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Conquering Fansipan Vietnam to be the champion

Fansipan is the highest peak of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, so it is called the “Roof of Indochina” while the local people call it Huasipan, which means large tottering rock.

Motorbiking Ho Chi Minh Trail, Vietnam - an unforgettable travel adventure

Riding a motorbike from the North to the South of Vietnam was an amazing experience. Now, while I didn’t ride the motorcycle on myself (Anthony did an amazing job!) it is still something that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Discover Vietnam by cycling

People who had traveled to Vietnam agreed that it was an interesting experience in general, but the bicycle tours definitely brought more adventurous excitements.

A Look into Beautiful Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay has been declared a UNESCO World heritage site and it really deserves the designation. It is one of the most exciting unusual places I have been to in my life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kayaking and Cycling in a World Heritage Bay

Halong Bay is one of the most spectacular, and therefore heavily ‘touristed’ attractions in Vietnam. Stretching along the Northeast Vietnamese border with China it comprises thousands of limestone karst outcroppings and more than 750 islands of all sizes that dot the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.


Legend has it that the bay, ‘Descending Dragon’ in Vietnamese, was named after a family of dragons sent by the gods to help the Viet people repel Chinese invaders. Spitting emeralds and jade (the islands) into the waters of the bay they created a natural defensive area that helped protect what became Vietnam. After their success the dragons liked the area so much that they decided to stay. They weren’t alone in their high opinions of the landscape - the area was formally inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999, which of course led to an even greater influx of local and foreign visitors.


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Getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi couldn’t be simpler - the hard part is making a choice between the hundreds of hotel tours and local operators. We were very happy with the tour we arranged through our hotel, and after chatting to other travelers who had been to Halong it seems that we had one of the better trips. The vast majority of options center around either two days and one night or three days and two nights in Halong. We chose the longer option and were glad we did.


Our trip began with a mini-bus ride (of about 3 hours) from our Hanoi hotel (where we had left the bulk of our clothes and large backpacks) to Halong Bay town. Our local guide, Son, took great delight in explaining with a huge grin that we shouldn’t worry about the 3000+ Vietnamese who die each year in the crazy traffic here because “Viet women and men make many many babies!”. At the port we boarded our luxury junk (traditional Viet sailing vessel) with about ten other tourists. It was to be both our transport around the Bay and our lodging for the first night. One note here for future travelers - be advised that although the tour to Halong Bay tends to be very reasonably priced (including all meals), they try to make up for this by charging exorbitant prices for drinks on-board ($25+ for wine, $3+ for beers etc) - and for all drinks that you bring aboard or buy on outings and bring back you will be charged ‘corkage’ - ranging from $5 per bottle of wine or 5000 Dong per bottle of beer (this applies to all drinks except water - so bring plenty of that with you to avoid the outrageous prices).


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Indochinasails Staffs


Our first day, which was the least enjoyable, was spent exploring “The Amazing Cave” - which although admittedly rather large was perhaps a little too developed (and therefore less amazing than it probably was ten years ago) - the best part of which was at the exit from which vantage we captured some of our best photos in Vietnam so far. Aboard the junk again we headed for a local swimming beach (on yet another island) - which was also a little less than we had expected in that the waters and beach were quite dirty - mainly oil from all the junks that moor there (Denise’s white bikini came out a dark shade of grey and we could write in the oil on our arms and legs). After the swim (and much-needed shower) the junk sailed to another picturesque spot and dropped anchor for the night (surrounded by about 7 other similar junks - we suspect that they are required to overnight in set spots). Dinner was very nice (mainly seafood) and it was super getting to know all our fellow travelers. We spent the rest of the evening playing cards with Phil and Kirsty (an Aussie couple from Cairns) and their brother Andy - welcome to the Blog guys!.


