Vietnam was a place that we impulsively decided to book our tickets for and it turned out to be the best decision ever. Vietnam mesmerised us in every way possible with small villages that offer stunning views of the paddy fields, beautiful white sand beaches, endless greens and of course the very rich culture.
We planned the entire trip ourselves (well Basically I did, Nitin didn’t even know the names of some places that I had planned for the trip) . I obviously researched a lot and read a lot of blogs on “How to travel Vietnam” but now that we are back, let me tell you all about planning a perfect vacation to Vietnam. First things first:
- How many days do you need? Well! Honestly it depends on what all places you want to see. For us, 10 days were not enough because there was a lot to see and we didn’t want to miss out. So yeah if you are planning to visit places like Ninh-Binh, Hanoi, Hoi-An, Sapa, Mekon delta, Ho chi Minh City, I would say 14-16 days should do. of course it totally depends on how much time you want to spend at each location.
- Must Visit Places: Must visit places on our list are:
- Hoi An Ancient town
- Ha long Bay
- Phu quoc Island
- Mekong Delta
- When is he best time to Visit: Consider visiting in February-early April. Although be prepared, the temperature varies a lot throughout the country. We were definitely not prepared for the cold.
- BUDGET: Although Vietnam is one of the countries that are backpacker’s paradise and is a budget destination but it is really easy to go over the budget in Vietnam, mostly if you have limited time and want to cover a lot of places, you will have to take flights because the KMs between places are large. If you have more time, it can totally be a budget destination.
- Itinerary: We thought that instead of sharing our exact itinerary, we will share what we think is a better itinerary, so that you can plan your trip better. So we will share a detailed Itinerary with recommendations for places to visit, where to stay, eat and things to do. But I think that would be another blog post. For now let me give you some of our top tips for planning a trip to Vietnam and everything from hotels to eating and the costs.
Before you Plan:
- The weather is quite unpredictable specially in Ninh-Binh and Sapa regions, so make sure to pack some warm clothes as well as some waterproof/ weather proof jackets.
- Do not forget to pack some hiking shoes/sneakers because there are a number of hikes in Ninh-Binh and Ha Long Bay that you will want to do and totally should because the views are breath-taking.
- If you are a vegetarian and want to have some real food, consider staying at a place where you can cook food for yourself. Otherwise you will have to survive on fried rice and bread/pizzas.
- Be sure to checkout the modes of transport in advance. Do not pay for taxis from airports to hotels when there are like a hundred mini buses going between the same two places for 1/20th the cost.
- For more detailed guide on all the things to consider before you go, read our blog post on Ninh-Binh, everything you need to know!
- Before you go on any boat trips, make sure that you have an idea of how much it should cost so that you do not get scammed.
Guide to eating in Vietnam:
Non-Vegetarians do not have to think twice before going to Vietnam but yeah Vegetarians have limited number of options. We have a detailed guide for vegetarians. read it here: A vegetarian’s guide to eating in Vietnam
The distances between places are more and hence you need to consider how you are gonna get from a place to another. Like, While there are a number of over night buses that will get you from Sapa to Hanoi, but is that over night bus ride really worth your time is another thing that you need to consider. As for some of the destinations, it is better to just take a flight because it hardly takes an hour and the flights are quite cheap as well.
We ended up taking flights from Hanoi to Da Nang and then from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh and also to Phu Quoc Island.
While we found most of the places quite easy to get around and also very commercialised, we saw that not a lot of blogs are there about Ninh-Binh that give detailed guide to Ninh-Binh and Tam Coc Region. So here is everything you need to know about Ninh-Binh and also a 2 day guide for exploring Ninh-Binh and Tam Coc Region
Also, There is a post about the most Perfect Place to stay in Ninh-Binh, trust us!
Stay Tuned! The perfect Itinerary will be out soon!