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How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

by victorwkf Online Now Nov 21, 2006 at 3:21 AM

I will be in hanoi for a meeting in mid-december 2006 and my wife is coming along. We will have 2 days before the meeting and 3 days after the meeting on our own free time. Would appreciate for information on what are the best places to go in and around hanoi during these 5 days of free time. Thanks.

Regards
Victor

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17 Answers
  • ngnghphuong's Profile Photo

    RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by ngnghphuong Online Now Nov 21, 2006 at 5:45 AM

    Hi
    I think you can email to this travel company, last month i get a tour from them, its very nice trip i had,their email: rubicontours@vnn.vn, they will design a tour for you as they did with me
    Anna Phuong

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  • ellielou's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by ellielou Online Now Nov 21, 2006 at 6:57 AM

    I would definitely take a trip to Halong Bay for two of those days, and stay overnight on one of the nicer junks. You should spend 2 days in Hanoi at the least...but you could easily stay occupied with 3. If you want another excursion, you could hit the craft villages outside of the city...

    There are some VN 'experts' around here, and I'm sure they'll chime in!

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  • JonnyVN's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by JonnyVN Online Now Nov 21, 2006 at 5:58 PM

    Not much need, Ellie got it there, Halong is a must and three days exploring Hanoi is enough. The weather that time of year is wonderfull, warm and dry and cool in the evenings, great for walking.

    Jonny

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  • RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by roseflower Online Now Nov 21, 2006 at 8:45 PM

    Hi,
    You can go to Halong bay - overnight on the boat 2days before, or take one day trip around Hanoi as Ninh Binh.. visit the traditional villages...
    When you finish your meeting, you can go to Sapa, depart at that day night, spend 3 or 4days in Sapa.
    Good success for your meeting.

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by victorwkf Online Now Nov 22, 2006 at 6:46 AM

    Thanks a lot for the good information so far and keep them coming please!

    Most likely we will go to the perfume pagoda and hanoi city tour during the 2 days before my meeting, and 2D1N Halong Bay trip plus another location for the 3 days after my meeting :)

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by SLLiew Online Now Nov 23, 2006 at 2:40 AM

    Victor,
    Not to be missed in Hanoi:
    1) Beef noodles (unless you do not eat beef).
    2) Water puppet show
    3) Ethnomology Museum (all the different Vietnamese tribes)
    4) Uncle Ho mausoleum and adjacent palaces and museum.
    5) Souvenir shopping at Hang Bac area, try the fruits in ice in a cup, a bit of ice kacang style at one of the street corners.
    6) Strolling along Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning, late afternoon and evening. See the locals exercising too.
    7) Have fun crossing the street full of motorbikes. Just do not hesitate and be predictable so that the bikes can avoid you.
    8) Weather can be chilly at this time of the year. Check King Golo's page.
    9) There is a very nice buffet dinner at a mansion turned into restaurant but was closed on the day for private function when we were there. Ask the locals. You need to prebook. Cannot remember the name.
    10) After all the walking, try the foot massage Vietnamese style.

    You do not enough time for Sapa. Tam Coc is a fun day trip. Halong Bay is fun and can be done as a day trip if time constraint. 2D/1N may be a better option for sunset and sunrise photo op and in case weather is not so good one of the days. Do not expect too much of Halong and you will enjoy the scenic boat trip.

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by victorwkf Online Now Nov 23, 2006 at 4:29 AM

    Thanks everyone for the information! Looking at all the options available, this may be the schedule which we may take :) Any comments?

    Day 1 - Arrival at Hanoi (around noon), free time (afternoon)
    Day 2 - Hanoi day tour
    Day 3 - Halong Bay (1 day trip)
    Day 4 - Work Meeting
    Day 5 - Work Meeting
    Day 6 - Work Meeting
    Day 7 - Trip to Sapa (either overnight train on day 6 or drive to Sapa on day 7)
    Day 8 - Sapa area
    Day 9 - Sapa area (& overnight train back to Hanoi)
    Day 10 - free time at Hanoi (morning), return to Singapore (afternoon)

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by SLLiew Online Now Nov 23, 2006 at 5:33 AM

    Heard that it is not advisable to go to Sapa from Hanoi by land for safety reasons. So follow what every tourist does, go by the night train and have to be there by 9pm at the train station. So you can even go after your meeting to save a day. Basically you will be spending two nights on the trains. Save accommodation and time. At Lao Cai, when coming down from Sapa, you can take a short motorcycle "taxi" ride to the border. There is a bridge over the river separating China and Vietnam. As a Chinese, this is fun. There is an electrical tram that goes around the city but it can be expensive unless there is a group of you.

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  • muddybok's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by muddybok Online Now Nov 23, 2006 at 5:42 AM

    Overall, your plan is alright except.....

    Ha Long (2D/1N) trip means you hit out today morning, and you're be back to Hanoi tomorrow 4pm/5pm. If your work meeting on DAY 4 is night time, then you're alright. Else you may need to make little adjustment.

