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Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia? or just Thailand? or just Vietnam

Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia? or just Thailand? or just Vietnam

Old Oct 5th, 2023, 07:14 AM
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Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia? or just Thailand? or just Vietnam

Hello Everyone,
I'm considering a trip to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia in March/April... or just Vietnam/Cambodia or just Thailand....

My husband and I have about 2 to maybe 3 weeks. We've never been, and want to see the highlights, but that involves a lot of flights and moving around plus we're coming from Los Angeles, an about 20 hour trip.

Has anyone been on Tourradar's Sublime Southern Thailand... it looks inviting.... and we do like nature/animals... but would miss the highlights. Then again we can always go back....

Any thoughts, recommendations appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Oct 5th, 2023, 10:26 AM
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Much depends on your specific interests, style of travel etc. With two weeks I would strongly suggest sticking with a single country , three weeks would enable a more relaxed pace and allow time to visit two countries.

Having spent a great deal of time travelling around Asia then Vietnam and Cambodia would win hands down for me. You could very easily spend the whole three weeks in Vietnam but a week in Cambodia would allow youth see the wonders of Angkor Wat and spend a few days in Phnom Penh. being a long thin country, Vietnam lends itself to flying into say Hanoi and out of Saigon. Alternatively is is pretty easy and very rewarding to travel overland and by river from Saigon through the Mekong Delta to Phnom Penh.

There are plenty of tours covering the main sights in the regions but it is very easy, a lot cheaper and a lot of fun to plan your own DIY trip.

here is a ling to our blog covering some of our travels in the region https://accidentalnomads.com just click on the destination tab and go to the appropriate country.

Thailand is a good intro to travel in Asia and easier to do in just two weeks. Most people will want to spend 4-5 days in Bangkok and split the remainder between the beaches and national parks in the south and perhaps some time in northern Thailand (though I would be a bit wary of going there in March April due to the pollution caused by the crop burning at that time of year). It is the most expensive of the three countries to visit but has some terrific hotels and the best beaches in the region.

I wouldn't say that any of the three countries are that highly regarded for wildlife. If that is your primary interest, Malaysia , esp. Malaysian Borneo would be your best bet.

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Old Oct 7th, 2023, 03:10 PM
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March is the smokiest month, esp in No. Thailand. April is, by far, the hottest month in Thailand, maybe also of all SE Asia.
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Old Oct 7th, 2023, 06:15 PM
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It is good to do Vietnam only in 2-3 weeks starting from South (Saigon) to North (Hanoi) in March/ April, less is more.
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Old Oct 7th, 2023, 10:10 PM
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don't know about the other countries, but stay away from Northern Thailand in March - the burning season renders th air seriously dangerous these days.
This site is good for both monitoring pollution and forecasts

https://www.iqair.com/gb/thailand/chiang-mai

One upside is you would have a lot of the area to yourself and a handful of other foreigners - noThai visitors would go at that time of year.
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Old Oct 8th, 2023, 12:13 AM
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Normal daytime temp variations in Thailand are really quite small - 30 to 35C between seasons - in certain parts it sometimes approaches 40 and in the cool dry at night it can go down into the low teens. THe only problem is that over 36 you are above your normal body temperature so you need to take precautions for this.
THe sun is overhead twice a year in Thailand so it is VERY strong
A lot of how "cool" you feel depends on what you try to do, your behaviour and what you wear.
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Old Oct 8th, 2023, 06:44 AM
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When to go? Vietnam/Thailand, both? & Cambodia

Thank you all. I guess April and March are not great contenders... We can wait, till next November? then. Or when is best time to go?

Still not sure if we want to do Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in 3 weeks, or just Vietnam, Cambodia.... or Thailand/Cambodia..
I'm sure either will be great and eye opening for us... but we can wait to go...
It's so far that I may need to do it all in one stretch... Maybe do South Vietnam another trip... I'd love to hear your thoughts

Here's a very tentative itinerary:

