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Vietnam/SE Asia Itinerary--Are we crazy or smart?

  • tgeorge1792

    Joined Travelfish
    25th April, 2012
    Posts: 2

    Hi, we are going to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in November. We are trying to do a 'greatest hits' of these countries in about 15 days. My question is regarding out Vietnam portion (and the whole thing, really)... Is this dumb?? See below. Should we cut Ninh Binh and do more days in [url=http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g293924- Hanoi -Vacations.html]Hanoi[/url]? I know this seems rushed. It also could be awesome. But we want to see so much. HELP!!! Thanks for your time. You guys are the experts. BTW we are adventurous and in our thirties.

    day 1 Arrive into Hanoi, morning

    day 2 Hanoi

    day 3 Hanoi, travel to Ha Long Bay

    day 4 Ha Long Bay (overnight on boat)

    day 5 Ha Long Bay/Travel to Ninh Binh

    day 6 Ninh Binh

    day 7 back to Hanoi and fly to Laos at night

    day 8 Laos, Luang Prabang

    day 9 Laos, Luang Prabang

    day 10 Laos, Luang Prabang

    day 11 Laos, Fly to Angkor Wat

    day 12 Angkor Wat

    day 13 Angkor Wat

    day 14 Fly to Phnom Pehn (night)

    day 15 Fly home from Phnom Pehn

    #1 Posted: 25/4/2012 - 16:47

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  • stefanw

    Joined Travelfish
    10th December, 2010
    Posts: 50

    I highly doubt you are going to get much encouragement from most people on here.

    Key points:
    - It can be done
    - It will be rushed when moving around
    - You may want it that way
    - You can still enjoy yourselves
    - You can enjoy yourselves equally going to places not as far apart (1 country)
    - I wouldn't recommend it.
    - It's your trip, your decision.

    My recommendation travel from Hanoi down to Hoi An over 10-11 days. Fly Danang - Saigon spend 4-5 days there. Fly home.

    #2 Posted: 25/4/2012 - 16:58

  • busylizzy

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

    Stefan said it very well - I don't have much to add. It's not my sort of holiday (anymore). Having done the whirlwind kind of travel in the past, and the slower type of travel that I now enjoy, I can wholeheartedly say that it is far more rewarding to slow it down and focus on one area - esp if only for 15 days. Otherwise, it's a high proportion of your holiday time spent on planes, in airports and taxis.
    But..as Stefan says, it's your trip, your decision. It's probably not what you want to hear, but it's what you have to expect on this type of forum!

    Good luck.. :-)

    #3 Posted: 25/4/2012 - 17:05

  • tgeorge1792

    Joined Travelfish
    25th April, 2012
    Posts: 2

    Hi Stefan, thanks for your advice. One consideration is that November is a rainy season around Hoi An/Hue and we didn't want to risk all rain all the time. Not sure what you think of that. And thought Angkor Wat was like a 'don't miss' type of thing if you are over there. So many things to see!!!

    #4 Posted: 25/4/2012 - 17:05

  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1281
    Total reviews: 53
    Places visited:
    At least 48

    If you really just want to hit one highlight in 3 countries, you've got a good plan. Seems you've decided on Ha Long Bay, Luang Prabang, and Angkor Wat, and I'd say those are the top three spots in SE Asia (outside of any in Thailand). Only thing I might say is cut out Ninh Binh and spend more time in Phnom Pehn - you'll be traveling around a lot and so you should try to keep the number of destinations as few as possible (a lot of time in taxis and airports here). Phnom Pehn has at least a full day of seeing the Killing Fields and detention centers, not to mention a lively nightlife, so you wouldn't be bored. As well, since you'll be spending a fair amount of your trip in Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, may as well balance that with more time in Cambodia to experience how night life is different for the two areas.

    I personally wouldn't travel like this, but it is easier for me to get to these places. If you are just looking to see what each country is like and try some different foods and such I think this is fine, maybe you'll find one of the three really attracts you and come back for a more extended visit just to that one.

    #5 Posted: 25/4/2012 - 21:11

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 739

    I see what you are trying to do but six places in 15 days in three different countries is ripping it up a bit too much. Definitely cut Ninh Binh.

    Having said that, as these itineraries go I've seen a lot worse.

    It's doable but in your time you could see the highlights of Cambodia pretty comfortably and mark that country off (as such). This way you'll see a bit of everything but all of nothing.

    Wait til MADMAC sees this...

    #6 Posted: 26/4/2012 - 08:06

  • altmtl

    Click here to learn more about altmtl
    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2009
    Location Earth
    Posts: 969
    Total reviews: 5

    personally, I prefer the term "crazy" -:)

    #7 Posted: 26/4/2012 - 11:17

  • travellings-

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2010
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 679
    Total reviews: 11
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    At least 87

    I don't have so much of a problem with what you're planning to do (if you cut out Ninh Binh, which I would agree on recommending). 3 main locations in 15 days is quite feasible and a lot less than most people attempt - the fact that they are in different countries tends to make it appear more arduous than it is, but in reality it's no more hassle than say Hanoi to Hoi An to Phu Quoc and a flight out of HCMC. Of course, costs are higher and you've got more visas to sort out, but apart from that, go for it.

    #8 Posted: 26/4/2012 - 23:50

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