Viet/Cambod/LP

Old Jan 18th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Viet/Cambod/LP

Initial planning stages for trip next Dec 20-Jan 3 incl. N. Vietnam, Angkor and Laung Prabang. Below is my draft itinerary. I am looking for advice on if this is a good weather period in the area and if I have allocated enough time in each place.

Days 2,3,4 - Hanoi
Days 5& 6 - Halong Bay
Days 7,8,9 - Angkor
Days 10 & 11 - Laung Prabang
Day 12 travel back to Hanoi

Any input would be appreciated.

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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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I really think you are trying to do too much in too little time. Remember that you lose much of a day each time you change locations. You really need a minimum of three full days (not including travel time) in Siem Reap just to see the major temples. Two days in Luang Prabang isn't enough. I'd say cut it for this trip. With just Hanoi, Angkor and a side trip to Halong Bay, you'll have plenty to keep you busy. Add a day to Angkor and one to Hanoi.
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 06:23 PM
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I agree you are trying to do too much but suggest restructuring differently esp if you feel this is your only opportunity to see the region. ON a trip thos short, I'd do only a day cruising on Halong Bay and skip the overnight. Add that day to LP. Siem Reap 2 nights will be rushed but if you don't try to see everything and are prepared to set a bruising pace you will be OK. I have done SR twice, once for 4 days and the next tie for 2. The second time was very rushed but still IMO worth it. Fly into Siem Reap by the earliest possible flight. Airport transfer in SR is not far. Use that mornign itself to see some sights. Take a midday break and afternoon set out again. Day 2 make an early morning start and you will ahve a complete day. Day 3 fly to LP in the evening as anyway all the temples close at 5:30. Weather will be the best you can get in SR which is always hot. Vietnam could be a bit chilly but OK. LP should be great. You are traveling in peak tourist season so expect crowds and book early.
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Old Jan 21st, 2007, 12:56 AM
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I agree. If you had two or three extra days to make up for time lost in transit this itinerary would be great. I did Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos (plus Thailand) in December and flew everywhere I needed to go to save time. I assume you're flying since busses or boats would take extra time. If you were to cut anything out, I'd suggest Luang Prabang. Laos was nice but considering the hassle and money of the Visa plus transporation costs, 48 hours there seems minimal. For Angkor, three days actually seems OK. I bought the 3-day pass to Angkor and only used 2 days of it. After 2 days you get all templed out. On the 3rd day I took a tuk tuk to the floating village on the lake. This only took around 30 mins. The tourist info and guidebooks neglected to mention this. And definately see the temple on the hill, next to the floating village.

I posted over 2000 pics of my trip from Nov-Dec 06 on my website. This includes Luang Prabang, Angkor. I wish I had gone to Hanoi rather than Saigon so I'm jealous. Enjoy the pics!

http://www.pbase.com/cjmichael/thailand

- Chris
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Old Jan 21st, 2007, 08:25 AM
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The guests that I recently had on my episode about Vietnam liked Ho Chi Minh City much more than Hanoi. I am not sure what your preference would be. But they did just love Ha Long!

Chris Christensen
Amateur Traveler (podcast and show on Sirius Satellite Radio)
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Old Jan 21st, 2007, 09:27 AM
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Chris, have you been to VN? What was your opinion about spending time in the north vs. the south? Frankly, a second hand report about someone you intereviewed on your show is not especially helpful. There are many, many reports here from travelers about their preference for north or south, etc.

Also, your posts seem more interested in advertising your show on Sirius than in providing useful travel information. While I'd love to see Sirius get more subscribers (full disclosure: I am a stockholder), Fodors forum prohibits commercial advertising.

We're glad to hear about your personal travel experiences, but please refrain from advertising here.
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Old Jan 21st, 2007, 08:03 PM
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i have never met or talked to anyone who preferred the south to the north
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