Halong Bay or Bagan?

Nov 29th, 2016, 07:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 8
Halong Bay or Bagan?


We have 3-5 days to include one more destination to our Southeast trip next February... I´m strugling to decide between Halong Bay and Bagan (Myanmar)...

We will be visiting Camboja and Thayland during the trip, and I wonder if going to Bagan is going to be just another Temples/Ruins destination (Although I know it is a unique place...)... Halong Bay would be the only Nature/Cruise destination in the itinerary which adds something different to the trip.. In the other hand, I´ve saw some information that 1st week of February is not a good weather to visit Halong Bay..

Can you please help me with some suggestions? We are a couple, 30 Years old and we are those type of turists that likes to do more places in short times..

Thank you

felipeduartesilva is offline  
Nov 29th, 2016, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,868
LancasterLad is offline  
Nov 29th, 2016, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,619
It is hard to imagine two places more different from each other than Halong Bay and Began. What does the rest of your trip look like? Would you being going to Myanmar for just a few days to visit Bagan and see none of the rest of the country? If so, then you turn Bagan into " just another Temples/Ruins destination " because you aren't spending any time in the country to have a context. Myanmar has become my favorite destination in SE Asia. But if your plan would be just a few days in Bagan as all of your exposure to Myanmar, I recommend against it. Also, logistically, there are no flights from outside Myanmar to Bagan. You would have to fly to either Yangon or Mandalay to get there.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 30th, 2016, 03:44 AM
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 26
Little confusion between Halong Bay or Bagan, I can understand it because both the place have different significance. But Bagan is not only famous for its temples but also for sunset and sunrise, Balloon trips, Mount Popa and local handicrafts.

The most stunning features of Bagan are the overall views rather than any specific temples.
Jhon_Carter is offline  
Nov 30th, 2016, 10:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 8
Guys, thanks for the honest and great feedbacks.. It is realy hard to decide between those destinations...

Kathie, Bagan would be the only destination in Myanmar for us, as well as Halong Bay would be the only destination (with Hanoi) in Vietnan..
It is our first time in SE Asia and we are going to be dedicating time to Thailand, Siem Reap and Luang Prabang.. But, as we are those type of turist that prefers to visit many places in short times, than few places during longer periods, we would like to include at least one of those 2 places that called our attention..

I agree that visiting Bagan only is not going to give us the full context about Myanmar... in the other hand we are sure that both destiantions would give us unforgetabble moments.. Also true that going to Myanmar sounds more complex than Vietnam..

How to decide!?
felipeduartesilva is offline  
Nov 30th, 2016, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,619
Frankly, I wouldn't go to either place as the only place in Myanmar or VN. Add time to your other destinations. Both of those places would be without context for you. Save them for when you will spend more time in Myanmar or VN.

What passport do you travel on? VN has made visas for those on US passports rather expensive. Also, you'd fly to Hanoi and have a boring drive to Halong, about 5 hours, spend time at Halong, then have another boring 5 hour drive before flying out of Hanoi. I think you'd waste a lot of valuable vacation time.

SE Asia is a place that rewards slow travel. So rather than trying to fit in a single destination in a new country, devote more time to the places you have already chosen. How much time do you have in Siem Reap, for instance? And have you prepared by reading Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples? I highly recommend this book. Also in Siem Reap, do you know about the PLF? Take a look at www.theplf.org This is a wonderful organization started by a Fodorite.

If you give us your whole itinerary, we can be more helpful in suggesting where to spend your extra days.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 30th, 2016, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
Seems like adding either on their own is rather like ticking something off off a list.

Bagan was FAR more interesting to me than Halong Bay which is very beautiful but a very touristic experience. But I agree with cathie Myanmar and Bagan benefit for putting them into a context. I think the place is different enough from Angkok to not feel like too much of the same.

I guess in part it depends on the rest of the itinerary and the time you'll spend getting to both places. I often find the logistic of the trip decides thing for me so that might be a help. Five days is a decent amount of time and you could do Hanoi and Halong. Another thing that helps me decide is the weather it could be good in one and lousy in another at a particular time of year in SEAsia.

here was our take on Bagan


Good Luck, I'm sure you'll have a great time.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Dec 1st, 2016, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,513
How much time do you have already planned in Cambodia, Thailand & Laos? My initial thought is to add the days to one of these destinations rather than trying to cram another country into 3 days. But we do tend to like to spend time in places and really feel like we have had the chance to explore and absorb so we may have a very different travel style to you. South East Asia is wonderful. Enjoy!
jules39 is offline  

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 - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:51 AM.