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Vietnam & Cambodia - travelling with children

Vietnam & Cambodia - travelling with children

Old Sep 15th, 2009, 03:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
Vietnam & Cambodia - travelling with children

We are planning a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. We leave New Zealand mid-December and return mid-January. Our group comprises my son and daughter-in-law, their three children ages 14, 9 and 6 and myself. We have a very basic itinerary at the moment
Fly to Hong Kong 2 nights
Fly to Hanoi 3 nights
Halong Bay (stay on boat) 1 night
Either fly or train to Hue 1 night (or 2?)
Hoi An 2 nights (or 3?)
Fly or train to Ho Chi Minh City 3 nights
Mekong Delta 1 night (or 2?)
Fly to Phnom Penh 2 nights?
Fly? to Siem Reap 3 nights (is 5 nights too long?)
Beach (bottom of Cambodia) 3 or 4 nights?
(or beach in Vietnam - say Nha Trang?)

Also – wondered about a boat trip up the Mekong River,
We’re not sure whether to train or fly within Vietnam and Cambodia. Any recommendations?

Sorry, this is a big ask, but we would really appreciate comments, especially from people who have travelled in this region with children.
kiwimaree is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2009, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 26
If money is not your biggest problem, I would suggest you take flights within Vietnam, not train as all the train sections you are planning go through the night, not having a single chance for seeing the landscape along.
Add one more day at least for HoiAn, 3 or 4 nites for Siemriep sounds OK. 5 nites seems long for me.
Boat trip in Mekong? up to your choice to overnight on shore or on board. If on board, Bassac cruise is so intersting to join. If on shore, a 2 hours drive to CaiBe town from Saigon then explore the off-the-main-route Mekong life on Song Xanh sampan cruise. End up in Cantho city and enjoy the bustling early CaiRang floating market the next morning.
Halong bay: look for a small cruise boat that you can afford to charter for all the freedom and convenience of the kids.
IndochinaVoyages is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2009, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
I think you can travel by train or car or flight along Vietnam depending on your interests. Here is my suggestion for your trip:
Day 1,2,3: Hong Kong
Day 4,5: Hanoi
Day 6,7,8: Hanoi- Halong - Hue (night train or flight)
Day 9, 10: Hue - Hoi An
Day 11, 12:Hoi An - Nha Trang (Fly from Danang to Nha Trang or take a car within 1 day)
Day 14, 15, 16: Nha trang
Day 17, 18: Nha Trang - Phan Thiet- Mui ne
Day 19, 20: Mui ne - Ho Chi Minh
Day 21, 22: Ho Chi Minh excursions and shopping
Day 23, 24, 25: HO Chi Minh - Cai Be- Can Tho - Chau Doc
Day 26, 27: Chau Doc - Phnom penh - Siem Reap
Day 28, 29, 30: Siem Reap - Angkor

ABout Kekong cruise, I think it's worth to try one time. You can travel within Melong Delta in Vietnam region and then come back Ho chi Minh to take the flight to Siem Reap instead of boat trip. Vietnam is an ideal for a beach vacation than in Cambodia.

Hope you can organize well your trip.
sugarcane is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2009, 03:02 AM
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Posts: 6
I am grateful for your replies so far. We have to be careful in our planning to make the trip enjoyable for the children. They won't want to be dragged hither and yon. We especially want a pleasant beach where we can relax - don't need nightclubs, bars, etc. just peace!! Will report back when we make our decisions. In the meantime, welcome any further advice. I could get addicted to this site. Cheers
kiwimaree is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2009, 09:30 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 63
Always do out of town trips first when you are in SaiGon - getting stuck somewhere when your flight departs doesn't help.

A 2-day/1-night Can Tho floating market tour is best. Do NOT use Delta Tours (persistent complaints) or any other company in their building.

You might consider a Mai Linh Express bus to Phnom Penh, they also have one to Siem Reap. There is video and audio on board these new buses. HCMC >> PP leave 06.30, 08.30, 13.00 and 14.30 daily. HCMC Tel: (08)-3932-2929. Cost about $12 each.

PP >> Siem Reap buses leave 07.00, 14.00 daily. Cost is the same.

I also recommend an overnight rail sleeper on the Ha Noi >> Hue run as it will much, much easier on your wallet and saves the price of a hotel.

Hoi An (via Da Nang) is a definite flight! Almost 2o hours by road or rail.

Think about taking a sleeping bags so the children can sleep on the floor of the room to save money. They might ask for a little extra for the bodies on the floor. Hotels rent by the room and 2 doubles or double + single are common combinations.

The children will feel quite at home as VN TV includes Australian channels, movie and cartoon channels, as well as Nat Geo and Discovery.

Ha Noi and Ha Long will be cool so bring some hooded rain jackets and a sweater or two. The south will be nice and hot - little rain.
BuonMeThuot is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 03:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4
The boat ride from Saigon to Siem Reap is aweeeeeesome. We did it with Compagnie de Flouvial (http://www.cfmekong.com/). dunno how to spell it but it was nearly the highlight of the cambodia trip!!! otherwise from Siem Reap to the beach you have to go back through Phnom Penh, unless the airport at the beach opens before your trip, which is doubtful.
GeorgeReiner is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
Thanks for your comments and help. We have fine-tuned our itinerary now and have a few questions to ask.
1. Any recommendations for accommodation in Hue, reasonably priced, suitable for children?
2. The same request for Hoi An.
3. How should we travel from Hoi An to Nha Trang?
4. We are wondering about a beach stay in Nha Trang itself or Mui Ne - or anywhere nearby??
5. Recommendations on how we travel from Siem Reap to Phnomh Penh - bus, ferry...?

The 14 year old is balking at travelling on the trains as his cousin, who went on a school trip to Vietnam last holidays, told some horrific stories about overflowing loos, etc!!

We are looking forward to sun in the south of Vietnam as New Zealand is in the throes of freezing temperatures and snow.
Thanks everyone.
kiwimaree is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2009, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 441
I'd recommend the bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. Mekong Express is reputed to be the best. I've travelled with Soriya also and have had no problems but some people have. Probably karaoke on the buses too if you like that sort of thing. There is plenty of cheap accommodation in Cambodia ($15 - $20US a night) so no need for kids to sleep on floor.
silverwool is offline  
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