My Aussie expat mate and I would like to visit Sapa and Halong Bay with our Saigonese wives in August, but it's years since my wife and I went to Hanoi and Halong Bay and I've never been to Sapa (our friends have never been further north than Hoi An!); so just wondering if anyone can help with ideas of how to do the trip as seamlessly as possible - plus any recommended hotels, etc as a bonus!
If it can be done, I'd envisage flying to Hanoi in time to catch one of the overnight trains to Lao Cai, then minibus to Sapa for a few days before reversing that part of the trip back to Hanoi where we could either overnight before heading across to Halong Bay, then return and fly back south - or try and go same day Hanoi-Halong Bay and then spend a leisurely day and night back in Hanoi before flying south.
How does that sound? (all comments welcome)