We will be in Hanoi next week. My partner has his heart set on visiting DBP but cannot decide on the best way to do this. We only have 5 days available. Ideally we would like to see as much as possible of the countryside whilst getting there and back. Where should we stop off enroute? I hear that the road from DBP to Sapa goes through amazing scenery but we don't have enough time alas. Any suggestions / advice to help us put a plan together would be very welcome!
1) If we stay 2 days in DBP where else should we stop off besides Son La? Are there interesting villages nearby?
2) Is it a better use of the time available to fly there and return by road? or fly there and back, and explore the area around DBP?
3) Is taking the bus a feasible option for a couple of not-so-young, not-so-fit would-be travellers? What are the roads like? What are the buses like?
4) or should we hire a car and driver? in DBP?
Thanks in anticipation.