Vietnam

Henabi

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hi guys. i planning a trip to hanoi. i saw people are going on a 5days trip and their itinerary have
1. halongbay
2. sapa
3.ninh binh

i think i only able to cover sapa and halongbay.
so my question is.
1.sapa take train, ride there(if renting a bike) or grab/private veh?

2. do i need do a covid test before i went to hanoi?

how much money do i need to bring?
5 days to cover ha long bay, Sapa and Ninh binh is SUPER tight and rush.

Firstly, there are not many flights from Singapore to Hanoi and the flight timings are not very good.
SIN to HANOI
- 9:15am SIA
- 1:25pm Vietnam Airlines
- 2:25pm Bamboo Airlines
- 2:55pm VietJet
- 3pm SIA
- 3:55pm SCOOT

HANOI to SIN
- 8:10am Vietnam Airlines
- 8:30am Bamboo Airlines
- 9:35am VietJet
- 11:30am SCOOT
- 12:35pm SIA
- 6:35pm SIA

Flight duration is roughly 2.5 to 3 hrs, excluding possible take-off delays, possible long waiting time at the Hanoi Airport Immigrations and even longer waiting time for your check-in luggages.
(Note: I have experienced waiting up to 1 hour for my check-in luggage, even though mine came with "Priority" Luggage tag)

So, let's say you take the 9am SIA from SIN to HANOI... No take-off delays. everything was smooth and you reach around 1130am Vietnam Time (Vietnam is 1 hour behind Singapore)...
Short 20mins wait at the Immigrations.
Average 30min wait for your luggage.

By the time you stepped out to the Hanoi Noibai Intl Airport Arrival Hall, it is probably around 12:30pm-1:00pm.

What's next?
You can either:

a) Travel up to Sapa
but take note that the travel route is very long, because Sapa is up in to mountains. Going up to Sapa takes 5 to 8 hours, coming down is another 5 to 8 hours.
Private car will be around 6 hrs per way. Total 12.
Train will be around 8 hours per way. Total 16.
Even the local Vietnamese don't ride up to Sapa themselves, they rather hire a private car or take train.

Total time spent on the road,, either 12 hrs or 16 hrs.

b) Travel east to Ha Long Bay
From Noibai intl airport, it will take around 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
Back to Hanoi city, it takes around 2.5 to 3 hrs, depending on traffic conditions.

Total time spent on the road, 7 hrs

c) Travel south to Ninh Binh
From noibai airport to Ninh binh, it will take around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
back to Hanoi, it takes around 2.5 hours depending on traffic conditions.

Total time spent on the road, 6 hrs

With the amount of time spent on the road, I hope you understand why I say it is definitely possible to hit all these places within 5 days, as long as you are alright with spending so much time on the road and so little time enjoying the gems of each place
 
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Henabi

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Question 2
- don't need any test.
but still bring all the necessary paperworks with you, like Vaccination proofs, in case you kena a GL immigration officer who wants to see all these

and Question 3
- Expenses in Vietnam is actually very low.
FYI, the exchange rate is 1 SGD to 18,000 VND (As of 16th Nov 2022)
For 5 days, bring around 1000 SGD, should be more than enough.
this excludes air tickets, hotels. only for food, drinks, transportations, some shopping and admission tickets.

lastly, the distance of Hanoi city to Airport is around 1 hr by driving, so do factor this in for your return flight
AND... At the Departure hall, before you go into the Immigration area, there is a need to Q-up for a Vietnam officer to check your Boarding pass + passport.
after you cleared the immigration, there is a separate Security clearance scan.
After you cleared the security scan, it is the transit area.

sometimes all three areas (Pre Immigration, Immigration, Security Scan) can be really packed...
I have experienced spending a 1.5 hours to clear all 3.
 
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beanstalk6

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@Henabi did an excellent breakdown of the traveling time.
When TS proposed a 5 days itinerary to include Sapa, Halong Bay and Ninh Binh (what about Hanoi?), I did a double-take. The breakdown certainly put a clear perspective. Hanoi-Sapa is about equidistance to SG-KL but double the traveling time. 4 hours only gets you to Halong City. Halong Bay means a cruise from Halong City that takes upwards of 12 hours.
5 days intinerary? Seriously out of depth.
 

paladin

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hi guys. i planning a trip to hanoi. i saw people are going on a 5days trip and their itinerary have
1. halongbay
2. sapa
3.ninh binh

i think i only able to cover sapa and halongbay.
so my question is.
1.sapa take train, ride there(if renting a bike) or grab/private veh?

