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3 weeks in Vietnam - Thanks and couple of queries

southsea
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3 weeks in Vietnam - Thanks and couple of queries

Hi all, We are a mature couple travelling to Vietnam mid Feb. for 3 weeks.

1st of all would like to thank all the contributors to this forum, I have found the search facility invaluable in answering most of my queries - Visa, places to go / avoid / scams etc

I have put together a rough itinery, although none is set in concrete apart from our flights into Hanoi and out of HCMC. We are interested in nature and seeing interesting parts of rural Vietnam. This draft itinery is as follows:-

Fly into Hanoi, 3 nights in Hanoi,

Travel to Ning Bingh by train for 3 or 4 nights (Tam Coc or Trang Anh, Cuc Phoung National park etc)

Travel to Cat Ba Island for 3 or 4 Nights ( day cruise Halong Bay, Cat ba National Park)

Fly Haiphong to Danang and 2 nights Hoi An

Fly Danang to Phu Quoc (via HCMC)

Phu Quoc 4 nights

Fly to HCMC 3 nights

Fly to London.

Hopefully this fits in quite a bit of Vietnam without too much rushing around. Any thoughts?

Also have a couple of queries. Firstly, all the books say hire a scooter to see the sights. Sadly, we do not do scooters but we assume its like Thailand and we can hire a driver and Tuc tuc (or similar) for drives in places like Cat ba and Phu Quoc. Is this correct? How much (roughly) would a driver / guide cost for a day?

Also, I want to fly Haiphong via HCMC to Phu Quoc with Vietnam Airlines. Wll they check the luggage through or will I have to build time in HCMC airport to collect luggage and check in for onward flight?

Thanks in advance

Llanbrynmair...
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1. Re: 3 weeks in Vietnam - Thanks and couple of queries

Your itinerary looks very good to me - not too rushed and lots of diversity.

When you say you "do not do scooters", do you just mean you won't ride them yourselves or would riding pillion with a motorbike guide be out of the question too?

Re the former, you can't do so legally in Vietnam anyway unless you have a Vietnamese motorcycle license, but riding pillion with a local guide is THE best way to see the more rural parts of Vietnam, and especially Ninh Binh. There are no tuc tucs in northern Vietnam (I'm not sure about Phu Quoc) so the choice is between travelling by car, riding pillion or cycling, depending on the location.

I'm not sure about your Vietnam Airlines query. Certainly on the website it's not possible to buy a through ticket from Haiphong to Phu Quoc via HCMC, meaning your luggage would not be booked all the way through.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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2. Re: 3 weeks in Vietnam - Thanks and couple of queries

Agree with CB, riding a pillion with a local guide to discover the rural area. In Cat Ba, you can take a cycling tour to Cat Ba National Park. Ask your hotel or any TA, they will design a route for you so quickly.

Regarding the flight, no direct flight from Haiphong to Phu Quoc and you must transit at Saigon. If you book online, you have to book separate 2 bookings for Haiphong - HCMC then HCMC - Phu Quoc. Check in is required at Haiphong an HCMC airport. However, if you book through a Ticket agent, they can put 2 flights into 1 booking with 1 code, and you only have to check in 1 time in Haiphong. The flight departs at 10.50 am in Haiphong and connecting flight 14.00 from Saigon. However, I do not think it's a convenient time as you have to take speedboat from Cat Ba island to Haiphong early in the morning to catch flight while most of good boats depart after 9.00 am. The boat take around 45 minutes.

southsea
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3. Re: 3 weeks in Vietnam - Thanks and couple of queries

Thank you for your comments.

I can confirm that I have talked to an agent and they have confirmed that i can check my luggage through from Danang (not Haiphong I made a error on the original posting) to Phu Quoc via HCMC. Catching the 11;30 from Danang and connecting in HCMC on the 14:30.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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4. Re: 3 weeks in Vietnam - Thanks and couple of queries

Great Steve! That's why we spend the money on agent.

5. Re: 3 weeks in Vietnam - Thanks and couple of queries

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