Day 1 Hanoi
Day 2 Hanoi
Day 3 Hanoi
Day 4 Hanoi- Halong - Overnight on cruise
Day 5 Halong – Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang/Hoi An
Day 6 Hoi An countryside bike tour
Day 7 Hoi An evening flight to Siem Reap
Day 8 Siem Reap
Day 9 Siem Reap
Day 10 Siem Reap – Flight to Bangkok
Day 11 Bangkok city tour
Day 12 Bangkok
Day 13 Bangkok - Flight to Chiang Mai
Day 14 Chiang Mai Elephant or not? (love animals but not sure I want to do this- suggestions?)
Day 15 Chiang Mai or go to Chiang Rai?
Day 16 Chiang Mai - Flight to Koh Samui or Phuket??
Day 17: Koh Samui / beach, snorkel
Day 18: Koh Samui / beach
Day 19: Koh Samui / beach, can do one day less beach day to add to Chian Rai
Day 20: Koh Samui - to Bangkok/ or home
Day 21: Bangkok home
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Old Oct 8th, 2023, 07:43 AM
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>> Day 5 Halong – Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang/Hoi An
\
You can fly nonstop from Haiphong to Da Nang.
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Old Oct 8th, 2023, 05:24 PM
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Vietnam is the to-go option, as the country has a diversity of things to explore. LOL 2-3 weeks is not even enough for a region of Vietnam alone. In case you really want to visit 2 countries at least, go for Vietnam and do a 1-2 day trip to Cambodia from HCMC.
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Old Oct 8th, 2023, 11:51 PM
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2 weeks is really just not enough time .

I see about 6/7 days flying in that schedule out of 14 days that’s a huge chunk.

– every day you fly effectively takes that day out of your holiday.

Packing - getting to the airport, waiting, check-ins then flights and taxis to hotels and finding out where /how to go when you get there. Arranging transport when you arrive.

3 weeks – you have 14 days of “holidaying” remaining.

However other problems I see.

2 days is really MINIMUM for Siem Reap. – the area is huge with many “satellite” locations. There is a lot of new research and information on this site.


Cut out Chiang Mai and northern Thailand - – in March (or early April) I would avoid – there is a serious potential health risk especially to older people or anyone with even mild respiratory problems. (many people post Covid have extra problems) – check this site for updates, history and forecasts - https://www.iqair.com/th-en/thailand

This gives you 2 or 3 more days of not travelling.

Samui – There are direct flights from Chiang Mai to Samui – if you can’t get one of those you either go via BKK or to Suratthani on the mainland and then bus/taxi to the ferry to Samui – long day!

When you get to Samui you have to get to the hotel and then get onto a snorkelling trip – assuming you aren’t too tired and find one that goes out in the afternoon. Maybe do that the day AFTER you arrive?

BTW - you won’t find snorkelling very rewarding off Samui unless you take a boat out to a site away from the island.

Bangkok – “back home” – I have lived on Samui and on occasion have had to fly home via BKK – although it is possible to fly to BKK and then go straight onto a flight home, I find it a lot less stressful to stay overnight in BKK, usually near the airport where they have an airport shuttle service. Otherwise it’s just another load of hours travelling on an already arduous flight home.
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Old Oct 9th, 2023, 12:17 AM
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I agree with post #10 , way to much time spent in transit rather than enjoying and actually seeing the sights. Every time you change location you will effectively lose at least half a day - checking in/out, transfers to /from airports, waiting times at airports etc. Indeed in many case you will have to write off an entire day. As a rule of thumb, two nights in one location will give you one full day of sightseeing. Three, two and so on. As it stands you current itinerary will have you spending 7-8 days in transit.

Time of year is important, especially for the north of Thailand. November to March is a pretty good time for much of SE Asia but, do check the weather or tour company sites for the finer detail.

With the time you have I would just stick with one country, probably Vietnam and travel north to south. You could potentially include 5 days in Cambodia (PP 2 days and SR 3) which is the minimum needed for those two sights.

if you really want beach time then look at Phu Quoc or perhaps Con Dao . Personally I would avoid Koh Samui .



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Old Oct 13th, 2023, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by crellston
I agree with post #10 , way to much time spent in transit rather than enjoying and actually seeing the sights. Every time you change location you will effectively lose at least half a day - checking in/out, transfers to /from airports, waiting times at airports etc. Indeed in many case you will have to write off an entire day. As a rule of thumb, two nights in one location will give you one full day of sightseeing. Three, two and so on. As it stands you current itinerary will have you spending 7-8 days in transit.

Time of year is important, especially for the north of Thailand. November to March is a pretty good time for much of SE Asia but, do check the weather or tour company sites for the finer detail.

