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What is the best? Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam

What is the best? Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam

Mar 23rd, 2013, 10:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5
What is the best? Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam

Hi All,
What is the best? Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam
We have only 20 days and we need to pick one of this countries, because we do not want to rush it but enjoy it. We're planing to go at the end of October.

We would like to be hiking in the mountains, backpacking and 4 last days in a quiet beach...

Thank you for all the suggestions.
hecandel is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2013, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,939
for me thailand and vietnam would be the best options for an overall experience which you describe, but i would pick one or the other in order to not "rush"...

thailand generally has better air service into it than does vn.. more flts and cheaper...

both can be reasonable for every day expenses. both have fantastic sights... thailand generally has a more developed infastructure..

personally i prefer thailand and find more depth to the experiences there.

while cambodia is developing, it is way behind the other 2. siem reap, the locaation of the angkor war ruins is the country's primary sight...
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2013, 05:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
it depends on your budget and priorities; I live in Cambodia, but know Thailand and Vietnam.

The cheapest country is Cambodia, but the mountains and hills are not that inviting. And the beaches are a few only worth visiting.

Vietnam is excellent for hiking in the mountains: north of Hanoi, near Chinese border (Ha Giang). My favorite beach: Cao Dai, near Hoi An.

Thailand is more expensive and overcrowded.
nomade is offline  
Mar 24th, 2013, 12:59 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,425
My first choices for hiking/ back packing are Laos and Vietnam. In Vietnam, as Nomade suggests, there is some great hiking in the far north. In addition to Ha Giang, I also loved the Mai Chau valley, the hills around Dien Bien Phu, the Ba Be lakes. Sapa also has some great hike out into the surrounding villages although the town does get very busy.

In Laos, the areas around Phongsali and Muang Sing in the far north have some great trails through the forested mountains and the minority people's villages. In the south the Bolavens plateau is very beautiful and although there are no beaches, the area around Si Phan Don ( 4000 island) is a great place to chill out on the Mekong .

Thailand is much more developed and I doubt would provide the sort of experience you seem to be looking for. I really like Cambodia but would again agree with nomad es comment re the mountains and beaches
crellston is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 532
Depends a lot on your budget. Thailand has lots of things to do from trekking, nightlife, tours, national parks and loads of beaches. Lots of historic places to visit. Roads are good, local and long distance transportation is good. Good hotels in all price ranges.

(Bangkok has excellent city transportation, cheap meter taxis when you use the meter, excellent city rail service too!)

Many tourists make their trips a "twofer" where they take a side trip to another country for 4 or 5 days. You could do that from Thailand. Fly Round Trip to Bangkok. (Round trip from many countries is cheaper than buying 2 One Way flights.) During your stay in Thailand take a side trip to a second country. Depends on your income - fly round trip or go overland by bus or private transportation. Return to Bangkok for a few days for your flight back home. Thousands of tourists do this every year.

Cambodia and Laos is easy to reach from Thailand. Even overland. Your passport determines if you need a visa for Thailand or not. From the US, most of Europe, Australia, etc. no prior visa for Thailand. For most Westerners you can enter Thailand with just a passport and get a free Visa Exemption stamp good for 30 days. For Laos and Cambodia you will have to pay for a visa.

Some tourists with more available money even take a discounted flight to Singapore or even Hong Kong for a few days. There are many airlines flying from Bangkok. Bangkok has 2 airports, Don Muang also is open for flights. Many discount airlines use Don Muang.

For Thailand, hotels are more expensive during the Christmas-New Years holidays. Also, from many countries flights are higher priced than other times of the years. Some hotels can be fully booked during this "high season" period. This is when the weather is best. All of Thailand has summertime type weather. Some times of the year more heat or more rain. But tourists by the millions still show up every month of the year but more when it is cold in N. America and Northern Europe. Even during the rainy season you will find days with little or no rain. Anyway usually enough "sun time" to fry on a beach.

If you have never been to Asia before and you still intend to only visit one country then make it Thailand this time. Thailand is an easy "intro to Asia" country to visit.

Up to you.
SirHalberd is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 01:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
THAILAND would be my best choice because I live here
hermeser is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 11:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5
Thank you everybody for this great information. It helps a lot.
We will be back with new detailed questions
hecandel is offline  
May 28th, 2013, 09:30 AM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3
We like to camp and hike as well when we go places, we weren't very adventurous though when we were in Vietnam.

In Thailand however we managed to hike in a few places. Perhaps the most famous hiking trip in Thailand would be the Chiang Mai Trek. We experienced some pretty good terrains in there.
If you prefer a more quieter/self guided trip, I would suggest heading towards the National Parks. We went for a hike in Khao Sok National Park. It was July when we went and most of the trails were closed due to rain and flood. You may have a better experience in October.
As for the beach, we went to Lamai in Koh Samui. It was a clean white sand beach, and our guesthouse there (Coconut Bungalow and Resort) was right on the beach.

I have my photos and trip report here:
kajtek is offline  
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