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Southeast Asia forum

Ho Hum another itinerary to evaluate

Posted by KazAussie on 6/8/2009 at 16:03

Okay we have nearly a month. Two adults late 40's travelling with their 20 year old son.

Thanks to a lot of advice on this board this is the plan:

Date Where Overnight
Saturday, 12 December 2009 Fly Sydney to Ho Chi Minh Arrive 8:35 pm Ho Chi Minh
Sunday, 13 December 2009 Ho Chi Minh Ho Chi Minh
Monday, 14 December 2009 Ho Chi Minh Chui tunnels Ho Chi Minh
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 Ho Chi Minh Ho Chi Minh
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 Meekong
Thursday, 17 December 2009 Meekong
Friday, 18 December 2009 Meekong
Saturday, 19 December 2009 Phnom Phen Phnom Phen
Sunday, 20 December 2009 Travel to Siem Reap Siem Reap
Monday, 21 December 2009 Siem Reap Siem Reap
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 Siem Reap Siem Reap
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 Bus to Batambang Battambang
Thursday, 24 December 2009 Look around Battambang Battambang
Friday, 25 December 2009 Travel Battambang/Phnom Phen Phnom Phen
Saturday, 26 December 2009 Travel to Krate Kratie
Sunday, 27 December 2009 Travel to Ban Lung Ban Lung
Monday, 28 December 2009 Look around Ban Lung Ban Lung
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 Cross over to Pleiku Pleiku
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 Easy Rider on the way to Hoi An ????
Thursday, 31 December 2009 Easy Rider on the way to Hoi An Hoi An
Friday, 1 January 2010 Hoi An Hoi An
Saturday, 2 January 2010 Travel to Hue Hue
Sunday, 3 January 2010 Look around Hue Hue
Monday, 4 January 2010 Travel to Hanoi Hanoi
Tuesday, 5 January 2010 Hanoi Hanoi
Wednesday, 6 January 2010 Travel to Halong Bay Halong Bay
Thursday, 7 January 2010 Halong Bay Halong Bay
Friday, 8 January 2010 Travel back to Hanoi Hanoi
Saturday, 9 January 2010
Sunday, 10 January 2010 Travel Halong Bay Hanoi Hanoi
Monday, 11 January 2010 Fly to Sinapore Singapore
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 Fly Out of Singapore


Can't extend the journey or change the dates to and from Singapore but would welcome your comments as to whether the itinery is doable or whether you think we are going to places that aren't worth the effort.

Bit about us... we have really eclectic tastes, want to see and do everything (not possible). Fit, but not into highland treks. I think we fall into the "flashpacker" class. Love hostels but not into dorm rooms.

#1 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/8/2009 at 18:43 admin

Looks ok to me, thought he bit from Phnom Penh through to Hoi An is a bit clustered. My comments would be:

a) Shave a day off off Hue and give it to Hoi An
b) Not sure what is happenning on jan 9, but suggest not giving that to Hanoi (as you've already got a fair chunk of time there) and give it to somewhere else so you can slow down a little.
c) If you wanted to cut one place to give you more days for elsewhere, then I'd chop Battambang.

have fun!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,434
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Posted by KazAussie on 6/8/2009 at 19:40

Thanks again,

Battambang is because my brother was there in the UN forces so we are keen go go there but might be able to shave a day. The 9 Jan thingy was just because it was at the end of the trip ... thinking we might spend more time in Hoi Ann, my son is really keen to get a dive in and that might be the place, what are your thoughts?

#3 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by BruceMoon on 6/8/2009 at 19:43

Kaz

I'll comment along the way...

Saturday, 8:35 pm arrive SaiGon
Sunday, 13 December 2009 Saigon
Monday, 14 December 2009 Saigon
(out of curiosity, why the US tunnels, why not those that were used to shoot at the Australians?)
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 Saigon
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 Mekong
Thursday, 17 December 2009 Mekong
Friday, 18 December 2009 Mekong


Are you on a pre-booked tour? If so what, where, how?

Saturday, 19 December 2009 Phnom Phen

How are you getting between Mekong & PP? ie. do you arrive PP on Friday eve, or Saturday? If Saturday, you may not have enough time for even the basics (ie: KR musuem / Royal Palace / National Museum, let alone ...)

