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Need advice with Vietnam/Cambodia Itinerary

Need advice with Vietnam/Cambodia Itinerary

Old Mar 5th, 2009, 07:23 PM
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Need advice with Vietnam/Cambodia Itinerary

My wife and I are planning on going to Vietnam next month. We need to move quickly since it's getting close. Here is the itinerary we are working on right now. We would appreciate help on whether we have the right number of days in each place.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated! The events we have listed for each site are listed in no particular order. We only want to spend 1 night in Halong Bay since my wife has really bad motion sickness (although we've heard it is relatively calm).

Date Country Night
4/16/2009 Air Leave Atlanta
4/17/2009 Arrive Hanoi, 10pm Hanoi Sleep
4/18/2009 Vietnam, Hanoi Hanoi Hilton, Museum of Ethnology, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Women's Museum
4/19/2009 Vietnam, Hanoi Water Puppets, Fanny's for ice cream, Old Quarter, Opera House, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Museum of the Revolution
4/20/2009 Vietnam, Hanoi Perfume Pagoda? (2 hours outside of town), craft village? (or cancel this day and spend another day in Sapa?)
4/21/2009 Vietnam, Halong Bay Ha Long Bay (3 hour drive)
4/22/2009 Vietnam, Hanoi area afternoon, night train to Sapa? Return from Halong Bay, see Hanoi (Quan Thanh Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake) Sapa (by train 9:55pm-6:30am Sun-Fri for Victoria train),
4/23/2009 Vietnam, Sapa, Arrive Sapa 9am, Bac Ha towns (weekend market?)
4/24/2009 Vietnam, Sapa, Sapa
4/25/2009 Vietnam, Sapa Sapa, return to Hanoi? Too late for flight next morning?
4/26/2009 Cambodia Fly to Phnom Penh (8:20am)
4/27/2009 Cambodia, Phnom Penh Killing Fields (am), Genocide Museum, Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda
4/28/2009 Cambodia, Phnom Penh S-21 Prison, River Front, National Museum
4/29/2009 Cambodia, Bus to Siem Reap (8am, 5 hours) 1/3 day Angkor Wat
4/30/2009 Cambodia, Siem Reap Angkor Wat
5/1/2009 Cambodia, Siem Reap Angkor Wat
5/2/2009 Air Siem Reap Angkor Wat, Leave Cambodia (11:30pm)
5/3/2009 US Arrive Atlanta (10:40am)

Is it possible to get our visas through the NY consulate or is it easier to do the pick up at the airport routine I have read about on here?
Grumbo is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2009, 08:28 PM
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Overall, your plan looks pretty good. Remember that you'll likely have significant jetlag your first couple of days in Hanoi. It's very likely that you won't be able to cover as much as you are thinking on those days. So slow down and be flexible.

If it were me (and it isn't), I'd cut the perfume pagoda and spend the day in and around Hanoi. Right now you really only have two days in Hanoi which are the first two days you are in Asia, There is much to see and do in Hanoi, and I think you'll appreciate another day to explore. The next two days are taken up with Halong Bay and then off to Sapa.

You schedule is pretty packed. There won't be much time to relax.
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Old Mar 5th, 2009, 08:48 PM
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Your Cambodia Itinerary looks good. If you are really interested in temples you could take 1 day from PP and add to SR However PP deserves about 21/2 days without rushing. The best bus to SR is the Mekong Express. They will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the terminal. You could also take a taxi which enables you to stop on the way at places of interest. Cost now around $60.
Can't help with Vietnam as I have never been there.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 04:08 AM
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I don't think there is much to see along the riverfront in Phnom Penh as such. A big green tin fence from memory. Also I'm told that they've banned restaurant tables on the sidewalk along the waterfront. I've had a couple of great free floor shows along there watching the passing parade.

Why not go on a boat cruise on the Mekong/Tonle Sap rivers. You have listed S-21 Prison and Genocide Museum. I have a suspicion they are the same place. Someone will correct me if I am wrong.

If you buy a 3 day ticket after 4 pm for Angkor on the day of your arrival you get a "free" sunset at Angkor Wat experience and still have three days templing. Other must see temples include the Bayon, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, Beng Mealea.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 06:15 AM
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"Also I'm told that they've banned restaurant tables on the sidewalk along the waterfront." NO!!! Really??? People-watching on the waterfront over a slow meal or coffee was one of the best things to do in PP. And how will the street kids get fed now? (I certainly thought S-21 Prison and Genocide Museum were the same place.)
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Thank you everyone for your help so far. Yes I agree it will be a busy trip, but don't think we'll be able to get back for many many years.

Is a visa needed for Cambodia in addition to Vietnam?
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 10:37 AM
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You will need a separate visa for Cambodia. It's pretty straight forward to get one on arrival (I'm assuming you will be using a US passport). I seem to rmember having plenty of time to catch a 0900 flight after arriving on the Victoria train from Sapa. But we had our own car and driver, you might be able to fly to Siem Reap the same day, but just as well you've factored in an extra day for peace of mind.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 01:58 PM
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Unlike the VN visa, which must be pre-arranged, you can get your Cambodian visa upon arrival in Cambodia.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 02:33 PM
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The riverside (sisowath quay)is in a mess right now due to extensive work being done along its route to control flooding during the rainy period. This work is expected to last into 2010 at which time things will return to normal as they used to be. So forget about visiting here for outdoor restaurants/bars and great views of the river.

The Genocide Museum and S21 are the same place.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Thanks for clearing up my confusion about the places in PP and the riverside situation.
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