The second day was so much better - and the hazy weather had cleared into bright sunshine. After packing and a quick breakfast we all transferred from the junk to a smaller taxi boat (picking up some new travelers along the way - notably Lachy and Lisa, also from Aussie - welcome to the Blog guys!). Our next stop was the far side of Cat Ba island (the largest in the bay) where we each chose a bike and cycled about 7km inland passing some amazing scenery of local villages, rice paddies, mountains and forests. A short 3km walk into the jungle brought us to an abandoned ‘ancient village’ - which we had a few minutes to explore, before trekking back and riding back to the boat. We then took a short ride to the best beach we had seen in Halong - pristine white powdery sand, clean water, and sheer mountain cliffs rising out of the bay. It was here that we had some swimming/sunbathing time and that our guides set up our beach BBQ lunch! Great prawns, squid, fish, rice, veggies…ahh what a rough life!


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After lunch we headed to yet another spot where we moored alongside some floating huts to pick up our sea kayaks. Denise and I discovered that despite our pretty much perfect match in almost everything we are not good paddling partners! Still it was great fun to explore the bay and the myriad islands by kayak - and we all ended up in a truly magical place - where a ring of islands form a solid circle with only one opening (a low cave) that leads into a totally enclosed body of water - something right out of a movie. Throwing caution to the winds we jumped out of the kayak and swam for a while - it was perfect. We wished we could have spent more time kayaking but all too soon it was back to the boat and off to ‘Monkey Island’ - which was less enchanting - four or five monkeys scampering around a beach where we killed time by collecting shells and skipping stones. Our final port of call for the day was Cat Ba (’Women Island’) town where we caught a short bus ride to our hotel for the night - the Holiday View hotel.


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The hotel was quite upmarket by Halong Bay standards - very modern if lacking some warmth - and it was comfortable. We spent the night at a local pool bar with the others from our group and had a fun evening - made even more so by the fact that the Springboks won the World Cup!! Yay South Africa!! The next day was a traveling one - bus to the boat, slow boat ride back to Halong Bay town, bus over land-bridge to the nearest island for a final lunch and then a 3 hour bus ride back to Hanoi.


Halong Bay definitely has its plus points and is definitely worth the visit - but you do need to be prepared to deal with its less exciting and more banal side - bearing in mind that you are one of several million visitors every year.


Author: Wandering Spaulls


Here is a chance to experience Halong Bay: http://www.indochinasails.com/en/itinerary.html

For more information about tours in Vietnam, click here

Halong Bay tags: Kayak Halong Bay, Halong Bay Kayking tours, Halong Bay tours, Halong Bay cruises, Halong Bay junks, Halong Bay travel, Vietnam holiday, Hanoi Hotels , Halong Hotels & Cruises, Halong Bay , Halong Bay Vietnam, Halong tours

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kayaking and Cycling in a World Heritage Bay

Halong Bay is one of the most spectacular, and therefore heavily ‘touristed’ attractions in Vietnam. Stretching along the Northeast Vietnamese border with China it comprises thousands of limestone karst outcroppings and more than 750 islands of all sizes that dot the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.

Legend has it that the bay, ‘Descending Dragon’ in Vietnamese, was named after a family of dragons sent by the gods to help the Viet people repel Chinese invaders. Spitting emeralds and jade (the islands) into the waters of the bay they created a natural defensive area that helped protect what became Vietnam. After their success the dragons liked the area so much that they decided to stay. They weren’t alone in their high opinions of the landscape - the area was formally inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999, which of course led to an even greater influx of local and foreign visitors.

Photobucket

Sundeck on Indochinasails

Getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi couldn’t be simpler - the hard part is making a choice between the hundreds of hotel tours and local operators. We were very happy with the tour we arranged through our hotel, and after chatting to other travelers who had been to Halong it seems that we had one of the better trips. The vast majority of options center around either two days and one night or three days and two nights in Halong. We chose the longer option and were glad we did.