    Day 1 - Arrival at Hanoi (around noon), free time (afternoon), Water Puppetry after six
    Day 2 - Halong Bay (2D/1N trip)
    Day 3 - Back from Ha Long to Hanoi late afternoon, makan & shopping@Hanoi
    Day 4 - Work Meeting
    Day 5 - Work Meeting
    Day 6 - Work Meeting
    Day 7 - Trip to Sapa (either overnight train on day 6 or drive to Sapa on day 7)
    Day 8 - Sapa area
    Day 9 - Sapa area (& overnight train back to Hanoi)
    Day 10 - free time at Hanoi (morning), return to Singapore (afternoon)

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  • JonnyVN's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by JonnyVN Online Now Nov 23, 2006 at 6:15 AM

    Think a couple of people missed the title of this post, enjoy your five days Victor

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by victorwkf Online Now Nov 23, 2006 at 6:28 AM

    Thanks for more useful advices on our coming hanoi trip! Hope to hear more from everyone. By the way, do we pay by US dollars or vietnam currency in hanoi and surroundings?

    I think we will take the overnight train to sapa since the road trip is not recommended by SL :) As for halong bay, we would love to spend 2D1N there as suggested by Bok but day 3 of our trip falls on a monday which the ho chi minh mausoleum is closed (i think it is worth seeing it). Therefore we have to do the hanoi city tour on day 2 (sunday) and then go to halong bay on monday instead.

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  • RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by roseflower Online Now Nov 23, 2006 at 7:54 AM

    hi
    You'd use both of vietnam dong and dollar. Vietnamdong for smallthing you buy, USD for paying hotel, your trip to Halong, Sapa...
    I think, go to Sapa by night train is good choice.
    Have a nice time in Vietnam!

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  • bpacker's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by bpacker Online Now Nov 24, 2006 at 12:08 AM

    Victor, thanks for telling me about this post. Hmm, it looks like you got your itinerary all figured out but here's my 2 cents worth of opinion.

    1)Sapa Valley - vic, you sure you wanna go here at this time of the year? it can be freezing this time of the year and when it rains it can get dreadful (some places are pretty steep and muddy). Erm, you're also bringing your wife along, I got a feeling she'd rather go for the romantic boat cruise at Halong Bay (see below). Also, due to the mists/lack of harvest vegetation, don't expect too much in terms of photography. Better to go there during warmer months. Harvest time can be very pretty. If you're still going there, aim for the weekend market, Hmong folks with colourful costumes will be there. Avoid the moonshine!

    2)Perfume Pagoda - I did a full write up on this, you can check out my photographs on this place. Not too bad but look out for those folks who persistently ask for tips after giving you a boat ride. They get nasty when you don't give enough. Climb to the top can be exhausting. LV, er, louis vuitton did a photo shoot here so yah.. it's rather scenic.

    3)Mausoleum - Uncle Ho goes to Russia each year to be spruced up so he might or might not be there. Not worth sacrificing time in Halong bay for this,imho. You line up for a long time to see him for a couple of minutes! Halong Bay is an astounding place, hell, what can I say, it's a unesco site. 1 day there is not enough, vic, you spend a lot of time travelling from Hanoi City to Halong and vice versa so if it's a one day agenda, you simply take a boat tour and go back. What a waste! Try going for at least 2d1n and stay onboard a junk, it can be a romantic experience ( provided you choose the right operator). If not, do it for 3d2n so that you get a chance to interact with the locals.

    4)Did anybody mention Old Quarters over here? You shouldn't miss this. Each street specialises in one type of merchandise.

    5)Food! Food! Food! Lots of good gourmet stuff over here. NY Times did a review on one famous eatery here. There are also buffets.My fav is at brother's cafe. Gd viet food is available at emperor's (avoid this place if you don't want to see singaporeans). And Drinks - if you're brave enough, go for the 'chon' coffee. Haha, definitely better than starbucks.

    6)Shoppping - Definitely cheaper than hcmc . Aim for the lacquer ware/lanterns/silks ( there's one silk shop at brother's cafe).

    g

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by victorwkf Online Now Nov 27, 2006 at 3:56 AM

    After looking through all the useful comments and suggestions by various VT members, our revised schedule (very likely to be the final one) is:

    Day 1 - Arrival at Hanoi (around noon), walk around old quarters and water puppet show
    Day 2 - Halong Bay, overnight in boat
    Day 3 - Halong Bay, back in Hanoi afternoon
    Day 4 - Work Meeting
    Day 5 - Work Meeting
    Day 6 - Work Meeting
    Day 7 - Hanoi day tour & overnight train to Sapa
    Day 8 - Sapa (just in time to catch the weekend market & visit the villages)
    Day 9 - Sapa & overnight train back to Hanoi
    Day 10 - free time at Hanoi (morning), return to Singapore (afternoon)

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by victorwkf Online Now Jan 13, 2007 at 6:13 PM

    Thanks for all of you who have given valuable comments, really appreciate it. My wife and I enjoyed our stay at Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa as the weather was good and everything turned out well.

    I have built my VT Sa Pa page partially (more coming soon) and will be building my VT Halong and Hanoi pages soon so that I can share with all VT members our experiences and photos. Take care and happy new year!

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by victorwkf Online Now Feb 6, 2007 at 5:55 AM

    Today i was on leave and spent sometime to build my halong page. It is done and do drop by to have a look if you are interested. Will be doing my hanoi page when i have free time some other day!

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: How to spend 5 days in and around hanoi ?

    by victorwkf Online Now Mar 21, 2007 at 10:12 PM

    Once again, thanks for all the useful advices from VT members, which have help to make my Vietnam trip a wonderful one. Recently, I have started building my VT hanoi page and more updates will be coming soon. Do drop by and have a look if you are interested :)

    Regards
    Victor

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