Sunday, 20 December 2009 Travel to Siem Reap Siem Reap
Monday, 21 December 2009 Siem Reap Siem Reap
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 Siem Reap Siem Reap


I've written elsewhere that one needs 4 days for SR (3 for Angkor [minimum] and 1 for Tonle Sap) Suggest you rethink this one.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009 Bus to Batambang Battambang
Thursday, 24 December 2009 Look around Battambang Battambang
Friday, 25 December 2009 Travel Battambang/Phnom Phen Phnom Phen


This is not rhetorical, merely curiosity. What is special for YOU at/around Battambang?

Saturday, 26 December 2009 Travel to Krate Kratie
Sunday, 27 December 2009 Travel to Ban Lung Ban Lung
Monday, 28 December 2009 Look around Ban Lung Ban Lung
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 Cross over to Pleiku Pleiku


You asked via another Travelfish query about this area. May I suggest that if this is an important area for you, then why are you scheduling to FLY through the area: the reason for visiting the area appears overlooked. Put simply, slow down and spend time doing what you intend to 'come here for'.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009 Easy Rider on the way to Hoi An ????
Thursday, 31 December 2009 Easy Rider on the way to Hoi An Hoi An
Friday, 1 January 2010 Hoi An Hoi An


Honestly, I'm amazed. This trip is now getting so rushed. At this breakneck speed, you may get to places, but there wont be time for anything else but have dinner go to bed, and start the breakneck pace once again. I suggest you slow things down BIGTIME.

I'm not the greatest fan of Hoi An, but there's heaps in the area and by now, you'll need a few days in one location to 'wind down'.

Saturday, 2 January 2010 Travel to Hue Hue
Sunday, 3 January 2010 Look around Hue Hue


Forget it. Hue needs 2 or 3 days Minimum. The iconic sights are spread out, the 'offerings' sublime, so either by-pass for another trip, or stay longer.

Monday, 4 January 2010 Travel to Hanoi Hanoi
Tuesday, 5 January 2010 Hanoi Hanoi
Wednesday, 6 January 2010 Travel to Halong Bay Halong Bay
Thursday, 7 January 2010 Halong Bay Halong Bay


No, definitely not. Halong Bay needs 2 nights on the water. This agenda is a sort of minor 'around the world in 80 days', not a holiday!!!!

Friday, 8 January 2010 Travel back to Hanoi Hanoi
Saturday, 9 January 2010
Sunday, 10 January 2010 Travel Halong Bay Hanoi Hanoi


I think this one is a stuff up, so I don't know.

Monday, 11 January 2010 Fly to Sinapore Singapore
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 Fly Out of Singapore


I doubt anything else needs to be said other than slow it down, go less places, enjoy/experience more.

Cheers

#4 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by KazAussie on 7/8/2009 at 16:22

Thanks Bruce, great comments,

I was trying to get the Ban Lung Kratie in so I wasn't doing so much of the Banana Leaf trail, but I guess for a first timer with only a month I don't want to miss out on the "regular stuff". I may have to cut out the Ban Lung thingy. As I understand it, it is nine hours by bus/taxi from PP. I was thinking of breaking the trip with Kratie, then continuing the trip the next day. Flying to there does not seem to be an option.

I haven't booked anything other than flights (into Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi/Singapore and out from Singapore - gotta love FF points). I have also booked the first 3 nights accommodation HCM.

The only tours I am "fixed" on doing (and I use that term liberally) are 2 night Halong Bay, and some time with easy riders.

May or may not do a Meekong tour, I have read the stuff on the site and it seems that it is easy to do on your own but I will play it by ear on that.

If we skip the Ban Lung leg, we could probably fly Siem Reap to Hoi An n and save some time. That would give more time in Hoi An and Hue . Maybe do easy riders Hoi An to Hue if that is possible?

Singapore doesn't really interest us as we have been there before that's why fly in one day, and out the next.

Anyhow .... back to the drawing board.

#5 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by BruceMoon on 7/8/2009 at 18:47

Kaz

Hoi an - Hue is only a few hours (4 I think). Would you ride a motorbike from Dalat to Hoi An (a whole day or so) to take pax for 4 hours?

