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32 days in Vietnam and Cambodia, our travel itinerary

  • KevandJho

    Joined Travelfish
    15th September, 2011
    Posts: 65

    My wife and I will land in HCMC on December 20th to begin a 32 day Vietnam/Cambodia vacation,most likely spending 16 days in each country.

    After much deliberation and asking tons of questions from other travelers, here is our itinerary.

    2 full days in HCMC, which will include a city tour, then fly to.....

    Dong hoi for a 4 day stay at the " Phong Nha farmstay" already booked,in Phong Nha area
    Then bus (or train) to......
    2-3 day stay in Hoi An, with a night in Hue as an option.Then fly out of danang to HCMC real early in the AM and immediatly hop on a bus to......
    Can Tho for a two day stay on the Mekong at "The Hung homestay" with two tours including the floating markets near Can Tho....
    Then fly to Phu Quoc for 3-4 days


    2 days in Kep

    1 day in Kampot or perhaps Rabbit Island instead?

    2 days on Koh Thmei Island (going for sure)

    1 day in Sihanoukville

    5-6 days on one or more of the small, laid back islands like Koh Rong , Koh Rong Saloem etc.

    2-3 days in Siam Reap

    1-2 days in Phnom Penh .... then fly to Seoul Korea for a 12 hour stopover and then back home to Vancouver, Canada

    In summary:
    My wife and I are travelers with different tastes however, we flow really well in each others environments.
    I like laid back secluded towns and beaches with not many tourists around , while she likes the busier more modern places and shopping.
    On this trip we'd like a good mix of beaches, sightseeing, picture taking, adventure, CULTURE, fun and shopping.
    In closing:
    Vietnam is pretty much unchangeable because 3 sets of plane tickets and some reservations have been made.
    Just wondering, is Hue worth a one day stop over and only two days in Hoi An, or should we skip Hue and stay 3 in Hoi An.
    Also I had to drop a 3 day stay in Nha Trang to make this possible.

    Cambodia has some flex, however, it is here that I'm looking to the islands for some laid ,back peaceful rest and relaxation. I'm wondering about the different islands like Koh Rong, Koh Rong Saloem and any other suggestions.
    3 days for us at Siam Reap is enough.
    Only one day in Phenom Penh might not be enough for shopping and a tour.
    Any comments, posistive or negative is appreciated.

    #1 Posted: 5/10/2011 - 09:24

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    Joined Travelfish
    12th October, 2011
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 20

    Hue is good for the culture with the citadel so I would recommend trying to do that. Also, I would drop one night in Sihanoukville for an extra day in Phnom Penh to see the killing fields and the other tours on offer and have time to shop. Although Sihanoukville is fun it is generally more for people who want to get pissed on the beach and chill out, rather than a shopping or cultural place to go. Occhetual beach is more peaceful and good for a beach day, but probably not worth the journey time that can be spent better elsewhere. Whatever you end up doing make the most of it while you are there cos it will fly by.

    #2 Posted: 30/11/2011 - 16:25

  • KevandJho

    Joined Travelfish
    15th September, 2011
    Posts: 65

    You are so right by saying the time will fly by. We actually have 36 days altogether( 3 also in Philipinnes and 1 in Seoul) but still it is not enough!!!

    We will stop in Hue for an overnight on our way back from Phong Nha IF it isn't pouring rain....if so we will continue onto Hoi An.

    Can't add time to PP now because of booked flights, but can take time away from Sihanoukville and add it to Kampot or Kep.Our flight out of PP is a really late 11PM so we can get 2 1/2 full days of touring in there.

    We are looking primarily to the small islands around Sihanoukville rather than Snook itself.

    thanks for your comments!

    #3 Posted: 30/11/2011 - 23:31


    Joined Travelfish
    12th October, 2011
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 20

    My personal preference would be to add time to Kampot, some great bars and restaurants there.

    #4 Posted: 1/12/2011 - 13:10

  • huecity

    Joined Travelfish
    1st December, 2011
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    With 16 days in Vietnam I wish to suggest you the program as follow:
    You visit Cambodia first and then take flight to Ho Chi Minh city
    Day 1: Ho Chi Minh arrival
    Day 2: Ho Chi Minh city & Cu Chi tunnels
    Day 3: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong delta
    Day 4: Floating market - Ho Chi Minh - flight to Nha Trang
    Day 5: Nha Trang
    Day 6: Nha Trang - flight Da Nang - Hoi An
    Day 7: Hoi An ancient town - My Son
    Day 8: Hoi An - Hue city
    Day 9: Hue - Phong Nha
    Day 10: Hue city tour - flight to Ha Noi
    Day 11: Ha Noi city - take night train to Sapa
    Day 12: Sapa
    Day 13: Sapa - Ha Noi
    Day 14: Ha Noi - Ha Long
    Day 15: Ha Long - Ha noi
    Day 16: Ha Noi depart
    Any more questions, free ask me.
    I live in Vietnam so I am happy to recommend you where to visit so that you can see our beautiful country
    Day 15: Ha Noi - Ha Long

