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Three Days in Ho Chi Minh & Two in Siem Reap, or Vice Versa?

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Oct 23rd, 2012, 01:24 PM
  #1
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Three Days in Ho Chi Minh & Two in Siem Reap, or Vice Versa?

I've apportioned six days of my Southeast Asia trip to Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap (5 days sightseeing, one day in transit). I was planning on spending three days in HCMC and two days in Siem Reap, but it looks like I might want to switch that around. I really want to see the Cu Chi Tunnels and some of the other historical sights in HCMC; do you think two days is enough? And could I easily fill three days in Siem Reap?

Any suggestions and/or advice would be much appreciated.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 01:32 PM
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What are you more interested in - ancient temples or modern historical sights? The answer will decide for you.

We spent 3-1/2 days in Siem Reap, but only spent two of those "templing", which was enough for us (the other days we spent one in town and one at the pool). We had 1-1/2 days in Saigon, but had no interest in the Cu Chi tunnels or the Mekong Delta, so 1-1/2 days was fine. Add in the Cu Chi tunnels and you'll need at least that extra half-day if not more.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 02:16 PM
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Have you figured in travel time? Remember that three nights is just two days - you may or may not get parts of two other days. So, considering your travel time, how much time do you really have in each place?

If you are interested in the temples, it takes three full days just to see the major temples. We spent a week there and would have enjoyed more time. Some people get "templed out." Get a copy of Dawn Rooney's book Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples to get a better idea of how much time you want in Siem Reap.

You may also need to pause and consider how you are allocating your time to other destinations.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 10:25 PM
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In Siem Reap there is more to do than the temples. If you love temples, you can easily spend three days exploring them. If a few temples will be enough for you, there is a good museum. The town is interesting with good food and foot massage places and a market and plenty of shops. The villages around the lake are extremely interesting and most worthy of your time. I could have stayed another day or two.

I think that the Shangri-La and La Residence are wonderful. Raffles seemed very stuffy and stiff to me, but I did not sleep there. Perhaps the rooms, food and service are better than they seemed to me.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 05:26 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I'm mulling it over now, leaning towards three days in Siem Reap. BTW I will have five FULL days of sightseeing in HCMC and Siem Reap. As of now, it looks like this:

Day 1: Arrive HCMC
Day 2-4: Sightsee in HCMC
Day 5: Bus from HCMC to Siem Reap
Day 6-7: Siem Reap
Day 8: Transit to Koh Chang
Day 9-15: Koh Chang & Bangkok

As always, thoughts are appreciated.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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Well, "interesting" is an interesting word to use for a town that was built to accommodate the tourists coming to see the temples. It does have good food and great foot massages, and a market, and it's a lot of fun, but I wouldn't call it "interesting".
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Oct 24th, 2012, 02:14 PM
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jgg
 
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You have three full days in HCMC and only 2 full days in Siem Reap. I think I might switch that around. Are you planning on going to Mekong? If so, then you will need the extra day, but if not, seeing CuChi Tunnels and exploring HCMC can be done in two full days.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 02:24 PM
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I'd recommend three days in Siem Reap.
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Oct 25th, 2012, 05:47 AM
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I took the best of both worlds: I eliminated a day in Thailand, so I'll have three days in HCMC and three days in Siem Reap. I just planned on sitting by the beach anyway, and there's WAY too much to do in Cambodia to limit it to two days.

Thanks for all your help, and happy travels!
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Oct 25th, 2012, 06:25 AM
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Have a great trip!
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Oct 25th, 2012, 06:14 PM
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Great idea!
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Oct 26th, 2012, 12:27 AM
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I find Siem Reap very interesting. I was just there for 21 days on my sixth trip. There is a lot more to it than temples, eating, and massages.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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SF7307 You don't think it's interesting to see how the people of this area live and work? I could have driven around for several days and still found it interesting.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Actually yes, I did find that interesting, and loved the people we met in Cambodia. I guess I just meant the town itself doesn't have many "sights" (the temples aren't in the town).
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Oct 31st, 2012, 08:15 PM
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The museum is very good - and modern. The town is nothing - but I did find the local market to be worth a trip - great bargains (I am not really a shopper but friends did very well there) and interesting to see the women sitting ON their little stands of raw meat or whatever - and using their cell phones or crocheting as if raw meat doesn't smell -

But the town is like any small, dusty, poor town in any country....you'll find your little favorite restaurants and vendors and maybe some music - that's about it. The people are SO nice!
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