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kidfriendly Jan 14th, 2011 01:54 PM

Singapore, Vietnam, Angor Wat Too Much in 14 days?
Just got back from an incredible trip to Rome, and am now in the enviable, albeit somewhat stressful situation of planning a much anticipated trip to SE Asia with 3 families, including 7 kids. Age range is 6-13. All are very experienced, hearty travellers.

We are trying to come up w/an itinerary that is acceptable to everyone. We only have 14 days, and that includes travel time from the US to Singapore, travel time w/in Asia, and then back to the US. So far, Singapore is the only definite on the list (going to visit friends). Vietnam will probably be the "main" destination.

Several people really want to go to Angor Wat. Question - is this too much to do within this time period, considering all factors? I have spoken with several people who have been to AW who advised against lopping it on this time. It sounds like a minimum 2-3 day investment. Too much to cram into our itinerary? Will we be complete toast by the time we get there? Is AW an absolute must see?

Bottom line - worth it or not this go around? 3 countries in 14 days, including all travel time, too much for even the heartiest travellers?

gearsau Jan 14th, 2011 02:04 PM

Drop a country from your itinery, and you will be OK.
You need minimum of 3 days at Angkor Wat. Possibly more if you can do it.
Factor in your travel times as well.

Either do Singapore and Angkor Wat or Vietnam and Angkor Wat, not all three.

Kathie Jan 14th, 2011 02:35 PM

I concur with gearsau, it takes three full days just to see the major temples of Angkor. We spent a week and loved it all. Get a copy of Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples to help you figure out how much time you will want there. Remember that three full days is four nights.

Frankly, you could see a fair amount of Singapore in 3-4 days. If you were convinced you want to visit all three countries, you could choose one city in VN to add to Singapore and Angkor. It would be busy, but do-able. If you visit Singapore and VN, you will still need to limit the number of stops you make it VN, you can't see the whole country in that time.

For me, Angkor is truly one of the wonders of the world.

You are welcome to take a look at our photos at

silverwool Jan 14th, 2011 03:24 PM

Yes, especially with children. Vietnam is worth the full 14 days alone. If you opt for the three countries I'd take Kathie's adice and only visit one city. In that case I'd suggest Hanoi.

marmot Jan 14th, 2011 04:39 PM

As always "what Kathie said" works for me!

I would consider Angkor a must see and would set aside at least three full days. Singapore is good for an easily navigated urban destination. It's very Westernized, but offers a wide introduction to SEA with a lot of tourist infrastruction. 3 days is enough.

So for the remaining week or so? I've been to Vietnam several times but only HCMC and Hue. I really don't see either as appealing to kids. I love the food, but find the cultural/natural attractions wanting. It sounds like you'd want to concentrate on the Northern part of the country.

Not to over complicate, but you might want to consider Thailand or Bali instead of Vietnam.

gearsau Jan 14th, 2011 06:31 PM


Seeing you only have 14 days, including travel, I suggest that you do what I do. Make up an excel spreadsheet ( if possible)

Put the dates in, the plane departure and arrival times, then you can really plan out how much time to spend in each place.
I am travelling for 26 days in China, Thailand and Cambodia this month, and believe me travel time eats up a lot of that.
Have been on the road since January 5th when I left Australia, flew to Bangkok ( transit), flew to Shanghai for 2 days, then 32 hours by train from Shanghai to Harbin). I wanted to see the country , and plane travel does not enable that.
You think 26 days is a lot, but, so much time lost in transit.

My ANGKOR WAT photos. Three visits there in 2010, and I will be there in just over a weeks time for 6 nights / 5 days :

If you like, you can send me an email c/o gmail and I send you a template to work on.
You should be able to work out my e-mail address.

rhkkmk Jan 14th, 2011 07:12 PM


the kids are a draw back in some ways.... they will not love angkor and it will be very hard for them... maybe the older ones will like it for a day but that is all... plus you really need 3-4 days there...

sin is worth a couple of days-- 2 to 4... kids will like the zoo and boat rides


skip saigon... in fact i would skip all of vietnam and go to thailand instead.... much better with kids... hit the beach, plus it is closer to sin....

i would do sin, bkk and one beach.... can you fly into sin and out of bkk??

Smart3 Jan 15th, 2011 02:55 AM

Even if the kids are future Olympic athletes and read Ayn Rand, Immanuel Kant and Voltaire before breakfast, they're not going to enjoy the 3-4 days needed in Angkor Wat. It's a must-see, but not with children.

I'm not big on Singapore - but I realize you have friends to see there so it's a must.

Sing - 3
Vietnam - rest (4 Saigon, rest in Hanoi)

qwovadis Jan 15th, 2011 03:03 AM

With kids might just do Angkor and a beach with Singapore. Phuket might be a nice choice though

more touristic or vietnam beaches would be good also.

Cities in vietnam are underwhelming to me...

Pare back for best experience best for me

particularly with children less is more...

Happy Journey,

marmot Jan 15th, 2011 02:36 PM

I think it depends on the kid. Mine would have loved Angkor, same as he loved places like Pagan,Borobudur and Rome. I would say, however, that traveling in Angkor with a large group would be hard to manage.

And, I would agree that everybody loves a beach. Not so sure about the Singapore beach suggestion, but Thailand or Bali, yes!

KimJapan Jan 15th, 2011 03:18 PM

My daughter (13, but 1st time there 9) loves Siem Reap and all of the temples, the town, the friends there, the vibe..same for the two friends who came with us the last two times. Now the whole basketball team wants to go! It you avoid regimented touring and relax and take each moment as it happens I can see a very enjoyable stay there. Try to tick off too many temples, pushing the kids to see too much tot fast. I envision some very unhappy kids and parents.

I could easily enjoy a few days in Singapore on either side of a week or more in Cambodia. Jetstar flies Singapore to Siem Reap for a price that is often quite a bit less than Silk Air.

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