To stopover or not? Where?

Sep 26th, 2010, 07:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 20
Wow, thanks for all of the terrific responses! Yes, I definitely anticipate VN to be a very tiring trip. That's why I'm planning on building in some on the beach to just chill out. Aiming for everything to be pretty slow paced, considering the kiddos and their Gma will be with us. This site has really opened my eyes about what we are capable of doing given the heat. It's easy to forget when you plan a trip like this in an air conditioned office.

Kathie, I've checked on the timeshare exchange and it looks like it might be feasible for me to land a Marriott, which I'm very comfortable with, given their standards elsewhere. Being able to get lodging for all five of us for 4 days for a $200 exchange fee makes BKk a clear winner!

Rizutto, hmmm, I didn't think there'd be any problem with trying to get a route over Europe, as that would be the only way I could fly via Thai Air and land in BKK. Based on what I've read on flyertalk, it seems that if it's possible, they can generally get the flight for you. Has your experience been different? Guess the rule here is that I should have a backup plan.

Speaking of which, it sounds like Singapore and Hong Kong might be some great backups in case BKK doesn't come through if I can land some reasonable lodging at a fair price.

Thanks again everyone!
molly2004 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2010, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,021
Molly, there are a number of Marriott properties in Bangkok, none of which are part of their time share program. The only Marriott timeshares in Thailand are at Phuket.

Both Hong Kong and Singapore and great cities, though both are much more expensive (especially for lodging) than Bangkok is.

You can fly Thai Air into Bangkok going trans-Pacific, as Thai flies from LA to Bangkok.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 26th, 2010, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,005
what alternatives have marriott offered you in bkk as they have none there??

also what would thai offer you at a realistic price flying east from usa??

flying east is almost always more expensive except on finn air...
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 26th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 20
Apparently, Marriott recently acquired some units in Empire Place. They have one, two and three bedroom units.

88 Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road
Bangkok 10120, Thailand

rhkkmk, I'm planning on cashing in FF miles on Star Alliance and Thai Air has routes flying with Lufthansa or Swiss Air from Boston to the European gateway city. Then onwards to BKK. Looks like they also do the trans pacific route, which I'm okay with as well. Hanoi would be the final stop. They also have the same options in reverse.

Of course, I've never done this before, so I could be planning on something that won't ultimately work. However, based on the feedback I've gotten from people who have on flyertalk, I'm pretty confident that it will work.

Since I'm doing this with FF miles, hopefully, I'll have no problem and I could potentially have a choice between the trans Europe route or the trans pacific. Is one over the other preferred if travel time is similar? Is one less taxing jet lag wise than another?

Thanks again!
molly2004 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,021
Very interesting abut the Marriott acquiring the condos at Empire Place. It looks like a good locations, though I can't tell exactly how far it is to the Skytrain. Thanks for the info.

Since you are using FF miles, make sure you get your reservations as soon as they become available, about 330 days in advance. Getting 5 tickets will be no easy feat. But I wish you the best.

It makes no difference which directions you fly, you'll have jetlag either way.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 27th, 2010, 01:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I had thought from your other posts that you had decided to rule out a stopover anywhere (Tokyo was originally on your list as well).

As I think I have mentioned before, as you only have 18-21 days, including travel days for the vacation, it may be best to just concentrate on Vietnam. You will have at least 3 calendar days of travel time for your international flights, so even with 21 days, that leaves you 18 days in Vietnam. That just barely more than 2 weeks. If you only have 18 days to start with, then you basically have 2 weeks in VN when you take out the flight time to and from the US. Vietnam is a very large country, relatively speaking, with many different areas to see. In addition, traveling between the different areas of VN will take some time. I am afraid that adding Bangkok will mean you have to cut things out in VN, which seems to be the purpose of the trip. Personally, I would just stick with Vietnam. If you want relaxation, then take 4 days at a beach resort like DaNang, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Hoi An or elsewhere. In the summer, most beaches have little rain (the odd typhoon notwithstanding). Ho Chi Minh in the far south and Hanoi in the far north will be on the rainy side in summer (as will Sapa), but I would not spend too much time in HCM anyway, and rain should not interfere with the sights you want to see in Hanoi, although it would affect enjoyment of Sapa most likely. If you can go in June, you should be able to avoid the heavier rain in these aras which takes place in July and August and into the fall.

I believe you have also ruled out trying to get to and from VN and Siem Reap in the middle of the trip as that was too much back and forth. If you want to fly from the US to Bangkok, then going to Siem Reap from there and then on to VN might be easier, and therefore includuing Ankor Wat could perhaps be done at the beginning or end of the trip. This would resolve your “big city” issue I think, as Siem Reap is quite small. (This of course would be in lieu of spending any time in Bangkok).
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 27th, 2010, 04:36 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 20
Thank you, Kathie!

Cicerone, you are right. Originally, I did have Tokyo on the list, as well as Hong Kong and Siem Reap. At the time, I had not done any research into the cost of touring in those countries. They were on the list because of sheer interest. Siem Reap is not expensive relative to the others but since I'm flying on FF miles, Siem Reap is not "on the way" somewhere so I can't add it as a free stopover. Tokyo and Hong Kong has since fallen off the short list because of cost. I had not known anything about BKK at the time so did not consider it.

As of right now, I think I can do VN in the 14 days. I'm planning on spending the least amount of time in HCMC (prob just a night or two), really only going there b/c I was born there and want to see where I came from. A few more days in Hanoi (not really interested in Sapa), one night on Halong Bay and spending the rest of the time at Hoi An on the beach.

Thanks for your input. It was really helpful. Now I just need to wait for the green light from DH to book.
molly2004 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2010, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,626
Wow, Molly, that's great to hear about the Marriott in BKK. It shows up on Interval but not even on MVCI yet.
sf7307 is offline  
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