Our trip began with a mini-bus ride (of about 3 hours) from our Hanoi hotel (where we had left the bulk of our clothes and large backpacks) to Halong Bay town. Our local guide, Son, took great delight in explaining with a huge grin that we shouldn’t worry about the 3000+ Vietnamese who die each year in the crazy traffic here because “Viet women and men make many many babies!”. At the port we boarded our luxury junk (traditional Viet sailing vessel) with about ten other tourists. It was to be both our transport around the Bay and our lodging for the first night. One note here for future travelers - be advised that although the tour to Halong Bay tends to be very reasonably priced (including all meals), they try to make up for this by charging exorbitant prices for drinks on-board ($25+ for wine, $3+ for beers etc) - and for all drinks that you bring aboard or buy on outings and bring back you will be charged ‘corkage’ - ranging from $5 per bottle of wine or 5000 Dong per bottle of beer (this applies to all drinks except water - so bring plenty of that with you to avoid the outrageous prices).

Photobucket
Indochinasails Staffs

Our first day, which was the least enjoyable, was spent exploring “The Amazing Cave” - which although admittedly rather large was perhaps a little too developed (and therefore less amazing than it probably was ten years ago) - the best part of which was at the exit from which vantage we captured some of our best photos in Vietnam so far. Aboard the junk again we headed for a local swimming beach (on yet another island) - which was also a little less than we had expected in that the waters and beach were quite dirty - mainly oil from all the junks that moor there (Denise’s white bikini came out a dark shade of grey and we could write in the oil on our arms and legs). After the swim (and much-needed shower) the junk sailed to another picturesque spot and dropped anchor for the night (surrounded by about 7 other similar junks - we suspect that they are required to overnight in set spots). Dinner was very nice (mainly seafood) and it was super getting to know all our fellow travelers. We spent the rest of the evening playing cards with Phil and Kirsty (an Aussie couple from Cairns) and their brother Andy - welcome to the Blog guys!.

The second day was so much better - and the hazy weather had cleared into bright sunshine. After packing and a quick breakfast we all transferred from the junk to a smaller taxi boat (picking up some new travelers along the way - notably Lachy and Lisa, also from Aussie - welcome to the Blog guys!). Our next stop was the far side of Cat Ba island (the largest in the bay) where we each chose a bike and cycled about 7km inland passing some amazing scenery of local villages, rice paddies, mountains and forests. A short 3km walk into the jungle brought us to an abandoned ‘ancient village’ - which we had a few minutes to explore, before trekking back and riding back to the boat. We then took a short ride to the best beach we had seen in Halong - pristine white powdery sand, clean water, and sheer mountain cliffs rising out of the bay. It was here that we had some swimming/sunbathing time and that our guides set up our beach BBQ lunch! Great prawns, squid, fish, rice, veggies…ahh what a rough life!

Photobucket

Fantastic Kayaking

After lunch we headed to yet another spot where we moored alongside some floating huts to pick up our sea kayaks. Denise and I discovered that despite our pretty much perfect match in almost everything we are not good paddling partners! Still it was great fun to explore the bay and the myriad islands by kayak - and we all ended up in a truly magical place - where a ring of islands form a solid circle with only one opening (a low cave) that leads into a totally enclosed body of water - something right out of a movie. Throwing caution to the winds we jumped out of the kayak and swam for a while - it was perfect. We wished we could have spent more time kayaking but all too soon it was back to the boat and off to ‘Monkey Island’ - which was less enchanting - four or five monkeys scampering around a beach where we killed time by collecting shells and skipping stones. Our final port of call for the day was Cat Ba (’Women Island’) town where we caught a short bus ride to our hotel for the night - the Holiday View hotel.

Photobucket

Cycling in Halong Bay

The hotel was quite upmarket by Halong Bay standards - very modern if lacking some warmth - and it was comfortable. We spent the night at a local pool bar with the others from our group and had a fun evening - made even more so by the fact that the Springboks won the World Cup!! Yay South Africa!! The next day was a traveling one - bus to the boat, slow boat ride back to Halong Bay town, bus over land-bridge to the nearest island for a final lunch and then a 3 hour bus ride back to Hanoi.

Halong Bay definitely has its plus points and is definitely worth the visit - but you do need to be prepared to deal with its less exciting and more banal side - bearing in mind that you are one of several million visitors every year.

