Southeast Asia forum

4 Week Itinerary for Indochina and possibly Thailand

  • anna101

    Joined Travelfish
    18th June, 2010
    Posts: 1

    Hi,

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    Before we (3 women in early 20s) start our backpacking trip we'll be volunteering for 4 weeks in a village north of Hanoi . We're hoping to explore Hanoi itself in the afternoons (take a cookery class, do yoga by the lake, visit Uncle Ho etc). We will also have 3 free weekends and hope to:

    * Visit Halong Bay, sleep on a junk
    * Do a homestay near Sapa OR Mai Chau
    * Stay in a Buddhist monastery 'in the mountains near Hanoi' - more information on this would be great, it was a word-of-mouth suggestion!

    After our volunteering stint we have 4 weeks to travel and have not yet booked a return flight to Europe which hopefully gives us some flexibility when planning our travel route.

    I know 'slow travel' is recommended but we will be a long way from home so would like to see as much as is realistically possible.

    So far

    In Vietnam:
    * Hue + DMZ zone
    * Hoi An
    * Saigon, Cu Chi tunnels

    In Laos:
    * Luang Prabang
    * Tubing at Muang Ngoi Neua

    In Cambodia:
    * Angkor Wat
    * Phnom Penh / Killing Fields

    In Thailand (optional):
    * Is Bangkok worth a few days if we've already experienced the hectic pace of HCMC?

    Beach (we would like to end the trip with 6 days beach time - white sand, crystal clear sea and sun in September):
    * Ko Phi Phi looks absolutely incredible but the unsettled weather in September perhaps? What about Ko Tao, Phuket?
    * Phu Quoc (An hour of rain a day is fine if sunny otherwise.)
    * Nha Trang/ Mui Ne

    The hardest bit is trying to figure out the length of journeys, the best route and modes of transport - we're willing to travel by train, bus or boat and can stretch to a couple of cheapish regional flights.

    Proposed route (feel free to completely scrap it, I'm guessing that it might be unwise to re-enter Vietnam twice!):

    Hanoi > Luang Prabang > Muang Ngoi Neua > another Laos stop further south > Hue > Hoi An > Angkor Wat > another Cambodia stop > Phnom Penh > Saigon > Phu Quoc OR Ko Phi Phi

    #1 Posted: 18/6/2010 - 04:51

  • Advertisement

  • travellings-
    arah

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2010
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 661
    Total reviews: 11
    Places visited:
    At least 87

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Just a quickie on your route....

    You're right, entering Vietnam twice is not ideal as (1) you'd have to get a more expensive multiple entry visa - though it might not be too pricey if you're getting it from home / visa on arrival, and (2) more importantly, crossing from Vietnam into Laos really isn't easy! Well, it's easy, just time consuming and uncomfortable. So you'd be looking at 24 hours or so (see other posts) from Hanoi to LP then from say Pakse to Hue it's about 16 hours on a minibus.

    I'd perhaps suggest something like this (overland unless otherwise mentioned):

    Hanoi - Hue (BTW, I'm not a fan of the DMZ tour) - Hoi An - Saigon (fly from Danang to Saigon) - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap / Angkor - Luang Prabang (will take a long time overland so look at flights, not sure what's available) - Muang Ngoi.

    Then if you're going to a beach in Thailand - I'm not an expert but think maybe the Gulf Coast is better at that time of year - you could go overland from LP, but it will take a couple of days via Bangkok, or fly.

    The Vietnamese beaches (Nha Trang / Mui Ne) are OK but not really the idyll you describe - I've not been to Phu Quoc so can't comment. But I should think it will be easier to get to the Thai beaches anyway from Laos.

    It is a lot of travelling in 4 weeks but is feasible.


    By the way - when are you coming? I've just been to Mai Chau and as lovely as it is it's really really hot at the moment! Will remain so until August at least, so Sapa will probably be a better bet if you're here in the summer as it will be cooler.

    #2 Posted: 18/6/2010 - 11:00

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
1 week travel in Thailand possibly Cambodia or Malaysia ... By lk_x on 1 Jun 2010 1 1968 2 Jun 2010
A three week Itinerary for Thailand ... By ptrivedi on 28 Jul 2010 3 1864 29 Jul 2010
Thailand - my 2 week itinerary ... By Bilby09 on 7 Nov 2009 5 2528 8 Nov 2009