I am thinking to backpack in southeast Asia in August, probably for two weeks. Plan to fly into Bangkok and then would like to do Cambodia and Vietnam. The itinerary would roughly be this: Bangkok (couple of days) – Siem Reap – Phnom Phen – HCMC and up the coast to Hanoi (doing Hue, Hoi An, ect ), then fly back to Bangkok. Is this too much? Should I skip something? Take more flights instead of bus/train? Should I skip Vietnam and do just Thailand and Cambodia?
I know 15 days aren’t a lot but unfortunately I will not be able to take the extra week…
Can someone advise with some good tips in order to come out with a good itinerary that will maximize my time?
Thank you very much!!!
#1 angiulet has been a member since 8/1/2008. Posts: 4
You're not going to do all of that in two weeks. You will spend every other day travelling between destinations. Why would you want to do that? Don't understand the distances - and don't forget the hours spent getting to/from the airport/bus stations, checkin times, waiting around, getting to/from your accom, etc. I always assume one day is lost each time I move to a new place.
Pick one country and spend some time there. If you're flying into Bkk, then focus on Thailand. Or maybe you can add Siem Reap. But forget about Vietnam and save that for another trip.
What do see/do? It depends on what you like. Beaches? Temples? Cities? Rural countryside? Trekking?
I find it interesting that most of your details are focused on the Vietnam leg of the trip -- cheaper flight to Bangkok? Just seems there is more interest for you in Vietnam.
Anyway, a few days in Bangkok, bus to Siem Reap (1st week), maybe come back into Thailand and go to Trat/Ko Chang for some beach time to relax and then off to home.
I would recommend you pick one country... not enough time for more.
#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Thanks everyone for your answers. You are right 2 weeks are not enough to see it all. Maybe I should follow caseyprik’s suggestion and do just Thailand maybe adding Cambodia if I have time. But even that sounds too much. What do you think?
I fly into BKK because coming from Europe is the cheapest deal I can find.
What’s a good itinerary for Thailand…I am most interested in culture and nature but a few days on the beach would also be nice…
#5 angiulet has been a member since 8/1/2008. Posts: 4
Do you want to travel the beaten path, or carve your own?
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Would love to see the musts but also like to get away from the crowd...what do you suggest?
#7 angiulet has been a member since 8/1/2008. Posts: 4
I should have realized that it wouldn't be read as casey p rich. Oh well, better than my high school nickname.
MADMAC will have some delightful off the beaten path advice. A friend and I spent a week in Chiang Mai , with a two night hill hike, I think most people would say that Northern Thailand is a must. You can make it back to Bangkok on an overnight bus, pre-booking an early morning connection to Ko Chang in Chiang Mai. If you want to bounce around the islands it won't be enough time, but you would be able to have a few days on Ko Chang and then head back to Bangkok for two nights. Ko Samet would be the closest island to check out.
Otherwise there are a few nice sites between Bangkok and Chiang Mai that you could check out to break up the journey - Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, and Sukhothai (good to see some ruins if you are wanting for Angkor).
If you want to see the "musts" (especially given the small amount of time you have) you can't get off the beaten path. Because they're must sees, everyone goes to see them. Given your very limited time, and what appear to be you inclinations, I would say hit the big spots - Bangkok has some must sees, so give it at least three days. Ayudhaya, Kanchanaburi, Chaing Mai... maybe Pai which is apparently a tourist trap but a backpackers haven of sorts... and then maybe a touch of beach time. I would keep it close to Bangkok to minimize travel.
#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957