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First time backpacking - 5 weeks in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, and Thailand

First time backpacking - 5 weeks in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, and Thailand

Old Dec 7th, 2016, 04:20 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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First time backpacking - 5 weeks in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, and Thailand

Hi everyone. I'm planning to spend 5 weeks in Vietnam, possibly Lao and Cambodia, and south Thailand, this is my first time backpacking so any advice at all would be sound! I'm planning to fly out to Bangkok at the start of January, then getting a flight straight to Hanoi from there, travelling down the coast of Vietnam probably not messing about too much as I hear the weather isn't great in the north in January, (is anyone there at the moment?)spending some time in south Vietnam as I hear there are some really nice beaches and some other good spots down there, going across into Cambodia, then into South Thailand and finishing the trip in Bangkok where I'll fly home, basically. I will probably be mostly staying in hostels and just taking with me a big backpack. I was hoping to budget about 35 pounds a day for the trip to live comfortably Including all my visas and everything so about 1300-1400 in total.
I am a little apprehensive as it is my first time backpacking on my own in a new country, I am sure I will have an amazing time there and will find loads of things out for myself, but any helpful useful advice on places to go or avoid or anything at all would be a huge help! I'm mostly worried about the weather at this time of year??
aderbyshireguy is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2016, 04:33 PM
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I wouldn't worry about finding accommodations that call themselves "hostels" as there are so many guest houses & hotels at budget prices all the places you'll be going.
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2016, 12:25 AM
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Hi aderbyshireguy and welcome to Fodors.

Firstly, I wouldn't worry too much about the weather in the north of Vietnam in January. It will be cool (circa 18c) especially in the far north but you should see plenty of blue skies. As you move south it will get warmer.

This site provides pretty good overview of the weather http://www.selectiveasia.com/vietnam...eather/january

£35 a day should be enough to give you a good time. Accomodation will likely be your biggest expense. www.hostelworld.com is a good place to start looking, although in most places you will be able to find accomodation on arrival without problems.

The train I s a great way to travel down through Vietnam. You get to meet the people and you save on accomodation costs as most journeys will be overnight. See http://www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm for info

Visas are not required for Thailand, Cambodia charges $30 on arrival and
Laos $40 . Vietnam does not require a visa for less than 15 days but as you would be staying longer, best to get a visa approval letter online from one of the many agencies. You then need to get that stamped at the airport which costs $25. Take US$ cash and 2 passport photos. Also take USD for the other visas.

Entrance fees are another expense to consider. If you plan on going to Angkor, bear in mind that the entrance fees nearly double on 1 Feb..

Plan your rough route in advance but don't try to travel too fast better to stay longer in fewer places than try to pack in too many destination. There is a great overland route down from Hanoi to the delta an across to Cambodia by boat. See our blog for more info and photos https://accidentalnomads.com/category/vietnam/ once in Cambodia it is pretty straightforward to travel overland into southern Laos but I fear you may have run out of time by the.

Finally. No need for a huge backpack. Much better to travel light. Here is my packing list for six months - https://accidentalnomads.com/2016/05...ck-like-a-man/
crellston is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2016, 03:29 AM
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Thanks so much for your detailed reply, It has set one or two things straight for me. That doesn't sound too cold, seeing as it's 8 degress here at the moment, one or two people had put me off saying the weather will be bad but I think it's safe to say that's an over-exaggeration. On that 35 pounds a day I was hoping to leave about 8 pounds a day for accommodation, same for food, and the rest for everything else. Just want to make sure I have enough money in my account when I go. Thanks for pointing out with the visas too, I will make sure I have about 100 dollars with me when I go and some passport photos like you said. Yeah I don't want to travel down too fast, I'm more bothered about spending some nice days in some really special places rather than just trying to cram in as much as possible
aderbyshireguy is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2016, 04:43 AM
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You are very welcome. Another site worth looking at is www.travelfish.org
crellston is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2017, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I'm American and I've only used the Laos visa on arrival (brought my own passport photo), otherwise I've gotten visas for Vietnam and Cambodia ahead of time.

Agree with crellston that you should definitely pack light. I already think I travel light but almost every time I find that I don't wear 1/4 to 1/3 of what I bring!

Here's a blog post I wrote about our time in Thailand and Laos:

Happy trip planning!
lindygirl is offline  
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