We both really enjoyed Vietnam for the most part and the food was totally amazing. The street food is soooooo good!
If we were to do it again we would probably do the following route:
Days 1-2: Hanoi. This is more than enough time to see the city and also will give some time to recover from jet lag.
Day 3-4: Sapa: We didn’t do this as the guy in the hotel was super pushy- good doorway into Laos.
Days 5-10: Cat Ba Island. We wished we had spent just a day or two longer here (we spent 4 days here in the end).
Day 11: Hai Phong: looked like a interesting spot for a day.
We went to Dong Hoi, which was pfor the caves really. So unless you are into caves or have $3000 and want to do the biggest cave in the world, I’d skip over this and go straight to Da Nang (we have saved this for another trip when we have money again).
We also went to Hué- and let a very pushy “easy rider” put us off- I’m sure if we had spent another day and went out on a moped to see the temples we would really have enjoyed this, but we didn’t and based on the state of the Imperial Palace and Forbidden Purple City I’d give it another 10-15 years to go back to Hué.
Day 12-14: Da Nang, we didn’t really see this so would like to come back.
Day 15-18: Hoi An. Get some suits/dresses and coats made (I loved the coats). Get some recommendations beforehand though on Trip Advisor. Good place to chill out. See My Son and also go to the beach if you like.
Day 19-22: Get to Dalat. We didn’t do it as couldn’t afford the flight here but also couldn’t face the bus journey. It’s where the Vietnamese go on Honeymoon, lovely spot. We will try to get here on another trip. Famous for waterfalls.
Day 22-26: Saigon. By bus or train from Dalat. Great city, go to Chu Chi Tunnels, day trip to Mekong Delta, drink some lush cocktails in Bitexco Tower, see the horrors of war and Agent Orange in the War Remanant’s Museum.
Day 27-29: Phu Quoc Island resort. It has a view of Cambodia as it is right off the coast but at Vietnamese prices.
Day 29: Back to HCMC/Saigon for the flight or to Hai Tien to cross into Cambodia.
Day 30: Leave Vietnam :(.
Or start from Saigon/Cambodia and work up..
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)