2. do i need do a covid test before i went to hanoi?

how much money do i need to bring?
Refer to post #14,232
 

paladin

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@Henabi did an excellent breakdown of the traveling time.
When TS proposed a 5 days itinerary to include Sapa, Halong Bay and Ninh Binh (what about Hanoi?), I did a double-take. The breakdown certainly put a clear perspective. Hanoi-Sapa is about equidistance to SG-KL but double the traveling time. 4 hours only gets you to Halong City. Halong Bay means a cruise from Halong City that takes upwards of 12 hours.
5 days intinerary? Seriously out of depth.
Moderator, you should open Vietnam folder , this thread 713 pages getting out of hand and hard to search northern, southern or central Vietnam. What’s more, I haven’t even post on tailoring in Vietnam Or various food in each province in Vietnam!
 

Henabi

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Moderator, you should open Vietnam folder , this thread 713 pages getting out of hand and hard to search northern, southern or central Vietnam. What’s more, I haven’t even post on tailoring in Vietnam Or various food in each province in Vietnam!
those fellows who have vast experiences in Vietnam... need to be more active here too, especially from the EDMW Vietnam Wife/GF thread.

I feel that some of the info on Vietnam is kinda divided between here and there

For tailoring... I have never done tailoring in Vietnam... last time used to do it in BKK.
But when it comes to bags, clothings, nuts, food, coffee, snacks, fish sauce.... I tend to get them from Vietnam, rather than BKK
 

paladin

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those fellows who have vast experiences in Vietnam... need to be more active here too, especially from the EDMW Vietnam Wife/GF thread.

I feel that some of the info on Vietnam is kinda divided between here and there

For tailoring... I have never done tailoring in Vietnam... last time used to do it in BKK.
But when it comes to bags, clothings, nuts, food, coffee, snacks, fish sauce.... I tend to get them from Vietnam, rather than BKK
What you say you buy in Vietnam are all made in Vietnam, especially nuts, fish sauce and coffee.

every market sells cashew nuts, almond, etc, the nuts are harvested locally, if you eat nuts, can buy as they keep quite well. Remember to bargain hard ( walk off type) or bring a local to buy with you.

Chocolates also good, if you are in HCM.

I will be visiting HCMC and Mui Ne, the fish sauce town, this Dec.
 
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paladin

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Sharing some tips on shopping and bargaining in Vietnam.

if price is not fixed, e.g at markets, aim to go early and be the first customer. Vietnamese are superstitious, like thais, they believe in making a sale for first customer, even at a loss!

if you are not local and open the bargain in English, start price at 70-80% off. Often, you can meet halfway at 50% off the first price quoted. If not, walk away, usually seller will call you back because in markets, there are many stalls selling the same thing.
 

paladin

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5 days to cover ha long bay, Sapa and Ninh binh is SUPER tight and rush.

Firstly, there are not many flights from Singapore to Hanoi and the flight timings are not very good.
SIN to HANOI
- 9:15am SIA
- 1:25pm Vietnam Airlines
- 2:25pm Bamboo Airlines
- 2:55pm VietJet
- 3pm SIA
- 3:55pm SCOOT

HANOI to SIN
- 8:10am Vietnam Airlines
- 8:30am Bamboo Airlines
- 9:35am VietJet
- 11:30am SCOOT
- 12:35pm SIA
- 6:35pm SIA

Flight duration is roughly 2.5 to 3 hrs, excluding possible take-off delays, possible long waiting time at the Hanoi Airport Immigrations and even longer waiting time for your check-in luggages.
(Note: I have experienced waiting up to 1 hour for my check-in luggage, even though mine came with "Priority" Luggage tag)

So, let's say you take the 9am SIA from SIN to HANOI... No take-off delays. everything was smooth and you reach around 1130am Vietnam Time (Vietnam is 1 hour behind Singapore)...
Short 20mins wait at the Immigrations.
Average 30min wait for your luggage.

