My boyfriend and I are travelling around Cambodia and Vietnam, flying in and out of Bangkok, and need to make the most of our 6 weeks out there. We are looking to find the best OVERLAND itinerary for Vietnam. We have a few days leeway here and there, so could spend more than 2 weeks, but I am worried about how long it'll take for us to travel back over to Bangkok.
We can't decide where to visit for the best, nor which border crossings to use to use our time wisely.
Any advice would be fantastic!
#1 torilou has been a member since 6/6/2010. Posts: 25
This is a sample itinerary for Vietnam from top to tail: http://www.travelfish.org/trip_planner/vietnam-hanoi-to-saigon
It should help as a starting point for your planning. In Vietnam it is important to not try and do too much as you'll run out of time and need a holiday to get over the holiday!
Thank you for you reply. we were thinking of doing just South Vietnam - is there anywhere we should definitely include/give a miss? There are a few beach resorts I've been looking at but don't know which to choose.
#3 torilou has been a member since 6/6/2010. Posts: 25
We are doing the same thing in a few weeks time. We have planned nearly 3weeks to do:
Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, fly to Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, then fly to Phu Quoc and back, then travel across to Phnom Penh across the Moc Bai border, then up to Angkor/Siem Reap and then across the Poipet border by land back to Bangkok to fly to Phuket.
We had talked about doing some more in Southern Vietnam like Can Tho, My Tho, etc and also in Southern Cambodia like Sihanoukville, Kampot, etc but when I put our itinerary on a post to get some advice on it we were advised to do some more of Laos and to leave these out?!
Hope that helps you!
#4 catherine25 has been a member since 25/5/2010. Posts: 34
Thanks for your reply. I think we are just going to focus on the South of Vietnam, we already have our Cambodia trip sorted, and want to do the journey overland rather than fly (I'm not a fan, flying out there and home is enough!)so think the easiest thing for us to do, with the time we have, is the South.
I appreciate the info though Hopefully we'll find somewhere worth visiting!
#5 torilou has been a member since 6/6/2010. Posts: 25
Depending on what time of year you are going (the rainy season starts in June) Phu Quoc Island has some really nice beaches. Ong Lang has only 3 places to stay, all feeling secluded from each other and almost 5km of undeveloped red-sand beach. I'm always hearing mixed reviews of Cambodia's beaches so if you want some real relaxing time this may be the way to go - spent 6 nights at Thang Loi reading relaxing and enjoying all the squid the sea could offer. Didn't once wish we were anywhere else.
Very much recommend two nights in Can Tho to soak in that town by just getting lost in all the back streets. Have also heard that the home-stays you can setup are excellent in the delta - though didn't have the time to do that ourselves. Could get to Can Tho overland from Cambodia, then head through Rach Gai to Phu Quoc. If you find a spot you like on Phu Quoc make a reservation as accommodations in the best run resorts fill up.
Thanks for all the info! We actually leave next Tuesday (nothing like last minute planning!) so are travelling during the rainy season. I had heard the Islands aren't so easy to visit during this time?
Have been thinking of following the Vietnam Southern Explorer planner found on this website but wasn't sure if all the places mentioned are worth visiting, specifically Mui Ne and Phan Rang Thap Cham, or if its a feasible 2 week trip.
#7 torilou has been a member since 6/6/2010. Posts: 25
If you want to travel around Southern Vietnam,I think u could spend some day (2-3days) around the Mekong Delta and then some day in Phu Quoc Island .
You could take a speed boat from Chau Doc to Phu Quoc Island or take flight from Can tho to Phu Quoc island after the Mekong Tour.
In Mekong, the best activities to explore this area is biking. You will ride along village road and see the daily life of local people. I experienced this tour last year and it was really great. So I think U could try this. ^^
For the transfer to Cambodia, you could go by public bus from Saigon or speedboat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. It's the best travel way for budget traveller like us. You could spend 1 week for travel around Cambodia and then take flight to Bangkok.
That's my idea and I hope it will be helpful for u.
Have a nice trip!
#8 jessie5186 has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 4
Thank you Do you know if there is a timetable for travel to the island? I have heard times are all over the place and would be worried about not getting back when we wanted to!
Would you recommend this over going to Nha Trang/Mui Ne? We do only have 2 weeks in Vietnam, although it is a little flexible, so I want to make sure we get the best done.
#9 torilou has been a member since 6/6/2010. Posts: 25
From Chau Doc you could take a bus to transfer to Rach Gia. Then you could take the Savanna Express to Phu Quoc start at 8am.
on the other hand, if you have 2 weeks in Vietnam, I think you could take a trip around Saigon - Dalat - Nha Trang (some day at beach) - Saigon - Mekong Delta (around 2-3days) and then transfer to Phnom Penh by speed boat or bus.
For this route, you could transfer by bus to save your money. It's very easy to find information about bus for transfer.
Goodluck to you!
#10 jessie5186 has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 4
I am planning to spend some days in Phu Quoc and then travel to Cambodia (Phnom Penh) for visiting Angkor Wat.
Is it possible to connect Phu Quoc and Chau Doc by speed boat? Anybody knows wich is the fastest way to travel between those places? Maybe the transfer bus from Rach Gia? I would like to do it without going back to Saigon!
#11 annica has been a member since 10/6/2010. Posts: 4
You cou transfer from Phu Quoc to Rach Gia by speed boat. Then take a bus to Chau Doc . Spend 1 day in Chau Doc and then take a speed boat to Phnom Penh.
I think this is the best way for you to go to Cambodia after your visit to Phu Quoc Island.
Hope it is helpful for you!
Good luck! ^^
#12 jessie5186 has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 4
thank you for your information! It is really helpful for us, we just have 13 days and we want to see a lot of things!
Do you know how long it takes to get from Rach Gia to Chau Doc ? And from Chau Doc to Phnom Peng? It looks like a short distance but I read somewhere that the trip can be quite long and slow!
#13 annica has been a member since 10/6/2010. Posts: 4
I recently did the Chau Doc to Phnom Penh part so I can answer that one. There is "speed boat" that leaves around 7:30am and takes about 5 hours to get to Phnom Penh, including a stop on each side of the border, which can add to the length of the trip if things are busy. It costs $21 and can be booked from any hotel in Chau Doc. There's also a $50 boat which looked a bit nicer, and the $21 boat follows the $50 boat through the check points.
There's also a slow boat that costs around $10 and takes 10 to 12 hours, from what I heard. I took the $21 one. There's virtually nothing interesting to look at along the route, so I think saving those hours is worth it.
From Rach Gia to Chau Doc, it takes you about 3 hours for transfer.
When you arrive at Rach Gia Port, you could take the Mai Linh Bus to Chau Doc. This is an experient and professional transportation company in Vietnam. You could find its information from internet.
#15 jessie5186 has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 4
I travelled from Bangkok to Hanoi via Cambodia in 2008 with my wife. It took us 4 weeks with a few nice beach stops along the way. Our first leg was from Bangkok to Ko Chang. You can follow what we did on my website http://www.flightlesstravel.com/plan/search-routes/ if you want to get into the detail! Have a great trip.
#16 TomMcMillan has been a member since 15/6/2010. Posts: 1