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10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

new plymouth
Level Contributor
7 posts
50 reviews
10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

My 11 yr old son and I are arriving Saigon 9 Oct and will spend until 13th Oct here. Intend to do the Cuchi tunnels and Mekong delta etc etc. My husband arrives on night of 12th Oct as he is already in Vietnam for work. We had intended to head straight to Phu Quoc on 13th until around 18/19th and then fly home (NZ), however I wonder if it is better to take the time to fly to Hanoi on 13th from Saigon and do an overnight cruise at Halong Bay, and then fly to Phu Quoc and have only say 3 nights there... I realise we would be going from one end of Vietnam to the other(!), but due to weather we wanted to avoid central - Nha Trang/Hoi An, where very bad rain is likely, and have some beach/sun time hence choosing Phu Quoc. Have done a bit of homework here.

My question I suppose, is if it is worth the diversion in time and money to do HaLong Bay for the overnight junk cruise (would do a luxury one to ensure a good experience), or just be satisfied with HMC and PQ at one end of the country?

Many thanks in advance!

PS - My son and I have never been to Vietnam before, though have travelled extensively through other Asian areas - Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand.

7 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
361 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: 10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

Any particular reason to choose PQ? Would any beach do? Vung Tau is really close to Saigon and has decent beaches, ~2 hrs by ferry or 2.50 hrs by car/bus. If you just want to do Ha Long Bay cruise, perhaps fly straight to Hai Phong and go from Hai Phong to Ha Long Bay is a better choice, since Hai Phong - Ha Long is much shorter than Hanoi - Ha Long (1 hr vs 3.50 hrs).

Ben Tre, Vietnam
Level Contributor
2,722 posts
1 review
2. Re: 10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

Fly to Northern VN just for Halong Bay is not worth (You should do 2 or 3 nights in Hanoi).

new plymouth
Level Contributor
7 posts
50 reviews
3. Re: 10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

Thanks for replies. Yes I did wonder it might be a bit ambitious/not worth the flights just for the one overnight tour. In saying that, we did fly from Bali to Komodo island for a 2 day tour and that was well worth it, though of course no traffic/hordes of people to combat with in that instance!

The reason I chose PQ was simply due to the weather in Hoi An Nha Trang etc being very rainy/monsoon season (according to all the literature I've read anyway). I had read that beaches closer to HMC were not that nice and Phu Quoc had fairly good reviews (and travel agent considered PQ a good option), and weather was potentially not fabulous, but ok as coming out of rain season.

My husband will actually already be in Vung Tau, but I didn't think there was much there to see(?) We really just wanted some hot sunny weather! Always the option for me to meet him there instead of him meeting us in HMC...

Your idea re flying into Hai Phong is very helpful and I will look into that option and see if it becomes more viable.

Thanks again!

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vietnam
Level Contributor
10,900 posts
4. Re: 10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

"The reason I chose PQ was simply due to the weather in Hoi An Nha Trang etc being very rainy/monsoon season (according to all the literature I've read anyway)."

Yes, it can be, and at different times over that three month or so wet season, it will be.

We spent five nights in Hoi An in the last week of October last year and hardly saw a drop.

Scott

new plymouth
Level Contributor
7 posts
50 reviews
5. Re: 10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

Thanks for that. Yes - I know it is a risk you take (or not) re the weather that time of year! I'm now considering the option of flying to Hai Phong which makes the Ha long tour do-able within our time frame, or tacking on another couple days to our trip so that we can visit Hanoi. I have read that hai Phong is what Hanoi was some years ago and quite pleasant, so I wonder if I'm still better to fly into here rather then Hanoi. I looked into doing Cat Ba island over PQ, but weather still looking iffy and I really do want some sun on the trip, so I think Phu Quoc will remain in the itinerary.

Any thoughts on Hai Phong vs Hanoi are welcome and appreciated.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vietnam
Level Contributor
10,900 posts
6. Re: 10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

"Any thoughts on Hai Phong vs Hanoi are welcome and appreciated."

We only drove through Haiphong on the way to Cat Ba Island a few years ago, so can't really comment on what it's like.

But if you can find a few extra days for Hanoi, I doubt you'll be disappointed.

Scott

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
56 posts
7. Re: 10 - 12 day itinerary from 9 Oct

If you only have several days, just stick in Phu Quoc. Halong Bay is a great choice but you should spend at least 2D/1N cruise tour there, so maybe plan it for another trip.

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