QUOTE(paddletothesea @ Nov 9 2009, 07:22 PM)
I went solo last year to Nam and had NO problem with speaking with the people, esp the children who are taught in school how to speak english. I recommend NOT traveling with a bunch of strangers. You will be fine and have a more enjoyable time from my experiences.
I'd stay north...Fly to Hanoi. Stay a few days to see this amazing high energy city. I have connections of places to stay if you email me or get ahold of me. Ha Long Bay is great too.
If you want more hill tribe treking...head to Sapa...by train from Hanoi...about a 10 hour ride at NIGHT...get a sleeper car.
In Sapa many of the hill tribe people will approach you wanting to take you to their village. Telll them how many days etc. etc...I met some great kids to took me to their village , meet their families and did a home-stay. I can get you in contact with my now Hmong friends and they would be happy to help you out. Be speciifc on how long you want to go for.
This area is a general starter area for you so reserach the net for other blogs of others who have specific. You might want to climb Fansipan Mtn which is the highest in Vietnam...You could do this in a 4-5 days round trip too.
Try that for starters.
Thank s a lot man! I really apreciate it!! My email is email@example.com if you wanna give me yours, ill let you know what I plan.