    #5 Posted: 1/12/2011 - 19:51

  • KevandJho

    Joined Travelfish
    15th September, 2011
    Posts: 65


    Thanks for your suggestions, however, I posted this several weeks ago and I can only alter our itinerary a very little because 5 sets of plane tickets have already been bought within Vietnam and Cambodia.

    Some of the places you have suggested like Hanoi,Ha Long and Sapa would definitly be great to visit someday, however , we will be in Vietnam between mid Dec to the end of the month. The weather in those areas is not the best for that time of the year. Perhaps we will get up there someday at a more favorable time weather wise.

    We also chose PhuQuoc over Nha trang because of favorable weather.

    Thanks for your offer of help.

    #6 Posted: 2/12/2011 - 19:25

  • huecity

    Joined Travelfish
    1st December, 2011
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Hi Kevan,
    Normally December is cold in Ha Noi but it is dry. But if you wish to avoid Ha noi you can spend your time in the south of Vietnam.
    Day 1: Ho Chi Minh arrival
    Day 2: Ho Chi Minh city & Cu Chi tunnels
    Day 3: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong delta
    Day 4: Floating market - Ho Chi Minh
    Day 5: Ho CHi Minh - flight to Phu Quoc
    Day 6: Phu Quoc visit
    Day 7: Phu Quoc - flight back HCMC
    Day 8: Ho Chi Minh - flight Nha Trang
    Day 9: Nha Trang
    Day 10: Nha Trang - flight Da Nang - Hoi An
    Day 11: Hoi An ancient town - My Son
    Day 12: Hoi An - Hue city
    Day 13: Hue - Phong Nha
    Day 14: Hue city tour - flight to Ho Chi Minh
    Day 15:HCM depart
    If you need any more help you can chat with me at skype: cuontheochieugio181/ yahoo: huetourist1
    I am very happy to help you

    #7 Posted: 3/12/2011 - 02:39

  • KevandJho

    Joined Travelfish
    15th September, 2011
    Posts: 65


    Thanks again, but as previously mentioned my plane tickets have already been bought for my orginal plan. The only way I could change things now would be to rip up the non refundable plane tickets and buy some new ones.

    The only thing I can really change in Vietnam is whether I will stop in Hue for one day or not, or just spend all three days in Hoi An and skip Hue altogether.

    Happy travels!

    #8 Posted: 3/12/2011 - 19:00

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2155
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    With respect to stopping in Hue for a day... given your limited time, I think I would forget about going to Hue and spend the extra time in Hoi An . Unless you just want a way to break up the journy or have a particular interest in seeing the Citadel or other ancient temples, etc.

    Once in Hoi An, you can spend the time in Hoi An itself (shopping, eating, exploring), hire a bicycle and explore the other side of the river and surrounds. You can do a day trip up to Marble Mountain and Danang, stopping at China Beach for some awesome seafood. Also, approx 5km from Hoi An is a beach that could be worthwhile visiting if you're up for a swim.

    Hue was OK (I stayed there for 3 nights I think 2 years ago) - a bit gloomy and drizzly weather-wise, interesting to explore and fairly laid back - but I wouldn't rave about it. I think Hoi An is far more lively and entertaining. You just had to put up with the aggressive touts for all the custom-made clothing stores...

    #9 Posted: 3/12/2011 - 19:57

  • KevandJho

    Joined Travelfish
    15th September, 2011
    Posts: 65

    BL.....thanks for your post.

    Unfortunatley you are right....our time is limited and 3 days is not even enough for Hoi An .

    I was just watching videos of it on You tube and it's an amazing place!!!

    We will be leaving Phong Nha very early on a 5:30 AM bus (or perhaps a shared car) and don't expect to get to Hoi An until around 1PM. All we will have is the rest of that day plus two more full days, then its an early morning flight to HCMC.

    Wish we could have included a few more days there, but same old problem....when you plan an itinerary....were do you cut.....all cuts are VERY painful!!!

    What everyone of us avid travelers needs is more money and more holidays!!!...LOL not complaining,it's just a fact.

    thanks for your suggestions,much appreciated.

    #10 Posted: 3/12/2011 - 22:21

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