Mailbag: Vietnam Special

Mike asks: can you send me that guide’s name for the Danang tours? The main reason we’re going is to see where N’s father was based and where he flew his medivac missions around Danang and Hue.

Guy’s name is West (hueholidays -at- gmail -dot- com).

I had a Hamburger Hill tour with him on April 8, 2015. Driver was Mr Ahn aka ‘3rd brother.’

My plan was: Tu Duc tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda, Hamburger Hill sites. A permit is required for Hamburger Hill so you need some kind of agent to arrange it. You can choose motorcycle or car.

When you plan out your visit to the region, Hamburger Hill is one way and the DMZ (which I did not visit) is some distance the other way, so even at my speed two days minimum is needed to see both, plus however you enjoy the ancient capital Hue itself.

In Hue, stop by the award-winning 5-Star Best Western Indochine Palace. Yes, you read that right.

Best Western Hue Lobby Best Western Hue Award

You can also continue to Hoi An. So many great things to do on that stretch.

Domestic Vietnam flights you want to buy from the airline websites country set to Vietnam. If you buy them on typical OTAs the prices are much higher for the same thing, some kind of pricing system like China. Vietnam Airlines and VietJet both solid, I have not flown Jetstar.

Yiannis asks: based on some initial research this is a rough itinerary of what we are thinking of doing. This is based on the fact that we will have 2 weeks (14 full days) from the day we arrive (in Bangkok?) till the day we leave.

  1. Arrive in Bangkok Sunday early morning. Spend the whole day there
  2. Next day fly to Hanoi – spend 2 days
  3. Fly to Hue – spend 3 days in Hue & Hoi An combined
  4. Fly to Ho Chi Minh – spend 2 days
  5. Travel (fly?) to south Cambodia / beaches / islands – Spend 3-4 days (4 days beach time is a requirement)
  6. Fly directly to Angkor Thum (probably skip Phnom Phen completely) – spend 2 days
  7. Return to Bangkok – either fly directly back to NY same day or spend 1 day in Bangkok

Thoughts?

Some thoughts:

  1. Bangkok is such a massive, traffic-choked place, I would consider directly connecting to Hanoi or just stay at an airport hotel. Visit Bangkok some other time when you have a few days and won’t be so tired.
  2. In Hanoi consider day trip to Ha Long Bay
  3. Hue and Hoi An are a 3-hour drive apart and to fly out of Hoi An you need to backrack to Danang, I would choose one or the other or your partner may stage a revolt.
  4. Ho Chi Minh is not so special, you can skip it unless you really want the day trips like the Vietnam War Tunnels
  5. Cambodia beaches great
  6. Skip Phnom Penh on this tight an itinerary.
  7. At the end is when you will have energy to enjoy Bangkok.

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  • Kevin

    any specific cambodia recommendations, since you mention beaches and sounds like phnom penh has a lot? will be in the country in February

  • Sorry, my friend plans to visit the beaches, however I do not have first-hand experience of them.