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Dec/Jan trip-Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand-advice???

Travel Forums Asia Dec/Jan trip-Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand-advice???

1. Posted by bradco77 (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

Hey

Any advice would be appreciated. I am planning a trip to the 3 countries above......I am trying to be flexible but I have booked some airfares already and will work around them.

This is my draft itinerary. Any advice to any changes would be cool. I obviously cant change the flights but everthing in between is flexible.

13 Dec: Arrive Bangkok from Auckland
14 Dec: Fly to Hanoi
14-18 Dec: in Hanoi 3 nights and maybe one night on boat in Ha Long Bay.
18 Dec: Bus/train to Hue (should I skip Hue???? I have a tight trip)
19: Hue
20: Hue to Hoi An (I have heard that I shouldnt miss Hoi An)
21: Hoi An
22: Bus train to HCMC
23-26 Dec: HCMC and trip to Mekong Delta
27 Dec: Bus/boat into Cambodia to PP
28-29 Dec: In PP
29: Bus/boat to Siem Reap
30-31: Angkor Wat etc
1 Jan: Bus into Thailand to Bangkok
2 Jan: Overnight train down to Surat Thani and then bus to Krabi
3-4 Jan: Krabi or Ko Lanta
5 Jan: Ferry to Phi Phi
6: Phi Phi
7 Jan: Ferry to Phuket
8-9 Jan: Phuket and then fly Phuket back to Bangkok and home.

I know this is very rushed. I am not sure if I should shorten the Vietnam leg of the trip and spend more time chilling on the beach in Phi Phi or Ko Lanta at the end. Cant change the flights. Any advice would be cool.

Thanks
Brad

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 8y

Wow, that is a really rushed trip. I would say definitely don't shorten the Vietnam bit. For me it's the most interesting country of the the three and you are already going to miss out on many of it's highlights. And doing it any faster would just mean entirely too much time in transit without actually seeing anything. Even though you only have 3 days, make sure you take the time for at least one overnight in Halong Bay. Personally I would take a day off HCMC and add it to Hanoi/Halong. Hue is great, but since there is so much to see in such little time, I would almost agree that you should consider skipping it. Spend more than just a single day in Hoi An. There's also a great beach there if you feel that you won't get enough beach time in Thailand. I would take a day off Phomn Pehn. With such a short time it's not a priority city at all and one day is plenty to see it. For the Islands, I would say pick one besides Phuket and stick with it. You only have a few days, and beaches kind of loose their appeal if you are only spending one day and packing up and going again to another. After so much traveling (you will be spending more time on buses than sightseeing), you'll want to just find a beach and stay there for a few days. I would pick Phi Phi if you want a bit of nightlife and lots going on, Lanta if you just want to chill and have the most exciting event of the day be watching the sunset with a quiet beer. Krabi is also a good option because it's the quickest to get to of the three and its more lively than Lanta, but not as busy as Phi Phi.

3. Posted by bradco77 (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

Thanks. That is great advice. I will definately readjust my itinerary.

4. Posted by gandk (Full Member 100 posts) 8y

Hi there i have just got back form a trip to all these places and more but spent much longer doing it all than you are planning. I have cut and pasted your itineray below and added some comments to try and help you out.

13 Dec: Arrive Bangkok from Auckland
14 Dec: Fly to Hanoi
14-18 Dec: in Hanoi 3 nights and maybe one night on boat in Ha Long Bay.
Definatly head to hanlong bay or sapa, many peolpe i met said sapa was the highlight of vietnam.
Hanoi is cool though but just a city at the end fo the day.
18 Dec: Bus/train to Hue (should I skip Hue???? I have a tight trip)
I recomend the train it a long way to sit on a coach for the trains you can book a sleeper cabin a bit more than the bus but still very cheap. Vietnam is bigger than you think many hours will be wasted travelling so travel overnight if possible. and book trains in advance as soon as you arrive.
19: Hue - maybe skip it and use the time for sapa!
20: Hue to Hoi An (I have heard that I shouldnt miss Hoi An) def dont miss it cool little town greatr beach about a mile down the road hire a moped and head down there, great parties in a bar down there at night.
21: Hoi An
22: Bus train to HCMC - again train is mroe comfortable.
23-26 Dec: HCMC and trip to Mekong Delta - this is a cool trip but if you get boat to cambodia it will do a similar route. so maybe kuchi tunnels trip and boat to cambodia.
27 Dec: Bus/boat into Cambodia to PP
28-29 Dec: In PP
S21 and killing fields is a must absolute must you cannotgo there and not visit this!!!!! you should also get a decent guide for the day they will teach you the real history behind it and something you will remeber for ever!
29: Bus/boat to Siem Reap - Shame you dont have time to do Sihanoukville the beach resort there which is a cool spot!
30-31: Angkor Wat etc - of course very amazing!!
1 Jan: Bus into Thailand to Bangkok - can be a trick bus ride horrific road and trouble at the border but keep you wits about you from getting ripped of and will be fine.
2 Jan: Overnight train down to Surat Thani and then bus to Krabi -
3-4 Jan: Krabi or Ko Lanta
5 Jan: Ferry to Phi Phi
6: Phi Phi
7 Jan: Ferry to Phuket
8-9 Jan: Phuket and then fly Phuket back to Bangkok and home.

I have done thailand many times now and if i was you on this trip skip it and go to laos insted as it also on route if you do the bankok loop but i understand its a big change of plan. Myself and everyone i met travelling asia said Laos was there favourite place of the whole trip.

Dont make the mistake of trying to fit too much in the best advise i can give you will be to enjoy the places you go to and do them properly. When you arrive in a new town it takes prob 24 hours to get your bearing, meet people etc to enjoy where you are. So to many hours travelling takes a lot of the expirence out of it. If you can get more time do if not consider maybe missing out southern thailand and doing cambodia and vietnam in more detail. Looking at your plan you wil not be anywhere very long and always moving you definatly need to allow more time or cut stuff out. There are huge distances to cover between these places which take up days and days t travel

You will find thailand quite expensive after cambodia and vietnam, especially krabi, phiphi area. Skip phuket if possible its rubbish! very over build prositutes everywhere!

i hope that helps but get in touch if you need any help as i spent 3 months in the area travelling all over.

5. Posted by bradco77 (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

Thanks. I appreciate the advice. I will certainly be rethinking parts of my intinerary.