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itinerary tweaking

Honolulu, Hawaii
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itinerary tweaking

Hi,

Looking to get booking soon to get transport/accommadtion locked in for the post Tet period.But need help tweaking and seeing which direction to go makes more sense.

Myself and mrs arrive Feb 22 at night and Depart Mar 20 early in am.

-HCM 2 nights

-Quy Nhon 2/3 nights(fly HCM-QN)

avani hotel

-HANOI 3 nights (fly QN-HAN)

-CAT BA/HA LONG 2/ nights

-Mai Chau 2 nights

Mai Chau eco lodge/Pu Luong Retreat...Book Toan Tour of area

-Ninh Binh 2/3 Nights

Tam Coc Garden/Emeralda Hotel

-Danang 2 nights (train NB-DAN)

-Hoi An 3 Nights

HCM 1 night.

Thats roughly what we got so far.Having been to vietnam a few times, we are returning for big birthday/anniversary celebrations and want to live it up in some Boutique Hotels as much as possible, as its only place in world we can afford them. And spend our days exploring areas looking for great little street side bites along the way...and hit some new spots we havent been to yet.

I realise we still have some time left over and cant decide where to go with it, Ha Giang would be a good choice but dont know if we up for the long drive to and from there, plus it may be similar in a way to Ninh Binh/Mai Chau or would you suggest we go there instead?

Pu Luong area looks lovley tho.

But also dont know if we will do side trip to Thailand/Cambodia/Laos just for 3 nights.

Knowing that, where you you send 2 foodies/photographers that love cute Boutique Hotels with colonial charm ? Chiang Mai,Luang Prabang.etc

13 replies to this topic
Honolulu, Hawaii
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1. Re: itinerary tweaking

where do you think would be the best time to squeeze in a few days in Nha Trang?

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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2. Re: itinerary tweaking

Nowhere, your itinerary is already quite busy.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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3. Re: itinerary tweaking

could you suggest a better itinerary?

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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4. Re: itinerary tweaking

I'm not really into suggesting itineraries since everyone is different with respect to what they like and what they expect from their journey.

But I notice that you plan to spend time in 9 destinations over a time span of a mere 4 weeks. Transfers in Vietnam are slow and you easily lose more than half a day each time.

My own preferred mode of sightseeing the country, when I'm not touring it by car or motorcycle, is to go to a hub and make day trips from there. To me this is much more relaxing than the alternative.

Why, for example, do you wish to go to Quy Nhon? It's not popular with tourists. I happen to like Quy Nhon myself and usually go there 2-3 times a year. But depending on your preferences, Nha Trang arguably has a lot more to offer (except the peace and quiet you'll find in Quy Nhon of course).

Nha Trang is also better positioned as a hub for a one night stay in places like Da Lat or even Buon Ma Thuot if the central highlands are of interest.

You're not new to the country so I'm sure you've thought out your plans well. I just don't think that your itinerary would support adding Nha Trang; unless you bus or train to Quy Nhon from there. You'd still have to subtract the time invested from one of the other destinations on your itinerary.

Edited: 19 June 2017, 03:24
Honolulu, Hawaii
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5. Re: itinerary tweaking

your right, shud cut down abit, and yes we are there to relax mainly, and spoil ourselves with resonable luxury hotels that we cant afford elsewhere.we usually base in a hub n go from there, dont know why am so scattered this time.Quy Nhon really appeals to me as I like to get away from the tourists(am a country boy and loved my visits to rural vietnam in past) and mrs speaks viet.even in when in Hoi An we are getting lost in the country n coming back to eat cau lao with the locals down a dark alley at night.I thought Quy Nhon would be nicer than Nha Trang, but mrs wanted to return to see what its like after having fond memories there in 90s and I suppose it would be fun to see a russian vietnam for few days.She also wanted to do Ha Long Bay again but am not feeling it, besides we did it back in '08 which may have been better than today,so that may get cut.but Danang and Hoi An is basically 1 destination, we just going to take our time in each.We also did Dalat 2 years ago which we loved but would like to see more of the country...oh its hard to know...

