Southeast Asia forum

3 weeks: Hanoi to Bankok

  • lelive18

    Joined Travelfish
    29th July, 2012
    Posts: 4

    I'm traveling with 2 friends for 3 weeks. We're flying into HoChi Minh City, spending a quick weekend there, then flying up to Hanoi. Our international flight home (20 days later) is out of Bankok. (I've already been to Chiang Mai and Phuket)
    Any itinerary, hostel, tour ideas? Prefer nature/adventure over temples/museums...

    Here's what I have so far:


    Thursday, August 2: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City

    Friday, August 3: CuChi Tunnels

    Saturday, August 4

    Fly to Hanoi
    Minibus (2$) or Taxi (10$) to Old Quarter
    Stay at ?

    Sunday, August 5: Book Trains and Sapa Trip

    See Hanoi
    Water Puppet Theater
    Ho Chi Minh complex
    One Pillar Pagoda, Tran Quoc Pagoda
    Museums? (Temple of Literature and Museum of Ethnology)
    Don Xuan Market

    Night train to Sapa Trek

    Monday, August 6

    Tuesday, August 7

    Wednesday, August 8
    Halong Bay
    Cat Ba Island
    Ba Be National Park (Homestays)

    Thursday, August 9
    Night train (or fly) to Hue
    Nguyen Emperors’ tombs
    Thien Mu Pagoda
    Hoi An
    (Skip Nah Trang: Sand Dunes and Dalat: falls)
    OR
    Go to Dong Hoi and Phong Nha Cave

    Friday, August 10: Fly from Danang to HMC (or directly to Phnom Peh?) or Fly from Dalat to HMC

    Saturday, August 11


    Sunday, August 12: (If in HMC) Mekong Delta

    Monday, August 13: Boat (?) to Phnom Peh

    Tuesday, August 14: Phnom Peh to Siem Reap

    Wednesday, August 15: Cambodia to Bankok (or fly directly up north)

    Thursday, August 16: Fly to Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai

    Friday, August 17

    Saturday, August 18

    Sunday, August 19

    Monday, August 20

    Tuesday, August 21

    Wednesday, August 22
    Flight Home

    #1 Posted: 29/7/2012 - 22:54

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  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Even by the standards of some itineraries on here, this is madness. Sorry but it is and if you try and do this you will need another holiday (or more) afterwards. I count at least 10 places and 3 countries in 3 weeks.

    I would generally try and refine an itinerary but I wouldn't even know where to start with this one. How about sticking predominatly to Vietnam or Thailand - at least in 3 weeks you can see a good bit of whichever country you choose.

    The standard counter response is that you only have so much time and want to squeeze in as much as possible - IMO that's crazy logic. Even if you won't get back for a while, that's no reason to speed round the place like this.

    #2 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 04:32

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 954
    Total reviews: 14

    Agree with chinarocks - madness.

    Why go to Cambodia at all if you're only there for 2 days? It will take that long to travel across the country - you wouldn't see anything except what's outside the bus window. So first skip Cambodia and fly from HCMC to BKK.....

    Thurs. Aug. 9 - you're going to do all of Hue and Hoi An in a single day, and then get back to Da Nang the next morning for a flight? That's craziness. I don't understand why you even put Da Lat in there... It would be impossible to get there in that time frame.

    Sorry, don't mean to sound harsh, but if I were you I'd single out the 3-5 destinations that you want to see the most, and go for those only. This is a huge region and it's not quick getting around, even when flying.

    #3 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 04:53

  • lelive18

    Joined Travelfish
    29th July, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Thanks for responding. The info there so far is just the options that are available. I posted this so people can tell me which spots are worth visiting (and why) and which ones to leave out completely, which spots can be visited quickly, and which ones need more time, best ways to travel between each one, etc.

    #4 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 08:49

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Would Laos appeal to you?

    If you like "nature / adventure", then perhaps it is a country to consider. It is not one to be rushed though.

    #5 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 10:33

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 961
    Total reviews: 2

    Chinarocks is correct - MADNESS!

    Since you're flying into Saigon, I would say to skip Vietnam for this trip and travel through Cambodia and Laos enroute to Bangkok.

    #6 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 10:44

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 961
    Total reviews: 2

    I meant to say - skip most of Vietnam (just the Delta + Saigon)

    #7 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 10:47

  • lelive18

    Joined Travelfish
    29th July, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Thanks for your replies. I already have the tickets, so it's too late to change that...

    #8 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 22:03

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Yeah, let's add Laos - he only had three countries, let's add another. Are you guys nuts? And Laos? Why add Laos of all places?

    #9 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 22:24

  • lelive18

    Joined Travelfish
    29th July, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Still waiting for the absolute best Vietnam has to offer. And more unique Thailand stuff, because that'll be my second time there.

    #10 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 22:26

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  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    "Yeah, let's add Laos - he only had three countries, let's add another. Are you guys nuts? And Laos? Why add Laos of all places?"

    I was suggesting Laos instead of the other spots, not in addition to.

    Why - well becasue I think it ticks the nature / adventure box pretty well.

    OP - are you flying from HCMC to Hanoi and then working your way back down to HCMC? If so, can I ask why? If this is the case, then please just do Vietnam in your timeframe and nothing more. This region is huge, and travel is slow and unreliable. Then, try and catch a flight from somewhere within Vietnam (probably HCMC) to Bangkok for your flight home.

    #11 Posted: 31/7/2012 - 03:11

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6409
    Total reviews: 10

    Since you are flying into Saigon and flying out of Bangkok, I would recommend you focus on Saigon and it's environs, then fly to Bangkok and work it's environs. Three weeks is no time at all. Spending it sitting on a bus tooling across the Cambodian countryside would suck.

    #12 Posted: 1/8/2012 - 01:06

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Potentially a good suggestion MM - I would just wonder though is there enough in Saigon and surrounds + plus Bangkok and surrounds to keep the OP occupied for 3 full weks? It sure sounds better than the original plan nonetheless.

    In 3 weeks I still think a highlights tour of Vietnam (allowing for some downtime also, in the cafes of Hanoi and Hoi An etc) would be best.

    #13 Posted: 1/8/2012 - 03:57

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 954
    Total reviews: 14

    I'd go ten days in each country. Saigon, Mekong delta, Hanoi , Ha Long Bay or Sapa, then fly to Bangkok or Chiang Mai from Hanoi and split the time between Bangkok/Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai. Ten days is limiting, but it's enough to get a feel for a country.

    #14 Posted: 1/8/2012 - 08:35

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