Vietnam South to North

Just like we did, many people travel for one month through Vietnam since it is such a large country and there is so much to see.  Your choice is to start in Hanoi and work South or start in Hoi Chi Min City and work North.  We have detailed our 4 weeks from South to North to help other travelers see our trip outline and to help with their planning.  Included are hotel names, prices and some useful websites.  For more details on each place refer to our previous blog posts.

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Hoi Chi Min City – 4 days/3 nights
We really enjoyed the vibe of this city, the great food, and coffee.

The best Vietnamese Cooking class was through Cyclo-resto, http://www.cycloresto.com.vn

AO Show at the Opera House, drinks at the iconic Rex hotel, walked the city to check out French architecture. Booked a day trip to Cu Chi Tunnels and a day trip to Mekong Delta through our hotel.  The tours had too many people and recommend shopping around for prices on these tours and booking tours that have smaller groups.

Ava II Hotel – pre-booked on Agoda, included breakfast and free laundry – 19 USD

Nha Throng – 3 days/2 nights
Night bus to Nha Throng through Sinh Tourist Company.  Day boat-trip that included snorkeling booked through hotel.  Great running beach with lounging beach chairs for daily rental.

Phu Quy Guesthouse – no reservation, many inexpensive guesthouses in the area, 10 USD for a huge room with a balcony

Hoi An – 3 days/3 nights
Night bus to Hoi An through the same company. Great to bike around ancient city with lots of shopping.  The best running beach where you can also surf.

Thanh Van II Hotel – found on Agoda but showed up with no reservation, free bike rentals and breakfast included, 18 USD

Easy-ride from Hoi An to Hue – 2 days
2 days of riding on motorcycles through countryside to Marble Mountain, Monkey Island in Danang, spent a night in small town of P’rao and then dropped in Hue.  70 USD per day, which included accommodation and meals, price can be negotiated.  We only spend the evening in Hue and left the next morning but it looked like a nice city and the kings’ tombs would have been great to see.

Vong Canh Guesthouse in Hue – no reservation, 10 USD

Dong Hoi – 2 days
5-hour morning tourist bus to Dong Hoi from Hue. Rented a motorbike and did the National park and caves on our own instead of doing one of the tours (save a bunch of Dong and had a really cool experience)

Nam Long Hotel – very large room floor to ceiling windows, 18 USD
Recommend a homestay at http://www.pepperhouse-homestay.com

Hanoi – 3 days/3 nights
Night train to Hanoi from Dong Hoi, hard sleeper, not very clean.   Ran around lake and saw a few sights.  Booked Ha Long Bay tour and train to Sapa through hotel.

Indochina Queen II Hotel – included breakfast, 18 USD
Recommend Stars Hotel for 15 USD and also includes breakfast

Ha Long Bay/Cat Ba Island – 4 days/3 nights
Booked the 3 days/2 night tour, included one night on the boat and one night on Cat Ba island with all meals.  We stayed another night on Cat Ba Island on our own and caught the tour back the next day.

Green Cat Ba Hotel – family-owned, great restaurant, 8 USD

Sapa – 4 days/3 nights
Night sleeper train to Sapa from Hanoi, soft sleeper.  Stayed at Four Seasons Homestay, 5 USD/per person for a bed and then you eat most meals there.  Rented motorbike to get around.

http://www.sapavillagehomestay.com

Back to Hanoi
Night sleeper train back to Hanoi, soft seat is half the price and still comfortable if you want to save money.  We then flew to Bangkok from Hanoi instead of crossing the border to Laos from Sapa as it is easier to get into Lao from the southern or eastern borders.

Have a fun trip through Vietnam!

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