I've lurked for a while reading and re-reading past posts of itineraries to SE Asia and decided to finally post for some feedback. My husband and I are planning a 12-day trip to SE Asia during the first two weeks of June, flying into and out of Singapore. First, about us: I lived in Singapore for 2 years several years back and have traveled around the region a fair amount (mostly quick-hitters). Have not been to Cambodia or Vietnam yet. Husband has never been to Asia at all and is enthusiastic, but does not have ideas as to how much time to spend where, etc. His requests were to 1) include Vietnam and Angkor, and 2) see as much as reasonably possible since it's unlikely we'll be back anytime soon.
So, the goal of this trip is to show husband a taste of Singapore (I am clear on where I want to go/what I want to see) and to get some SE Asia experiences within our admittedly short time frame. We narrowed down to Cambodia (Angkor is our "must" in terms of other sights to see) and Vietnam. Before anyone suggests it, though we considered it, we're not interested in Thailand for this trip.
So, below is the itinerary I have drafted. Knowing our travel speed and the fact that we're not going to be making it back to SE Asia in some years, I am fairly happy with this as a whole. But I am thinking of cutting either PP or HCMC. Note that flights into and out of Singapore are booked, and flights SIN-Siem Reap and Hanoi-SIN are also booked. Hotels are all booked but are all able to be changed, with the exception of Singapore.
I guess my questions are -- would you cut one of those two cities and add a day to both SR and Hanoi? Or is it worth it to spend even only one day in PP/1.5 days in HCMC if we just want to see a few things and soak up the city atmosphere?
Day 1 transit
Day 2 arrive Singapore late p.m., to hotel (Marina Mandarin)
Day 3 Singapore all day and night
Day 4 early departure to Siem Reap/arr SR 7 a.m.; full day at temples, time to relax at hotel in midday, more p.m. temples, and hotel (FCC Angkor)
Day 5 full day in Siem Reap/Angkor; maybe half day at Tonle Sap (?)
Day 6 morning in Siem Reap/Angkor; transit to airport at 2 pm. for 4 p.m. flight to Phnom Penh; arr. PP 6 pm. for dinner, relaxation (hotel: Le Pavilion)
Day 7 PP all day -- Tuol Seng, Palace, etc.
Day 8 9:30 or 12:30 departure to HCMC; afternoon sights in HCMC; staying at Grand Hotel Saigon)
Day 9 HCMC all day; no time for Mekong day tour, methinks
Day 10 9:30 a.m. flight to Hanoi; arrive and p.m. sightseeing; hotel is Hanoi Elegance 2
Day 11 Hanoi all day/night
Day 12 Handspan overnight Halong Bay tour
Day 13 Handspan tour; transit to Hanoi; depart Hanoi on 7:30 p.m. flight to Singapore; arrive Singapore 11:30, directly to hotel (MM again)
Day 14 Singapore all day
Day 15 Transit home
What do you think? Advice appreciated. I feel OK with travel in Asia, the flights are all quick, airports seem to be located conveniently....again, we're looking for not-too-strenuous sightseeing once in a location, getting a feel for the city. The pace in general seems OK but gets a bit sticky in that transit from Cambodia to Vietnam.
Also, in June, is weather a factor in HCMC? Looks like that would be the worst in terms of rain....
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and make suggestions. We're excited!
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