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a week in southeast Asia

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Jan 23rd, 2014, 09:37 PM
  #1
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a week in southeast Asia

I am getting ready for a 7-8 day trip starting March 28th. i was considering going to Barcelona but have really been thinking about Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. I went to Thailand in December and really enjoyed it there. Basically I'm asking recommendations for cities to visit in a short week visit. I will be traveling alone and will probably stay in hostels. I did a bike tour in Thailand through Bangkok and loved that! But anyways one week in southeast Asia.... go!
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Jan 24th, 2014, 12:43 AM
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With just seven days you really need to stick to one country.

For Cambodia I would go with 3 days in Phnom Penh and 4 in Siem Reap ( for Angkor). Both have hostels aplenty and it is easy to get between the two places.

In Vietnam I would choose Hanoi for 3-4 days and either an overnight home stay in Mai Chau or maybe get an overnight train to and from Sapa for a couple of nights. Other alternatives would be Ha long bay, Ninh Binh or maybe the Ba Be lakes ( although that is a long trip)

Laos deserves way more time and rewards slow travel so I would leave that to another time.
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Jan 24th, 2014, 01:24 AM
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Too brief time. 7-8 days isn't enough in a single city in Asia let alone countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Go to a city (Saigon, Hanoi, Luang Prabang, Bangkok, Phnom Pen, and travel in and around. Don't try country-to-country as airport, trains and buses eat your time. A week in a city and going out and about is best choice.
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Jan 24th, 2014, 04:36 AM
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Thanks for the great advice! SO hard to pick one place but i know a week isn't a lot of time!
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Jan 24th, 2014, 09:14 AM
  #5
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OK I am taking 2 weeks!
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Jan 24th, 2014, 11:11 AM
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Ok, so what is it that you want most to do/see/experience on this trip? There are months worth of travel you could do in these three countries. WHile you now have two weeks, you will still have to edit you list of destinations carefully.
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Jan 25th, 2014, 03:37 AM
  #7
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I am not an experienced traveler and honestly don't know my most wanted to do/see. i just want to do a solo trip and be safe but experience culture and fun adventures. I think i would be happy with any of the places. I know this is not helpful for someone trying to help me. Now i just have to figure out 2-3 cities to visit. I love nature and culture really. that's all
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Jan 25th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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karmakik, if you love nature and culture and good cities, may I suggest two places?
Hanoi would be one of my choices. The old part of the city is a treat, but in 8 days you can do a complete wander of the streets plus a choice of trips to HaLong, Tam Coc, Sapa for lovely country.

Equal choice for me would be Barcelona, for similar reasons. Stay in a place in the old town, walk your legs off, likewise the old part of the fishing port, eat drink and enjoy, but check out Gaudi, Picasso, or do a real treat for yourself and go out of Barcelona up to the monastery of Montserrat, where Gaudi first received his influence for the towers of Sagrada Familia.

You will recognise it when you see it. That's why I also suggested places around Hanoi, towns and land that reflect one another.

Happy travels.
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Jan 25th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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Interesting response, advising Barcelona as a city to visit on an Asian trip.

karmakik, let me suggest you take a look at a guide book for each of the countries that interest you. You will have a better trip if you do some research ahead of time.

Some photos might be a good starting place for you: www.marlandc.com for many palces in SE Asia.

The country with the best tourist infrastructure is Thailand, and Bali also has excellent tourist infrastructure.
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Jan 25th, 2014, 10:44 AM
  #10
jgg
 
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Perhaps she mentioned Barcelona because OP has asked about Barcelona on another thread on the Europe board.

In addition to the excellent suggestion of getting the guidebooks, I would also suggest you try reading trip reports listed here on Fodors of the places you are considering. Reading about other's experiences always gets me excited about specific adventures or places to see.

We have been to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in SEA. Vietnam was definitely our favorite! We spent two weeks there in Dec. 2011 and it was amazing. We did HCMC, Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Hanoi, Halong Bay. We did not go to Sapa due to the time of year and the weather at that time, but if going at another time I would definitely make that a priority. With two weeks, would probably skip Mekong and do Sapa instead. Here is a link to my trip report along with pics:

Vietnam: http://www.fromhometoroam.com/catego...hristmas-2011/

Cambodia (Siem Reap): http://www.fromhometoroam.com/2012/0...nd-angkor-wat/
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Jan 26th, 2014, 04:54 AM
  #11
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Thanks for the wonderful advice and tips. I am not much of a planner so i appreciate the tips. I will do some further research!
I mentioned Barcelona in the first post and yes on another forum I'm all over the place but I think i am narrowing it down some thanks to all you helpful avid travelers!
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 12:41 PM
  #12
 
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Hi Karmakik,

7-8 days is indeed short but do-a ble.

As mentioned earlier, you should definitely go to Siem Rap (it's a magical place). I went there with a guide and I honestly don't regret my choice. The good thing with Siem Rap airport, is that is only 15 minutes away from the city center.

Then, I would go to North Vietnam/Hanoi and spend a day cruise in Halong Bay - If you look at my profile - there will be my channel with tips for visiting Vietnam in just 2 days. Airport is 45 minutes away if I remember well.

I don't know about Laos as I haven't been there.
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