Ok, so you have probably seen me asking questions about a trip to S. Africa, S. America for this year. Well now it seems anything goes as events have crept in that we might not be able to avoid!!
Now, it looks like we have to consider other options for a trip.
Basically now we are also thinking Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos would be a good option for us (that way we can go to visit my Grandma in S'pore as well).
The question : Is it possible to turn up to lets say Vietnam and find a guide who would be able to take us all round. Eg we say we have 3 weeks and say what sort of things we want to see? I have looked at companies that do tailor made trips but are a bit pricey. Similarly doing the same in Cambodia and Laos.
Any suggestions are most welcome as always
You really can do this on your own. This is such a well travelled route that plenty of TP members are doing what you are proposing or have just finished. I would decide what I want to see in VN, then pick a few TP helpers for VN, then start sending them PMs for advice. Same for Laos, same for Cambodia. Then start blocking out your route with a SEA map. You can do all of this w/o a guide. I have and many other TP members have as well. There are many TP members here to help you with your adventure. Help is just a few clicks away on your computer.
It looks like you have 3 weeks for your holiday. VN will take 2 weeks if you go from HCMC to HaNoi or the reverse. Then a week in Cambodia. If you want to include Laos, you should pick the north of VN, hit HaLong Bay, Sapa, then over to Laos, a week, then into Cambodia. 3 days in Angkor, PP for 2-3 days and home.
Let us know how much time you have and what your interests are. That will help with route planning. I have many photos in my gallery of this trip that may help. Send me a PM if you have any questions.
I recently did a similar trip myself. I only spend a week in Vietnam and only wishing I could have spend much longer there !!!! I spend a day in Hanoi then went of to Sapa for three days (there are many local places that can help you do that or you can find online and book a hotel in Sapa and get your own train tickets. best is to take overnight train there). and Then we went off to Halong bay (again there are tons of local places in Hanoi that would help you set up a trip to ha-long bay, or you can plan it ahead if you like). We did two nights in Halong bay and then back to Hanoi to continue our travels. I am only now wishing though I had spend more time in Vietnam and went from Hanoi to HCM City .... Also I would shorten the Cambodia stay. We spend two nights in Angkor Wat and we saw more temples than we cared to see ... Dont take me wrong it's very impressive but there is so much of it you can see ... Also there we hired a personal driver/tour guide for the trip ... We just found him through our hotel. One thing you should def do in Campodia is watch both the sun rise and sunset from Angkor Wat .... If you are not a big temple fanatic spend only one night in Campodia (that's my recommendation). and unfortunately we didnt do Laos, we did Thailand instead though once again I'm regretting not making it to Laos and def will be back for Laos and to do the Hanoi - HCM City route ....
Let me know if I can be of any further assistance
Yes, you are correct in saying that we can organise this ourselves without a company doing it . I guess I was tired thinking about all the options lol and lazy.
We will probably go for 1 month in Vietnam, 2 weeks Laos and 2 weeks Cambodia.
Any recommendations for hostels/ hotels things to see or do, transport advice is most appreciated.