Author: Wandering Spaulls


Here is a chance to experience Halong Bay: http://www.indochinasails.com/en/Itinerary.html

For more information about tours in Vietnam, click here

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sapa adventure with motorbike

(Ryan shared his trip to Sapa with motorbike, where he went, what he saw in the magnificent landscape)

Sapa is a pretty town in the mountains of northwestern Vietnam near the Chinese boarder.

Originally built by the French as a medical outpost, the city is now full of minority people from the local mountains and one of the major tourist destinations of north Vietnam. On Friday, 19 September, Ben, his girlfriend Huyen, Ben’s college friend Paul, and I set out for Sapa. The first leg of the journey began on a night train to the boarder town of Lao Cai. We arrived in Lao Cai early Saturday morning and hired a shuttle to Sapa. Thanks to the infusion of tourist dollars and French planning, Sapa is a very pretty and well-designed town. The town sits on a saddle and overlooks two large valleys. Vietnam’s largest peaks surround the town, and these are rugged mountains with significant elevation changes. Vietnam’s tallest peak, Fansipan, is very close.


Ethnic people, Sapa

The first thing we did after checking into our hotel Sapa GoldSea was rent motorbikes. We rented three Honda Waves: one for me, one for Paul, and one for Ben and Huyen. Paul, who’s an actor from LA, had never ridden a motorbike before. We weren’t on the bikes for even two minutes before Paul drove his motorbike directly into the largest curb in Sapa. Apparently he was having difficulty turning and braking. Luckily Paul wasn’t hurt, even though I was convinced that he was going to fly over the handlebars, across the sidewalk, and into the bushes. Ben and Huyen were already back at the hotel wondering were Paul and I were as 12 or 15 Vietnamese men surrounded us and shook their heads, saying to Paul, “you no drive motorbike good.” The damage: the front tire was bent pretty badly. The total cost of the damage: 400,000 VND, roughly 25 USD. While his bike was at the shop, Paul hopped on the back of my bike and we left Sapa to visit some of the minority villages nearby. And Paul and I discussed how to drive a motorbike, which lead him to some success later in the trip.


Motorbike trip

The first village we came to was remarkable only because a sixty-foot section of the road through the village was comprised of one continuous rock. We parked our motorbikes and started walking through the town, but quickly realized that we weren’t going to see much because each of us had three minority (H’mong, I think) women surrounding us saying, “You buy from me? Very cheap for you—good price.” We retreated to our motorbikes and did a bit of shopping for hand woven textiles and silver jewelry, then took the road through town to the cave in the mountain.

Outside the cave stood six young boys carrying flashlights. After haggling with the boys, we rented four flashlights for 10,000 VND each and hired one of them to guide us through the cave. We had been hiking into the cave for 20 or 30 minutes when we made a startling discovery: This was a cave to China. Our guide told us that if you knew the way and had two or three days, the cave would dump you out in China. Needless to say, Ben, Paul, and I were ecstatic. A real tunnel to China? Amazing!


Local souvenirs on sale

We left the cave and returned to our motorbikes to find them flocked with more minority women, again trying to sell us things. One of them lived a short distance from the cave’s entrance and she invited us back to her house. We accepted. The house was a barn, except that people lived there too.

She kept pigs just outside the back door. We asked to see them and she proceeded to feed them corn. There were 12 or 15 pigs, mostly piglets, a few medium sized pigs, and a few big mommas. I asked Huyen, our official interpreter, what a pig costs in the local market. A big pig, one used for breeding, cost 50,000 VND, or roughly 3 USD. A medium sized pig, the best for eating, cost 80,000 VND, or roughly 5 USD. I suggested we buy an eating pig and hire the women to cook us lunch, but between Paul’s protests and the realization that they wouldn’t cook for us, we headed back to Sapa pigless.