Maybe the 'coolest' thing to do is play open and not commit to anything other than have your 'rough' itinerary in your back pocket. When or if you have to get yourself to HaNoi, then choose a transport option from wherever you are. That way, you can go as fast/slow as your enjoyment takes you.

Cheers

#6 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by KazAussie on 9/8/2009 at 15:21

Hi All,

Thanks to much feedback from this site. I have revised my itinerary and would welcome your comments. We have a fair bit of time in Hoi An but would probably and want a bit of a chill-out. I figure if the weather is no good (December?) we will travel around the central highlands.

Date Where
Saturday, 12 December 2009 Fly Sydney to Ho Chi Minh Arrive 8:35 pm
Sunday, 13 December 2009 Ho Chi Minh
Monday, 14 December 2009 Ho Chi Minh
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 Meekong
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 Meekong
Thursday, 17 December 2009 Meekong
Friday, 18 December 2009 PP
Saturday, 19 December 2009 PP Travel to SR
Sunday, 20 December 2009 Siem Reap
Monday, 21 December 2009 Siem Reap
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 Travel to BB
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 BB
Thursday, 24 December 2009 BB - Siem Reap
Friday, 25 December 2009 Siem Reap
Saturday, 26 December 2009 SR - Fly to Hoi An
Sunday, 27 December 2009 Hoi An
Monday, 28 December 2009 Hoi An
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 Hoi An
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 Hoi An
Thursday, 31 December 2009 Hoi An
Friday, 1 January 2010 Travel to Hue
Saturday, 2 January 2010 Hue
Sunday, 3 January 2010 Hue
Monday, 4 January 2010 Travel to Hanoi
Tuesday, 5 January 2010 Hanoi
Wednesday, 6 January 2010 Travel to Halong Bay
Thursday, 7 January 2010 Halong Bay
Friday, 8 January 2010 Travel back to Hanoi
Saturday, 9 January 2010 Hanoi
Sunday, 10 January 2010 Fly to Sinapore 20:30 arr 00:50 11 Jan
Monday, 11 January 2010 Fly Out of Singapore 19:55 arrive Canberra 9:10am 12 Jan

#7 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by seagypsy on 9/8/2009 at 23:36

Kaz--good luck finding inexpensive flights between Siem Reap and Danang International.
Anyways, I guess it's really subjective, but I think 3 days are enough for Hoi-An and would reassign another day for Phnom Penh.
Also, if you're going to Angkor and am planning to get a 3 day pass, then it's better to spend the 3 days in a row for Siem Reap instead of book-ending/splitting your Siem Reap days.

#8 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136

Posted by buecax on 10/8/2009 at 00:08

"good luck finding inexpensive flights between Siem Reap and Danang International"

i wasn´t even aware that there are any international flights from danang... are there any to connections to luang prabang or vientiane as well?

#9 buecax has been a member since 15/7/2009. Posts: 44

Posted by seagypsy on 10/8/2009 at 01:22

buecax--yes, if I remember correctly, in years past Bangkok Airways used to offer a SEA 'heritage pass' that included Danang for Hoi-An and/or Hue, the former royal capital. But now I think it's only Silk Air that offers this route but it's quite expensive.
If you're asking if there are any international flights between Danang and Luang Prabang or Vientiane , the answer is no, not presently. It's either Lao Airlines or Vietnam Airlines between Vientiane or Luang Prabang and Hanoi or only Vietnam Airlines between Vientiane and HCMC, and that too is an expensive flight.
If you're asking if there are any international flights between Luang Prabang and Siem Reap , then yes, Lao Airlines offers this route and Vietnam Airlines offers the Siem Reap only to LP (but not the reverse route).

#10 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136

Posted by seagypsy on 10/8/2009 at 01:26

'Also, if you're going to Angkor and am planning to get a 3 day pass, then it's better to spend the 3 days in a row for Siem Reap instead of book-ending/splitting your Siem Reap days."

Kaz--Please disregard that commment. I'd forgotten that with the new Angkor pass policy, you've got a week to use the full 3 days so it doesn't matter if you go to Battambang and return after a couple days since you'll still have several days left to use up the last/3rd day.

