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Thread: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollsch View Post
    I had asked around those in the our boat, they paid ranging from US25-35 for one night trip. I don't mind if they charge a bit higher as long as they can provide decent meals.

    I was referring to Halong bay tour when talking about poor communication. Nobody explained to us on where were we going or what activities could we expect, simply because those boat people couldn't communicate in english. On the contrary, in Hanoi those who deal with tourists like shopkeepers, hotel & restaurant staffs and even some in departmental store, can adequately converse and understand in english.
    when I said Hanoi I have included the tour from Hanoi. Thus, include the Halong bay tour.
    The tour guide and the people driving / on boat literally read out the script that they remembered. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Different from HCMC, the guide are more pro, and communicate better with tourist.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    I am quite surprised that some of the info provided here is inaccurate.

    It's off-season now, so hotel rates are typically USD15-20 region in Old Quarter. It's very hot now, and raining every other day.

    As for Halong, Bac Ha, Sapa, etc most tourists get scammed with higher rates/low service. Hotel counters just sell u the tour and earn a commission frm the tour operator. They have no idea on level of service, boat, weather and other conditions. It's a complicated process, similar to MLM and in case of cork-ups, you have no idea who to call. No one owns up. The tour seller at yr hotel counter will just shrug his/her shoulders.

    Anyway, if u need more accurate info, just PM me. Cheers!

  3. #23

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Hi,

    I've just been to Hanoi last November.. Nice place with nice people. I stayed at the Hotel Elegance 4 which is good beyond my description. Hotel staff were friendly, room is really cosy and clean. Bed is soft and comfy. Each room is provided with a computer with internet access. Breakfast is good and located right in the old quarters.

    All in all, nothing more that i can ask for in a hotel. They actually have a total of 4 hotel and this is the newest.

    Check out their website.
    http://www.hanoielegancehotel.com/

    If time permits, make a trip to sapa and halong bay. I stayed on-board the emerauld in halong bay and it was great... (but a bit steep)...

    If i'm not wrong... My room rate for elegance 4 is ard USD45 per room and the stay on emerauld is roughly USD190 per person. (steep right???)

    have a good trip. cheers!!

  4. #24

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Hello,

    Riding on the TS' thread..

    May i know roughly how many days will be sufficient to tour Hanoi?

    Is 2 days enough?

    Thank u!

  5. #25

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Very briefly.

    General travel
    1. First get your a guide book. I recommend Lonely Planet for Vietnam.
    2. For tours, I would strongly recommend Handspan (pls go to the right one there are many copies). Reason being you pay for what you get. Dont shop for the cheapest cos it's not like buying an item from Cold Storage and NTUC. The price difference is in the quality and service. Hanspan charges abt US$90 to Halong Bay but the accomodation and travel are alot nicer.
    3. Halong Bay - check if the sun is out. Otherwise Halong Bay is very gloomy and flat
    4. Sapa - i would recommend going there for at least min 4 days so if time doesn't permit do it over the next trip.
    5. Hoi An - an ancient UNESCO village. this is a must go! very good photo opportunities!! you will need abt 3 days minimum.
    6. Temple of literature in Hanoi - handful of photo opportunities
    7. Cathedral

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    After spending some time in Vietnam in May, i highly recommend Tam Coc (3 caves) which was a few hours South of Hanoi. The journey alone traveling from the heart of Hanoi, out through the villages into the country side alone was great, though the scenery and tranquility at Tam Coc was simply breath taking. Did Saigon, Mekong, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, though this was defiantly my favorite part of the trip. An aw inspiring place of truly spectacular scenery.

    Keep in mind if you are heading south to Saigon at all, its wet season.Im going back in August for 3 days so Holga is coming along instead of 5Dmii because of this

  7. #27

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Forgot to mention, trip to perfume pagoda is nice, especially the boat trip before reach the pagoda.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Hanoi View Hotel - 35 - 37 Bat Su Street - Hoan Kiem District - Hanoi - Vietnam, is really good. It was completed in march 2009 so all the facilities are pretty new, nice bed and stuff. The rooms are equipped with a samsung flat screen tv and a desktop with internet service that is pretty fast. Although their website mentioned a higher price, we paid 18usd per night, probably due to the low season. Was there on the 16th June. The staffs are not exceptionally friendly, but nevertheless they are helpful and honest.

    We took a tour with them to sapa, charge us around 85 USD but we took the hard seaters back as the soft berths were full. They did not make an attempt to cover up as mentioned in forums by other hotels. The tour guide they provided us were exceptionally professional, his name is vinh, honest and did not take advantage of us.

    But of course if you plan everything yourself, buying the train tickets, booking your hotel and tour guide i believe it will be significantly cheaper. However you could encounter problems booking the train tickets as the tour agencies will buy in batch. I will advice you not to take the hard seater though to me it is really memorable; but i could not sleep during the 10 hrs train ride and my butt literally hurt like crazy.

    Enjoy and have fun, Hanoi is indeed a city with its own distinct charm!

  9. #29

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Thanks for the tips!!

