Can any one help with our plans in September suggest how long to stay and how to travel to Ha long city from Haipong
We are a couple in our 60's not back packers ,
Can anyone help in giving advise on our Itinery,we plan to stay in HCMC for a few days then fly up to Haipong (we want to avoid going to Hanoi) then travel to Halong City what is the best way to travel to halong City would we get private car or a bus if a bus where would we get the bus from,can you get a bus from the airport to Ha Long City
would it be best to stay over night in Haiphong then travel on?
We were planning on getting a boat to cat ba from Halong City ,would you suggest staying there for a few nights in Cat Ba
Then back to Halong City we then want to travel to Hue what is the best way to travel there and how long does it take
Then travel to Da Nang by bus
and the fly to HCMC
Is it easy to get accomadation with out booking ahead any suggestions on places to stay in the places we are visiting above
You can get a bus/boat combination or a boat from Haiphong to Cat Ba, there is no need to go to Halong City. You can get a taxi from the airport to the port or to the bus company office (The bus company is called Hoang Long) in Haiphong. Get a Mai Linh taxi as they are the most reliable.
Whether to stay overnight depends on what time you arrive. Haiphong is an example of a 'real' Vietnamese city but there isn't a lot to do except look around.
Cat Ba is lovely and you can get boat trips from there around Halong Bay. There is a national park in the middle where you can go trekking. The main town is a harbour but there are three small beaches. There are plenty of cheap little hotels along the harbour front with views onto the bay, or if you have some money to spend I would recommend the Sunrise Resort. It's on its own beach and is a lovely place to stay.
You can easily arrange a boat back to Haiphong from Cat Ba as there are many travel agents along the harbour road. Actually you can arrange transport all the way to Hue too.
Whether to book hotels ahead depends on when you are going. From June - August is the summer holiday here so hotels can get booked up with domestic tourists. Otherwise it's not necessary.
We used to live in Haiphong and went to Cat Ba regularly. We now live in HCMC and have visited all the places you mention above so check out our blog for more information.
Thank you for this information it has been very helpful,we are planning on going in september
Hi Jean S
Your trip expectation itinerary sound very interesting, i think it is possible to do, so arrival to HCM city for few days then fly to Hai Phong, there are direct flight from HCM city to Cat Bi air base just more 10 km from Hai Phong city center, yes it is pritty easy to find hotels in Hai Phong, i am strongly recommeded you should contact and get deal with local travel agent they would reserve flight tickets and hotels accommodation for you. following my ideal you should not take bus to Halong city then boating, you can get highspeed boat's tickets to Cat Ba island then boat trip cruise cross the bay to Halong city, from you guys easy to catch local public bus back to Hanoi.
I've been to Vietnam maybe a dozen times over the last few years. Not sure why you do not want Hanoi ? But one of my favorites is always Halong Bay. Take an old overnight, better 2 night cruise on one of the old "Chinese" Junk boats. Cost is very low, I think under $100 for the both of you and the view are most breath taking. Taxi's by the day are about $100. Be careful of pick pockets and cell phones. I have been hit twice. Meter taxi's seem to know how to always take the long way. Most people there like to try to talk in English to you. Never had any trouble getting a decent room with no reservations. Never paid over $20
i am agree with Jeffery McColum, Hanoi is very worthwhile to see, road condition is good so just take you guys around 3 hours to get to Hanoi to stay for one before heading back home, you better book your international return tickets from Hanoi, so you don't have time just one night on boat cruise and one night in Hanoi. this is good that you guys can see more and not rush.
