Two weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia

Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 07:37 PM
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Two weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia

One of my best friends and I are planning a trip to South East Asia in February. We want to spend two weeks in Cambodia and Vietnam, the logically choice so far being a week in each.

We're 19 year old girls, happy to go about relatively cheaply but still have about $4000 as a budget.

What are the things we shouldn't come home without seeing? Where should we stay? What are the best travel choices in and around the countries? Is there anything we should be careful of/avoid? What are the most unique things we can do within our time and budget?

We just need as much help and advice as we can get!
Addie_Lansdown is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 08:23 PM
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First off, buy yourself some good guidebooks. Lonely Planet is probably the best for VN. For Cambodia, do get a copy of Dawn Rooney's Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples.

Start by recognizing that you won't see it all, so the point is to be able to take in and enjoy as much as you can see. SE Asia is best experienced at a slow pace. Remember to factor in transit time. It often takes most of a day from checking out of one hotel until you are checked into your hotel in the new location. So four nights somewhere is just three full days.

For Cambodia, the one place you must go is Siem Reap to visit the temples at Angkor. It takes three full days just to see the "major" temples. If you are very interested in the temples, you'll want more time. You may opt to make Siem Reap your only stop in Cambodia, or you may want a short stop in PP.

In VN, think about what you want to do/see/experience. Many prefer Hanoi to HCMC, but do some research and decide what you want. You may also want to consider a stop in central VN Hue/Hoi An/DaNang.

Count the number of days you will have on the ground in Asia. If you have two weeks, you'll likely have just 12 nights. Rather than a week in each country, I'd encourage you to choose three locations for four nights each.

If it were me - and it isn't m- I'd choose Siem Reap, Hanoi and Central VN. But you need to do the research to know what you want.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 05:39 AM
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Kathie has given you excellent info. Although the area looks small on a map, the internal transportation is not as efficient as we westeners are use to. If you want to expierence the culture and have more than the "drive by" expierence, do limit yourselves to 3 places.

Not to plug a competitor, but Frommers makes a guide book called Vietnam with Ankor Wat. It could be a all in one for your purposes. Do some reading before you decide.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 05:48 AM
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Also read a couple of the recent VN trip reports posted here recently. dgunbug did one recently that has been very helpfull in the planning of our trip next week. We will be hopefully be reporting in real time as we go so you can follow and get ideas.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 06:45 AM
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unfortunately this kind of blanket question does not help us to give you advice.... read up a bit and come back with more specific questions
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 09:59 AM
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Good sites for travel planning are:
www.travelfish.org
http://www.talesofasia.com/

For budget accommodation:
www.hostelworld.com
www.hostelbookers.com
(N.B. not just for hostels but good inexpensive hotels and guesthouses)
A good place for outline travel itineraries is:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ they have already done a lot of the hard research work in planning itineraries.

As has been mentioned by others, the more information you provide about your interests, the more focused the responses will be. eg city or country/beaches or activity/culture/history etc
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Old Nov 4th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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I probably sound like i'm getting paid to tout Handspan travel (which i'm not!), but they are a great resource for day trips. we even had one of our favorite and most authentic meals at someones house that our tourguide took us to during one of our day tours out of hanoi.
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Old Nov 5th, 2010, 08:24 PM
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I'm a bigger fan, if you only have two weeks, of staying in one country. Both countries are places with diverse landscapes and cultures. Each has a lot to offer, and staying in one you can learn some of the language and get a little outside the major tourist hubs.

Enjoy your trip.

'sheeed
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 03:14 PM
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With only two weeks I would only concentrate on one country and leave the other for next time. We had three weeks in Vietnam in 2008 and still never got everywhere we wanted to see - the distance and travelling time is greater than you think and often the whole day will be taken up by travelling unless you are going to try and fly everywhere. In 2010 we then did Cambodia and hcmc and the delta and still left wanting...For example you really need 4 days in Siem Reap ust to see everything - we had a week and headed out in the countryside as well.

Try not to rush as you are not really going to experience the best of bot countries
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 03:53 AM
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While it makes more sense to limit your time to 1 country, I remember being 19 and doing Europe in 30 days by rail. That being said, I agree with Kathy - I'd also choose Hanoi, Central Vietnam (Hoi An & Hue) and Siem Reap. If you are interested in reading my trip report on Vietnam, click on my name above.
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 08:36 PM
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A great guesthouse in Siem Reap is Seven Candles. Immaculate rooms with AC, fans & private bath.. The staff is amazing, and if you are at all interested in doing any volunteer work, this is the place. In addition, there

http://www.sevencandlesguesthouse.com
My daughter and I were there for two weeks in October. Two of my best travel weeks, ever.
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 03:52 PM
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Cambodia. All 2 weeks...
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