    My itinerary (not fixed yet)
    - Day 1 : arrive Hanoi - hope to catch the night train to Sapa
    - Day 2 : Sapa - trekking (going for 4 days' trek. anyone tried this before?)
    - Day 3 : Sapa trek
    - Day 4 : still at Sapa
    - Day 5 : Sapa to Hanoi
    - Day 6 : arriving early in the morning, hopefully can be picked up for 3d2n Halong Bay Cruise (1 night boatstay & another night at the beach resort)
    - Day 7 : Halong Bay
    - Day 8 : Halong Bay -> Hanoi [finally, settling down in Hanoi]
    - Day 9 : Hanoi (exploring time!)
    - Day 10 : Hanoi -> Sg (flight's at night.. so can do more exploring before flying off)

    Wondering if the time spend in Hanoi is enough?

    Is 4 days at Sapa too long? Should i take the 3 days' trek instead?

    Is 3 days at Halong Bay too long as well? Should i cut it down so that i'll have more time in Hanoi and can explore more nearby?


  10. #30

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahkit View Post
    Hi,

    I've just been to Hanoi last November.. Nice place with nice people. I stayed at the Hotel Elegance 4 which is good beyond my description. Hotel staff were friendly, room is really cosy and clean. Bed is soft and comfy. Each room is provided with a computer with internet access. Breakfast is good and located right in the old quarters.

    All in all, nothing more that i can ask for in a hotel. They actually have a total of 4 hotel and this is the newest.

    Check out their website.
    http://www.hanoielegancehotel.com/

    If time permits, make a trip to sapa and halong bay. I stayed on-board the emerauld in halong bay and it was great... (but a bit steep)...


    If i'm not wrong... My room rate for elegance 4 is ard USD45 per room and the stay on emerauld is roughly USD190 per person. (steep right???)

    have a good trip. cheers!!
    Can post some pics on the emerald for viewing? Is it worth the experience based on the price?

  11. #31

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Quote Originally Posted by berriess View Post
    Thanks for the tips!!

    My itinerary (not fixed yet)
    - Day 1 : arrive Hanoi - hope to catch the night train to Sapa
    - Day 2 : Sapa - trekking (going for 4 days' trek. anyone tried this before?)
    - Day 3 : Sapa trek
    - Day 4 : still at Sapa
    - Day 5 : Sapa to Hanoi
    - Day 6 : arriving early in the morning, hopefully can be picked up for 3d2n Halong Bay Cruise (1 night boatstay & another night at the beach resort)
    - Day 7 : Halong Bay
    - Day 8 : Halong Bay -> Hanoi [finally, settling down in Hanoi]
    - Day 9 : Hanoi (exploring time!)
    - Day 10 : Hanoi -> Sg (flight's at night.. so can do more exploring before flying off)

    Wondering if the time spend in Hanoi is enough?

    Is 4 days at Sapa too long? Should i take the 3 days' trek instead?

    Is 3 days at Halong Bay too long as well? Should i cut it down so that i'll have more time in Hanoi and can explore more nearby?

    IMO, the duration at sapa is depends on you. Do you like nature? Do you like something refreshing?

    Someone may think 4 night at Hanoi is enough, some may want more (they take into account the day return trip to Halong/ Perfume pagoda...)

    I would say 1 night on boat at Halong bay is enough... Don't have to stay 3 days 2 night...
    Last edited by Shen siung; 3rd July 2009 at 04:32 PM.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shen siung View Post
    IMO, the duration at sapa is depends on you. Do you like nature? Do you like something refreshing?

    Someone may think 4 night at Hanoi is enough, some may want more (they take into account the day return trip to Halong/ Perfume pagoda...)
    I do! That's why i'm into trekking

    Hmm.. maybe i should cut down to 3 days instead aye?

    But then, having only 2 nights in Hanoi may not be enough if i want to do additional 1 day trip out of the city.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Personally i think 3 days will be sufficient for sapa although it will be good to have more, really like that place. As for hanoi 2 days will be more than enough. Do take note that the night train leaves at ard 9.30pm and its kind of hard to grab the soft berth at such last min, unless you booked by tour agency. The hard seater as mentioned is not something you will want to take especially you will be heading out on a trek the following day, good to have plenty of rest.

    Cheers

  14. #34

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Remember to bring medication!last thing you want to do is spend your holiday in a Vietnamese hospital due to food poisoning.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Thanks guys, appreciate all your feedback and tips!!

  16. #36

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    If you come to Ho Chi Minh city, i think Princess d'Annam is one of the best choice. It is the first all-villa resort in vietnam, a really nice place to relax.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Hi guys!

    Is visiting in Jan a good suggestion? my target is to visit sapa!!!!!!

    thanks!!

  18. #38

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    Quote Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
    Hi guys!

    Is visiting in Jan a good suggestion? my target is to visit sapa!!!!!!

    thanks!!
    Hmm google it, think it shld be the cold and dry season. Not sure whether u can see lush green padi field but guess will have a lot of mist if u r looking for tt kind of effect.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    erm so i guess if i want green padi field will be now to visit?

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderflash View Post
    Hmm google it, think it shld be the cold and dry season. Not sure whether u can see lush green padi field but guess will have a lot of mist if u r looking for tt kind of effect.

  20. #40
    Member hetfieldpaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vietnam (Hanoi) - Any tips ?

    yes, the best season to visit sapa is from august to november

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