Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia

Old May 10th, 2011, 06:08 AM
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Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia

We have 10 days in September to enjoy in these countries and can begin in any city where we can fly in to, but must end the trip in Phnom Pehn.

We specifically want to visit Ha Long Bay and Angkor Wat and have a couple of days to just sit on a beautiful stretch of beach and do nothing but relax! Otherwise open to a combination of experiences. We are in our 50s.

We would like to avoid back tracking but we are open to buses and boats as we want to appreciate the journey and the people.

We are very open to suggestions from those who have forged the trails before us - thank you so much for your valued and welcomed input!
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Old May 10th, 2011, 06:39 AM
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In 10 days you are not going to see three countries. In 10 days in SE Asia you should choose not more than 3 stops.

If PP has to be one of the stops, then you have two other places to choose. If Halong Bay is a must, then your stops would be Hanoi with an overnight at Halong Bay, Siem Reap (the town near Angkor Wat) and Phnom Pehn. You don't have time to go to a beach. In terms of the time you have, you'll have to fly from Hanoi to Siem Reap. From Siem Reap to PP, you can take a bus or taxi. Boat is possible at some times of the year. It will take most of the day to get from Siem Reap to PP.

Your itinerary would be 4 nights Hanoi/Halong, 4 nights Siem Reap, 2 nights PP.

Is there any way you can add days to your trip?
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Old May 10th, 2011, 07:09 AM
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personally i would not waste time at halong bay... where are you coming from? that could make a huge difference about the choices you make as some places do not have as easy an entry as others.... for instance flying from bkk to cambodia can be quite expensive and the same for flying from hanoi.

i might add that september presents some problems as well as it can be very wet.

the trip is doable and can be enjoyable if you make wise planning decisions.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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we are flying in from the USA - likely via SEL or HKG or BKK.

I have an additional week in PP on business, hence, I don't have to factor time there into my 10 days.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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Ok, that makes it a little easier. In that case, you could have two stops in VN, Hanoi/Halong and a few short days at a beach. The problem will be getting from a beach in VN to Siem Reap. You'll have to fly through HCMC, so it will be a full day of travel.

Frankly, this would be an easier trip if you flew into Bangkok, spent three days there, went to a beach - perhaps Hua Hin, a 2 hour drive from Bangkok, then to Siem Reap. If you must see Halong Bay, you'll have to plan around more difficult travel connections.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 10:00 AM
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>>

True, unless you take a really early flight -- for ex., take a 6 a.m. from from DaNang (assuming you're at the beach in HoiAn) to HCMC, and the 9:15 flight from HCMC to Siem Reap --- gets you into Siem Reap at 10:35 a.m.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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If DaNang or HoiAn will satisfy your need for a beach, then sf's suggestion works well. If you want to go to one of the more off the track beaches, it will be much more difficult.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 07:08 AM
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thanks Kathie, sf7307, rhkkmk,
mez23 is offline  
Old May 12th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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I love the challenge of a true "living from the suitcase" trip~!

I assume you mean 10 days on the ground....

It's hard to advise when I don't know what kind of traveler you are....

Personally I'd wind it down, SEA is best enjoyed in the slowest gear possible, and it can be done, even on a whirlwind trip. I'd save Halong Bay for next time, spend a couple of days in Hanoi on arrival (unless you're fixated on HB and then by all means go-go-go!) if you need beach, maybe head somewhere a little more off-grid like Phu Quoc? I mean if you're going to spend days on beach time, dontcha want to get nice and relaxed? You could take a boat from Saigon to Phnom Penh (nice water in September but might be rainy) then bus or fly up to SR (that part of the water is seriously not worth seeing IMO, esp after you've been on the delta.) You'd have a couple of left to do justice to the temples and then zip back to PP. If you already "did boat" in Halong Bay or if you don't find rain on the Mekong to be just the sexiest thing ever, then you could cut the boat and fly from Phu Quoc>HMCC>SR, that also puts that day back in your sched
http://www.guidevietnam.com/flight/v.../phu-quoc.html

What kind of beach do you need? Convenient or less spoiled? It seems a lot of logistics would be hinging on that. You're working in PP, can we assume you've been in SEA before or are you just trying to hit some highlights as a first time visitor?

Let us know what you decide and let us know how it went!
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Old May 12th, 2011, 04:54 PM
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if you did not know offwego is an american living in cambodia
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Old May 18th, 2011, 07:09 AM
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thanks offwego and rhkkmk.
mez23 is offline  
Old May 27th, 2011, 01:56 AM
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If you love beach, i sugest you to fly to Hanoi and spend some time there, then heading to Da Nang to enjoy wonderful beaches, then to HCM and Siem Reap.
Following are some amazingly stunning beaches in Vietnam:
-Lang co
-Mui Ne
-Nha Trang
-Phu Quoc
-Halong bay
-Tra Co
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 09:34 AM
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Hereby is the program for your reference, you can cut down the Central Part so that within 10 days, you can end your trip in Phnombenh.
1.North Vietnam: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay - Hanoi.
In this part, you will need about 4 days if time permits.
Day1. Hanoi City Tour
Day2. Drive to Halong Bay, and overnight on the Junk.
Day3. Back to Hanoi
Day4. Fly to Hue

2. Central Vietnam: Hue - Danang - Hoian
Day5: Hue City Tour
Day6: Hue - Danang - Hoi An
Day7: Hoi An
Day8: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City

3. Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta
Day9: Cu Chi Tunnels - Half day city tour
Day10: Drive to Caibe floating market, tour around, then go to Vinh Long for homestay.
Day11: Vinh Long - Long Xuyen - Chau Doc.
Day12: Speedboat to Phnombenh. Arrive arround 14:00
Day13: City tour in Phnombenh: Killing Field, Toul Sleng Prison, Museum.
Day14: Flying to Siem Riep
Day15: Get the 2day-pass for Siem Riep
Day16: Siem Riep
Day17: Fly out.

Here all I can recommend for you and for all Fodorites who plans to do the trip like this.
Have a good time.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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The above poster works for a travel agency in VN, and you can see what the problem is with itineraries drawn up by travel agencies - they try to have you cover so much ground, you don't get to experience any of it!
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 08:09 AM
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We all want to give advices that work best for the one who posted the question, take it or not would depend on the reader. This is simply just an idea that I have got for everyone. Working for a travel agency or not, I don't take it seriously as a problem here. The purpose of this forum is to share all of the information that someone has experienced or read it somewhere to make it work out best for our friends, to help our friends get a picture of the timeline that they got. Be specific, not too general.
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Just 10 days with 3 countries would be in rush but nothing is imppossible when you would love to do your specific spots right ^_^ !

So this will be my suggestionN means night)

Take a flight to Hanoi(1st N in Hanoi), the next day you can do overnight boat trip in Halong bay (2nd N on Boat). On the way back to Hanoi you can catch a flight to Siem Reap (3rd N in Siem Reap). With some free time in between depends on what time you arrive in Hanoi so you can do some sightseeing around.

Arrive in Siem Reap in the afternoon or evening (4th N in Siem Reap). 2 days will be enough for exploring Angkor wat if you are not an archaelogist (5th, 6th N in Siem Reap).

Take a flight to Bangkok from Siem Reap on the next day then bus to Pattaya where you can have another 3 nights relaxing or lazy on the beach (7th, 8th, 9th N in Pattaya). Besides taking a fight you can experience with overnight sleeping bus from Siem Reap to BKK if you prefer!

On day 10th you take a flight from BKK back to Phompenh.
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