I really hope someone could help or at least share some ideas / experiences.
My boyfriend and I are travelling around SE Asia in July and plan to go from Vietnam to Cambodia with avoiding flights.
Can anyone advise the best way to do this. My boyfriend really wanted to go up the Mekong but we now understand that this option is no longer available which he is gutted about! Is there anyway of doing a small Mekong trip??
Ideally we only want to be there for around 4 days and are mainly interested in the Angkor temples but more than happy to travel through with a couple of stops.
#1 agi01 has been a member since 13/4/2010. Posts: 4
From HCMC you can book tours that go to Cambodia via Mekong Delta and take 3-5 days. You can also arrange on your own, and there is more info on that if you search the forums.
Many of the cheaper tours have way to many people in the groups - so ask about maximum group size when looking.
#2 jasinorbit has been a member since 4/12/2009. Posts: 37
Thanks for that.
#3 agi01 has been a member since 13/4/2010. Posts: 4
The Mekong Express from Saigon to Phnom Penh is great! And very reasonably priced. At $12 per person, I can definitely recommend it.
From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, the same bus company, charges $10 per person and is very good value for money as well. It leaves 07.30 in the morning. I usually get a ticket from the hotel or the bus company the day before to make sure it's not full.
There are several bus companies driving the same routes, maybe someone else have any experiences with them they could share...
#4 mrparanoid has been a member since 2/6/2008. Posts: 35
Thanks for the info - I think the bus trip is going to be our best bet for getting through Cambodia and maybe doing a day trip on the Mekong before we go.
It's all very exciting - can't wait to go!
#5 agi01 has been a member since 13/4/2010. Posts: 4
I agree with jasinorbit there are plenty of tours on offer that will meander through the Meekong before heading on to Cambodia. Talk to people in your hostel or hotel for good operators because there are some dodgy ones out there.
#6 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221
I would personally skip the HCMC-PP bus if you also want to see the Mekong. Difficulty is that in Vietnam the Mekong does not exist really as a river. When it enters Vietnam it branches of in many, many rivers. They all have different names but are technically the Mekong.
I'd say take the scenic route from HCMC and head down to Can Tho (heart of Mekong delta) for a few days and arrange a few day boat trips from there. Travel onwards (not back to HCMC) to Ha Tien border and overnight in Kep. Then take a bus to PP (4-5 hours) and continue the trip to Angkor.
Much more a "travel" experience than that straight bus and will take roughly the same amount of time.
I just completed a Mekong trip the first week of May. I paid $33 for a three day trip from HCMC to Chau Doc which included all the "tourist" stops, lodging, and transportation. Our stops included My Tho, Can Tho, Hoa An, and Chau Doc with visits to the coconut candy "factory", the floating markets, the Cham village, Sam mountain, and pretty much everything there is to see along the way. The accommodations were adequate, not top of the line but clean and all had friendly staff. I booked my tour through the Spring Hotel in HCMC, (can't remember the name of the tour company).
At the end of my tour my guide (J.J) helped line up a car to the Tinh Bien border crossing (I paid $25 for a private car). The crossing is less traveled than some of the others (I was the only westerner I seen). There are moto drivers between the Vietnam-Cambodia check points that will gladly take you to a waiting taxi - be forewarned they try to separate you from your money with some rather crazy pricing!! Stick to your guns and negotiate, I ended up paying $12 for a car from the border to Takeo (the price started at $40 which included the moto between the check points).
I would highly recommend looking into a trip up the Mekong, they are available everywhere once you get to HCMC. They may be a bit touristy but the trips are cheap and I think you be hard pressed to do it on your own for cheaper. Take three days, there is no reason to skip the Mekong and hurry to Phnom Penh (although it is a great town).
#8 Doniwarner has been a member since 12/2/2010. Posts: 19
I second the stop over in Can Tho - my girlfriend and I found the city very charming for an overnight stay. You can stay near the busy tourist street but enjoy some walks through the smaller side streets (West/Northwest) of the hotel district. From Can Tho either head to Chao Doc to book transport to Cambodia or book in Can Tho.
Thank you so much for that and all the detail - definately will help us.
#10 agi01 has been a member since 13/4/2010. Posts: 4