Thailand / Vietnam experiences please

(28 Posts)
notjudgingjustasking Sun 22-Dec-19 22:14:24

Good evening,
We have booked flights to Bangkok next summer august then discovered the weather is quite unpredictable. We will be there for two weeks.
Was thinking of having 4/5 nights in Bangkok then flying to Vietnam looks very nice. Hoi an is currently my favourite choice. Is this OK? Is a week there too long?
We would still have a couple of spare days with this plan, kids very keen to see some wildlife how can I build this in?

OP’s posts: |
PandancerandRabbitoplh Mon 23-Dec-19 14:34:55

We are taking flights to Bangkok next summer too and children love wildlife. I did the wildlife part by adding on Borneo (flight to Sandakan via Kuala Lumpur) - Sepilok for orangutan and sun bear sanctuaries and then 2 nights stay at a place by Kinabatangan river which has lots of wildlife - orangutan, proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants etc in jungle. Also added on Perhentians (flights to Kota Bharu from Kuala Lumpur) where you can snorkel / swim / scuba dive with turtles and baby sharks. In Thailand we are just doing Bangkok and River Kwai. I considered Chiang Mai and Koh Samui but both needed flights and Malaysian options looked better for us.

notjudgingjustasking Mon 23-Dec-19 22:11:56

Sounds wonderful but how long are you going for?

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PandancerandRabbitoplh Mon 23-Dec-19 22:47:09

Around 2.5 weeks so fly into Bangkok, stay couple of nights, next day go up to River Kwai takes around 3 hours by car transfer staying there 3 days mainly relaxing - hot springs, long boat, canoeing, pool, zipline at hotel and WWII museum. Then out to Sandakan in Borneo via Kuala Lumpur - we have 1 day to visit the orangutan and sun bear sanctuaries and lunch at Sepilok Nature Resort and 2 days at Kinabatangan River where there's lots of wildlife. Then fly to Kota Bharu via Kuala Lumpur to spend 5 days in Perhentians, resort we are staying at has a turtle sanctuary on site and turtles and baby sharks in the water. Fly back to Kuala Lumpur and spend a couple of nights on the coast in hotel with banana boats etc and then fly KL to Bangkok, overnight in Bangkok and then back to UK.

Originally was planning just Thailand when booked flights but kids love wildlife and all I was getting there was elephants (sometimes kept in very poor conditions) which the children said not that interested in plus the weather issues. The better sanctuaries were around Chiang Mai which involved a flight. So then I put in everywhere in Skyscanner and Sandakan came up. Looked perfect for wildlife, and also had a turtle island trip but after telling children it turns out FCO advice is not to go to turtle island there. So then I was desperately seeking turtles. That's how I got to Perhentians. I was going to spend a day longer in Borneo but it added £400 to flight costs and tripled them. We won't really get to see much of Bangkok in our plan but we aren't city people. Some flights are quite short, they don't seem to drive distances we would here. KL to Kota Bharu is an hour. It will be quite busy but don't know if we will get chance to go back.

notjudgingjustasking Thu 26-Dec-19 14:39:16

Ok I'll look at that we did go to malaysia last year so we're not really considering that but I imagine that Borneo's another kettle of fish altogether !,

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MissKittyFantastico84 Thu 26-Dec-19 14:46:55

Not sure if you need a whole week in Hoi An - maybe a few days and then travel somewhere else? Hoi An was one of my favourite places in Vietnam - but if you go to Hanoi for a few days as well, you could also do a couple of days on a boat around Ha Long Bay, which is really beautiful. Give Nha Trang a miss - super touristy and very trashy unless you're doing a 5* luxury resort.

Da Lat is somewhere to look into if you want a change of scenery in Vietnam - very green and lush and different. Ho Chi Min city is nuts but fun to explore.

Hope that helps! x

ShanghaiDiva Fri 27-Dec-19 05:43:25

You could combine Hoi An with Hue - about 3 hours by car. Hue will also be dry then, but both Hue and Hoi An can get very hot in the summer - 40 degrees plus.
I have been to Hanoi in the summer - we had a couple of wet days, but plenty of museums to see on a wet day.
I was in Dalat last week and it really is lovely - great scenery, much cooler than other areas, good value - great for 2/3 days.

cjpark Fri 27-Dec-19 10:01:01

We went to Vietnam this summer. I think a week is probably too long in Hoi An. I would pick Northern Vietnam and see it well that time of year. Maybe fly into Hanoi. Spend a few days there then travel out to Sapa Region or Halong Bay. It will be cooler and drier than the south and entail less travelling.

FeltCarrot Fri 27-Dec-19 18:16:53

We were in Vietnam in May/June. Travelled from Hanoi to HCMC stopping in Hue and Hoi An en route. Hoi An is lovely and we did a trio to the Ba Na Hills which was great. We hired a driver to take us from Hue (I didn’t like the town much but the Citadel is fantastic) over the Hai Van Pass, through DaNang which had beautiful beaches but was too hot to walk on to Hoi An. Loved Vietnam.

TheGonnagle Sat 28-Dec-19 21:43:04

I’ll add another vote for Hue, it was our favourite place in Vietnam so far. Plenty to see and do, a good city to mooch around, the citadel is stunning. The locals were absolutely welcoming and the food fabulous.

