Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

3 week trip to Vietnam and Thailand-- where to start?

3 week trip to Vietnam and Thailand-- where to start?

Old Aug 17th, 2011, 02:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
3 week trip to Vietnam and Thailand-- where to start?

Hey all!

My husband and I are starting to plan a 3 week trip to Thailand and Vietnam leaving in February/March, but I'm having trouble about where to start...

We'd be leaving from Phoenix/California, so should we fly into Hanoi or Bangkok (or Phuket, or...?) Are there any airlines I should focus on? What's a reasonable fare for those months?

Once I get the airfare down I think it'll be much easier to plan out an itinerary, but until then I don't know where we'll be and when.

Thanks for your help!
Trott is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2011, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,289
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Usually, the least expensive gateway to SE Asia is through Bangkok.

Airlines - do you have frequent flier status on any airline? Look for that airline and for their partner airlines. It's worth trying to maximize frequent flier miles on such a long trip.

Price - I usually pay in the range of $1100 - $1200 round trip.

If you can travel in February, you'll have better (not so hot) weather than in March.
Kathie is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2011, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 206
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd start in Vietnam and finish in Thailand. You'll appreciate the less hectic pace of Thailand after experiencing Vietnam.
Bisbeee is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2011, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Often two one way flights from the US to and from Asia cost more than a round trip to Bangkok. You can run the numbers if you intend to get 2 one way flights instead of a round trip to Bangkok. Local flights from Vietnam back to Bangkok are not that expensive.

My advice is to start in Bangkok, visit Vietnam and where ever and fly home from Bangkok. Spend a final night in Bangkok before you fly home. A round trip ticket may be cheaper than 2 one way flights - one to Bangkok and one from Vietnam to back home. If you have any winter clothing you could even store some of the unneeded clothing in the first hotel you stay at and retrieve it when your return to Bangkok.

A final night in Bangkok will allow you to do some last minute shopping, take in a good dinner and not have to worry about a connecting flight breaking down or being cancelled. No problem with getting a taxi from the city to the airport 24 hours a day.

Don't leave Vietnam with their dong. No one wants their currency once you leave that country. Flying from the US to Asia gives you a lot of frequent flier miles at one time - so sign up for the FF program your airline offers or use an airline you already have a card with.

Good luck.
SirHalberd is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2011, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,053
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
the flights to vietnam from usa as far more limited than those to thailand...

the foreign airlines are often nicer in everyway than are usa airlines: korean, eva, ANA, thai from LA, cathy pacific, japan.

also united, delta, american

this year prices are up and fares might be slightly higher..

flights between vn and bkk can be reasonable using vietnam air, air asia or thai air.. i would fly from bkk to hanoi and work my way south to saigon using vietnam air internally. a vn agency could hel you too.. i like tonkin travel in hanoi..

in bkk try to stay on the river....

once you decide where you are going, come back here and we will help with hotels, etc..
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 12:47 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can come to Vietnam and then to Cambodia ( it's very easy from Ho Chi Minh ) and from Cambodia to finish in Thailand
susanyoung is offline  
Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good advice on this thread. Think SirHalberd's advice about flying in and out of BKK is sage, as is trying to include Cambodia if time allows. Internal flights in SEA (say from BKK to Hanoi, or HCMC to Siem Reap) are good value.

If shopping is your thing this also makes sense, especially if you fly out on a Saturday night or Sunday. This would give you the opportunity to go to Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok and go wild in the aisles before flying out.

So the itinerary could be: Fly to BKK > flight to Hanoi > weave your way south overland to HCMC (trip into Mekong?) > Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia for temples > Fly/land to Bangkok > exit BKK for home

You may have seen this already in the Asia part of the forums but I've just completed a series of five articles after we recently concluded a 10 week trip to SE Asia.

I've written them in order to help a few folk out in planning for and then enjoying this great part of the world. Might give you some ideas once you've nailed your flights. If they can raise a few chuckles too then all the better...

Introduction, overall route, budgeting and money matters, visas and border crossings:






(Oh, and you'll figure this out when you read the articles, but to pre-empt any questions: I don't work in the travel industry, have no stake in any of the places/activities I write about, nor do I earn money from this. More's the pity.)
ianthistlewood is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Sep 27th, 2010 11:08 AM
Oct 13th, 2009 09:55 AM
Jan 18th, 2008 07:21 PM
Aug 16th, 2007 12:54 AM
Jan 15th, 2005 02:33 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -