I have finally decided that despite the coldness, I will go to Vietnam in Jan 2009 before Chinese New Year or Tet. It will be relatively dry but cold. Best time to visit the national park as I am afraid of leeches. I am going to have new silk shirts made and shop for other nice items.
Day 1: Hong Kong, Shingmun Hiking to look for Aristolochia
Day 2: Hong Kong, Lantau Po Lin Monastery, and Big Buddha
Day 3: Hanoi, Hang Gai Street shopping for silk items, order custom-made shirts
Day 4: Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Cathedral, shopping, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
Day 5: Halong Bay
Day 6: Hanoi, French Quarter, bookstores, dinner at the Emperor's
Day 7: Hanoi, Temple of Literature, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Old Quarter's 36 streets
Day 8 Cuc Phuong National Park
Day 9: Cuc Phuong National Park, Hanoi, 36 streets, Hang Gai
Day 10: Hanoi, Highway 4 cooking Class, Markets, Hang Gai pick up custom-made shirts
Day 11: Back to Vancouver.