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Vietnam june/july 2012

We will be spending 3 weeks in Vietnam next year and intend to travel by train to Nha Trang to start with. Does anyone have details of this train trip or any others along the coast. Also has anyone visited Dalat or Hanoi both of which appeal. I would also be interested in hearing from anyone who has suggestion for a great hotel in Ho Chi Min City for 2 to 3 nights on our arrival and any other great small hotels along the coast which can be reached by train. Look forward (hopefully) to lots of replies.

Last reply: 24th Dec 2011 / 6 replies / Post by Benji

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888shelley

Posted by: 888shelley
Posted: 22nd Dec 2011

888shelley says: Hi Benji, Have just returned from Vietnam in September....loved it!!! I take it that you are travelling south to north which is opposite to our trip as we started in Hanoi and went south over 2 1/2weeks. We did not stay in fancy hotels. HCM is lovely, the hotel we stayed in was the Quyn Kim 2...it is close to the city, clean and down the laneway is a little cafe owned by Wah who has some english.Don't miss going to the War museum, Cu ChiTunnels,Notre Dame Cathedral etc.Train MUST book ahead as it is very busy.Da Nang .....hang onto everything pickpockets and thieves haunt this station, we lost mobile phone from 6inches away from my knee.Did not stop in Da Nang, but taxi toHoi An...Than Binh 2 Hotel Excellent (also Than Binh 1). Drive to Hue via Hai Van Pass...spectacular scenery which you miss if you go via the tunnel. Hue is our favourite...hotel..Ngoc Binh is central, quiet, family run, very helpful. Plenty to see and do in Hue , very laid back place. We arrived in Hue after o/night trip in the sleeping bus which goes via Na Trang, interesting experience!Hanoi we booked Hanoi Silver Hotel, but were transferred to another sister hotel which was quite ok. Tours to Dalat, Halong Bay easy to arrange at hotel. All these hotels were priced under $22 AUD per night Warning, hotels do not accept Visa/Mastercard etc for paying bill/tours etc. If you need further info I am happy to give anything Reply

Benji

Posted by: Benji
Posted: 22nd Dec 2011

888shelley says: Hi Benji, Have just returned from Vietnam in September....loved it!!! I take it that you are travelling south to north which is opposite to our trip as we started in Hanoi and went south over 2...

Benji says: Great to receive your reply and thanks for the recommended hotels. We have stayed in HCMC before and been to Hoi An twice. We also intended to take the train from Hue to Da Nang (for Hoi An) but ended up on a bus - also an interesting experience - but really enjoyed it - safe driver with a few stops for breaks and just spectacular scenery too. Don't really fancy "the sleeping bus" though?? Really interested in taking the train from HCMC to Nha Trang (where friends are volunteers). Have you stayed overnight in Dalat? It appears that the train to Nha Trang may go via Dalat (in the mountains)and sounds interesting. Can you recommend any particular tour for Halong Bay or is it worth doing an overnight boat trip. Will look up the Hanoi Silver Hotel on TripAdviser ...thanks again....Have a Merry Christmas...ps Did you actually take the train from Hanoi to anywhere down the coast? Reply

888shelley

Posted by: 888shelley
Posted: 22nd Dec 2011

888shelley says: We started in Hanoi and intended going by train to all southern places, but train was "full" so were booked on the bus by hotel. Halong Bay we only did day trip $60 each...but worth it! we did not have time to do o/nite. Hue is definately worth a visit, more to do than Hoi An and more laid back..hotel I recommended is really lovely...Check on Agoda.com for other hotels if you want more luxury/pool etc. Na Trang/Dalat is for our next trip, so cannot help but have spoken to lots of people who say it is great Reply

Benji

Posted by: Benji
Posted: 23rd Dec 2011

Benji says: Still would love to hear from anyone who has done an overnight trip to Halong Bay in North Vietnam and also information about Dalat....thanks in anticipation Reply

jmfong

Posted by: jmfong
Posted: 23rd Dec 2011

Benji says: Still would love to hear from anyone who has done an overnight trip to Halong Bay in North Vietnam and also information about Dalat....thanks in anticipation

jmfong says: Hi Benji,

I spent about 10 days in Vietnam in July this year....did a tour with Intrepid Travel from south to north. Don't have any train trip details for Nha Trang but we did take the "Reunification Express" from Hue to Hanoi. It's an overnight trip, takes around 14 hours and was surprisingly comfortable. They have sleeper cabins though there's no luxury - it's pretty much what the locals catch so it is roughing it. I had been apprehensive about this part of the trip but really enjoyed it, a few drinks before bed time helps as it's pretty noisy but part of the experience.

We didn't visit Dalat but Hanoi was great....not as in your face as HCMC. Lots to see in Hanoi....A great hotel in HCMC - I stayed a night at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza, it was fantastic. It's cheap (about $140 AU/night) and close to a lot of the tourist attractions. If you are something cheaper then the Nam De Hotel wasn't bad - good location though a little noisy from the traffic.

As part of the tour we did an overnight cruise on Halong Bay. If there's one thing you have to do in Vietnam this is it. Watching the sunset over the islands is spectacular and the scenery is amazing. Because we were part of a tour group we had our own boat to ourselves (10 tourists and 3 staff!) which was great, though I'm sure you can get on a boat which won't be loaded with people.

Hope this helps, if you have any other questions let me know - hopefully I can answer them!

Jason Reply

Benji

Posted by: Benji
Posted: 24th Dec 2011

jmfong says: Hi Benji,

I spent about 10 days in Vietnam in July this year....did a tour with Intrepid Travel from south to north. Don't have any train trip details for Nha Trang but we did take the...

Benji says: Thanks Jason...the Sofitel looks very nice for a bit of luxury. Where did you stay in Hanoi? Shelley has also recommended a hotel in Hanoi which is really inexpensive and looks to be in a great area. Any recommended restaurants also? Thanks very much....Merry Christmas Reply

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