So where should you go?
We plan to create sample one- and two-week suggested itineraries for both first-time and repeat visitors in upcoming posts. Meanwhile, if you’re hoping to visit more than one region, here are the best two to visit, broken down by bi-monthly periods.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY (Saigon & Danang)
Have a day or two in Saigon, maybe a couple days in the Mekong. Fly to Danang for about $60 one way, taxi straight to historic Hoi An. Get clothes made from tailors, maybe visit the Golden Bridge on a day trip. Fly out from Danang, or back to Saigon.
MARCH-APRIL (Hanoi & Danang)
Hanoi and Danang. Fly into Hanoi for a couple days in the capital. Time’s pretty short, so save Sapa and see Halong Bay for a couple days. Then fly to Danang, as outlined above.
MAY-JUNE (Hanoi OR Saigon & Danang)
It’s up to your preference. Saigon’s got the edge on nightlife and food, Hanoi has more evocative attractions. We’ll cover this big decision more in another post.
JULY-AUGUST (Saigon & Danang)
Start in Saigon, maybe see the Mekong or Dalat if it’s too hot for you, the fly to Danang. Note the beaches in Danang are BUSY in summer. We prefer Hoi An’s anyway.
SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER (Saigon & Hanoi)
Use an “open-jaw” ticket to fly into one and out the other. We prefer going south-to-north. Saigon sometimes underwhelms visitors, particularly at an end of the trip. With effort you could get Saigon, Mekong Delta, Hanoi, Halong Bay. You could EASILY fill a week in just the north, by going to Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER (Saigon & Hanoi)
As shown above. In December, you might not enjoy Sapa or Halong Bay as much.