afternoon. Night in Hue.
Day 6: Hue / Hanoi (flight)
Day 7: Full day city tour in Hanoi. Take the night train to Lao Cai.
Day 8: Lao Cai/ Sapa mountainous area (40 km from Lao Cai railway station). Full day in Sapa.
Day 9: Soft trek (or hard trek) to the minority villages nearby. Night in Sapa.
Day 10: Sapa / Lao Cai railway station and take the night train back to Hanoi
Day 11: Arrive in Hanoi early morning. One day tour to Ninh Binh province. Night in Hanoi.
Day 12-13: Halong Bay with the night on deluxe /luxury boat
Day 14: Departure

I hope you will choose a suitable itinerary for yourself.
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 05:41 AM
  #8
 
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Ugh, typical travel agency itineraries, rushing around and no time to even sit down for a cup of coffee, never mind actually experience a place. Less is more.
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Jun 3rd, 2014, 05:45 AM
  #9
 
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Yup, you can go at Vietnam. In that season, you will see beaches looks awesome.
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Jun 20th, 2014, 11:31 PM
  #10
 
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I read on blogs some beautiful resorts for relaxing in Vietnam:
In Lang co beaches, Vung Tau beaches are not hard to reach. Beautiful resorts and nice landscapes.
No need to swim, walking along the coast is enough.
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Jun 21st, 2014, 04:55 PM
  #11
 
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If u dont like big cities and beaches then pick towns and villages. 2 weeks is stuff all time. 4 towns is all you need.
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