Southeast Asia forum

Itinerary help: Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia

  • sleepygirl

    Joined Travelfish
    28th September, 2006
    Posts: 9

    Hi everyone! I'm planning to go on a 2 week trip to Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. I know.. very short time for such large coverage but I can't help it! I've tried to plan out the itinerary as best as possible but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

    0: Overnight train from BKK to Nong Khai
    1: Arrive to Vientiane, straight through on bus to Vang Vieng
    2: Vang Vieng
    3: Bus to Luang Prabang
    4: Luang Prabang
    5: Fly to Hanoi, straight through on bus to Halong Bay
    6: Halong Bay
    7: Halong Bay
    8: Bus to Hanoi, overnight train to Hue
    9: Hue
    10: Train/bus to Hoi An
    11: Hoi An
    12: Bus to Da Nang; fly from Da Nang to Siem Reap
    13: Siem Reap
    14: Fly to BKK

    In planning I've had to drop places such as Nha Trang, Saigon, and Phnom Penh.. any of these you think should substitute the places mentioned?

    Thanks very much!

    #1 Posted: 29/9/2006 - 23:13

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  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7371
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hi sleepygirl,

    Welcome to Travelfish!

    Holy cow! you need to slow down! LESS IS MORE!

    You're going to be travelling soooo much that you're hardly going to have time to catch a breath!

    The points that stand out as simply not enought time are:
    Luang Prabang
    Siem Reap

    Give exacto's trip report for Luang Prabang a read and you'll see why one day isn't enough.

    You're leaving yourself effectivly half a day in Siem Reap -- flying in and flying out I assume to see Angkor Wat... as much as I'd say Angkor is a MUST SEE, in this case I'd really lean towards saying "Save it for another trip"

    Other thoughts:
    The Ha Long Bay tours leave Hanoi early in the morning -- you won't be able to fly in and get straight onto a tour. Your only option would be to bus it out to Ha Long City and then sort out a tour. I'd suggest overnighting that first night in Hanoi (a great city) and doing a two-day tour to Ha Long Bay.

    Look into flying domesticly from Hanoi to Hue - costs around $60 - and takes under an hour rather than a full day.

    If you really want to see this much in such a short time, look into flying more -- particularly look into the Discovery Airpass from Bangkok Airways as you could use that for Bangkok-Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Siem Reap and Siem Reap - Bangkok

    Also, take a look at our Trip Planner section -- there's lots of sample trips in there which should give you an idea of how long it takes to get from A to B.

    Hope that helps!

    #2 Posted: 30/9/2006 - 07:30

  • sleepygirl

    Joined Travelfish
    28th September, 2006
    Posts: 9

    Hey, thanks heaps for your advice! I've decided to alter my itinerary based on re-evaluating the travel involved hehe.. I think I was too ambitious before!

    1: Fly from BKK to Luang Prabang
    2: Luang Prabang
    3: Luang Prabang
    4: Fly from Luang Prabang to Hanoi
    5: Hanoi to Halong Bay
    6: Halong Bay
    7: Hanoi, overnight train to Hue
    8: Hue
    9: Bus from Hue to Hoi An
    9: Hoi An
    10: Hoi An to Danang, straight on flight to Siem Reap
    11: Siem Reap
    12: Siem Reap
    13: Fly from Siem Reap to BKK

    Better?? :)

    I have looked into getting a Discovery Pass for BKK-LP, LP-Hanoi, and SR-BKK, so thanks for that tip!

    However, I am still trying to figure out flights from Danang to Siem Reap, as the Vietnam Airlines website is down, their office is not emailing me back, and I've had mixed results from travel agency sites! Any insights?


    #3 Posted: 12/10/2006 - 16:24

  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7371
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hi sleepy - that's muuuuch better - now you won't need a holiday to get over your holiday!

    I'm not sure about flights from Da Nang to Siem Reap - leave it with me and I'll look into it.

    #4 Posted: 12/10/2006 - 20:23

  • sleepygirl

    Joined Travelfish
    28th September, 2006
    Posts: 9

    Thankyou Somtam! You're awesome :) You can probably tell I'm totally new to trip-planning haha, this site is sooo helpful!


    #5 Posted: 12/10/2006 - 20:40

  • galila

    Joined Travelfish
    21st September, 2006
    Posts: 2

    Hallo there sleepygirl. I have some reservations even about your amended itinerary. I have a friend who is being taken on a fully guided tour by a professional tour company. She has exactly the same itinerary as you and exactly the same time frame. However, she has all accommodation booked by the company in advance, all transport pre-arranged, all luggage attended to by the company, all sightseeing booked and organised in advance. How will you manage all the administrative aspects of your travel and manage to enjoy yourself and see the wonderful countries you are travelling to at the same time? There is so much to see, would you consider cutting out one country and just really soaking up the experience of the other two? Maybe leave Cambodia for another time? In two weeks, you could either do Vietnam a little more extensively, or at least give yourself more time in Luang Prabang (I suggest a minimum of three days and even then you will be sorry to leave), and Hanoi itself is a delightful city and you've hardly had time to do a quick run through the streets! Why not give yourself time to really savour Asia ; I,m sure you'll have a much more memorable holiday!!=

    #6 Posted: 15/10/2006 - 20:37

  • Joana

    Joined Travelfish
    9th December, 2006
    Posts: 2

    Hi everyone. I am going to thailand by myself, for a month (25/12-23/01). I´d like to travel to Laos and Cambodia too. I was thinking to stay 3 days in Luang Prabang, after go to Siem Reap( How???), stay for 3 days, and come back to Thailand. I´d like to go to the south, for to dive, and I take an airplane ticket to Bangkok, I think it is better by Pucket for to come back home.
    I have many questions:
    The time is enough? I have to reservate the rooms? I will have problems with the VISA? Discovery card will be good for this trip? Airplane or bus for Laos and Cambodia??
    Thanks a lot,

    #7 Posted: 12/12/2006 - 19:42

  • steviej

    Joined Travelfish
    18th March, 2006
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 265
    Total reviews: 2
    Places visited:
    At least 32

    Hi Joana............ (sorry to hijack your thread sleepy-miss)

    There's a flight every Monday and Thursday from LP to SR late in the morning, trouble is it's around US$160.
    Check out:

    Check up on the DISCOVERY AIRPASS options with


    #8 Posted: 12/12/2006 - 21:46

  • Bec37

    Joined Travelfish
    21st May, 2007
    Posts: 1

    Hi, travellling for 16 days in Vietnam.Arriving in Siagon, would like to either go by bus train or plane to Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Sapa.What is the most effective way of travelling around and how difficult is getting to these places.Of course cost comes into it as well.I am alittle concerned about going to Halong Bay and finding the right tour to take. Any advice on these matter would be much appreciated. Thanks...

    #9 Posted: 10/7/2007 - 09:54

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