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extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

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posts: 309
extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

i seem to have an extra day. we will be in saigon for 4 nights, hoian for 2, hue for 1 and hanoi for 3 and sapa train excursion with 2 overnights on the train and 1 night in sapa-----we have 1 extra day---would you suggest using it with an extra night in sapa, hanoi or going to halong bay. we are travelling with 4 adults and 3 kids ages 5, 7 and a toddler--so we have to take a slower pace. also going to cambodia for 4 nights after vietnam. what do you suggest?

thanks, also, whats the latest news on bird flu---any cases where we are going end of march? thanks for any help!

babo

1. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

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Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 2
2. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

I would definitely recomend staying in Sapa another night. It is a wonderful place with plenty of things to do and see. I am sure the children will enjoy it there and you can relax for a while and take in the atmosphere.We were there in Nov. and it was the highlight of our entire holiday.

paris
posts: 2,624
reviews: 2
3. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

Another vote for Sapa, i was there for two nights, and really one night there is not much. Ispent two days trekking, one night homestay, one night hotel in Sapa, plus the 3rd day there i ent to Bac Ha market (really great) and Lao Cai (chinese border but apart from that not very beautiful, but the landscapes to the border were nice, along the river).

Halifax
posts: 77
reviews: 8
4. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

I see everyone is recommending Sapa which pleases me since I'm planning to be there for three days in April. I'd be very interested in anyone's suggestions on what I "must do and see" in this area given the limited time I have available. I will be traveling with a friend.I hope those of you who have lived there will give me a list of your favorite things. Thanks.

Hanoi Vietnam
posts: 965
5. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

babo,

If you can organise it, try to get a sunday include in Sapa and go to Bac Ha market which is one of the most colourful in Asia.

With kids it would probably be better to stay in Bac Ha town on Saturday night because the best action at the market happens early.

It is about 2.5 - 3 hours drive from Sapa but only about an hour and a half back to Lao Cai to get the train.

If you can't include a sunday I would stronly suggest you use your extra day to include an overnight on a junk on Halong bay. The whole trip takes only a day and a half (8.30 d1 to 15.00 d2) but it is truly a trip to another world.

The second option would be easier with kids.

Bird flu is not a big issue for the tourist. safe chicken and eggs are available and there will be no need for you to be in close contact with chikens as long as you keep an eye on your kids in the villages around Sapa (which have chickens but no flu).

Have a great trip,

Martin.

posts: 309
6. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

thanks for the advice. if we go to sapa, it has to be midweek--arriving on a tuesday morning. where are the markets on tuesday, wednesday or thursday and what are they like? For Halong Bay--is it worth the effort to go for just a day trip and how do you do it. WE are flying to Phon Pen on april 7th--so this undecided period is from April 3rd-7th. also, what do you think about a side day trip to Ninh Binh and Tam Coc cave? how far is it and is it a substitute for halong bay?

thanks, babo

Hanoi Vietnam
posts: 965
7. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

babo,

Tam Duong is about 2 hours from Sapa by spectacular and easy drive. There is a good market 7 km out of town on thursdays. There is a nice country hotel to stay in if you wanted to go the day before to get 'marketing' early in the morning.

Halong is possile in one day but its at least 3 hours drive each way which may be a bit much for the kids (and you). I would strongly encourage you to do an overnight trip on a junk.

Ninh Binh/Tam Coc is a great day or overnight trip and can even be combined with the Halong bay trip making it two nights out of Hanoi. If you had to choose I'd say Halong for 2 days or NB for 1.

Martin

Hanoi Vietnam
posts: 965
8. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

babo,

I forgot to tell you that if you are arriving in Lao Cai on tuesday morning you can go to Coc Ly market, then do a boat trip on the river (I've forgotten the name) and then go up to Sapa. Getting there early pm.

Martin

posts: 309
9. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

thanks for your help again. what kind of boat trip is it, to where, how long? is that a good market?

babo

Hanoi Vietnam
posts: 965
10. Re: extra day in sapa, hanoi or halong bay?

babo,

Yes its a good market. the boat trip starts near the market and goes along the river for about an hour.

Martin