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Old Mar 21, 19, 4:15 pm
  #166  
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Hello Experts ..Looking some advice/suggestions ...I am traveling first time to Hanoi from HKG (doing a weekend trip to Hanoi) and I have don't many hours between flight back. I arrive at 9:30 am Sat and leave Sunday night around 8:00 pm. I have following questions

1) Where is the best place to stay if I need to cover the tourist spot. I am Hilton guy and wanted to use the points for Stay but open to other suggestions

2) What is best way get Airport to Hotel (presently having booking at Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi around 40 min away from airport)? Is airport taxi safe and reliable ? or should I book Expedia airport pickup/return package ?

3) What can I cover on Sat after lunch and evening?

4) What is best preferred way? Bus ride or do we have train ? should I stay Sat night in Hai Phong or Cat Ba or Ha Long bay area and try to catch morning tour and start back around 3 pm to Airport or its too risky and just back in Hanio city and do Hanio tour?

5) What are other City Tour options for Sunday until 5 pm.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 10:24 pm
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Originally Posted by puchong View Post
Da Nang airport transfers - does any know the 'right' price for a taxi from Da Nang airport to the Four Points in Da Nang?
I travelled recently and the young lady at the airport tourist office insisted it was about US$10-11 (approx. VND 250,000+

Outside at the taxi rank, I was quoted VND 150,000 - which was later reduced to VND 120,000

Got a Grab (at around 5 PM) and was ​​​​​​quoted VND 100,000 - driver demanded another VND 10,000 for the airport pickup.

I hope this information (along with kokonutz's very helpful response upthread) will be of some use to others.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 12:22 am
  #168  
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Originally Posted by rajhyd99 View Post
Hello Experts ..Looking some advice/suggestions ...I am traveling first time to Hanoi from HKG (doing a weekend trip to Hanoi) and I have don't many hours between flight back. I arrive at 9:30 am Sat and leave Sunday night around 8:00 pm. I have following questions

1) Where is the best place to stay if I need to cover the tourist spot. I am Hilton guy and wanted to use the points for Stay but open to other suggestions

2) What is best way get Airport to Hotel (presently having booking at Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi around 40 min away from airport)? Is airport taxi safe and reliable ? or should I book Expedia airport pickup/return package ?

3) What can I cover on Sat after lunch and evening?

4) What is best preferred way? Bus ride or do we have train ? should I stay Sat night in Hai Phong or Cat Ba or Ha Long bay area and try to catch morning tour and start back around 3 pm to Airport or its too risky and just back in Hanio city and do Hanio tour?

5) What are other City Tour options for Sunday until 5 pm.
We spent three days in Hanoi. That was plenty for us (we didn't love it there). https://readyjetroam.com/2019/03/12/...ot-love-hanoi/

To answer your specific questions:

1) Given a similarly short stay we chose the old quarter so we would be able to walk to most tourist sites and areas. I don't think you'll find a chain hotel in the old quarter. We stayed at a place we found on TA called Little Hanoi Deluxe Hotel. We paid a little over $30US/night...cheaper than using points! Here's my review of the place on TA: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...tel-Hanoi.html

2) We took a metered taxi from the airport to the old quarter. ~350 VND ($15US). Had the hotel arrange a flat rate of 350 VND for the return trip.

3, 4, 5) We covered a lot of what I talk about the blog post in one day. But we tour pretty quickly.

Happy to answer any other specific questions if I can.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by puchong View Post
Da Nang airport transfers - does any know the 'right' price for a taxi from Da Nang airport to the Four Points in Da Nang?
I was just there in February, i think my taxi cost around VND 100,000 - 120,000, but I got a metered taxi so don't get taxi's that you need to negotiate the prices with. My taxi back to the airport was VND 105,000 plus 10,000 for the airport fee from Hilton.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by rajhyd99 View Post
2) What is best way get Airport to Hotel (presently having booking at Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi around 40 min away from airport)? Is airport taxi safe and reliable ? or should I book Expedia airport pickup/return package ?
.
I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn 3 years ago, it's a nice hotel and the hot breakfast is nice too, but its a fair distance walking to the old quarter. You can ask the hotel to hire a motor bike to get around and the company brings it to you.

to get there you can either get a metered taxi from the airport( I caught a taxi back to the airport for VND 240,000 i think) or there is a shuttle bus from the airport(vietjet, jetstar, vietnam airlines VND 40,000) that drops you in the old quarter and you can take a taxi or grab from there as its still a fair distance to Hilton Garden Inn. Be aware but there is taxi's waiting there for tourists and try to charge you more for the short ride.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 12:50 am
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Cruise Port Stop Advice

I am seeking advice on what might be good options to experience in our cruise stops in the following locations:

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) -2 Days
Da Nang (Hue) -1 Day, 8:00am-6:00pm
Halong Bay 1 Day, 7:00am-8:00pm

Will be the first time in Vietnam, so all options are on the table.

