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12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

London, United...
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12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

Hiya,

I'm due to travel to Vietnam in September with my friend for 12 days (not long enough I know!) so I've been struggling to allocate days for each city. If anyone has advice on where to stay the shortest/longest I'd appreciate it.

Hanoi - 1 day 1 night

Ha Long Bay - 3 days, 2 nights (overnight train from Hanoi to Hue)

Hue - 2 nights 2 days

Hue via Hai Van Pass to Hoi Ann (1 day of travel)

Hoi An - 2 days

Ho Chi Minh City 3 1/2 days

We do want to go to Hoi An's beach, and do some tailoring, and definitely want to do the motorbike ride from hue to hoi ann.

I would have liked to see Sapa but not sure if its worth rushing all the other days in other cities.

Would be grateful if anyone can advise. We're two young females, not into nightlife/clubbing, but walking, exploring, food, shopping, history and doing sport activities (e.g. kayaking in Ha long bay, swimming at the beach).

Thanks!

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Hanoi
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Thua Thien - Hue Province, Vietnam
The Ann Hanoi
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548 Reviews
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13 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
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1. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

Twelve days isn't really enough for all that.

And just one day for Hanoi is just, well, wrong.

Scott

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Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
London, United...
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2 posts
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2. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

Right... yet you're unable to suggest an alternative so I'm confused as to why you've written at all.

Clearly I'm asking for advice.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vietnam
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9,576 posts
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3. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

"Right... yet you're unable to suggest an alternative so I'm confused as to why you've written at all."

I'm terribly sorry, I'm not actually a travel agent.

In fact, no one here (apart from the never ending annoying touts that litter the forum; who are actually flouting the TA rules when they do) are travel agents.

You asked, 'Did I make the correct choices'?, and I pointed out a couple of things that concerned me.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity, and because of your wishes, I won't bother you again. ;-)

Regards,

Scott

Edited: 03 August 2018, 18:42
Noosa, Australia
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233 posts
50 reviews
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4. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

I'd take time off HCMC and put it on Hanoi, by far a better city imo. Definitely do the 2 night ha long bay cruise, that was the highlight of my trip last year. Definitely don't add Sapa in, already not enough time with everything you are doing.

Edited: 03 August 2018, 18:56
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Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
Sapa
Sapa
Lao Cai Province, Vietnam
UK
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2,983 posts
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5. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

I'm not a travel agent either... way too much travelling for 12 days.

Way too much time in Saigon. Much as I love the place, it's a major building site.

Way not enough time in Hanoi.

Hai Van Pass: Worth seeing. Not worth GOING to see.

Hoi An: Meh.

Hanoi

Halong Bay

Ha Giang OR Sapa

Phong Nha OR Hue

Every time you move, you lose most of a day. Planes and trains are fine. Stay off the night buses.

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Saigon Phu Quoc Resort
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932 posts
21 reviews
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6. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

5days Hanoi which includes 1 night Halong Bay, 4 nights Hoian remaider in HCM.

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Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
Halong Bay
Halong Bay
9,388 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Portsmouth, United...
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1,547 posts
41 reviews
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7. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

The most common mistake by first-timers and posted daily; too many places in too little time.

Go to Travelfish.org for more in-depth research to narrow down your choice of places.

Forget counting 'nights' and think about how many full days you'd like to spend in each place.

Forget '1 night' stays. That's 2 consecutive travel days. 2 nights = only 1 full day.

Los Angeles...
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8. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

We did a similar route last year. I would skip Saigon altogether and spend that time in SAPA instead. You can visit the South next time. Don't rush.

Hanoi - two full days

Sapa - 2-3 days

The rest is fine. Definitely take the motorbike tour from Hue to Hoi An via the Pass. The Elephant Spring is fun as long as it's not too crowded.

For train ticket from Hanoi to Hue, book 1st class cabin through your hotel and pick up the ticket on your last day from the hotel. Ask the hotel to have the bell boy take you to the train station/cart. Just tip the bell boy a few dollars.

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Saigon Phu Quoc Resort
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Tour From Hue - Day Tours
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Paisley, Scotland
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276 posts
108 reviews
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9. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

As others have said, cut down Ho Chi and extend Hanoi. I enjoyed Hoi An. I’m one for squeezing in as much as possible but I agree with others to cut down your overall number of destinations and travelling and defo allow at least one more day for Hanoi.

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The Chi Boutique Hotel
The Chi Boutique Hotel
571 Reviews
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Hoi An
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Bangalow, Australia
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530 posts
54 reviews
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10. Re: 12 days in Vietnam, did I make the correct choices?

You said you wanted to get some tailoring done, you are pushing it getting anything made in 2 days. It's possible if you go there first thing and pick up late on last day, but I wouldn't guarantee the items would be ready. ..I was there for 3 days bought my material and had the items made in Nha Trang as we were there longer.

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Nha Trang
Nha Trang
Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam
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