#11 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136

Posted by KazAussie on 10/8/2009 at 18:35

Hi,

Thanks all for your replies. I haven't been able to find cheap flights Siem Reap to Danang at this point $308 is the best I can do at this point, but I have a while to keep trying. It is expensive but otherwise we are looking at a couple of days on buses/trains.

#12 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by BruceMoon on 10/8/2009 at 18:49

Kaz

Is that Vietnam Airlines ( REP > SGN > DAD )?

Or is it direct?

Cheers

#13 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by KazAussie on 10/8/2009 at 19:21

It is via Saigon, can't find any direct flights. It also has about 2 hours in Saigon. Another option would be by train from Saigon, but I don't know if the $100 I will save will be worth it. If the train trip itself is an experience then we might go for that.

#14 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by BruceMoon on 10/8/2009 at 19:23

Kaz

The stupidity of Cambodia is that the gov't appears to get support from VN & Thailand to ensure low cost carriers are not available.

Still, if $$$ are importnat, try these (used 10 Sept as criteria):

0835 - 1135 - REP - KUL (Kuala Lumpur) AirAsia US$28
1740-1830 - KUL - SGN (Saigon) AirAsia US$51
2020 - 2135 - SGN - DAD (Danang) Jetstar US$29

So, a long winded way means US$108

Similarly,

0945-1050 - REP - BKK (Bangkok) Bangkok Air US$130
1555-1775 - BKK - SGN AirAsia US$51
2020-2135 - SGN - DAD Jetstar US$29

Another longwinded way means US$210

And,

1330-1430 - REP - SGN Vietnam Air US$190
2020-2135 - SGN - DAD Jetstar US$29

Shortest = $219


Hope this helps

Cheers

#15 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by KazAussie on 10/8/2009 at 20:28

Great thanks, the last one, although the more expensive is a lot better than the fare I currently have.

I don't intend booking for a while, will probably wait and book a couple of days before we intend to fly, things may have changed by then..

#16 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by BruceMoon on 11/8/2009 at 06:21

Kaz

Because the Vietnam Air website only works (properly) on IE, I didn't go looking for SGN - DAD flights by VN Air. Maybe they have similar pricing to Jetstar.

Also, if you are going to book closer, go to the VN Air office in Siem Reap. They have a discount arrangement whereby if you enter VN on an international flight (of Which Cambodia is) they do a cut on the internal flight.. But, only in their offices, and YOU have to raise it.

Cheers

#17 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by KazAussie on 11/8/2009 at 14:42

Thanks for that Bruce ... I used IE and got on to Vietnam Air $228US is the best price there but I will take your hint about booking from the office in Siem Reap.

#18 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by KazAussie on 11/8/2009 at 15:03

Hi All,

Thanks SeaGypsie, Silk Air does seem to fly direct SR to Danang. I got a price of $142 (not yet booked). The site is weird when you first put in dates and destination it looks like you are going via Singapore, but when you click book now it shows the 1hr 15 minute flight SR to Da Nang.

I think I will wait until a few days before and book this direct flight as it seems to offer good value and an bit time advantage rater than go through HCM.

#19 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by swatral on 25/10/2009 at 18:00

I am have been pulling my hair out trying to get us flights from Siem Reap to Da Nang in late May 2010 - it was either going to involve lots of stops maybe through Malyasia, over night stays, fingers crossed we made connections and possibly over $USD 650 for 2 adults and 1 11 year old. I had previously tried Silk Air but come up with huge costs or via Singapore (where we had previously come from. Based on the last post I tried Silk Air and yes when I booked it - rather than looking at schedules I could go direct to DaNang and all for $381 USD for the 3 of us - yahoo. Thank you. The only downside is that we need to stay an extra night in Siem reap but I don;t think that is a downside!
Thanks Travelfish - your the best for travel information
Regards
Suzi

#20 swatral has been a member since 1/9/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 16
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Posted by KazAussie on 25/10/2009 at 18:13

I would book the Silk Air flight as soon as your dates are known. It seems they only fly that route once a week and they book out months in advance. I am now unable to get any flights for December January.

Cheers

#21 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by swatral on 25/10/2009 at 18:43

Thanks for the advice KazAussie - all booked and paid for. I agree it was too good to pass up - even if it is so far in advance! Good luck with finding your flights
Regards
Suzi

#22 swatral has been a member since 1/9/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 16
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