For a 40th anniversary my wife and I traveled to Vietnam on a 10 day advertised tour. When we got there we realized we were the tour. Had a personal guide/interpreter, driver, auto and a lot of latitude. Since I had been a military officer there in '69, I wanted to go to the Southern part where I had been in the war. We found the country has prepared for tourist with lots of new hotels, restaurants, and tour arrangements.
We found the trip to be delightful, but we were often the only people in a restaurant equipped for 200. They overestimated the interest in the tourist about their country.
We went on a tour boat through the harbor and bay near Haiphong, only to find that we were again the only ones on a tour boat with kitchen, equipped for perhaps 30 people at a time. We went on a small powered boat down the Mekong River in the South to the floating markets outside Can Tho (which had a 5 star hotel, with us being 2 of perhaps 20 people in the whole hotel). Two aircraft hops in country plus hotels, and at least one meal a day was only about $400 over the airfare to the country.
dear smdctroy:My wife and I are going to Vietanm 3/6-17. Hnaoi for business, and then 4-5 days to ourselves. Staying at the Sofitel. Do you recomend anyone specifcially for tours outside Hanoi( ie down to Hue or Danang area?) Did you do the overnight boat event in Ha Long Bay--supposed to outstanding scenery, romantic, etc.