Southeast Asia forum

Singapore to Hanoi in 35 days advice..

  • hamilove

    Joined Travelfish
    12th December, 2009
    Posts: 25
    Total reviews: 4

    Hi everyone, yet another traveler asking for advice on our itinerary. Basically we are arriving in singapore on the 9th of May and flying out on the 16th of June.

    Me and my partner arent really after the party scene we are more into nature and wildlife so if anyone has any suggestions along our journey would be great. We have been to bangkok and Phuket before so they are being disregarded on this trip.

    Anyway below is our first draft itinerary:

    9 May - arrive Singapore
    9-11 May Singapore
    11 May fly to Bangkok
    11-12-13 May Bangkok
    14 May Bus and Boat to Koh Chang
    14-15-16-17 May Koh Chang
    17 May Koh Chang to Siem Reap , long day of buses taxis and scam avoidance
    17-18-19-20-21 May Siem Reap
    22 May Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
    22-23-24 May Phnom Penh
    25 May phnom Penh to Saigon 2 day boat cruise along mekong although unsure about this
    27-28-29 May Saigon
    29 May overnight train to Danang bus to hoi an
    30-31 May-1 June Hoi an
    2 June bus and overnight train to Hanoi
    3-12th Hanoi and halong bay cruise

    Also any recomended homestays would be great along the way. Am more than willing to sacrifice other days elsewhere.

    Thanks in advance and apologies for the long winded post!! :)

    #1 Posted: 28/12/2009 - 18:03

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  • somtam2000

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    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7080
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    A couple of points:

    May sees the beginning of the monsoon for Ko Chang -- you will get some rain there at that time. If that is a bother, I'd switch to Ko Samet which tends to remain drier.

    The boat from Phnom Penh only goes as far as Chau Doc after which it is mostly bus transport onwards. The boat is certainly worth doing, I'd suggest arriving in Chau Doc and overnighting there then bus to Can Tho following morning, overnight there then see the floating markets in the morning then bus to Saigon.

    Otherwise looks good!

    #2 Posted: 29/12/2009 - 14:53

  • hamilove

    Joined Travelfish
    12th December, 2009
    Posts: 25
    Total reviews: 4

    Great thanks somtam! will look into it. Great to get some feedback on it. We are from Cairns in the tropics so we are not too worried about humidity and rain but the less the better. Will check out koh samet

    #3 Posted: 29/12/2009 - 16:04

  • idreamofdur-
    ian

    TF writer
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    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    Looks good... very realistic about how much time will be spent in transit. Random comments:

    1. Unless you want to see every temple, 5 days seems long for Siam Reap. There's not much else to do there. There's plenty of nice restaurants and hotels though, so it could be a nice place to relax & recharge.

    2. Ditto what somtam said about the boat from P.Penh to Vietnam. It actually begins as an hour or so on a minivan and then the boat only goes as far as Chau Doc. From there I took a bus direct to HCMC. I'm pretty sure I bought the cheapest boat ticket being advertised at the time ($7 or so in 2007?), but found the boat a bit disappointing. It was a small speed boat and departed from a little dock literally in someone's backyard. It wasn't the mellow Mehkong cruise that I imagined at all! I'm sure there's much nicer boats that do the trip, so ask about it before buying a ticket.

    3. Saigon straight through to Hoi An? There's some lovely beachy areas in between. Nha Trang is the obvious one, but I found it lacked character. It felt like a beach resort town anywhere in the world... On the other hand, I really enjoyed Mui Ne. It's smaller, quieter, and if you grow tired of the beach it's a beautiful area to rent bicycles and explore (something that's impossible to do in the big cities because of the traffic). You can also go sledding on the sand dunes.

    Bon voyage :)

    #4 Posted: 30/12/2009 - 11:27

  • hamilove

    Joined Travelfish
    12th December, 2009
    Posts: 25
    Total reviews: 4

    Thanks for the tips, i didnt even think of other beaches to stop along the way. Was looking at over night trains for the travel between HCMC and Hanoi so just looked at the stops along the way. Are there any other stops you would recommend. Im thinking i will take a day or two off siem reap to accomadate.

    #5 Posted: 30/12/2009 - 17:45

  • idreamofdur-
    ian

    TF writer
    Click here to learn more about idreamofdurian
    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    I spent my whole 30 day visa traveling from Chau Doc to Hanoi with lots of stops along the way. Hands down my favorite place was Ninh Binh just a bit south of Hanoi. It's known as "Halong Bay on the rice paddies" and the scenery is stunning. It's also not as touristy as Hoi An, Hanoi, Nha Trang, etc. There's a national park near Ninh Binh that's a preserve for endangered primates like the douc langur. I hired a motorbike guide and spent a day exploring the area and the park. It was the best part of my trip to Vietnam.

    #6 Posted: 30/12/2009 - 17:52

  • hamilove

    Joined Travelfish
    12th December, 2009
    Posts: 25
    Total reviews: 4

    thsnk again for the speedy response. You dont happen to know the name of the national park or a suitable guide for the park? We love wildlife etc so would love to go on a guided tour of the place.

    #7 Posted: 31/12/2009 - 08:22

  • idreamofdur-
    ian

    TF writer
    Click here to learn more about idreamofdurian
    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    It's Cuc Phuong National Park. I arranged the motorbike driver with the guesthouse in Ninh Binh and the park guide at the park office.

    Here's the official websites:

    http://www.cucphuongtourism.com/

    http://primatecenter.org/

    #8 Posted: 31/12/2009 - 10:30

  • hamilove

    Joined Travelfish
    12th December, 2009
    Posts: 25
    Total reviews: 4

    Ok Taken advice and looked around the other forums (this website is awesome! haven't had to use anything else or troll through hundreds of advertised websites to get info) and have updated my itinerary as below. Still a while off and obviously this is just a guideline but would like an idea of what we are in for before we leave:

    9 May - arrive Singapore
    9-11 May Singapore
    11 May fly to Bangkok
    11-12-13 May Bangkok
    14 May Bus and Boat to Koh Samet
    14-15-16-17 May Koh Samet
    17 May Koh Chang to Siem Reap , long day of buses taxis and scam avoidance
    17-18-19 May Siem Reap
    20 May Siem Reap to Phnom Penh Bus
    22-23-24 May Phnom Penh
    25 May phnom Penh to Chau Doc
    26 May Chau Doc
    27 May Chau Doc- Saigon
    27-28-29 May Saigon
    29 May bus/train to nha trang
    30-31 May-1 June Nha Trang
    2 June bus and overnight train to danang
    3-4-5 June Danang/Hoi AN
    6th June Bus Train to Hanoi
    7-15 June Hanoi/SapaHalong Bay

    #9 Posted: 18/1/2010 - 11:43

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