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Please look at my S.E. Asia itinerary. Time to buy the tickets.

Please look at my S.E. Asia itinerary. Time to buy the tickets.

Aug 12th, 2004, 11:31 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 120
Please look at my S.E. Asia itinerary. Time to buy the tickets.

Ok, I've changed my mind a dozen times, but this is what we're planning to do: (Note: 2 twenty-somethings celebrating fifth wedding anniversary. First time to S.E. Asia)

Bangkok 2 days
Angkor Wat 4 days
Hanoi 4 days
Sa Pa 3 days
Hoi An 4 days
Golden Triangle 5 days
Bangkok 3 days

We're planning to travel from late March through early April. I'm wondering if we should cut out Sa Pa, and spend our time elsewhere in Vietnam because it will take so long to get there... Any suggestions are appreciated as I'm ready to buy my plane tickets. Also, will weather be ok in early March/April?
Thanks for all your help!
Eliza26 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 11:59 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,867
Why is Bangkok being slit up? You need five full days there...and not split up. I would put them at the END of the trip and book into a great hotel. Then you could wind down there before the LONG flight home...although I don't know what part of the world you're in...I'm in L.A.Bangkok has extraordinary hotels and food.Why not just fly into Bangkok and overnight there...SLEEP...slow down...deal with the jetlag...the Amari airport hotel is connected to the airport...and then fly off to these other places the next day and then return to Bangkok, at the end of the trip, and spend some QUALITY time there.I was once 20-something...but am now 40-something....SLOW DOWN...Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 12:02 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Oh, as for the weather in Bangkok in April...It will be as hot as hell. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 06:28 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you are ambivalent about SaPa, then don't go. It does get mixed reviews. Some people love it, but even they admit it well deserves its reputation as having the most persistent, profane, and aggressive street sellers in the world.

If you take out SaPa, I'd suggest adding a day to Hanoi (there is lots to see and do) and one or two days to Bangkok.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 07:50 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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i like the idea of staying at the bkk airport and then going on directly to vn...you will waste the 2 days at the beginning adjusting anyways....
save quality time for bkk...

plan a slow day for the first vn day as well...

cut back on the golden triangle if you want unless you are going trecking...--4 days is plenty...
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 08:05 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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why waste money at the overpriced bkk airport hotels just go straight too vietnam. if you choose too go too vietnam first.

where are you comming from and what airline are you planning on using. this may help us, help you.
orgy7 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 05:32 AM
  #7  
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Thanks for the responses. I'm coming from New York City. I like the idea of staying at the airport hotel or going straight to VN. And I was trying to save the nice hotels for the end, which is why the Golden Triangle is also toward the end of the trip. Are you all suggesting that I go to Angkor Wat, after I visit VN?

Kathie, I think I'm going to take your advice and cut out SaPa. I was originally just interested in seeing the mountains, and we do enjoy trekking, but I'm not interested in seeing the village tribes. Should I limit my Vietnam time Hanoi and Hoi An, or should tack on another city/town?

Thanks agin. I look forward to hearing more!
Eliza26 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 05:57 AM
  #8  
 
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I would eliminate Sa Pa since you're spending 5 days in the Golden Triangle area. I'd consider using the days for more time in Bangkok since you really need 5-8 full days to do it justice. Other places in Vietnam that I like a lot are Nha Trang and Hue. You are probably spending too much time in Hoi An -- 2 or 3 days should be enough.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 05:24 PM
  #9  
 
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I would cut down 1 day in Angkor Wat. At a reasonable pace you can see everything in 3 days, 2 nights - at a bruising pace my husband who refused to take any time off did it in a weekend (with me tagging along!). Also, if you are flying from bangkok to Siem reap there is an early morning flt in and a late evening (8PM I think) flt back so you actually get 3 full days. I would also add the extra day to Bkk. I also agree that Hoi An seems long - you could consider adding the day to hanoi and doing an overnight cruise of Halong Bay from Hanoi - I haven't done it but has been highly recoed on the forum and am told is a very special experience.
hobbes is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 01:25 AM
  #10  
 
