Would love some help picking where to visit in Vietnam

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Post by Guest »

My husband are doing a SEA backpacking trip for our 10th anniversary, leaving next week. The current plan for Vietnam is Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City.  However, we really want to add Ninh Binh but just don't have the time to do it all. We are a little concerned we will be bored with the Ha Long Bay overnight cruise but everyone seems to say it's amazing and a highlight. So, my question:

Would you: get rid of Ha Long Bay and do Ninh Binh instead with this itinerary?

OR, would you get rid of Ho Chi Minh City (since it's quite a distance) and then add Ninh Binh?  Or another option?


Post by Gitte »

Haven't been to Ninh Binh but have done Halong Bay (10 years ago though) and I think you should consider skipping it. While the views are stunning there are SO many boats and tourists I thought it was a bit of a hassle. I did love kayaking there but staying overnight wasn't worth it for me. From your post it sounds like it is more of a 'tick the box' thing rather than something you really want to do, which reminds me a bit of the exhaustion of trying to see all the palaces of all the cities I visited in India - until I realized I didn't actually have to visit even though it was named the must see in Lonely Planet.. I still struggle with taking these kind of decisions but find I have a much more interesting experience with unexpected events and places. Follow your guts, and know it will be amazing regardless of your itinerary

Post by Rory »

Due to you time constraints of 9days just do Hanoi, NB and Hoi An.

NB is 2 hours south of Hanoi so a bus there is an option, 2 days is good for here.

Catch the night train to Hoi An, you can experience here, Da Nang and Hue for what time you have .

Post by Kaitlyn »

With little time, I would focus on north and central.
Forget about the south for now.

Post by Guy »

Lan ha bay from Cat Ba is usually better. Less boats, less rubbish in water.

Post by Mika »

Congratulations on your anniversary! And I'm about to head to Vietnam soon too so, definitely following.

Have you heard about the New Year Tet? I was advised to change plans because of how it affects travel, but I think it's soon.

Post by Mathew »

When we were in Vietnam, hanoi was done in 2-3 days ha Long 1 night cruise there was an option to add Nin Binh so instead of returning to hanoi you went on to nin Binh.

We skipped nin Binh and flew from hanoi to Hue it was cheaper than the train and only took 1.5hrs spent a 2 nights hue took a $7 3hr bus to Hoi An spent 2 nights and took a transfers to Dan nang and flew to ho chi minh.
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