Sri Lanka or Vietnam??


Feb 23rd, 2016, 09:00 AM
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Sri Lanka or Vietnam??

Hi everyone, my boyfriend and I are planning an one month trip in Asia for this summer and we can not decide between Vietnam and Sri Lanka. I am 18 and he is 19. We both like traveling and I am currently in USA for 4 months. We come from Belgium and we want to see a new culture, we choose to go to Asia because we have never been there and we want to travel with a backpack and explore as much as we can. We would like to trek, see temples, see beautiful landscapes, be with the locals and stay in where there are as less tourists as possible. We don't have a lot of money so we want a cheap country and also we need to take the public transports.
Thank you very much for your help !
InesT is offline  
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Feb 23rd, 2016, 09:37 AM
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Definitely Vietnam. Public transport is cheap and plentiful. The Reunification Express train runs from Hanoi to Saigon and is a great way to get (almost) from one end of the country to the other. Buses are another option and many backpackers use the "open tour" buses. In four months you will be able to explore the country in some depth including getting to places where there are few other tourist. As you are travelling on a budget, is a great resource.

Sri Lanka is a great place but four months is way too long and it is considerably more expensive than Vietnam. Indecent travel is possible but it isn't as easy as in Vietnam.
crellston is online now  
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Feb 23rd, 2016, 09:49 AM
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If you want to trek, see temples, beautiful landscapes, be with locals who are friendly and helpful, also great mountains, tea country, beaches, wildlife, cheap public transport, then Sri Lanka is superb.
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Feb 23rd, 2016, 10:14 AM
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I much preferred Sri Lanka to VN - but VN is cheaper. You need to read up on both to decide what is right for you.

photos of both places at
Kathie is offline  
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Feb 23rd, 2016, 11:35 AM
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A month is a bit on the long side for Sri Lanka. Plus, if you start in Vietnam, you could add one of the other SEA countries - maybe Cambodia (for Angkor Wat), or Laos.

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Feb 23rd, 2016, 11:38 AM
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Many if not most visitors to SL hire a car and driver, although there is some public transport. It is very easy to get around SEA - trains and "open tour" buses in Vietnam. I preferred to Vietnam to SL, as I found the ruins rather too ruinous, Colombo skippable and the beaches very touristy (east coast might be better).
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Feb 23rd, 2016, 01:23 PM
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Having been twice both to Sri Lanka and to Vietnam, I cast my vote for Vietnam, in part because you want to spend a month and I believe that Vietnam has more variety to offer than Sri Lanka, even with its north now open to visitors. The one difficulty I have in Vietnam is the language. The Jesuits, beginning in the 16th century, wrote a vocabulary and, in a large sense, created a hybrid of many elements that made Vietnamese distinctive. Their efforts were subsequently elaborated upon, contributing further to that uniqueness. Reading street signs, business signs, menus, and a wide range of written materials that an ordinary tourist faces is very challenging. ZZ
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Feb 29th, 2016, 07:06 PM
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Vietnam is the destination that are enough any conditions requested.
You can come to visit Hanoi with many beautiful landscape without time-consuming, just 4-5 days to discovery all things in Hanoi. And, if you like trekking, Sapa is highly recommended for you. I had had a nice trip in Sapa last March, it's so cool and fresh air.Of course, trekking and local homestay is a perfect stuff here. You won't have opportunity to regret on spending time there. I'm sure you would enjoy this !!!
Good luck,
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Mar 1st, 2016, 11:49 AM
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I just returned from 14 days in Sri Lanka. I was not that impressed. Admissions to sites, museums, safaris, and national parks are the highest in Asia. Food and hotels are pricey too compared to the rest of SE Asia. I've never been chewed up by mosquitos in any other Asian country like I was in Sri Lanka even with repellant on. And I didn't like the food. You get sick of curry and rice three times a day.

If money is a concern then definitely go to Vietnam. I've never been chewed up by mosquitos in any other

I'm glad I went to Sri Lanka one time but I won't be going back. There are other places in the world where your travel money goes further. The Sri Lankan government is giving themselves a bad reputation with the very high price of admissions for everything you want to do there.
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Mar 23rd, 2016, 08:46 PM
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Never been to Vietnam. Have been to Sri Lanka. Given your criteria, I'd pick Vietnam. Sri Lanka during the monsoon can be challenging and unless you combine it with places in India you'll quickly run out of things to see/do after 10 - 14 days.

Vietnam combined with Cambodia/Laos/Thailand makes a good combination and while it's impossible to avoid hordes of tourists in Cambodia and Thailand you'll be able to in Laos.

For the most part Laos is unspoilt. Yes, Luang Prabang is on the tourist trail. Laos is authentic, has stunning temples and some areas of the country have impressive landscapes (Vang Vieng, for instance).

Whichever you decide, you can't go wrong. Asia has so many wonderful sights.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 08:59 PM
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I could easily spend a month in Sri Lanka. There are so many different types areas and interesting things in each. The culture is interesting and it has beautiful scenery.

However, costs compared with Southeast Asia are not particularly cheap. Thailand and Cambodia were much cheaper for most things and our planning for next week's trip to Vietnam and Laos is also proving to be considerably less than Sri Lanka.
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Mar 28th, 2016, 02:09 AM
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I think you should go to Vietnam.
Because :
_Breathtaking landscape .
_Friendly and hospitable Vietnamese
_Coffee coffee coffee
_A nowhere-to-be-found travel experience
_Exquisite cuisines
_Fast and easy immigration process
_It’s a natural thing
_Traditional festivals
_World famous beaches
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