Many thanks for your assistance.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 8:13 am
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I don't know anything about cruise ships, but don't they give you options to pick or have guided itineraries?
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Old Mar 25, 19, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
I don't know anything about cruise ships, but don't they give you options to pick or have guided itineraries?
Yes. But, this thread offers the opportunity for advice, so I asked.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
I am seeking advice on what might be good options to experience in our cruise stops in the following locations:

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) -2 Days
Da Nang (Hue) -1 Day, 8:00am-6:00pm
Halong Bay 1 Day, 7:00am-8:00pm

Will be the first time in Vietnam, so all options are on the table.

Many thanks for your assistance.
So there are quite a few posts on these places, you might find more info looking back. For Saigon, most of the city revolves around food and people, it's not packed with history. The typical recommendation I give starts with post 29 here, and is repeated somewhat often, but is basically two things. 1 - check out the history stuff, i.e. palace and war museum, and any small museums if you like that stuff, 2 - get out of d1/downtown, go in some alleys, take a food tour, and see what the people do. Also with two days, u might take a delta tour. The boat one is nice, their name escapes me now.

For Da Nang, you can do Hue which would take your full day, or you could focus on Hoi An. I think Hoi An is nice and would focus there. Some advice about 30-40 posts or so back on Hoi An and Da Nang sites is written.

Ha Long is basically set up so you can do a day tour of the bay I suppose. Not really a lot to do there other than that tour, unless you want to explore the town or the rural life around by hiring a car and just exploring, and maybe do some hiking. It's too far from Hanoi or anywhere else notable, except might be able to go to Cat Ba island if that is interesting to you.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Yes. But, this thread offers the opportunity for advice, so I asked.
I asked because I honestly don't know. Is it basically free time to do whatever you want? For your overnight, are you allowed to stay in the city overnight? I assume you will have a tourist visa and have your passport in your possession.

The Halong Bay stop is an interesting one. Typically people are on a boat/ship cruising around all day. Do you know exactly where the ship will stop at?
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Old Mar 25, 19, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
I am seeking advice on what might be good options to experience in our cruise stops in the following locations:

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) -2 Days
Da Nang (Hue) -1 Day, 8:00am-6:00pm
Halong Bay 1 Day, 7:00am-8:00pm

Will be the first time in Vietnam, so all options are on the table.

Many thanks for your assistance.
Where does your cruise ship dock at for HCMC? Most of the cruise ships dock at the Port of Phu My which is about 90 min (my best recollection) by car to the city. Small cruise ships will dock by the Nha Rong terminal very close to downtown. If I am in your situation, and I like to return to the cruise ship for dinner, then I think your time in HCMC would be somewhat limited and should be spent exploring the city as I dont think there will be enough time for you to do any excursion outside of the city. In addition to the known sights in Saigon mentioned above, you should consider visiting the Chinatown area in District 5, there are several Chinese temples built by the early immigrants to the region worth visiting..
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Old Mar 26, 19, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by hxhbk View Post
Where does your cruise ship dock at for HCMC? Most of the cruise ships dock at the Port of Phu My which is about 90 min (my best recollection) by car to the city. Small cruise ships will dock by the Nha Rong terminal very close to downtown. If I am in your situation, and I like to return to the cruise ship for dinner, then I think your time in HCMC would be somewhat limited and should be spent exploring the city as I dont think there will be enough time for you to do any excursion outside of the city. In addition to the known sights in Saigon mentioned above, you should consider visiting the Chinatown area in District 5, there are several Chinese temples built by the early immigrants to the region worth visiting..
Don't eat on the cruise ship. Eat the fabulous local food.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 12:09 pm
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Many thanks for your kind suggestions, @maverick17 @CrazyInteg and @hxhbk

I really appreciate your suggestions.

I do not know which port we actually dock at, but will keep everyone's suggestions in mind as we proceed with planning this 2020 trip.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
I don't know anything about cruise ships, but don't they give you options to pick or have guided itineraries?
Yes, cruise ships offer excursion options, and I will consider the options that they offer in addition to the possibility of arranging my own guided experiences. For that reason, I wanted to reach out to the experts on this forum. (I'll also ask my Vietnamese friends here in HNL.)
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Old Mar 26, 19, 3:06 pm
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I would try to spend the night in HCMC if possible. You will need your passport when checking into a hotel. If you're a foodie, then a food tour is a must. There are many different ones. Some you walk from place to place, some you take a motorbike ride. So it depends on what you're comfortable with.

As somebody who knows nothing about cruises, the issue I imagine will be that since the cruise ships do offer their own itineraries, it may be hard to get independent guides/taxis/etc. I could see the cruise company not allowing outsiders near the port. You might have to walk a few blocks out to a main street to find a taxi (who will try their best to rip you off, because they know you came right off the ship). But again, we don't know where exactly you will be.

Da Nang, I would say, either
1) Get a driver to take you to the marble mountain, and then just wonder around the town the rest of the day. or
2) Get a driver to take you to Ba Na Hills (this place is not cheap though)
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