Buffalo in Sapa

That afternoon we picked up Paul’s bike and headed into one of the valleys below Sapa. There we visited the ancient stone carvings. There not actually stone carvings, but some black rocks (basalt maybe) that poke up like sea monsters among the terraced rice fields. The scenery was beautiful. It was rice harvest time, so the rice field were light brown instead of rich green. To harvest rice, the locals cut the rice grass and lay it in bundles to dry. Once sufficiently dry, the bundles are beaten over bamboo baskets to knock the rice grains out. The rice grain is stuffed into huge sacks for transport to a machine that removes the husk from the grain. At this point the rice is ready for the market. The whole process relies heavily on manual labor, sickles, and water buffaloes.


Cute children in Sapa

We came back the hotel after an interesting trip day. Having dinner at The Golden Restaurant, we had a happy time to relax.

Further information about Adventure tours, you can visit:

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Vietnam war - A legendary of the Ho Chi Minh Trail

vietnamese former battlefields The so-called Ho Chi Minh Trail is one of the most renowned legends of the Vietnam War. So far, there have been many people outside Vietnam who have only superficial knowledge on the road system winding along the Truong Son Range, that facilitated movement of soldiers and war supplies from North Vietnam to battlefields in South Vietnam. The Trail was playing the key role in the Communist victory over South Vietnam.

In the early 2000, the Communist government in Hanoi decided to construct a highway, the Ho Chi Minh Highway, along the Truong Son Range to connect North Vietnam with South Vietnam, parallel to the existing Highway 1 in the coastal areas of Central Vietnam. The construction is going on, and would be completed in four years if everything goes as planned.


Prompted by tales of the formidable Ho Chi Minh Trail, many journalists and observers outside Vietnam quickly adopt the false notion that the new highway is built on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, or the Trail is reborn and rebuilt as Ho Chi Minh Highway, without giving it a second thought.


ho chi minh trail



In fact, the old trail and the new highway ARE NOT AT THE SAME LOCATION BUT MILES APART.


The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a complex of parallel truck routes and foot paths.


Most truck routes were dirt roads, some important portions were paved with rock and pebbles. All of them were in the territory of Laos and not a bit of it touched the Vietnamese soil except for the first part of about 50 kilometers from the starting points.


Most convoys departed at three major loading areas inside North Vietnam’s panhandle region and began their journey by heading to the Laotian borders, following the three paved highways built before 1945 by the French colonialist authorities in Indochina. All the three roads connect the Vietnam’s provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh with the Laotian road network across the common border.


On April 5, 2000, Hanoi government held the ground breaking ceremony at a ferry harbor in Quang Binh province, to launch the construction of the Ho Chi Minh Highway. The Xuan Son ferry harbor was one of the three starting points of the Ho Chi Minh Trail (the southernmost part of North Vietnam, close to the 17th Parallel - see the map below).


After a short distance into Laos, the trucks headed southward on the routes along the border. Most of the routes are a few kilometers away from the border. Far away to the south, the distance may be up to more than 100 kilometers, deep into Cambodia. The truck routes extended as far as to Sihanoukville, or Konpong Som, the Cambodian port city on the Gulf of Thailand. Military supplies also came from North Vietnam and China to this port to be forwarded to secret bases inside Cambodia, supporting VC units in South Vietnam. Therefore, the southern portion of the system was called Sihanouk Trail.


ho chi minh trail



Footpaths made up another system that intertwined with truck routes. On those footpaths, North Vietnamese combat units moved on foot from many starting points in areas just north of the Demilitarized Zone into Laos before infiltrating South Vietnam. Supplies, especially during the first few years of the war, were also transported to the South by "dan cong" (civilian labors) on backpacks and mostly on bicycles led by porters' hands.


Footpaths also extended logistical lines from truck routes. Military supplies were unloaded from trucks at many sites along the truck routes and carried by porters on backpacks or on bicycles across border into South Vietnamese soil.


Like truck routes, footpaths run mostly on Laotian territory parallel with the border. Only segments of the paths were in South Vietnam no-man's borderland areas west of Kontum, Pleiku, Ban Me Thuot... down to Tay Ninh.