Any thoughts on if we shud go to Nha Trang or Quy Nhon 1st after HCM?

Honolulu, Hawaii
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6. Re: itinerary tweaking

just looked at photos of Mai Chau and Pu Luong Nature Reserve area in March, doesnt look as stunning without the green rice paddies.perhaps can cut and just do Ninh Binh?

Western Australia...
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7. Re: itinerary tweaking

I am giving Nha Trang a miss in favour of Quy Nhon next month. Was in Nha Trang in 2006 before all the development and really want to keep those memories. We are flying to Quy Nhon from HCMC and will be staying in a beachside backpackers at Bai Xep, a fishing village about 10-12Km outside of Quy Nhon. I was in Mui Ne for a few days in February and it is now a holiday destination for Russian tourists. I was the only English speaking guest in the hotel all the others were Russian families. All the menus and tour signs have the Russian language over English, I believe Nha Trang is similar. I do not know if 'a Russian Vietnam' would be a draw card for me as there are so many other places to be explored.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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8. Re: itinerary tweaking

If your Mrs. last saw Nha Trang in the 90's, she's in for a surprise of a lifetime. Don't go, all her bubbles will burst! I think most foreigners find the place awful these days. Strangely, the locals don't, all they see is progress. By the way, it's almost more Chinese than Russian these days. As you move away from the tourist area the city is still charming however. If you speak Vietnamese, which, thankfully, I do.

I agree with you on Quy Nhon, it's quite beautiful.

Ha Long Bay definitely was nicer in '08 in my opinion.

As for going to Nha Trang or Quy Nhon first after HCMC, have a look at the map. Quy Nhon is further north than Nha Trang by more than 200 km or about 4,5 hours by road or rail. Going there and back to Nha Trang will cost you a day (or a night) as I'm unsure whether you can fly north to DAD as easily from UIH as you can from CXR. I seem to recall that there are no non-stop flights between Quy Nhon and Da Nang.

Personally, this fall I'll be skipping Ha Long and go to Ninh Binh instead. En route to the big loop up near Hà Giang, also avoiding the big cities which I've already seen on multiple occasions and which do nothing for me.

I'm sure you'll have an enjoyable trip.

Edited: 19 June 2017, 08:36
Honolulu, Hawaii
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9. Re: itinerary tweaking

thank you for confirming Quy Nhon and for knocking Nha Trang and Halong off our itinerary.

Now I wonder how long is enough to really enjoy Ninh Binh and Mau Chau area.

We find 3 days to be a good amount of time in 1 area.But if we are to do a tour with Toan then mayb we just stay in Ninh Binh versus Mau Chau? but they both look beautiful, but MC in March might not look great without the green paddies? Still trying to convice mrs to go Ha Giang, but the journey to there is putting her off

Honolulu, Hawaii
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10. Re: itinerary tweaking

its looking like this now

HCM 3 nights/2 full days (fly to QN)

Quy Nhon 4 nights /3 full days(fly to HANOI)

Hanoi 4 nights/3 full days (Drive NB)

Ninh Binh 3 nights (drive to Mai Chau or Halong Bay...or Ha Giang)

Mai Chau/Halong/Ha Giang 3 nights (Fly to Danang from either Hai Phong or Hanoi)

Danang 3 nights /2 full days(drive to Hoi An)

Hoi An 4 nights/3 full days

HCM 2nights

I now think 3 nights may not be enough for Ha Giang with the length of time to and from the area.

I choose danang as we have never spent any time there and mrs has some in'laws to show us about.

Aside from relaxing we really want to immerse ourselves in the food and do alot of cooking classes.

I'm thinking best for this would be Hanoi/Danang/Hoi An?

Any thoughts or suggestions on any of the above?

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