Southeast Asia forum

Yet another itinerary...6.5 weeks Thailand/Laos/Vietnam/Cambodia

  • woodstock8

    Joined Travelfish
    26th May, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry, yet another itinerary to check please :-). I'm travelling to SE Asia for the first time in Nov/Dec this year with a friend and have struggled to fit things in to 6.5 weeks as there's so much I want to see! Definitely want to see a few temples, do some trekking, try out some cooking and like lots of beach time too! I have tried to appreciate travelling times/distances.

    Bangkok (1 night)
    Sukhothai (2 nights)
    Chiang Mai (4 nights, inc hill trek)
    Travel from Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang (3 days/2 nights)
    Luang Prabang (3 nights)
    Vientiane (2 nights)
    Fly from Vientiane to Hanoi
    Hanoi (1 night)
    Halong Bay (2 nights)
    Hanoi (2 nights)
    Hue (1 night)
    Hoi An (3 nights)
    Nha Trang (2 nights)
    Mui Ne (3 nights)
    HCMC (2 nights)
    Phnom Penh (2 nights)
    Siem Reap (3 nights)
    Bangkok (1 night)
    Thai island(s) (8 nights)
    Bangkok (1 night)

    Phew!

    Would really welcome any advice/suggestions please.

    Thanks!

    Sarah

    #1 Posted: 26/5/2010 - 23:40

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  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1214
    Total reviews: 53
    Places visited:
    At least 48

    If you're looking to breeze through for a good taste so that you know what to return to next time - it looks like a fine time.

    What time of the year are you going? Will you go through the Delta (Can Tho) from HCMC to Phonom Penh?


    Somewhere in here:
    Hoi An (3 nights)
    Nha Trang (2 nights)
    Mui Ne (3 nights)

    You could skim a night away to spend a night on the Delta from HCMC to PP. However, I don't know that part of Vietnam (listed above) so maybe you don't want to cut any of that out.

    Which Thai islands? I really like Ko Chang/Ko Wai/Ko Maak myself - but less of a party than the Western islands of the gulf.

    #2 Posted: 27/5/2010 - 16:22

  • woodstock8

    Joined Travelfish
    26th May, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Thanks for your reply...

    Island wise, not sure but I was looking for a combination of a couple of islands - one quieter, more chilled and one a bit livelier. Maybe Ko Tao and Ko Pha Ngan - although not sure whether we are really up for the Full Moon Party! Otherwise your combination of Ko Chang/Ko Maak looks good - and more accessible as well.

    Thanks for the tip about spending a night on the Delta from HCMC to PP -is something that is recommended? I think we could cut a night out of our time travelling through Vietnam. I mainly was conscious of the long travelling distances in Vietnam so made sure we had a few nights in each space and weren't travelling all the time.

    We'll be there in Nov/Dec time this year - hopefully the problems in Thailand will be resolved by then!

    #3 Posted: 27/5/2010 - 18:32

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    Well I suppose your itinerary is possible, but in my view its way too fast. You don't mention how you are going to get between places (fly ? bus ?) but you're going to have a lot of loooong travelling days and only small amounts of time inbetween.

    I travelled a similar route to this from Nov 09 and went to many of the same places you wish to go to, but I took a lot longer over it and often we still weren't ready to move on. I count about 17 or 18 places in about 36 nights. Sorry, but I think that's just too much.

    Try and drop at least 6 places, possibly even a whole country. I'm sure you won't regret it.


    If I were to make a choice for you - I'd skip Northern Thailand and go straight to Laos. Spend a lot more than 5 nights there. Then on to Hanoi - see north Vietnam as far south as Hoi An. Skip the beach places at Nha Trang and Mui Ne (though confess I didn't go there), then on to Cambodia where you should try to spend a little longer. That may not suit, but I do hope you try to do a bit less.

    #4 Posted: 27/5/2010 - 21:15

  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1214
    Total reviews: 53
    Places visited:
    At least 48

    You will find the pace tiring - but as I said, if you want the 'taste' and not the depth you can do it. I usually agree with Nokka but have been correct enough times on Travelfish to realize I shouldn't hoist my opinion about how fast to travel directly onto someone.

    I really enjoyed both Northern Thailand and Northern Laos - though I've heard Vientiane is not that spectacular. If your main purpose is to see Luang Prabang only - then maybe instead of skipping Northern Thailand (as you are flying into Bangkok) you should fly from Chiang Mai to Hanoi in order to save a good number of days and take your time in Vietnam & Cambodia.

    It's always difficult to decide if you should cut something out . . .

    As for the Delta - I do say it is something recommended (highly by myself) my girlfriend and I really enjoyed our short stay in Can Tho and wish we'd had more time to cruise the Mekong. I would even like to return to HCMC and travel up into Cambodia through the delta myself some day - though not as easy to get to Siam Reap as via Bangkok, it is an area that I got a taste of and would really like to explore more.

    As for Ko Chang - the big island itself has few beaches near the southwest (Lonely Beach) where there is a 'party' atmosphere while you can go stay at Long Beach on the far South East Peninsula (still western facing for wonderful sunsets) if you want a quiet isolated time.

    Ko Wai Paradise is very nice for meeting people and some decent snorkeling off the island without needing to hire a boat to go out.

    Ko Maak is busy and a rocky beach, but we found the atmosphere and the beach dog gangs to be very entertaining. However, Ko Wai would be a better option if you want a really small island feel.

    #5 Posted: 1/6/2010 - 10:01

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