2 1/2 weeks- Thailand, and Vietnam???

Old Jun 28th, 2012, 06:07 AM
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2 1/2 weeks- Thailand, and Vietnam???

Hi, I've been reading a lot on this forum while planning my first trip to Thailand.
Very helpful by the way. My issue is, the first part of the trip i will have my mom and sister onboard, but i saved the last 5 days to be just with my boyfriend.
Where to go on this last 5 days??
here is the itinerary i have so far.
i thought about going to indonesia, but might be better to do vietnam??

Sep 26 NYC- Shanghai (meeting mom and sister)
Sep 27 Shanghai
Sep 28 Shanghai
Sep 29. Shanghai -Bangkok - Chiang Mai (North of Thailand)
Sep 30 north of Thai
Oct 01 north of Thai
Oct 02 north of Thai
Oct 03 Chiang Mai - Phuket
Oct 04 Ko Phi Phi
Oct 05 Ko Phi Phi
Oct 06 Riley Beach
Oct 07 Riley Beach
Oct 08 Phuket -Indonesia (from here on just me and boyfriend)
Oct 09 Indonesia
Oct 10 Indonesia
Oct 11 Indonesia
Oct 12 Indonesia
Oct 13 Indonesia - NY

thank you
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 06:10 AM
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bali is a possibility..

penang malaysia is another
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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I kind of decided to do Vietnam. and Siem Rap. Any sugestions?
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 11:10 AM
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You've decided to go to Vietnam and Siem Reap instead of the itinerary above?
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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for VN get assistence from tonkin travel in hanoi...wonderful to work with..

is this this year?? if so you better get cracking!!
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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Kathie, I read this as meaning she intends to go to Vietnam and Siem Reap from Phuket for the final five (actually four full) days instead of to Indonesia.
Gabi_Rebeschini, most people will probably advise you that it's enough at this stage in your trip to travel back through Bangkok and on to Siem Reap for the duration of your trip. You simply don't have enough time available to add on Vietnam for the remaining four full days you'll have on the ground, exclusive of travel. Four days in Siem Reap would be about ideal in my view in order to view Angkor Wat.
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 04:17 PM
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Vietnam is amazing. Decide what you would rather see though as I dont think you would have enough time to see it all.

Saigon is the bustling city and plenty to see such as the Cu Chi tunnels. Its very hot here!

Along the coast you have all the amazing beaches.

Hanoi is a dreary beautiful town with so much history and from here you can take a 3 hour trip and do an overnight stay on Ha Long Bay.

All would be beautiful but we spent two weeks alone seeing all those things and still wasnt long enough!
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Old Jun 28th, 2012, 04:57 PM
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If you plan to spend your two and a half weeks in VN and Siem Reap, that is do-able as long as you have very limited goals in VN. As said above, you can't see it all in your limited time.

If WillJame is correct and instead, you thought you'd go to VN and Siem Reap for your last 4-5 days, then choose one city and only one city to visit. No way can you do even Siem Reap plus another city in a mere five days.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 08:15 AM
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Hi Kathie, Will and Jame!

Thank you for helping, i have read a lot of your previous comments and posts. this is a great community, i'm happy to be part of it now.

I have decided to do Vietnam and Siem reap instead of Indonesia. and also changed the itinerary to start in Vietnam, then North of thailand, then Koh phi phi.
Still i would only have about 5 days in Vietnam (and Siem Reap)
I though this would be a better flow to the trip.

What i'm thinking is, Hanoi, sapa, halong bay, siem reap, chiang mai ( possible chiang rai) then koh phi phi.


But since you say it's too short, would you say Siem reap or Hanoi??
thank you!
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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With a mere 5 days, go to Siem Reap. If you fly, it will take you a full day to get from Koh PhiPhi to Siem Reap. So at most, you'll have 4 days in Siem Reap.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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You may want to give us your new itinerary so people can offer suggestions.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 11:15 AM
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>>

I didn't find Hanoi dreary at all!
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 12:52 PM
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this is what i have in mind.
i need help planing my days in Hanoi and around, also between chiang rai and chiang mai. should i eliminate one of them?