Lifeaback Sun 29-Dec-19 16:59:06

Hoi an is lovely and I’d definitely recommend, but a week is quite long- I was there for 4 days and that was plenty. Also, each different area of Vietnam is so different that it would be nice to see something else. The journey from Hue to Hoi an is something else- the scenery is absolutely breathtaking and there’s no where quite like it.

I’ve never been a big fan of Bangkok- I’ve been 3 times on various stop overs, I think 3 nights is more than enough so I’d be tempted to add a bit more vietnam time on. I’m biased though as it’s one of my favourite countries!

notjudgingjustasking Fri 03-Jan-20 17:01:50

Thankyou so much for your replies sorry for the radio silence but was unwell and crazy busy over new year.
I'll get planning but we would like some beach time resort kind of place for a few days any recommendations ?

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Her0utdoors Fri 03-Jan-20 17:10:59

Hanoi is fabulous, SO much food to choose from and fascinating museums. I could easily spend a week pottering round pre children. I'm not a big one for the heat, so would head north, the night train to Sapa is an experience.

katieak Thu 09-Jan-20 13:50:26

If you want beach, your best choices are Probably Nha Trang, Phu Quoc or Con Dao. Nha Trang is the easiest as it's on the mainland and you can get the train. It is quite touristy, however. Lots of Russian families when we went! The sea can also be quite rough so be careful if you have little ones. Phu Quoc and Con Dao are islands. You can fly for quite cheap from Saigon or from Hanoi to PQ but depends on the time you have and where you'll be.

notjudgingjustasking Mon 13-Jan-20 18:22:59

Thankyou ,
We are travelling with our three young adult children, early twenties (if you pay they will come!,)
So they will definitely not want lots of travelling time and I think we also want a bit of a break.
So our plan is looking like this 3 nights Bangkok, fly to danang and stay in hoi an for 5 nights DH and I might nip up to Hue during this time the train looks wonderful, then fly to nha Trang for 4 nights then back to Bangkok for last night.
Does this sound OK, I think cruising in Halong bay and the Mekong moght have to be retirement trips!,
Many thanks

OP’s posts: |
katieak Mon 13-Jan-20 21:35:41

The train is pretty epic! Amazing views!

Sounds like a good mix of stuff. Def worth the trip to Hue. If you're into your history then a day trip to the DMZ and tunnels is pretty cool. Bit eye opening into life at the time but interesting.

BlouseAndSkirt Mon 13-Jan-20 22:20:46

North of Hanoi will be v v wet in August so best to stay central in Vietnam.

Lots to do in Hoi An / Hue.

Take an Eco Coconut sunset tour including a go at all the fishing techniques and a go in the round basket boats, or the one with the water buffalo. Visit My Son archaeological site.

Visit Bach Ma national park, with a hike.

Hoi An old town is magical at night.

An Bang beach, brilliant food in cafes.

Hire a bike and explore the herb villages.

Hue: the Citadel. The tombs.

Christmadtree Mon 13-Jan-20 22:27:36

Ha long Bay is a must if you can, it's genuinely amazing and so worth the visit. Hoi an was beautiful but 5 nights there would be a bit too much imo..but then again I'm not one for sitting around sunbathing etc and like to explore.

EmmaGrundyForPM Mon 13-Jan-20 22:32:49

We went to Vietnam last year. I liked Hoi An but 3 nights would be sufficient I would think. Hue was amazing.

We cycled from HCM city to Hue which was a great way of seeing the country. Then we caught an overnight train from Hue to Hanoi and went on to HaLong bay. It was fabulous.

BlouseAndSkirt Mon 13-Jan-20 22:44:21

We cycled from HCM city to Hue

950Km?? shock How long did it take?

IdblowJonSnow Mon 13-Jan-20 22:53:20

I've been to Bangkok several times, 2 nights there and I'm done. Spend more time elsewhere. Local transport is easy to use you can take overnight trains internally and it's a good travel experience as you'll meet locals and other travellers. No need to get internal flights everywhere.
Not been to Vietnam but I know they have good overnight trains. A week in any city is too long!

travellingInSEasia Tue 14-Jan-20 00:18:50

We cycled from HCM city to Hue

😲 I can’t even begin to imagine getting on a push bike in HCMC, it’s one of the craziest places we have been for traffic, especially on a weekend.

Redtartanshoes Tue 14-Jan-20 18:14:23

I’m just back from 12 days in Vietnam. Internal travel is easy and cheap.

2 nights in Hanoi, 1 in Han Long Bay on a beautiful boat, 2 in Hoi An, 2 in HCMC and 4 in Phu Quoc.

Def try and get a trip to Han Long Bay. It was magical and the boat we stayed on was absolutely beautiful.

Hanoi and HCMC are manic but fascinating. Hoi An was lovely. 3/4 days would be enough. Phu Quoc was great for a relax at the end of the trip.

PM me if you want more info

Blibbyblobby Tue 14-Jan-20 18:24:31

We stayed in An Bang (beach area near Hoi An) for a week quite happily, but as a couple not a family. We hired a scooter and just explored and chilled out. Visited Hoi An a few times, went over the Hai Van pass, visited the marble mountain. Just standard tourist stuff but still worth doing if you have your own transport and set your own agenda.

EmmaGrundyForPM Tue 14-Jan-20 19:57:16

I can’t even begin to imagine getting on a push bike in HCMC, it’s one of the craziest places we have been for traffic, especially on a weekend.

Don't worry we didn't cycle in HCM City! We were on a guided tour and we were taken by coach to about 10kms outside before being given our bikes and starting off!

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