southeast asia - help with itinerary

Old Jun 29th, 2009, 07:40 PM
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southeast asia - help with itinerary

DH and I are planning a one month trip to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for January or March. Based on reading and on the discussions on these boards, we've come up with the following outline. We hope to do some English conversation volunteer time (Siem Reap?). We like to wander and just take in where we are. We prefer slow travel to planes, as long as the travel time is not uncomfortably long or expensive.
Is there anything we've overlooked? Thoughts on whether we should include Vientiene ? Saba ? Chaing Mai ? Thank you!

Hanoi - travel plus 4 days
Halong Bay - overnight on junk
Hue - travel plus 1 day
Hoi An - 3 days
HCM - travel plus 1 day
Siem Reap/Angkor Wat - travel plus 4 days
Phnom Penh - travel plus 2 days
Luang Prabang 5 days
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 07:45 PM
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SR---it generally takes about 4 days just to see the major temples....

if LP is your rest center then 5 days is great, but 4 days do nicely also....get hotel reservations NOW..

halong--you need a travel day and the overnite really...
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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Your itinerary looks good to me. I wouldn't add any other destinations, you have plenty!

It should be a great trip.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 02:37 AM
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Definitely spend 3 days in Luang Prabang and 2 in Vientiane. There is lots to see in Vienatiane and the food is excellent as well. Else, and probably a better idea, cut out one of your days in Angkor Wat - 3 days is plenty.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 06:39 AM
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Dear me, looks like some special pleading there from Vientianeboy. Vientiane isn't a bad place, but it pales in comparison to LP and Angkor Wat. I agree with Kathie, your itinerary looks pretty good.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 06:40 AM
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VB is not a fan of the Angkor temples. I am. We spent a week there and it wasn't enough for us. Do get a copy of Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor, which can help you decide how much time to spend there. She says three days is the minimum just to see the major temples. You'd like to do some English conversation volunteering, so the added day is necessary. Do you know about the PLF? Look here www.theplf.org One of our Fodorites started this foundation in conjunction with Ponheary Ly, a former school teacher in Siem Reap. Many Fodorites have visited, interacted with kids, contributed their time and/or money and found it to be a highlight of their trip.

While you could divide your time in Laos between LP and Vientiane, I think LP is well worth 5 days (another location we spent a week). Do think about how much time you want to spend in transit. You plan to travel overland and overland travel in SE Asia is slow.

Do you know about www.talesofasia.com ? Gordon is a great resource about overland travel in this area.

By the way, you are welcome to view our photos of many of these places at www.marlandc.com
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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We enjoyed our Vietnam and Cambodia trip last November very much, with amount of your one month to do this Indochina trip i would suggest the Vietnam and Cambodia as below.

1 – Hanoi 03 nights (Quoc Hoa Hotel)

2 – Sapa 04 nights, 02 nights on train and 02 nights (Victoria Sapa)

3 – Halong bay – Overnight (Emeraude cruise)

4 – Fly to Hue 02 nights (Pilgrimage Village)

5 – Drive to Danang and to Hoi An 04 nights (Life resort)

6 – Fly to Saigon 02 nights, 01 night Mekong Delta

7 – Fly to Phnom Penh 02 nights (The Pavilion, very nice pool room)

8 – Fly to Siem Reap 03 nights (Tara Angkor Hotel)


Then at your own decision for Laos.

Enjoy your holiday.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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"VB is not a fan of the Angkor temples"

Not at all true, Kathy. I actually think they are one of the wonders of the world, comparable in many ways to Machu Pichu. However imo two full days are enough - 3 at the most. Each to her/his own. When one has limited time, I believe in maximising the time spent.
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