Vietnam is the 8th destination during our tour of Asia!
We decided to fly into Hanoi from Vientiane, though we usually prefer to use land transportation, but the bus takes over 24 hours on difficult roads and we would have been completely crammed between people and packages. Safety first! We were okay with spending a bit more to arrive safe and sound and in less than an hour.
We had our visa done and changed some dollars into the local currency ( 1USD= 20,500 VND roughly) in Laos and were ready to discover the country, its people, and most importantly (or maybe just for me)…the food!
We only have two weeks (May 16th-June 1st) in Vietnam and knew that we wanted to travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Aside from that, we didn’t know much. We did some research and based ourselves on the two-week itinerary suggested by Travelfish.
We decided to go for the following stops on our Vietnamese journey:
– Hanoi (two nights 16th-18th)
– Halong Bay (two days, one night 18th-19th)
– Hué (one day 20th)
– Hoi An (four days 21st-24th)
– Da Lat (two days 25th-27th)
– Mui Né (two days 27th-29th)
It is the first time during our trip that we had somewhat of an idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see- due to the time restriction. Most of the time, we get to a country and decide as we go – meeting fellow travelers and chatting about their experience helps a lot. We debated for a while whether we wanted to go to Sapa, north of Hanoi, in the mountains where the temperature is cooler – fellow travelers and locals did mention that it was a beautiful scenery – but when it came down to making that decision (at the train station) when there were only hard seats (for 12hrs) to Sapa and available sleeping berth to Hué…we opted for Hué – the idea of getting off the train after 12 hrs of pretty much no sleep to Lao Cai, negotiating for a fair fare to Sapa and then trekking the whole day just to leave the next day on the same train did not seem wise nor appealing. We decided to add Da Lat to our itinerary for some mountain views and fresh weather- when it is over 40 degrees celsius daily, you really look forward to that 15-24 degrees weather.