Flag of Vietnam

Vietnam forum

First timer, advice much appreciated!

  • paulchangman

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2009
    Posts: 9

    Hi everyone,

    My girlfriend and I have about 2 weeks to travel, and would like to see Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I know there's not enough time to see all 3 places and we want to make the best use of our time. Due to time constraints, we have to arrive on July 12th and leave on the 25th.

    Here are a few questions we have:

    1. We're aware that July is the monsoon season in that area, but we've also heard that while it rains everyday, the rain is usually bracketed by periods of sunshine and dries quickly. We've also heard a fair bit of conflicting information. For example, most sites say Hanoi in July should be nasty and wet but one or two say it will be hot and dry. We're wiling to put up with rain, but don't want it to stop us seeing things. Is the weather going to be a problem?

    2. Weatherwise, where would be the best places to visit for our time period?

    3. Is 2 weeks enough to see more than one country? Would it be better to focus on say Laos or Vietnam than spread ourselves too thin?

    4. As for transport between cities and places, I assume its easy to get tickets for trains and buses? Is there any need to book now, in advance?

    5. And finally, any suggested routes or itineraries that would suit the time period and weather?

    Thanks so much in advance, any tips are greatly appreciated!

    #1 Posted: 17/6/2009 - 10:38

  • Advertisement

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6


    In order...


    If you are largely in museums, etc., in HaNoi, then the rain doesn't matter. Also, in the tropics the rain isn't (usually) cold, so its not as if you are rugged up as well. Things get wet? oh well!


    Absolutely not. 2 weeks is not enough to even see ONE country. Assuming of course that you do want to experience something.

    Personally, I'd recommend Laos. Not because it is any better than Vietnam (its just different), but because Vietnam is a long narrow country and travel arrangements need to be really tight to be able to see a variety of options.

    Also, if you visit only Laos, choose either the north or the south, not both. Depending on whether you arrive in Vientiane or Luang Prabang (the usual), you'd need to suggest the sorts of things that interest you for me to further advise.

    In Vietnam, It's either Hanoi & environs or Saigon (& environs). If Hanoi, (say) 3 days haNoi, 3 days (2 on water) for Halong Bay, 3 days SaPa (but arriving on a Sunday am at Lao Cai station to 'do' BacHa, then skip back to SaPa for 2 nights, and return Hanoi. That's 9 days, the remaining 3 could be in Mai Chau, or the overnight train down to Hue (by air to return?).


    Yes, that's right - this time of year isn't heavily booked. But, also dont leave to very last minute.


    See above.

    - - -

    Hope this helps


    #2 Posted: 17/6/2009 - 14:51

  • paulchangman

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2009
    Posts: 9

    Thanks a lot Bruce. I actually came to the conclusion about sticking to one country after I wrote that post and as you said, Laos seemed to be the best option. I've actually posted up a rough itinerary here if you don't mind taking a look.


    Thanks again!

    #3 Posted: 17/6/2009 - 14:57

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6


    #4 Posted: 17/6/2009 - 15:33

  • lexkssnbrg

    Joined Travelfish
    5th May, 2009
    Posts: 53

    Thanks a lot Moon. Just keep on with posting useful tips for newbies of this forum.

    #5 Posted: 22/6/2009 - 17:23

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Hotel Deals of the Day
best price guarantee

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
First timer, advice much appreciated! ... By paulchangman on 17 Jun 2009 2 1872 17 Jun 2009
First timer...you advice greatly appreciated! ... By JustBreathe on 12 Oct 2012 2 1688 13 Oct 2012
Advice for First Timer ... By BeachFossils on 6 Oct 2012 3 1928 8 Oct 2012
3-4 week trip - first timer advice needed! ... By Katie2952 on 10 Mar 2014 5 1816 21 Apr 2014
Thailand First-timer advice - head off in 10 days! ... By andreatravel on 6 Nov 2007 2 1947 6 Nov 2007