By the time you stepped out to the Hanoi Noibai Intl Airport Arrival Hall, it is probably around 12:30pm-1:00pm.

What's next?
You can either:

a) Travel up to Sapa
but take note that the travel route is very long, because Sapa is up in to mountains. Going up to Sapa takes 5 to 8 hours, coming down is another 5 to 8 hours.
Private car will be around 6 hrs per way. Total 12.
Train will be around 8 hours per way. Total 16.
Even the local Vietnamese don't ride up to Sapa themselves, they rather hire a private car or take train.

Total time spent on the road,, either 12 hrs or 16 hrs.

b) Travel east to Ha Long Bay
From Noibai intl airport, it will take around 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
Back to Hanoi city, it takes around 2.5 to 3 hrs, depending on traffic conditions.

Total time spent on the road, 7 hrs

c) Travel south to Ninh Binh
From noibai airport to Ninh binh, it will take around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
back to Hanoi, it takes around 2.5 hours depending on traffic conditions.

Total time spent on the road, 6 hrs

With the amount of time spent on the road, I hope you understand why I say it is definitely possible to hit all these places within 5 days, as long as you are alright with spending so much time on the road and so little time enjoying the gems of each place
Well detailed

sapa - mountain
halong bay - bay or sea
ninh binh - river and hills

very ambitious indeed to up mountain, down sea, and traverse river in 5 days.
 

paladin

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Any good tour agency at Hanoi?
Want to go Sapa from Hanoi.
Any recommend where to stay at Hanoi and Sapa?

The 15 seater limousine bus to sapa is very comfortable, 5.5hrs to sapa and about 5 hrs back to Hanoi because driver was driving very fast.

highly recommend this tour but you add one more day because for 2d1n, if weather is rainy, cannot go up Mt Fansipan and got to hike in the rain, which I did. not pleasant for mountainous area.
 
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Henabi

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Any good tour agency at Hanoi?
Want to go Sapa from Hanoi.
Any recommend where to stay at Hanoi and Sapa?
Where to stay in Hanoi…
Depends on your budget. Usually i will recommend three areas in hanoi
1) Old Quarters aka hoan kiem lake area
As its the prime tourist areA
2) west lake
3) lieu giai road (along Lotte Tower)
 

mercury95sg

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Few years back I book their local tour agency to Halong bay.
The bus seat is very small. I am a L size person, and I feel the seat more to their local people.
Even our hospital shuttle bus not even that small.
I remember there are few westerners, and they seat at the back. It really uncomfortable esp for them.
So want to avoid that as journey is long.
 

Henabi

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Few years back I book their local tour agency to Halong bay.
The bus seat is very small. I am a L size person, and I feel the seat more to their local people.
Even our hospital shuttle bus not even that small.
I remember there are few westerners, and they seat at the back. It really uncomfortable esp for them.
So want to avoid that as journey is long.
One thing i learnt is to get a local you trust and know to help with comms.

there is another type of Mini bus… the locals call it “Limo sleeping bus” which comes with bigger, better leather cushioned seats and leg space. Each seat can recline 45-60degrees
Some even comes with individual entertainment system+screen at the back of each seat.
Most come food/snacks, drinks, usb ports, wifi.
max 5-7 pax.

tourist fee is around 40-50usd for round trip

local fees maybe half or 1/3
 

shadow84

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Need some advice on my itinerary for my Danang solo trip this Dec. Food are just some tentatively and found to be near each other / along the way.

