I used this forum last time I planned my Europe backpacking adventure, so I thought I'd come back to the experts for my next trip!
My boyfriend and I are planning a three week trip to Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia after Christmas this year. Ideally we'll be spending about a week in each country.
I'd love your advice on what we should see and do! Just an FYI - we're not the clubbing/city type. Things 'off the beaten track' excite us and we'd love to see some natural wonders, beaches, historic wonders, villages, etc.
Here's our preliminary list of what we'd like:
- Volunteering in Cambodia - most likely an orphanage or school or something similar. Do you know of any reasonably priced programs that accept people for a week?
- Somewhere nice for relaxing!
We're happy to stay in hostels, as we'll be sticking to a strict budget. But we will have a few nights in some nice places, as a treat!
Any recommendations (things to see, where to stay, restaurants, etc) would be much appreciated!
With only a week in a country, you will really need to plan. Most people spend 3 weeks just in VN. I think your best bet for surfing will be in VN. The Philippines has world class diving if that is on your agenda.
With only 1 week in VN, you will have to decide on flying into HAN or SGN. I would pick HAN if you are planning on trying to get to China Beach for surfing. HaNoi alone will eat up 7 days if you hit SaPa and HaLong Bay. If you choose to fly into HCMC, I would take a bus to either Mui Ne or Nha Trang for a few days of beach time. My blog covers both. Pick an arrival city and members can help with what to see/do with 7 days in VN.
Cambodia can be done in 7 days if you just stick to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Perhaps a few days in Sihanoukville to kick back and relax. I do have friends in PP that help orphans and poor families. No fee volunteering. However, I don't see how you could volunteer and see Angkor or anything else in 7 days.
Good luck with your planning. Send me a PM if interested in volunteering while you are in Phnom Penh.
[ Edit: Edited on 06-Sep-2010, at 23:53 by vegasmike6 ]
For surfing there are some great spots in the Philippines, i.e. Surigao, Cloud 9.
And to the south, in Cagayan De Oro, is the rafting capital of the Philippines, with first class rapids!
And if you want to relax, head over to Camiguin or the interior of Bohol, to the village of Loboc.