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Vietnam/Cambodia in Jan - using a tour service vs self-booking

Vietnam/Cambodia in Jan - using a tour service vs self-booking

Oct 4th, 2009, 05:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 334
Vietnam/Cambodia in Jan - using a tour service vs self-booking


My partner and I will be going to Vietnam and Angkor Wat in January. Wondering whether we should just book hotels and flights on our own ahead of time, and then hire guides locally as needed from the hotel. Or, does it make sense to use someone like Ann's Tours or Exotissimo to book flights and hotels (and maybe guides too in some cities), if indeed they do that as opposed to offering pre-packaged itineraries? Is there savings on hotels or flights if using one of these companies (versus what I can find on agoda.com or asiarooms.com)? And, if we use them, does it make sense to engage them now or wait til we get to VIetnam (at least in the case of Ann's tours) and book flights and hotels through them once we are in Vietnam?

Also, we already have frequent flyer flights to and from HCM city. It would just be Vietnam and Cambodia flights we'd need to buy. The itineray looks like the following
HCM City - 2 nights
Angkor Wat - 3 nights
Hanoi - 3 or 4 nights
Halong Bay - 1 night
Hue/Hoi An - 3 nights
HCM - 1 night

Any ideas appreciated.


John H
jh6000 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,630
Other than Angkor, where many people like to have guides, there really isn't a need for guides in any of those places. And booking guides ahead through one of the agencies will cost you more than booking a guide as needed once you are there.

You can get any of the agencies to book what you want rather than a pre-set itinerary, though sometimes you have to insist. Generally, I've found I can get prices as good as or better than the agencies on my own. I always check a couple of the booking sites like agoda or asiarooms, and also check the hotel's own website.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 07:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,925
i would book all my hotels on line in advance to avoid disappointment...guides are easier....i prefer a guide in a place like angkor---they speed up the process of viewing things by getting you to just the right area and point out all the most important things and then you get to see more rather than searching on your own....they can customize the process to meet your needs....i found the guide we had gave way toooooo many details and we asked to have it toned down a bit..
an a/c car i find a must as it is very hot there and the break between SR sites is well worth it....cooling your body down to normal...

so my answer is book in advance....there are lots of SR guides listed here...

VN is a bit different....it depends on where you are going there and what your interests are....you can easily do it at the site or do it in advance....
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 5th, 2009, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 43
Also, as you will be entering Vietnam twice you will need a multi-entry visa.
RedKite is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 09:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 334
Thanks for the replies. I have found the hotel rates on line to be quite reasonable.

I will search here for guides -- Angkor Wat is the main area I think that would make sense; possibly one day in/around Hue.

Any other thoughts appreciated.

Also, we plan to buy our intra-Asian online from the US in the next few weeks. Is there any reason to wait until we are on the ground in Saigon to do so?


John H.
jh6000 is offline  

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