Day 1: Arrive at 1pm, check in 2pm, Mì Quảng Ếch Bếp Trang (Lunch) - Danang Cathedral – Cho Han Market - Big C Supercentre – Cho Con Market – Quan An Quang Hang (Dinner) - Dragon bridge - Son Tra Night Market

Day 2,: Hai Van Pass motorbike tour ride - Bep Hen (Dinner) - Dragon bridge - Son Tra Night Market

Day 3: Ba Na Hills - Bep Cuon / Cơm tấm Út Vân / Bánh bèo Tâm (Dinner)

Day 4: Check out from Danang Hotel in morning, take pvt car to Hoi An and walk around, Bahn Mi Queen, Mot Hoi An, Morning glory, Mì Quảng Ông Hai

Day 5,: Coconut Forest & basket boat tour from 9am to 12pm - Check out from Hoi An Hotel and take pvt car to Danang Hotel at 1230pm - Lotte Mart - Sun World Asia Park - Helio night market

Day 6: Check out from Danang Hotel in morning - return to Singapore
 

Henabi

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For Day 2, You can consider to head straight to Hue after Hai Van pass… since it is like half way to Hue
Spend 1 night @ hue, next morning from hue go straight to Hoi An
Spend 1 night Hoi An
Next morning head back to Danang
And then complete the rest of your itinerary while you are in Danang
 

shadow84

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My hai van pass tour is pvt bike de, ride as pillion. He bringing me to marble mountains lady buddha, hai van pass, lang co beach then back, 830 to 6pm. Also, i alrdy booked 3 nights danang, 1 night hoi an and last night danang.

Wondering where else i can explore in danang on 5th day afternoon after hoi an.
 

mercury95sg

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My hai van pass tour is pvt bike de, ride as pillion. He bringing me to marble mountains lady buddha, hai van pass, lang co beach then back, 830 to 6pm. Also, i alrdy booked 3 nights danang, 1 night hoi an and last night danang.

Wondering where else i can explore in danang on 5th day afternoon after hoi an.
Maybe you can go Han Market, to buy some T shirts and souvenirs.
 

paladin

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My hai van pass tour is pvt bike de, ride as pillion. He bringing me to marble mountains lady buddha, hai van pass, lang co beach then back, 830 to 6pm. Also, i alrdy booked 3 nights danang, 1 night hoi an and last night danang.

Wondering where else i can explore in danang on 5th day afternoon after hoi an.
3 nights Danang not really a lot, 1 day bana hills already gone. If at Danang, watch the dragon show at 9 pm at dragon bridge on Saturdays. Your Hoi An duration a bit short. can take river boat ride cannot watch hoi an memories show. If go coconut forest boat ride, maybe no time go Terracotta park. Just walking around old town to view unesco sites like Japanese bridge can take half a day. No time to tailor in Hoi an.
some afternoon activity to consider in Danang

  • Visit Danang museum
  • Shopping, ladies can visit Lolem And SIXDO
  • go hypermarket buy coffee or souvenirs for family and colleagues, cheaper than airport
  • first day in Danang go Paul Bespoke tailor to tailor shirt or pants, 2nd day fitting, 3rd day collect. Opposite Han market
  • drink local craft beer at Brewhaha
  • Try one of the spa. Cheap and good.
 

shadow84

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3 nights Danang not really a lot, 1 day bana hills already gone. If at Danang, watch the dragon show at 9 pm at dragon bridge on Saturdays. Your Hoi An duration a bit short. can take river boat ride cannot watch hoi an memories show. If go coconut forest boat ride, maybe no time go Terracotta park. Just walking around old town to view unesco sites like Japanese bridge can take half a day. No time to tailor in Hoi an.
some afternoon activity to consider in Danang

  • Visit Danang museum
  • Shopping, ladies can visit Lolem And SIXDO
  • go hypermarket buy coffee or souvenirs for family and colleagues, cheaper than airport
  • first day in Danang go Paul Bespoke tailor to tailor shirt or pants, 2nd day fitting, 3rd day collect. Opposite Han market
  • drink local craft beer at Brewhaha
  • Try one of the spa. Cheap and good.
I was thinking whether to watch the hoi an memories show on day 4 night, but not sure if that would leave me with little time to explore Hoi an. I had planned to check out from danang at 9am and i should reach hoi an around 10am.

Then again, based on the youtube videos i have been watching, not much to explore. Only gonna go to a few noted places, night market, etc. Another thing is that my hoi an hotel is a little far from old town, at the edge. Didnt see carefully when researching. From hotel to night market across An Hoi island would take around 30 mins walk. So, im trying not to go back to hotel for no reason other than to check in and sleep.

btw, from google map from hotel to memories show, it shows a path that cuts thru water. is it a boat ride or a new bridge?

hoi-an.png
 
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