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  1. #1
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    khmen's Avatar
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    Vietnam - Suggestions and tips please

    Hi all,

    Me and the missus are going to Vietnam for just over three weeks in late October to mid November, so I thought I'd post a thread asking for any suggestions and reccommendations from those here who have visited Vietnam before, as neither of us have.

    I've got a rough idea of where we're going to visit and will list our general itinery below, but would welcome any suggestions of other must-visit places I haven't listed, or any recommendations of things to do/places to stay/places to eat and drink in the places I'm planning on going to:

    So, we land in HCMC and fly to Hanoi the following day.

    We then plan to get the night train to Sapa from Hanoi, stay for a few days, then get the night train back to Hanoi.

    Next, we were planning to do the Halong Bay boat tour thing, but doing really touristy expensive "tours" ain't really our thing...luckily I've found what seems like a pleasing alternative, Quan Lan Island: https://www.google.co.uk/#q=quan+lan+island To get there you can take a slow local ferry boat through the exact same scenery as on the tours, yet you end up on a relatively unspoiled island instead of on a boatload of tourists. Anyone been there? Not much info online, but from what I've read it sounds decent.

    Then we go back to Hanoi, and could maybe squeeze a couple of days at Ninh Binh, which looks pretty nice.

    Next, we plan to fly to Da Nang and spend a few days in Central vietnam, visiting Hoi An, Hue, the Hai Van Pass and Lang Co. Now, Central Vietnam isn't recommended at th time of year we're visiting due to a fairly high chance of typhoons, so we're just going to have to see what the weather is doing at the time and make a decision to visit or not. Anyone got any alternative suggestions for this portion of the trip? Maybe some places inland away from the coast, or places worth visiting in Southern Vietnam?

    After this we plan to fly back to HCMC for a couple of days before we fly home. Would like to do a Mekong Delta Boat trip, any recommendations on tour providers?

    So just to recap:
    HCMC>Hanoi
    Hanoi>Sapa>Hanoi
    Hanoi>Quan Lan>Hanoi
    (Potentially) Hanoi>Ninh Binh>Hanoi
    Hanoi>Hoi An
    Hoi An>Hue
    Hue>HCMC

    Thanks in advance for any helpful tips and suggestions, I shall do a photo thread of the trip on my return.

  2. #2
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    david44's Avatar
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    Good news some westerners and ASEAN get free visa on arrival very smooth

    Money change good official rate at Airport and ATMs in all tourist areas

    We had a taxi pick up from Airport to city centre only $10, next time if no bags I'd hail one outside now I know where to go, provided meter on cheaper than Bangkok tho Traffic a bugga at least I can read the rd signs


    If your into Jazz Tanh's near Rex Hotle and Opera is top notch western prices for drinks but I think free admission anyway superb Coltrane and Bird style stuff better than anything heard in Siam in 30 yrs


    Link has map opens at 9pm ring to book a ringside seat in very long room
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...Minh_City.html
    The beer ok cheap as chips and Dalat wine plus superb Viet and Asian food

    Internal flights very cheap so unless a train buff fly up to Hue or Da Nang then do other half by rail

    Enjoy

    N Of Haboi its Mts and can get cool in Winter
    I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.

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    Delta trips sold everywhere for $10-20 v good long day oout

    Also Phu Quoc 30min flight to rhe island opp Hua Hin off Kompot and Snooky in Cambodia

  4. #4
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    Da Lat & Nha Trang in the south

    In Saigon, you may check out the Cu Chi Tunnel tour. Not for everyone, though, as some ppl don't like propaganda. Not advised to go inside the tunnels if you're claustrophobic, have asthma, heart ailments, or a large mammal. Pics in my thread somewhere.

  5. #5
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    ^
    Aye, I'd love to go to those two areas.



  6. #6
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    If you have not travel experiences before, you should book a tour to travel, you can refer to Vietnam Tour Booking agency or check out tips to travel Vietnam

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    With 3 weeks in Vietnam, you can enjoy many things in various places. Taking a trans-Vietnam tour is also a good choice if you have difficulties in making a detailed plan.

  9. #9
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    Thanks David and Katie for your replies. I shall look into the logistics of Dalat and Nha Trang in case the Central Region is a washout.

    Cheers Wayne, I actually read all your Phu Quoc thread recently as I was originally planning on heading there the day after landing. I decided against visiting though - based on a lot of recent reviews stating the rubbish problem on the island/beaches is horrendous these days, and also that tge sheer amount of construction and associated pollution/dust isn't exactly conducive for a relaxed beach holiday!

    I had wanted to visit PQ about ten years back but for whatever reason ended up going to Koh Chang instead. Wish I had now as by the sound of things its well on the way to being fucked now.

    I shall have a read through the other thread of yours and see if it provides any ideas, cheers mate.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineLamote View Post
    If you have not travel experiences before, you should book a tour to travel, you can refer to Vietnam Tour Booking agency or check out tips to travel Vietnam
    Thanks but no thanks! I've always travelled independently and always will.

  11. #11
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    I've posted a couple of trip reports that you might get a bit of info from khmen

    Hammered in Hanoi

    BLD goes to the beach

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Da Lat & Nha Trang in the south

    In Saigon, you may check out the Cu Chi Tunnel tour. Not for everyone, though, as some ppl don't like propaganda. Not advised to go inside the tunnels if you're claustrophobic, have asthma, heart ailments, or a large mammal. Pics in my thread somewhere.
    Some people dont like propaganda or Americans dont like the truth....a bit of both i think

  13. #13
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    It;s a filthy beach dual pricing gouging common practice by shameless touts avoid.

  14. #14
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    North (Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa or Ninh Binh)
    Central VN (Phong Nha cave, Hue and Hoian) - An Bang beach in Hoian
    South (HCMC, Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc island or Mui Ne beach)

  15. #15
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    Not saying you should book it off these folk, but have you though of just cruising on the train and stopping where you want?

    It's something I'm considering doing when I have time. I'm sure you could organise it in country.



    https://www.luxurytravelvietnam.com/...etnamtrain.htm

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    ^ I travelled from the north to the far north then to the south by train. Did it all in country. Easy. It was a slow way to get around Vietnam but perhaps the trains are faster these days.

  17. #17
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    Halong Bay is pretty special. Carsk rocks sticking out the sea. You stay the night on a clipper and get dinner etc...well worth a visit.

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