Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos -- Transport

Jun 2nd, 2009, 08:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 187
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos -- Transport

My friend and I are planning a three week trip to these countries beginning in mid-December. Regarding flights, is it best to fly in and out of the same city in Vietnam? We were thinking of flying into Ho Chi Min City, touring north through the rest of Vietnam, over to Laos, then Cambodia, and back home out of Ho Chi Min City. We were originally planning to go in and out of Hanoi but it was more difficult to book using frequent flyer miles. Does this routing make sense? My friend thought perhaps we should fly into North Vietnam and out of South Vietnam or vice versa.

I'm sure I will have alot more questions about our trip, but I need to do further research first. At this point, I just want to lock in the flights.

sueblue is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 10:50 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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Hi Sue

Can you fly home from Phnom Penh? You'd at least save one leg (and some time) that way, assuming you're ending the trip in Cambodia.

That's a lot of ground to over in 3 many cities?
offwego is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It is often harder to get open jaw tickets with your frequent flier miles. But you are planning on a lot of flying, and saving even the cost/time of one leg might make it worth trying to get those tickets.

I agree with offwego, you are trying to cover a lot of ground. It doesn't really matter whether you fly into HCMC and out of Hanoi or vice versa, either one works. What will be more important is how many stops you plan to make in your three weeks. Transit takes time, and you'll often find that moving from one location to another takes most of a day. So the more stops you make, the more time you'll spend in transit.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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There have been numerous queries regarding itineraries like this on Thorn tree and Travelfish. It would appear that the most convenient route might be Bkk to Vientiane and then to Cambodia and vietnam, flying home again from Bkk. That might be somethng you might want to consider.
Vientianeboy is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2009, 06:04 PM
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As above, the most typical routing takes one into and out of Bangkok. However, in your case, you aren't planning on visiting Thailand and this routing would add another stop to an already crowded itinerary. The routing through Bangkok means one can take advantage of Bangkok Air's Discovery Pass, but it doesn't cover all of your proposed destinations. Also, Bangkok has long been a very popular destination for people redeeming miles and that may make it difficult to get free flights in and out of Bangkok. However, since tourism is down internationally and perhaps even more so in Thailand, it may be possible to secure those tickets.

Mid-December to early January is absolutely the highest season for travel in this part of the world. Hotels will have their highest rates of the year; flights will be full. Usually, to have any chance of getting ff tickets at this time of the year you must reserve as soon as they open reservations, typically 330 days ahead of your flight. So I'd say the first thing to do is to see if you can secure ff tickets on ANY routing into/out of one of those countries at your travel time. From there, you can figure out what works within SE Asia.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 187
Thanks everyone. By the way, what is an open-jaw ticket? Also, I was very lucky in that I am holding a FF reservation leaving NY on a Friday morning in mid-Dec into Ho Chi Min, and leaving Ho Chi Min 3 weeks later on Saturday morning (in January). I have been trying to play with the reservation a bit and get the departure or the return through Phnom Pen. (I am flying through Tokyo on the departure with a 5 hour layover and through Hong Kong on the return with a more reasonable connection.)

I am not sure what cities yet as I haven't really done my research yet.

What does the Bangkok pass cover by the way? I really don't think this would make sense for us as we are not going to Thailand.

sueblue is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Open-jaw - fly into city A, out of city B.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,631
If you are not going to Thailand, then the Bangkok Air pass will not work for you. It covers Bangkok Air flights in and out of Siem Reap and Luang Prabang (to/from Bangkok), for instance, both of which are expensive flights.

Good for you that you already have your ff tickets!
Kathie is offline  
Oct 7th, 2009, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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paddletothesea is offline  

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