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Vietnam / Cambodia Itinerary - HELP please

  • heids70

    Joined Travelfish
    12th January, 2013
    Posts: 4

    Well, after many months of research and reading your wonderful and informative posts I have come up with an itinerary for my family holiday that we are all very excited about and am ready to put it out there for your critique. 2 adults, 17yo, 16yo and 11yo daughters. I am after any advice you are happy to share as far as itinerary goes from Australia Dec 18th or there abouts.
    3 nights Siam Reap, 1 night Hanoi , 2 nights Ha Long Bay, 1 night Hanoi (Xmas eve dinner), 3 nights Hoi An , 3 nights Nha Tang, 3 nights HCMC (NYE), 2 nights Can Tho (bit of a cycling tour of Mekong plus boat tours)...or should we do 1 night Chau Doc and 1 night Can Tho??, 5 nights Pho Quoc (absolutely nothing, bliss). Planning on flying between Siam Reap and Hanoi, Hanoi and Hoi An, Hoi An and Nha Trang , Nha Trang and HCMC, Can Tho and Pho Quoc unless any of you think that a train or car on any of these stretches is a better option? Also if we should spend any longer or less time in any one place keeping in mind we would like a bit of a Christmas and NYE vibe wherever we are. Family is fit, active, adventurous, love beach and swimming, don't want to overload kids with temples and monuments (Angkor Wat should cover it) , love yummy inexpensive meals in places that offer something a little bit different, looking to soak up a new culture, are capable motorbike/scooter riders however would only do this over there if there was a particular area/tour that you all recommend, not like tourist traps. Thanks in advance for anything you can offer. Cheers. Heidi

    #1 Posted: 12/1/2013 - 21:55

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  • somtam2000

    admin
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    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7040
    Total reviews: 24
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    At least 113

    So the following is the plan:

    3 nights Siam Reap -> fly
    1 night Hanoi
    2 nights Ha Long Bay
    1 night Hanoi (Xmas eve dinner) -> fly
    3 nights Hoi An -> fly
    3 nights Nha Tang -> fly
    3 nights HCMC (NYE)
    2 nights Can Tho (bit of a cycling tour of Mekong plus boat tours)...or should we do 1 night Chau Doc and 1 night Can Tho?? -> fly
    5 nights Pho Quoc (absolutely nothing, bliss).

    A few thoughts:
    * Closest airport to Hoi An is Da Nang so allow for an hour transfer between the two.
    * Given Phu Quoc has great beaches and Hoi An's are not too shabby either, I'd consider dropping Nha Trang altogether and giving an extra day each to Hanoi, Hoi An and Phu Quoc
    * Drop Chau Doc

    So my revised version would be
    3 nights Siam Reap -> fly
    2 night Hanoi
    2 nights Ha Long Bay
    1 night Hanoi (Xmas eve dinner) -> fly
    4 nights Hoi An -> fly
    3 nights HCMC (NYE)
    2 nights Can Tho (bit of a cycling tour of Mekong plus boat tours) -> fly
    6 nights Pho Quoc (absolutely nothing, bliss).

    Hope that helps!

    #2 Posted: 12/1/2013 - 23:59

  • SoloHobo

    Joined Travelfish
    12th January, 2013
    Posts: 10

    Maybe consider 3 nights Hanoi and 1 night on a Junk in HLB, only as there is a lot to see culturally in Hanoi, and the Junk may be a lot more idle time, and the winter its not the most perfect weather, can be a tad foggy and cool...I used Handspan for the Junk.

    For Nha Trang, you may want to think about adding Hue to the schedule instead, more important historically and also not a s much a party scene/element there. Maybe 2 nights Hue, 1 night Hoi An, 2 nights NT, then onward. NYE in Saigon will be nice.

    Also, Xmas eve in Hanoi is pretty special, I think it is St Josephs that is the main church there, but the entire city is very active that night, with a lot of Santa Claus on motos delivering presents, and the everyone takes to the street from 10pm to 1am...midnight is like NYE.

    Saigon on the otherhand, everything revolves around Notre Dame Cathedral, this area and park host a huge week long festival of food, music, both traditional and rock n roll, classic, as well as the symphony plays a outdoor concert on the steps of the performing arts building on the main boulevard. Fireworks at midnight and the also the day after New Years is a holiday too, so its pretty festive.

    Enjoy- VN is great time no matter how you slice it.

    #3 Posted: 13/1/2013 - 05:23

  • heids70

    Joined Travelfish
    12th January, 2013
    Posts: 4

    Thank you both so much for responding you have given me a couple of things to take into account.

    #4 Posted: 18/1/2013 - 15:38

  • maryjame

    Joined Travelfish
    14th January, 2013
    Posts: 9

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    - So I think 2 night in Hanoi is enough and this time 1 night in Halong because the weather is cold, have fog and drizzle. You should spent more time in South.
    - Hanoi fly Hoian, so I think fly to Danang more convenience. Then from Danang you visit Hoi An , Hue by bus or private car.
    Or Hanoi - Danang by train (departure Hanoi at 19h, 23h and arrive Danang at 10h30, 13h30) to see view of Vietnam.
    Danang - Hoi An - Hue: 5 nights.
    - Danang - Nhatrang 540km (fly is best choice)
    3 nights in Nhatrang
    - Nhatrang - Saigon 450km ( fly 1 hour, train 9 houres - hardly book ticket train, open bus 9-10 hours)
    Saigon 1 night
    1 night in Chaudoc, 1 night in Cantho (you know Cairang floating market is very interesting at 4 - 6am). And I thing the best way you book tour Mekong Delta cruise 3days 2nights to experience Mekong Delta life.
    HCM - Phu Quoc fly. Or you can go to HaTien from ChauDoc then jump ferry to Phu Quoc island.
    No fly from Cantho - Phuquoc. You can fly to PhuQuoc from Hanoi or HCM or take ferry from Hatien.
    2-3 night in Phu Quoc (5 night in PhuQuoc will be boring).

    Nice Vietnamholiday!

    #5 Posted: 18/1/2013 - 22:14

  • stoneman

    Joined Travelfish
    8th May, 2010
    Location Australia
    Posts: 100
    Total reviews: 9

    My thoughts lean toward ensuring my kids get their share of things that would interest them while on holiday. Not saying they would not enjoy the historical/cultural things but at their ages I would imagine they would also enjoy places where they can be somewhat carefree.

    Halong Bay - I would go with a 2D1N cruise but one that includes kayaking rather than 2nights but I guess your kids can guide you on this one. You can read the itineraries of most cruises on the net.

    As somtam says you fly in to Danang. With 5 of you a taxi to and from Hoi An is the way to go.

    I'd stick with Nha Trang if only for the kids. There are a few local tours (read reviews) but a place they can feel carefree.

    For a different experience maybe the overnight train between Nha Trang & HCMC in lieu of flying. Even if I could afford to fly everywhere I'd try to mix it up a bit if only to allow my kids (I do have 3 as well) a different experience.

    I'd stick with the 2 nights in Can Tho & delete Chau Doc.

    Fortunately your family have plenty of time to sit around the computer & discuss/fine tune your itinerary.

    Good luck with your research etc & pending holiday.

    #6 Posted: 23/1/2013 - 04:10

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