Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Vietnam 2010


Following on from our successful Tasmania jaunt in May, this was my second trip of 2010 with my California-based friend and regular travelling companion, Bruce. Vietnam was a brand new destination for me, while Bruce had made one previous visit to Saigon and other parts of the south. It was a destination that, in the UK at least, seemed to be enjoying a surge in popularity and I wanted to get in on the act before it became overrun with tourists. Bruce, for his part, was keen to revisit Saigon and to extend his knowledge of the country beyond the southern extremities.

We managed to come up with a well-balanced itinerary starting in Saigon, then moving up to the World Heritage city of Hoi An in the central part of the country, and ending in the north with a Ha Long Bay cruise and a visit to the nation's capital, Hanoi. We had also considered a train trip up to the Chinese border, but given the constraint of trying to keep time off work to just two weeks, either this or the cruise had to go. We agreed that, for a first visit to the north of the country, the cruise should take priority - and as ever, it's good to have a bit of unfinished business with which to justify a possible return!

As has recently become the norm, the flights feature mainly Star Alliance carriers with the significant addition of Vietnam Airlines (a member of Skyteam), while the choice of hotels was influenced by our principal loyalty programmes, Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest.

For us, the trip turned out to be another winner. I hope you'll think so too!