Sep 26 NYC- Shanghai (meeting mom and sister)
Sep 27 Shanghai
Sep 28 Shanghai - Hanoi
Sep 30 hanoi
Oct 01 halong bay
Oct 02 siem reap
Oct 03 siem reap
Oct 04 chiang rai
Oct 05 chiang rai
Oct 06 chiang mai
Oct 07 chiang mai
Oct 08 chiang mai- phuket - koh phi phi
Oct 09 koh phi phi
Oct 10 koh phi phi
Oct 11 riley beach
Oct 12 riley beach
Oct 13 fly back to NYC
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 02:12 PM
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I think you are trying to do way too much. You will spend a lot of time getting from place to place and very little time in each place you have chosen.

Hanoi is a fascinating city. We spent a week there and enjoyed it. You have just one day in Hanoi, then you spend the next day driving to and from Halong Bay - that is 6 hours of driving for a few hours at Halong Bay. Is that worth it to you?

Then you fly to Siem Reap and have one full day before flying to Chiang Rai. It will take much of a day to get to CHiang Rai, as you'll have to fly to Bangkok, change planes and airlines to get to Chiang Rai. So you may have one day in CHiang Rai. You'll then go overland to Chiang Mai and spend a day there before flying to Phuket and taking the boat to PhiPhi. That is another full day of travel. I assume you mean Railey beach, a boat or ferry ride away from PhiPhi. Are you flying back to NYC from Phuket, or do you have to go to bangkok to catch your international flight?

Basically, you haven't taken travel time into consideration. You have 17 days and have 7 locations (not counting Halong Bay). For 17 days, 5 locations is the absolute maximum I'd recommend. Three or four locations would give you a better experience. Take a good look at your itinerary and decide what are the most important things for you to see/do/experience.

Also think about visas - you'll need a visa for China - $140 per person (for perhaps a day and a half in Shanghai), must be obtained in advance, for your two days in VN, you will each have to get a VN visa either in advance at $65 per person or as a pre-arranged visa ($60-80 per person), Cambodia also requires a visa, though it can be purchased on arrival.

Consider flights - you can't fly directly from Siem Reap to Chaing Rai or Chiang Mai, for instance. I'd suggest you cut at least two places (plus cut Halong Bay) from your itinerary. It will still be a busy trip, and you won't have long in any one place, but at least you'll have a brief experience of each place.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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kathie. thank your for the honesty.

I will try eliminate some destinations, i appreciate if you can keep working with me
I haven't talked about myself at all... I'm from brazil, but have lived in NY for the past 5 yrs.. i have also lived in Cape Town, Paris, London, and miami and traveled to New Zealand, Japan, Alaska, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Argentina,.....

South East Asia is very big on my list
I'd be happy to share experience in one of this places if you are interested.

Like most people here, I don't like group tours... will opt for private transfers.. and possibly stay of tourist traps..

My boyfriend and I are flying to Shanghai to meet up with my sister and mom...

Koh PhiPhi and Railey beach are a must for me.
I would like to get to know a bit more of culture, temples, forest, elephants. Would say Chiang Mai or Chaing Rai would provide a better experience?

regarding VN , why do you say not to go to Halong bay?
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 06:51 PM
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Try working backwards here. You basically have 11 days between your arrival in Southeast Asia and your departure. You want to spend 4 days on the beach in Thailand. That leaves 7 days.

In my opinion you should pick two places for those 7 days. So among North Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, what are your #1 and #2?

My #1 would be Siem Reap and I would spend at least 4 days there. After that, no opinion, both are good choices. (As is Indonesia, but you can do that next time.)
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 06:59 PM
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You don't have enough time to go to Halong Bay. A day trip there is at least 6 hours of a pretty boring drive. generally, people who enjoy Halong Bay go there and spend and night on the bay in a junk.

Marmot is right, if the four days at a beach are a must, then choose two places. Like Marmot, my #1 place would be Siem Reap. If elephants are high on your list, take a look at the Anantara at the Golden Triangle. It's a gorgeous resort and has a division of the Thai Elephant Conservation center on the grounds.

I think you need to cut VN for this trip. Go there next time.
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 07:17 PM
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ax halong bay, ax CM & CR

add to SR
add to Hanoi

go to one beach place
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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ok. so i'm decided on 4 beach days, plus SR... now i have to decide btwn Hanoi(and surroundings ) or chiang rai...
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Old Jun 29th, 2012, 10:00 PM
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has anyone ever driven from siem reap to bangkok?? or hired a driver?
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