im planing on landing in Hanoi,Vietnam mid sep time.....then making my way south before crossing into cambodia,then on to bangkok and down to the south of thailand and into singapore to catch my flight onto oz....however im not sure what sort of timescale to give myself from landing in hanoi to getting to bangkok....i know there is an overnight train from hanoi down to ho chi minh city,however id like to stop along the way as it would seem pointless being in vietnam just for a few days....the route is pretty much off the beaten track so is there suitable hostels etc etc along the way...or would i just be better spending a week or so in hanoi then just getting the train straight down to the south without stopping and then goin on into cambodia??any advice or ideas would be appreciated,thanks,Dan!!
Most travellers take 2-3 weeks from HAN to SGN. Cheapest, most convenient way is the open tour bus system. This allows you to stay overnight or for a week in each city on the route to HCMC. Unless time is very limited, I suggest you spend at 2 weeks in VN before heading over to Phnom Penh. My photos cover the route: HAN-HCMC, my blog covers my 08 trip, Nha Trang back to HCMC. I also have an entry to covers the bus trip: HCMC-PP. The best resource covering Cambodia and getting to BKK is here. Allow about 7 days for Cambodia, 2-3 for PP, 3 for Angkor Wat.
Dan, you need to decide how many days you want to take between HAN & SIN. Then you can decide how long to take to get to BKK and how long you have until you fly out of SIN. Share that total with the forum and many can offer advice on route and what to see/do. Good luck with your planning.
i was thinking bout 5-6 weeks from arriving in bangkok to leaving singapore..however ive just thought of something...
when i arrive in bangkok from london to catch my connecting flight to hanoi will i be issued with my 30 day visa then or will it only be issued when arriving by land through cambodia....if im issued with it on arrival from london its going to throw my plans all over the place.....what do you think????
im gonna have to speak with the travel company and get it all finalised this week and hopefully it shall be a little clearer to me....
as for the open tour bus system,i was torn beetween this and travelling by train...what are your thoughts on the trains in vietnam......???how did you travel through cambodia too???ive just kinda realise that maybe going with the attitude of just turning up and taking each day as it comes isnt really going to work......
You can use the 'transit lounge' when arriving from your country and flying to HaNoi that day. That way your are never officially 'in Thailand'. You are just transiting. I tried this back in 05. Into BKK at 1:00am, out to HaNoi at 10:00am. The problem was that Air Asia did not have a transit counter. This was at Don Muang, before Suvarnabhumi was built. If Air Asia does not have a transit counter, then you do go through IMM, get your free 30 day visa waiver, re-enter the airport and fly to HAN. You will get a free 15 day visa waiver when coming overland from Cambodia. If this is not enough time, you can buy a Thai visa in Phnom Penh.
Now open tour vs train. The train is much more expensive, more difficult to just show up and travel. You will have to book a seat/sleeper days before you want to travel. The open tour allows much more flexiblity. I went to the Hanh Cafe office at 5:00pm, left DaLat for Nha Trang the next morning. I did this again when I used Sinh Cafe, NT to Mui Ne. I write about this in my blog. If you are not sure how long you want to stay in each city, use the open tour bus system from HAN to HCMC. Just much easier for those that are winging it day to day.
Send me a PM if you have questions.
Mike is right on the open bus. You never know how much your going to like somewhere untill you get there. We spent only a day in Dalat when we'd planned on three (weather was terrible) and spent twice as long as we planned in Nha Thrang & HCM. Not to mention is's soo cheap!
The open bus means you can literally plan to leave a couple of hours in advance, and have so much more freedom to do what you want. We had to cut our stay in Vietnam short because of the weather and the open bus gave us this flexibility. This is a very well travelled route and some unmissable stops along the way!
Also, if your limited in time, you can travel through the night to make the most of your days. I would defintely suggest doing this from Bangkok to the islands in thailand in Vietnam where possibe.
I would recommend the below time frame but obviously you will know how long you want to stay in certain places. If beaches are your thing stop off at Nha Trang in Vietnam and spend a little longer in the islands - good luck!
Vietnam - 2 -3 weeks
Cambodia - 1 week
Bangkok - 3 days - overnight train to islands - book this train on your first day in bangkok
Thai Islands - 10 days