Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Laos vs south vietnam itinerary

Posted by wheresjess on 31/5/2013 at 17:36

I fly into hanoi in June and then end up in bangkok- koh phanghan at end of june for the full moon party

So wanted to ask advice, with june being the rainy season and I only have 2 weeks in between hanoi and bangkok free, I wanted to ask your advice on 2 plans and which you thought was better and how many nights im staying in each:

(A) hanoi (2n) > Halong Bay (1n) > Hao An (3n) > Hue?? > > Nah trang (2) > HCMC (2) > angor wat (3) > BKK

OR

(B) hanoi (2) > Halong Bay (1) > Luang Prubang (2)> (Vang Vieng, 1 night, if have time) > Huay Xai for gibbons experence (1-2 nights) > Chang Mai (2)> BKK

if i need more/less time in each area or if you think i should cut out any areas, please let me know. also any recs on specific places to see, go eat, would be great!

Also, do you think i need to prebook any of the flights/travel/accommodation or can i just see how i go how i get there? I booked my flights in/out asia already.

thanks for all your advice!

#1 wheresjess has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 11

Posted by caseyprich on 1/6/2013 at 04:22

I don't think you're taking account of travel-time/comfort and how that will wear you out between destinations. It looks like you're giving yourself anywhere between 10-12 nights to get from Hanoi to BKK. Honestly, that isn't much time. Two weeks alone for Vietnam would be a stretch, but if you also want to include travel around Laos, I'd just forget about it.

Probably, as you are head to BKK anyway - I'd take your more southern route but think about skipping central Vietnam and beaches in Vietnam since you'll be ending with beaches in Thailand.

How about something like this:
Hanoi w/ Day trip to Ha Long Bay. (3 nights)
Overnight train to Da Nang , taxi to Hoi'an. (3 nights)
Fly from Da Nang to HCMC (2 nights)
Fly HCMC to SR (3 nights)
SR - BKK

Maybe cut out either Hoi'an or HCMC - either fly direct to HCMC from Hanoi or from Da Nang to Siem Reap (flights available?). Personally I'd cut out the HCMC part if possible to get decent flights and add that time 1 night to Hanoi and 1 night to Da Nang areas as they are more interesting than just stopping in HCMC for what amounts to just one full day. (I don't think there is any shame in only going to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat and such - but you may also want to find a way to get a day added there so you get at least three full days in the area).

Since you'll be setting yourself up for a tight schedule anyway you may as well book flights in advance.

#2 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
 Where has caseyprich been? 


Posted by wheresjess on 1/6/2013 at 07:11

ok, thanks, casey! that helped narrow my trip down a bit. I do have 12 nights to spare. Based on your reply, now I am wondering if I should just do vietnam only and save cambodia and laos for another trip. I just heard so much good things about Luang Prubang that I wanted to do try and fit it in.

I have pretty much broken out my options as:

Option 1: N VIETNAM > LP > CHANG MAI
Hanoi (3 nights)
Halong Bay (1 night)
Fly from Hanoi to Luang Prubang
Luang Prubang (3 nights)
VIP bus from Luang Prubang to Huay Xai (1n)
Huay Xai (2 nights) to do the gibbons experience
Bus from Huay Xai to Chang Mai
Chang Mai (2 nights)

Option 2: Vietnam Only
Hanoi (2 nights)
Halong Bay (1 night)
Overnight bus from Hanoi to Hoi an (1n)
Hoi An (2nights)
Nha Trang (3 nights)
HCMC (2 nights)
HCMC to BKK (1n)

Option 3: Vietnam & Siem Reap
Hanoi (3 nights)
Halong Bay (1 night)
Overnight bus from Hanoi to Hoi an (1n)
Hoi An (3 nights)
Siem Reap (3 nights)
Siem reap to BKK (1n)

Do you think the first option is still too much traveling?

#3 wheresjess has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 11

Posted by caseyprich on 1/6/2013 at 09:29

VIP bus from Luang Prubang to Huay Xai (1n)
Huay Xai (2 nights) to do the gibbons experience
Bus from Huay Xai to Chang Mai



That is a lot of travel between there.

Overnight bus from Hanoi to Hoi an (1n)


I recommend the train.


Nha Trang (3 nights)


Never been, but been a reason for that - everyone I know who has didn't really think it was the right spot to hit the beaches.


Of all those options - I'd go with #3.

#4 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
 Where has caseyprich been? 

Posted by wheresjess on 2/6/2013 at 08:48

thanks for your feedback, Casey! Ok, I think i figured it out..let me know what you think of this:

Hanoi (2 nights)
Halong Bay (1 night)
Overnight train from Hanoi to Da Nang (1n)
Hue (1n) - can possibly skip Hue and add an extra night to Hanoi or Hoi An or HCMC or Siem Reap?? What do you recommend??
Hoi An (2 nights)
HCMC (2 nights)
Fly from HCMC to REP
Siem Reap (2 nights)
Siem reap to BKK (1n)

Also, is koh tao or koh samui better to stay overnight in?

#5 wheresjess has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 11

Posted by caseyprich on 2/6/2013 at 09:44

I'd skip Hue, it is a nice town to check out, but not worth it just for one night, better to extend your stay in Siem Reap - if you are there for only 2 nights that only gives you one full day to check out the temples, most would recommend at minimum two full days just for temple exploration.

If you do decide to visit Hue, just book your train ticket to there, spend the day, and then the next day head onward to Da Nang as it is south of Hue. You will fly from Da Nang to HCMC I imagine as well.

As for Koh Tao and Koh Samui I'm afraid I've never been to those islands. From what I hear Koh Tao is great for diving while Koh Samui offers a little more variety of accommodation.

#6 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
 Where has caseyprich been? 


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.