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from NYC it may be quicker just too go straight too vietnam.. from hanoi you may take a vietnam airlines flight too siam reap. and from siam rep too bkk using bangkok air. .. from there you can connect too a host of ailnies/budget airlines) that fly too chaing mai and chinag rai)..

what airline are you plainning on using to get too asia.?
orgy7 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 06:26 AM
  #11  
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Thanks again for all the great responses. I really appreciate the VN suggestions. I'm not sure yet which airline we use. At this point I'm just looking for tickets for $750 or less. I saw some at that price a couple of weeks ago, but hesitated. Delta is now offering a flight at $850 through Korean Air, but due to the negative feedback about that airline, I decided to wait. The Asian airpasses offered by various airlines don't seem to work because they often don't include VN or Cambodia.
Eliza26 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 06:59 AM
  #12  
 
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There are some good suggestions in the responses. I'll make just some miscellaneous remarks. Four days in Angkor Wat is too much unless you're really into archaeology. Two days (three nights) is plenty. Four days in Hoi An, as enjoyable a spot as it is, is too much. Three would be plenty. You don't specify what you intend to do in the Golden Triangle---there's Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, rafting from a great river lodge west of Chiang Rai (whose name I don't remember, but might be able to scrounge up, if necessary), and other interesting places. With just five days, you'll have to make choices. I do recommend renting a vehicle (a jeep in Chiang Rai, for example), either for day excursions or for several days, even though driving on the left and with a stick shift can be nerve-wracking at times. As to the arrangement of your itinerary, I agree with the person who suggests flying directly into Vietnam. You probably could do a straight course: Hanoi, Phnom Penh (transfer point, unless there are direct flights from Hanoi to Siem Reap), Angkor Wat, Bangkok, Chiang Mai (or wherever you want to concentrate in the north), Bangkok. ZZ
Zambezi is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 08:33 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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i am also planning a trip to s.e.asia. cathy pacific's deal of the month is $806 from nyc to bangkok. check it out. the websit is http://www.cathay-usa.com/
good luck
mohan is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 10:18 AM
  #14  
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Mohan, thanks for the info about the cathy pacific's deal of the month. Unfortunately it doesn't apply to travel in March 2005. OK, in response to those who say to slow down. Maybe I should cut out Angkor Wat and just spend our three weeks in Thailand and Vietnam. That would probably save us $600 in airfare. Any comments?
Eliza26 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 01:07 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Whatever you do, please do not cut out Angkor Wat from your trip. It is truly one of the most amazing places I have ever been to. I do agree that 2 nights there is sufficient.
dperry is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 03:41 PM
  #16  
 
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Uh oh! We don't want to get into THAT controversy again-Angkor Wat or not??

It MIGHT be a good idea to cut out Angkor though, what with your itinerary being what it is-that's a lot of traveling!
Spygirl is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 08:00 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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I would not cut out Angkor Wat - is an amazing experience IMHO. Re saving $600 - if you buy your tickets Bkk-SiemReap_Bkk which are the connections I mentioned in my earlier post and buy them denominated in baht thru a local agent they should cost you approx $225 per ticket. I would do Angkor Wat as early into the trip as possible as it is getting hot in Apr - your first post re 2 days recuperating in Bkk then 3 in Angkor Wat 9down from your 4) seems ideal.
hobbes is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 08:32 PM
  #18  
 
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Regarding the contraversy on how much time to spend at Angkor. Do your research by reading a good guide to Angkor like Dawn Rooney's book "Angkor", that should tell you how much time you'll need. The conventional wisdom is that it takes three days to see all the major temples. I found the smaller temples delightful, and we were often the only visitors at the small temples. If you are interested in the temples, three days won't be enough; if you aren't interested three days will be too much.

You can also view our photos of Angkor (and some other places) as a preview at www.marlandc.com
Kathie is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 06:17 AM
  #19  
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Update: I told my husband that I was thinking of cutting out Angkor Wat, and he said, "Isn't that a amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience? We shouldn't miss it." So Angkor is back in the itinerary, but I will take your suggestions and cut the time down. I'm just nervous about getting the airfare staightened out. It seems so confusing.
Eliza26 is offline  

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