Footpath network branched off to the east at many places, leading supplies and troops to logistical bases set up inside South Vietnam. Some were located as far as 50 kilometers from the border, deep into the jungles of Central Vietnam provinces.


The under-construction highway, Ho Chi Minh Highway, is of a completely different story. It is built entirely inside Vietnam parallel to the border but not the smallest bit of it is on any segment of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, truck routes or footpaths. The new highway intersects with dozen of branched footpaths but runs far away from the Trail and the border.


The highway construction is not a brand new plan. The idea of the second north-south highway was nourished by the French colonialist authorities in the early 20th Century. Before 1954, Highway 14 was asphalted from its southern end at the Highway 13 (Saigon-Loc Ninh) to Ban Me Thuot. Its section from Ban Me Thuot up to Daksut, north of Kontum City, was not asphalted until 1963. The highway from Dak Sut to Kham Duc was still a 2-lane dirt road.


In 1959, South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem ordered to widen and reinforce the dirt road to extend the highway from Dak Pek (north of Dak Sut) to Ben Giang, Quang Nam (70 km southwest of Da Nang). It would have gone further to A Shau valley and beyond, possibly to Khe Sanh area. But the outbreak of war in 1961 closed down the project.


The highway now under construction is made up with the existing Highway 14 that needs some repair after 25 years of poor maintenance; its extension where abandoned dirt roads require intensive reconstruction; existing dirt roads from Ben Giang, in A Shau Valley and other areas that need major upgrading; and the remaining portions that construction units must open up entirely new roads.


The new highway construction has been opposed by many officials in Hanoi and deputies of its National Assembly when the plan was introduced by former Hanoi Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet a few years ago. The plan would require a budget of nearly US$ 5 billion. In early 2000, Hanoi government decided to go on with the plan which had been simplified to lower the budget to 3.5 billion dollars. Such budget seems inadequate to the construction of a highway crossing areas of heavy rains which often cause floods and landslides.

ho chi minh trail map


The Truong Son Trail, or Ho Chi Minh Trail, was a great military success of the Communists. Massive firepower of the American and South Vietnamese armed forces failed to stem flows of materiel, supplies and troops into South Vietnam. Many South Vietnamese strategists contended that bombings, sporadic land operations or electronic barrier so-called "McNamara Line" would fail to interdict the enemy movement on the Trail. According to them, only a defense line of several infantry divisions across the border, reaching the Mekong River in Laos could have been effective.


The greatness of the Trail that benefits the Vietnam Communist Party, has been paid at an extreme high prices by the Vietnamese people. An estimate of tens of thousands of North Vietnamese young men and women civilian porters were killed on the Trail by bombing, sickness and exhaustion.


Many people wonder why Hanoi could exact so great contribution from North Vietnamese people. Tens of thousands porters at a time, one group after another, were transporting military supplies to the south in spite of danger and hardships. The answer is rather simple. They didn't feel fear as much as an American or South Vietnamese soldier did because on the Trail, a porter was fed 700 grams of rice a day and only rice, while back in their villages, each was rationed 450 grams of a mixture of 50 percent rice and 50 percent potato or corn. To a peasant at the time, the rice-only meal was as luxurious as a dinner in a 5-star hotel to an Westerner.


The extreme large quantity of rice from North Vietnam was transported on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the hundreds of logistic bases in South Vietnam border areas to support North Vietnamese combat units. Much of it was kept in storage houses and quickly perished by humidity and bombing. More rice would replenish the stores. That was the reason why North Vietnamese peasants had to pay tax and fulfil many obligations that took away about 70 to 80 percent of their crops during the war.


Besides, sophisticated propaganda and intensive indoctrination along with tight control on food supply are effective tools to mobilize manpower and other resources to support war effort. In extreme poverty and under arbitrary powers, man has incredible ability to survive and can bear every hardship, pain, even death with little fear.


