Author Topic: Vietnam : Hanoi or Ho Chin Minh ?  (Read 5542 times)

Offline hakimchad

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Vietnam : Hanoi or Ho Chin Minh ?
« on: Apr 13, 12, 02:49 AM »
Hi all. im planning three day trip to vietnam. Free & easy. i wanna explore the country. Look at the different sights in the city.

Can anyone tell me which city is more suitable for my trip. Hanoi or Ho Chin Minh?

Anybody can share their experience?
« Last Edit: Oct 29, 13, 01:56 AM by Karel »

Offline achilles_f

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #1 on: Apr 13, 12, 06:32 AM »
3 days would just be enough to see the main sights in the city. I prefer Hanoi to HCM City, it's not so commercialised, although still quite touristy.

Offline madidas

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #2 on: Apr 14, 12, 09:45 AM »
First things first, how many days do you have?

To explore the whole country, you need some time as it's one loooooong strip of land. Going from Hanoi to HCMC needs a flight or lots of train/bus time.

If you go to HCMC, there are many surrounding places easy to get to and can be done in a few days - Chu Chi tunnels, Mekong Delta, Floating Markets, beaches like Mui Ne or Nha Trang & Dalat.

Nice surrounding places around Hanoi include Halong Bay and Sapa.

HCMC is literally just a large, motorcycle-infested urban jungle which can get to you. Good shopping there though.... Hanoi as a city has more colour and charm, but still with the crazy traffic at times....
« Last Edit: Apr 02, 13, 12:58 PM by Karel »

Offline hakimchad

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #3 on: Apr 17, 12, 06:35 AM »
thanks guys its three days.

after much consideration i think i'll go to hanoi and visit the old buildings and museums and also visit the lake. 

thank you guys. cheers

Offline melmania

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #4 on: Feb 08, 13, 09:28 AM »
Hi,
what about hoi an in Hanoi? Anybody been there? is one day enough to explore?

Offline wei

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #5 on: Feb 08, 13, 12:16 PM »
Hoi An is not in Hanoi. It is in the central part of Vietnam, quite some distance away from Hanoi or HCM. It is a pleasant enough place to spend 2 days.

Offline melmania

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #6 on: Feb 14, 13, 03:23 AM »
oh okie, thanks for the clarification, I am also planning a trip to Hanoi for 7 days. been to HCM so i won't be going south. I want to ask for advice,

I want to see halong bay, sapa, danang, hoi an and maybe a day or two in Hanoi itself, can anyone recommend an intinerary to me?

For example, would it be better to do Hanoi - Halong bay - Sapa then - hanoi -train to danang

or Hanoi then danang- back to halong bay and sapa.

My beginning and end would be hanoi cos that's where my return flight is.

Thanks much!
oh and is 7 days enough?

Offline wei

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #7 on: Feb 14, 13, 12:36 PM »
I don't think 7 days is enough to do everything you want.

It usually takes an overnight train to get to Sapa. It is a beautiful area and so spending just one night there does not really do it a lot of justice. You can visit minority tribes, hike around the valleys and paddy fields or visit one of those local markets. I recommend a minimum of 2 nights. I stayed there 11 days the last time round. Then you need another night to get back to Hanoi.

You can get to Halong from Hanoi within 3 hours. It's is sufficient just to do a day trip around the Bay.

From Halong/Hanoi to Hoi An is quite a distance. If you are bussing down or taking a train down, it will take you more than half a day. You can fly to Hue An and then bus it to Hoi An (about an hour away), but even then, you can still spend quite sometime to get there. You can spend at least 2-3 days wondering around Hoi An, depending on how much you like it there. In my personal opinion, Hoi An is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. If you will like to get some clothes or shoes tailor made, Hoi An is the best place to do so, but you will have to allow at least 2 days for the sewing and altering. You get very good workmanship at very cheap prices there.

