Before i jump into what to do in which city and the finances and more detailed stuff, here is my holistic itinerary for the whole trip.
3 WEEKS ITINERARY FOR VIETNAM AND BALI
We stayed longer in Vietnam because we had to cover a full country and only one week in Bali.
The reason why we didn’t cover full Indonesia as well was that of the time of traveling which was in May to June and it falls right on Ramzan. Indonesia is a Muslim majority country which would mean that everything would be partially closed or no people would be out so we confined our stay to Bali only which is a Hindu majority island of Indonesia. Vietnam is a fully Buddhist country so there wasn’t an issue there.
Entry into Vietnam; HANOI
After resting for half a day after arriving at early in the morning we went sightseeing later in the afternoon. We opted for a flight that reached Vietnam early to save daytime; it’s always easier to travel at night. Taking accommodation in the old quarter is recommended because that’s where the most culture can be seen. You can walk around or rent a bike to go see the richer parts of Hanoi but we loved staying there since there was so much to see even on foot.
We stayed at “Centre point hotel “ which we loved, the staff was super nice and they upgraded us for free.
(It’s not a luxurious hotel it’s a nice clean 4 stars hotel with good breakfast, we were backpacking and saving money to cover more ground, you can check out more nicer places on booking.com)
We got the airport offered Halong Bay tour which cost us 47$ each including meals and pickup. We spent the whole day with the cruise tour which took us to the caves, kayaking/bamboo boating and kissing island ( it’s just two rocks shaped like hens and it’s the same picture on the 20,000 dongs note: so overrated!) It was day nicely spent meeting new people from all over the world .
They dropped us back at the hotel around 9, so we went and explored the nightlife of Hanoi after that.
Traveling from Hanoi to Hue
So, Hanoi is in the far North and Hue is somewhat in the middle coast of the country so taking a flight was the fastest option if not the cheapest. We decided to take a flight and travel by bus after that for any city. The flight was at 5 am in the morning and due to staying out so late we dozed off at the wrong time and missed it. We booked another flight for am after waking up directly to Danang. We were supposed to see Hue and take a 2-hour bus to Danang the next morning but after missing the flight we obviously lost the whole day so we just decided to skip Hue and go directly to Danang.
DAY 4 and 5
It’s a big city, after staying in Hanoi we were surprised that nothing was reachable on foot, so we rented a bike and went exploring.
A very nice Australian girl told us that Every Saturday at exact 9 PM there is a celebration under the Dragon Bridge; which we were fortunate enough to see. If your stay happens to be on Saturday do check it out. I will write more about what to do in each city in comings posts about each city.
We stayed the first night in a hostel “fantastic beach hostel” we wanted to meet people however we realized for that you need to stay in the dorms (I don’t have anything against that I will do that soon but it was our honeymoon backpacking trip; we still wanted some privacy) and with a separate room we might as well go to a proper hotel.
We stayed the next night at “Ana Maison Hotel” which was a lovely place near the beach as well.
They Had all pork in the breakfast but after telling them we were vegetarian they made it all vegetarian the next day.
Danang and Hoi AN
We took a morning bus around 11 am to Hoi An, which is an ancient city an hour away from Danang.
Hoi An stole our hearts with the yellow houses and small ancient city with mesmerizing culture.
Day 7 to 9
We spent the most time in this city because it’s very very unique and we loved the peace.
We stayed at the most cutest hotel right in the middle of the old town called “ Thanh Van 1 Hotel” they had the most lovely staff and a swimming pool too. They upgraded us for free just because I asked if they could give me a room with a bathtub.
Sleeper bus to Nha Trang
We booked a sleeper bus from our hotel to head to Nha Trang which was mid-way to the farthest south. It was a 9 hours bus. We traveled at night so we could sleep all the way and use the hotel money for the bus for that night. Thanh van 1 hotel people accommodated us and didn’t charge us extra until the bus came at 7 pm.
The only reason we added Nha Trang in our itinerary was that of the Vinpearl land theme park, otherwise, if you’re not into theme parks you can go to Dalat instead for trekking or spend more time in Hanoi or take a few days for Son Dong caves (world’s LARGEST caves)
We stayed at a homestay called “Funny house homestay” I’m a bit skeptic about this, the place was clean and fine but I think we could have found a better place in the same budget.
Vinperal land Nha trang
The vinperal land is on a whole island which holds a whole zoo, water world, botanical wonders, a resort, and a full-fledged theme park. We took a morning speedboat taxi there and spent the whole day there, we came back at 8 pm and even then waleed dragged me back I still wanted to go on a few more rides.
Sleeper bus to Saigon
We paid the funny house for half a day (20$) explored the city some more but mostly slept the tiredness away and took another 9 hours sleeper bus to Saigon leaving in the evening. Slept the whole way.
Day 13 to 14
Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City
Our last stop in Vietnam, the capital. It’s another big city and we by mistake booked a really nice looking hotel which turned out to be very far away from the main areas. The hotel was nice but the location was horrible, there wasn’t even a restaurant in sight. We usually went everywhere on a bike. If you’re in Saigon try to stay somewhere near the war museum.
Day 15 Saying goodbye to Vietnam and leaving for Bali
We took the afternoon flight from Saigon and after a layover in Malaysia, we reached Bali at night.
Day 16 to 21
We stayed 6 nights in Bali in main Kuta side. If we had more days we would have loved to move around and see Ubud and Nusa Penida as well but 6 nights are not enough to explore this whole majestic island.
Bali was supposed to be a proper Honeymoon after backpacking through Vietnam so we splurged on getting a resort.
we stayed at “The Patra Bali Resort” which was a 5-star accommodation and they upgraded us to a full suite free of charge. It’s an amazing place to stay for honeymooners.
We took a flight to Jakarta on the 6th night at 11 pm reached at 2 am morning next day (2 hrs flight) and spent our time at the airport ( I slept on the bench at the airport whole night while Waleed munched on crispy crèmes and read a book) we had a flight at 9 am back to reality in Islamabad.
Hopefully, this itinerary will serve its the purpose of helping you plan your own trip. Coming next are articles for the finances and budgets and what to do in each of these beautiful cities!
Comment what you think.
Aisha S alam