Thailand, Vietnam and?

Oct 20th, 2019, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,568
Thailand, Vietnam and?

After a very long hiatus, DH and I are finally going back to Southeast Asia. During the 1990's and early 2000's, we went to SE Asia over a dozen times, but then I became ill and we started going back to Europe which we had neglected for a long time, as it is close (relatively) and easy. We also traveled a bit to South America with Australia and Tanzania thrown in. I've been healthy for years now so it is time to go back to Asia. About an hour ago, I booked round trip tickets from JFK to BKK on ANA in premium economy, March 26-April 13. It will give us 16 nights on the ground. I want to go back to Vietnam, and possibly back to Angkor for a few days, three days is more than enough there for us. We were in Vietnam and Cambodia back in 2000, and haven't been to Thailand since about 2006. I will be coming here to ask advice but if you have any in the meantime, please chime in! What would you suggest for about 7 or 8 days in Vietnam? I just ordered two guidebooks, one for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, the other Vietnam as my guidebooks are woefully out of date. It's nice to be back on the Asia forum which I haven't haunted in years!
laurieco is offline  
Oct 20th, 2019, 12:48 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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I suppose it largely depends on what you have seen on previous trips to Vietnam and whether you want to revisit any of those places.

I think a mix of urban and rural is always nice in Vietnam and at that time of year the weather is pretty good throughout the country, so you could go north, south or central. With 7/8 days I would stick with one region.

In the north I would look at Hanoi plus some time in the countryside and mountains. Ba Be, Cuc Phuong, Ha Giang, the Mai Chau Valleyall spring to mind, maybe Ninh Binh too. I would probably avoid Sapa. It was getting way overcrowded with tourists 10 years ago, I dread to think what it is like nowadays with the new road opening up the area.

In the Central Region, Hue is a good bet for food and the Imperial City and Tombs, Hoi An and the Marble mountains are close by and I would definitely put Phong Nha Khe Be on the list for the magnificent cave system. I suppose you could even combine Hanoi, Phong Nha and Hue but you would likely need to do it by train.

In the south, given your desire to revisit Angkor, a couple of times we have gone from Saigon through the Mekong Delta, mostly by boat to Phnom Penh and then on to Siem Reap for Angkor. The route was Saigon-Ben Tre-Can Tho - Chau Doc - Phnom Pehn. The delta is a marvellous region of the country but of all those places, I would single out Chau Doc as the most beautiful and unspoiled. Shouldbe possible to do that in 7/8 days & then fly to Siem Reap.

Loads of photos and detail of our travels in Vietnam over the years in our blog @

You will notice a lot of change since 2000 but Vitenam is still my favourite country in SE Asia. Happy planning!
crellston is offline  
Nov 14th, 2019, 04:05 PM
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Love your photos crellston. Haven't been able to look at all of them yet but I will. I'm going to start a new thread for suggestions on itineraries.
laurieco is offline  
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