Danang is much further south and again, it will take time to travel there. There is enough things to see and do for you two spend another two-three days there. You can take a easy-riders tour (motor bike tour) around the region to visit farms and other attractions. You can go water rafting or you can do day hikes. Plenty for you to choose from.

I would suggest you either plan in more days or cut down on the places you want to do if you can only make it for 7 days. There are lots to visit and see even if you just stay in the north. You can consider Nin Binh or Nam Dinh, which are very close to Halong.

Offline achilles_f

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #8 on: Feb 15, 13, 07:58 AM »
If you have only 7 days, then you should stick to only Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa. Hanoi itself is good for 2-3 days if you haven't been there before. If you still have time after those 3 places, you can do a day trip to Tam Coc.

Offline melmania

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #9 on: Feb 18, 13, 08:29 AM »
Okie thanks!

What if i cut out sapa, that means just hanoi- halong - dang/hoi an/ then back to hanoi in 9days (decided to extend two days) would that be more feasible?

Offline siyimi

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #10 on: Feb 18, 13, 04:03 PM »
Okie thanks!

What if i cut out sapa, that means just hanoi- halong - dang/hoi an/ then back to hanoi in 9days (decided to extend two days) would that be more feasible?

if i were you, the nine days can easy be spend hanoi-sapa-halong-hanoi at a leisurely pace and enjoy most of the sights. just travelling sapa, i spent 5 days there, hiking and visiting the minority tribes. halong bay just a 2 days 1 nite trip and spent the rest of the remaining days exploring hanoi, there are alot of sights, and let urself get lost at their little streets.

for danang/hoi an/ hue - just do a separate trip - i can easily spend a week there.

Offline melmania

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #11 on: Feb 19, 13, 03:43 AM »
hmm okie, thanks a lot for the advice :) its just that i would really like to visit hoi an too and only have limited time, so can only choose one over the other

Offline wei

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #12 on: Feb 19, 13, 04:18 PM »
second siyimi's advice.

Laid back countries like Vietnam can be enjoyed more if you do it at a more leisurely pace. I often find it pointless to have a holiday where you rush from place to place or move around too much and come back home more tired than before you left home.

I will pick Sapa over Hoi An actually. But that is only because I prefer mountains and valleys and seeing minority tribes. I love Hoi An too, but I won't go all the way down just to do that place and come all the way back up North again. Like Siyimi says, there are tons to do in central and southern Vietnam, even if you don't want to spend time in HCM. There are directly budget airlines flights to Hue and HCM, which makes doing those areas in a single trip a breeze. If you really want to enjoy or get a better insight of Vietnam, don't be greedy. Just do the northern areas for now. You won't regret it. Plenty to do. 

Offline melmania

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #13 on: Feb 21, 13, 08:22 AM »
That's true too :) thanks guys, i just had a look a Sapa and it seems pretty nice too! Will do more research on it, how many days do you think it will be enough? And also i love biking, so is it a good idea to cycle around the area?

Offline wei

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Re: Vietnam - Free Easy
« Reply #14 on: Feb 21, 13, 01:54 PM »
Sapa is a really mountainous area. You will be doing a lot of uphills and downhills if you want to cycle. I will recommend you do some hikes instead. The local travel agencies are able to arrange for guided treks with just one day's notice. I did one by myself with one guide and was brought on a route where I only bumped into a group of 3 tourists around lunchtime and did not see any other tourists. You get to chat with the locals and see lots of paddy fields and can enjoy a picnic lunch by the fields too. Not expensive even if it is only one person. I paid about 35usd for a full day hike with guide, lunch and water provided. You can also take a walk around the surrounding valleys by yourself, without a need for a guide.

You can also spend a night staying with the locals. The local travel agencies can arrange for that. But if you want a more authentic experience, you can just chat with any of the minority tribe pp that are always sitting around the town square and arrange your own homestay. Since is your self arrangement, there is no fix price. The ones I stayed with did not put a price down for the homestay and in the end, I paid the host family the exact price I paid for my one night hotel room, which was only 15usd. It's a lot of money to the locals actually.