Today, Ho Chi Minh Trail is becoming one of the most exciting routes for adventure travellers in Vietnam. One can ride on the trail from Nothern to Danang (about 11 days) or go further, to Saigon (18 days). Details of the trip are available here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Vietnam adventure travel

Introduction

Vietnam has done very well tourism-wise since reopening its doors to foreign tourists in the mid 1990’s. Combined with a good train system, affordable and frequent flights and a tourist-orientated minibus system, a bunch of very worthwhile destinations have developed into what has become a pretty well worn path running up and down the length of the country.

Most first time visitors try to get a taste of the north and the south of the country, but be warned, Vietnam is deceptively large and if you try to do too much in too short a time, you’ll wind up needing another holiday to get over your Vietnamese one.

Running north to south, visitors commence with the capital Hanoi, with many doing side-trips to both Sapa and Ha Long Bay before heading south, generally stopping at Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang then either Da Lat or Mui Ne before running into Saigon. From there many do a trip into the Mekong Delta. For those with more time, the northwest mountains, the Central Highlands and deep into the Mekong Delta are all well worthwhile extras.

How long a holiday?

While you could see the basics on a top to tail trip in as little as a week to ten days, we’d strongly suggest — at least — two to three weeks as being a more realistic timeline. If you can’t give that much time to Vietnam, then consider just seeing one part of the country and saving the rest for another trip.

Ways to see more in less

Fly, fly, fly

Both Vietnam Airlines and Pacific Airways have affordable domestic fares — a couple of one hour flights can save you 36 hours on a train or bus.

Suggested itineraries for Vietnam

HIKING TOURS
Trekking Mai Chau (4D/3N)
Mai Chau easy trek & home stay (3D/2N)
Sapa Trekking & Home-stay (4D/4N)
Sapa trek & Topas Eco Lodge (5D/5N)
Sapa Long Trails (6D/6N)
Different Sapa - Different Trek (6D/6N)
Conquer Mount Fansipan - Cat Cat Route (6D/6N)
Conquer Mount Fansipan - Heaven Gate Route (4D/4N)
Conquer Mount Fansipan - Sinchai Route (5D/5N)
Conquer Mount Fansipan - Mt. Fansipan & Hoang Lien National Park & Ban Ho Valley (11D/11N)
Trekking in Pu Luong Nature Reserve (6D/5N)
Trekking Cuc Phuong National Park (2D/1N)
Bach Ma National Park Trek & Camping (2D/1N)
Trekking Nam Cat Tien National Park (2D/1N)
Jungle Fever - Trekking Dalat (2D/1N)
MOTORCYCLING TOURS
Motorcycling the Ho Chi Minh Trail - Half Challenge (11D/10N)
Motorcycling the Ho Chi Minh Trail - Complete Challenge (18D/17N)
Motorcycling Northwestern Trails (7D/6N)
Taste of Ho Chi Minh Trail (3D/2N)
KAYAKING TOURS
Kayaking Halong Bay 4days(4D/3N)
Kayaking Halong Bay 3days(3D/2N)
Kayaking Halong Bay & Trekking Cat Ba National Park (5D/4N)
Trekking Cat Ba National Park & Kayaking Lan Ha Bay - Halong Bay (4D/3N)
BIKING TOURS
Mekong Explorer (4D/3N)
West to East Biking Exploration (11D/10N)
Biking Pu Luong Nature Reserve (4D/3N)
Biking Hidden Paths of Mai Chau & Ninh Binh (4D/3N)
A Taste of Mekong (2D/1N)
Biking Mai Chau (2D/1N)
Biking Dalat - Northwest Circuit (2D/1N)
Biking Adventures Mekong & Centre Highland (11D/10N)
FAMILY TRAVEL
Family Adventures in Vietnam (12D/11N)
Northern Highlights (10D/9N)
The Mighty Mekong (3D/2N)
Discover Vietnam & her National parks (20D/19N)
INDOCHINA ADVENTURE
Vietnam-Laos Adventures (17D/16N)
Mekong Delta & Angkor Wat (10D/9N)

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