With the time you have I would just stick with one country, probably Vietnam and travel north to south. You could potentially include 5 days in Cambodia (PP 2 days and SR 3) which is the minimum needed for those two sights.

if you really want beach time then look at Phu Quoc or perhaps Con Dao . Personally I would avoid Koh Samui .
Sadly Phu Quoc is getting ruined by constructions, only a few beaches left are good. Con Dao is much more natural but the flight ticket is quite expensive.
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Old Oct 13th, 2023, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tvsalphaaov
Sadly Phu Quoc is getting ruined by constructions, only a few beaches left are good. Con Dao is much more natural but the flight ticket is quite expensive.
So where would you suggest?
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Old Oct 14th, 2023, 07:37 AM
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Thanks all! I get the message... one country, probably Vietnam w/maybe Cambodia... makes sense... If I did beaches I'd probably wait for Thailand as it is known for beautiful beaches... I'm not a "beach person" but rather I like nature and some downtime in a natural setting.
Funny, as I considered so many flights without really thinking it through, yet I'm very concerned with the flight over there, something like 22 hours including/a short layover from LA... Seems daunting... I've done it to Africa and India, but the long flight is needed again for Southeast Asia, Japan and Australia, all places I'd still like to visit
I'm not sure I can pull this off by this March so may be planning for next year... but will try
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Old Oct 15th, 2023, 01:41 AM
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travelling Westward is mean to reduce the effects of jet lag.

THailand is far more than beaches - in fact away from th beaches, it is almost a different country. It has some of the largest reserves of "virgin" forest in S.E Asia.
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Old Nov 4th, 2023, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bellatravel
Hello Everyone,
I'm considering a trip to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia in March/April... or just Vietnam/Cambodia or just Thailand....

My husband and I have about 2 to maybe 3 weeks. We've never been, and want to see the highlights, but that involves a lot of flights and moving around plus we're coming from Los Angeles, an about 20 hour trip.

Has anyone been on Tourradar's Sublime Southern Thailand... it looks inviting.... and we do like nature/animals... but would miss the highlights. Then again we can always go back....

Any thoughts, recommendations appreciated. Thanks!
GO to fabulous Vietnam only ! I in March, start with the South and April in the north; if April, good weather everywhere but start with the South anyway
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Old Nov 4th, 2023, 11:11 PM
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Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia? or just Thailand? or just Vietnam

For a first time 2-3 week trip to the region, trying to see Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia may be too ambitious. There's so much to see and do in each country, and a lot of travel time between them. I'd recommend narrowing your focus to just 1 or 2 countries.

Vietnam has a great mix of culture, history, and natural beauty. From Hanoi to Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City, there's a diverse range of experiences. The food is also amazing. You could easily spend 2-3 weeks just in Vietnam.

Thailand offers gorgeous beaches, islands, jungles, and cultural sites. The Tourradar Sublime Southern Thailand tour hits many highlights like Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Khao Sok National Park, and the islands. For a first timer, this could be a good option to see a lot. You may want to add on time in Chiang Mai.

Cambodia is renowned for Angkor Wat and other temple sites. Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are worth visiting. But Cambodia may work better combined with Thailand or Vietnam.

As far as flights, I'd recommend picking one region to focus on rather than hopping around. The flights add up, as you noted. Once you've narrowed down countries, you can look into open jaw flights into one city and out of another to maximize your time.

Let me know if you need any other suggestions as you narrow down your options! Southeast Asia is an amazing destination.
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Old Nov 8th, 2023, 06:16 PM
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April and June are the best months to visit ALL Vietnam, for the weather is perfect. January and Fen bad for the North (cold and fog), Sept-Nov for the Center (typhoons or big rain), July and Aug for the South (very hot and big rain falls)
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Old Nov 13th, 2023, 03:31 PM
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We loved the Vietnam and Cambodia trip that we took with Road Scholar in 2019. We usually travel independently but decided on a group trip this time which we really enjoyed. Just something to consider...

We would have loved to include Thailand but that seemed like too much to try to do well in the limited time we had.

We broke up the flight by flying first to Manila and then to Hong Kong where we spent a few days. We then flew on to Hanoi.

Last edited by KTtravel; Nov 13th, 2023 at 03:33 PM.
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