Thanks for the reply's I should refrase what I said we have been to Hanoi and this time we just wanted to go to halong city and cat ba so we thought going to haiphong was a better option than traveling to Hanoi then down,we will book air tickets to go to haiphong the tarvel by bus or car to halong city,stay there a couple of days ,then get ferry or boat to cat ba and stay a few days there ,then travel back to haiphong maybe stay there not sure then make our way down to Hue by Bus or Car not sure which is better option, stay there for a couple nights then maybe if we have time go to hoi an then back to Danag then fly down to HCMC
As I said above, the ferry to Cat Ba goes from Haiphong, not Halong City. You can only get tourist junk boats from Halong City. Halong City is not a nice place to stay. It's rather sleezy - lots of girly bars catering to locals and sailors. I wouldn't recommend that you spend a couple of days there. What are you planning to see there? It seems very unnecessary to go from Haiphong airport to Halong City to Cat Ba if you are short on time. Go from Haiphong airport to Cat Ba and then have some time to go to Hoi An, which is more than worth a visit.
i am agree with Rat on the road that, you guys only can catch ferry to Cat Ba island. but i disagree that Hai Phong is girly bar, it could Be in So Son. i guess that the reason you guys would like to stay there for couple days, due to Hai Phong is not touristy city but, where you can enjoy the slow pace and explore colonial city, you should hide car or moto bike to ride out city to see lush country side and authentic of vietnam pictures
thank you so much for let us know about such great travel information site, in fact it is vietnamese language site this one particular for vietnamese tourists, not for foreign travelers.
regards to Hai Phong city, i still love Hai Phong, beacuse of Hai Phong, itself is colonial city, some streets still very preserve great french architec house and still able to find alot traditional house alternative with new modern house too, specially here is not touristy and less crasy traffic. if i been there i would love to rent a motobike to ride out of city for taking rest in hot spring mudbath in Tien Lang district and by the way can explore how is real vietnam country side
I suggest that you drive to Halong bay or Cat Ba island and overnight there better than in Haiphong. I personally think there is not much to see in Haiphong. Whereas, overnight on Halong bay junk is unique and fantastic. Haiphong is known with casinos and bar girls, it's actually not a tourism city but quite a Vietnam typical city.
From Halong, you may take a bus to Noi Bai (less than $10) than fly to Hue (Phu Bai airport). Or else, you fly back to Cat Bi airport (Haiphong) than head to Hue.
Another way is to take a Hoang Long bus. It takes around 15 hours, you may leave Quang Ninh at 1pm at stop in Hue at 4am of the next day. it costs around $21.
Can any one help in advice on how much a taxi would be from Haiphong Airport to Haiphong city center,also is the harbour very far form the center to catch the hydrfoil and how much it costs to get to Cat Ba,would any one know the time table for hydrofoil to get to cat ba Town is there any company for the hydrofoil we should look for that will take us to Cat Ba Town
thank you for all your help and advice
[Edited: 2011 Jul 15 14:12 - bothtogether:195915 ]
You can ask a Vietnamese friend to help you to book taxi in advance so that you will no longer have to care about the price. I never do like this in Haiphong, I only book taxi in Hanoi (pick my foreign friends or partners in Noi Bai Airport). However, nomarlly, any taxi companies have this service, you will know the exact price, taxi driver will wait you in the air port. Good luck!
Here is actual schedule suggestion
HCM city flight to Cat Bi airport, shoudl stay in Hai phong city for 1 night, spend morning to wander around city, sure it not much to see but it is not touristy then catch ferry to Cat Ba island the afternoon, when you leaving Cat Ba just need to ask local travel agent there for buying ferry tickets to Halong bay or take lift of tourist boat to Halong city then can go straight to Noi Bai airport to depart back home
In response to: Msg #132726
I think it's better you need to book in advance to make sure that you'll have the best hotel and best deals.
You can stay in Ho Chi Minh for few day ( shopping, Mekong Delta...) and then from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. And then take 3 days - 2 nights ( 1 night on boat in Ha Long Bay and 1 night in Cat Ba island ) or Hanoi - Hai Phong - Ha Long ( or Cat Ba )
P/s: Make sure that you have visa to Vietnam. You can do visa on arrival ( it's easy and cheap)