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Is this itinerary too busy

Melbourne, Australia
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Is this itinerary too busy

Arriving next April 2019 (school holidays) and children are aged 13 and 15. Have been reading through lots of suggestions from the ever helpful forum but now thinking of adding Ninh Ba to our trip.

Is this too busy?

Hanoi 3 nights

Halong Bay 2 nights

Ninh Ba 2 nights (not sure if should go to Ninh Ba then Halong Bay or the other way around - we are looking to take a cruise from Hai Phong port as closer. Another option would be to loose the cruise as Ninh Ba is meant to be HB on land??)

Hoi An 5 nights

Ho Chi Min 3 nights (day trip to the tunnels)

Suggestions welcome ...

TIA

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12 replies to this topic
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1. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

I assume you mean Ninh Binh? ;-)

While you could do a cruise out of Haiphong,another option would be to do a private cruise out of Cat Ba island.

Google Cat Ba Ventures to get an idea.

Re the rest of your itinerary, I'd be inclined to steal a night from Hoi An and add it to Hanoi.

You could also reduce your Halong Bay cruise to one night.

And yes, if you do include Ninh Binh, then definitely look at including it in a loop with Halong Bay and Hanoi.

Scott

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2. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

Ninh Ba = Cat Ba or Ninh Binh?

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3. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

Oh, and while HB and Ninh Binh both have limestone karsts, they are very different experiences.

Scott

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4. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

Hi Scott thanks - yes I did mean Ninh Binh. Is it quicker to get to Cat Ba or Haiphong or you catch the fast boat from there to get to Cat Ba?

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5. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

On another note I keep reading so much about the rubbish in the bay that it is making me question whether or not to go at all - my folks just got back and said they were in shock at the pollution in the water and how many boats were on the water.

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6. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

"Is it quicker to get to Cat Ba or Haiphong or you catch the fast boat from there to get to Cat Ba?"

From memory, and we did it 3.5 years ago, the car trip to Haiphong from Hanoi was a bit over two hours??

I believe there may be a new freeway now, so it may be a little quicker.

You then have the boat across to the island that took us about 50 minutes.

Haiphong is then a bit closer to Ninh Binh, as well.

Here's what we did back in 2014 - https:/…

And, ironically, we did it with a 13 and 15 year old. :-)

Oh, and with the rubbish, while we saw a little, we didn't see anywhere near as much as people report.

That may be because we went to different areas than where the standard HB boats go, or it may be because things have changed since that time.

Scott

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7. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

I like your itinerary.

Like Scott, I have done Halong Bay twice from Cat Ba and enjoyed it immensely. With teens, I would consider doing a one night Halong cruise. There wasn’t much garbage and rubbish that we saw but this could be due to cruising in an area that was void of mass tourism.

Depending on the teens and their interests, I would consider taking a night from Hoi An, but on two trips that I brought my teen daughter, Hoi An continues to be her most favourite place. She liked the mixture of beach, hotel pool, ancient town and interesting places to visit.

Enjoy your planning!

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8. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

NO, don’t rob a night from Hoian, it is number one in MY opinion, a lot quieter than Hanoi and more enjoyable.

You can do as little or as much as you like with the likes of, the Ancient Town, Bars, Restaurants, Night Markets, Tailors

and just general entertainment plus a great base for day or half day tours if thats what you want, enjoy 👍

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9. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

It doesn't look too busy to me, although I disliked Hoi An and left early to go to Hue, which was the right choice for me. I had scheduled four nights there but was tired of it after a few hours, it's so touristy. So we stayed for three nights, I think? Or two? I can't recall now, but we were in Hue for three nights, and we wished we were there one more night because there was a ton more to see.

Hoi An is like a resort town, kind of. Hard to explain. It reminded me of places like Cancun or Negril, very resort-based, not much local culture left.

But the pacing is not too fast, I don't think.

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10. Re: Is this itinerary too busy

Pepperpots, I was in Halong Bay just a few days ago -- I think four or five nights ago?

I saw very, very little rubbish at all in the Bay.

I went with LeFairy Sales and HIGHLY recommend them for anyone seeking a smaller, better tour. The boat was gorgeous. The food, amazingly good. We docked far from the party boats. It was a great cruise line for a really fine price (four stars for $190 per person for us, which is a little higher than we were intending, but when I saw the ship, I knew it was "the one" and really, not something to skimp on).

Halong Bay was AMAZING.

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