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Vietnam

Flights:

Check out Momondo – A good flight comparison website. I always use them to compare and then I check the actual airline to see if they can do it cheaper.


Itinerary:

Suggestion

Day 1: Hanoi – Explore Old Quarter, visit Hoan Kiem Lake
Day 2: Halong Bay tour – sleep on boat
Day 3: Halong Bay tour – sleep on boat or optional island (depending on which company you go with & itinerary)
Day 4: Return from tour to Hanoi and fly out to Hue (book a tour from the hotel to see palace and tombs for next day, tours usually leave early 8am-9am, so make sure to book this ASAP)
Day 5: Hue – Day tour to see palace and tombs
Day 6: Fly to Da Nang – Explore Ba Na Hills (I haven’t been before, but my cousins have said it’s very nice)
Day 7: Hire a driver to Hoi An, stop off at Marble Mountains on the way – stay at Hoi An
Day 8: Explore Hoi An – Get a map and tickets from information centre.
Day 9: Catch taxi back to Da Nang airport to go to Da Lat – Explore Da Lat
Day 10: Explore Da Lat
Day 11: Fly to Nha Trang – Explore Nha Trang (Note: Nha Trang doesn’t stay open till late like Hanoi and HCMC, so make sure to grab dinner before everything closes)
Day 12: Suggest to visit a mud bath (we went to Thap Ba Hot Springs)
Day 13: Fly to HCMC – Explore HCMC (For views: Visit Bitexco Financial Tower – tallest building in HCMC. For a show: Check if there’s any shows at the Opera House, or visit Golden Water Puppet Show)
Day 14: Take Day Trip to Mekong (Book at hotel)
Day 15: Take Day Trip to Cu Chi Tunnels (Book at hotel)
Day 16: Explore HCMC – If you are interested in history: visit War Remnants Museum & Reunification Palace. For architecture: See Notre DameCentral Post Office.
Day 17: Fly to Phu Quoc (I haven’t been here so not sure how long you need)

Shorter Suggestion

Day 1: Hanoi – Explore Old Quarter, visit Hoan Kiem Lake
Day 2: Halong Bay tour – sleep on boat
Day 3: Halong Bay tour – sleep on boat or optional island (depending on which company you go with & itinerary)
Day 4: Return from tour to Hanoi and fly out to Hue (book a tour from the hotel to see palace and tombs for next day, tours usually leave early 8am-9am, so make sure to book this ASAP)
Day 5: Hue – Day tour to see palace and tombs
Day 6: Fly to Da Nang – Catch a taxi to Hoi An (you will drive pass Marble Mountains on the way) – Explore and stay at Hoi An
Day 7: Explore Hoi An (get a map and tickets from information centre)
Day 8: Catch a taxi back to Da Nang airport and fly to Nha Trang – Explore Nha Trang (Note: Nha Trang doesn’t stay open till late like Hanoi and HCMC, so make sure to grab dinner before everything closes)
Day 9: Suggest to visit a mud bath (we went to Thap Ba Hot Springs) – Fly to HCMC in the evening
Day 10: Explore HCMC – If you are interested in history: visit War Remnants Museum & Reunification Palace. For architecture: See Notre DameCentral Post Office.
Day 11: Take Day Trip to Mekong (Book at hotel) At night – For views: Visit Bitexco Financial Tower – tallest building in HCMC. For a show: Check if there’s any shows at the Opera House, or visit Golden Water Puppet Show
Day 12: Take Day Trip to Cu Chi Tunnels (Book at hotel)


Accommodation:

This is where we stayed:
Hanoi – Hanoi 3b Hotel – Positives: Really good service, breakfast provided (standard buffet), great location in Old Quarter, can book a Halong cruise through reception: we chose the Dragon Cruise (3 days 2 nights – Bungalow option)
Hue – Jade Hotel – Positives: Really good service, cheap, breakfast provided (Yummy Vietnamese dishes – we had Bun Bo Hue) and can book tours at reception. Negatives: A bit old, no safe (store valuables at reception), aircon not great. Our least favourite hotel whole trip, but we only stayed 2 nights so didn’t matter too much.
Hoi An – Vinh Hung Emerald Resort – Positives: Quiet side of Hoi An (away from tourists), nice pool, free boat ride along the river in the morning (book at reception), free breakfast (standard buffet), cheap laundromats across from the resort. Negatives: Our room had lots of ants and lizards, but we didn’t really care. Not sure if you mind.
Nha Trang – Sunrise Hotel – Positives: Great service, convenient location, free drinks at bar, pool, spa bath, huge rooms and breakfast provided (standard buffet). Negatives: Hotel is a little aged (but very clean and comfortable).
HCMC – Cat Huy Hotel – Positives: More of a guesthouse than hotel (it’s more personal), great service, amazing breakfast provided (pho, omelette, iced coffee, lemon tea…changing menu), can book tours at reception, in the Pham Ngu Lao (backpacker st) area but it is on a quiet side alleyway, so it is convenient and quiet. Negatives: A bit hard to find (vehicles can’t stop directly in front of it as it is a small alleyway, so some taxis might be a little confused) and reception doesn’t speak great English.

Haven’t stayed in Da Nang and Phu Quoc. For Da Lat I joined a tour years ago, so I can’t remember the details.


Restaurants:

Recommended:
Hanoi – New Day Restaurant
Hoi An – Reaching Out Tea House, Lantern Town Restaurant, Morning Glory Restaurant
HCMC – Huong Lai Restaurant

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