I have somewhat spontaneously booked a return flight to Ho Chi Minh City for 19th Nov, returning 5th Dec.
I've done a bit of research, but wanted to see what the rest of you would do with this amount of time, at that time of year?
I will be travelling solo, and haven't been to SE Asia before. I would like to go to one of Angkor or Halong Bay (not both), and just having trouble formulating any sort of plan.
#1 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10
You can make SaiGon the hub and travel to/from by air if you like. If you want to travel in/around SaiGon, then select what you want to do, and fit the others into that. Or, do your north > west stuff, and return th Siagon to do the local stuff.
Vietnam Air have a new discounted airpass. to quote..
Vietnam Air: Offers a pass in conjunction with international flights that allows for a discount of 50% on domestic flights to fifteen different destinations. Airpass is not mentioned at website and you will have to speak with Vietnam Air for more information.
If this turns out to be OK for you, you would be able to go SaiGon > HaNoi > Siem Reap > Saigon.
Otherwise, book the legs independantly Saigon > HaNoi = Vietnam Airlines or Jetstar; HaNoi > Siem Reap = Vietnam Airlines or Laos Airlines (I don't think Siem Reap Airlines do this leg); Siem Reap > SaiGon = Vietnam Airlines or Siem Reap Airlines.
Do you have a wife or girlfriend back home? If not, and you are free to "socialize", then I wouldn't formulate a plan. I would just go where the wind blows me and have a good time. It's not politically correct to say so, but white men in rural Thailand and Laos are superstars (and I would assume it's the same in Vietnam - you could let me know). And being a superstar isn't a bad thing. But that's just me. Different strokes for different folks. I have a wife, so I only get to live vicariously through my friends here anyway.
#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Hi guys, - I hadn't thought of getting flights around everywhere, good suggestion. I think I'd probably feel like I was missing something by not travelling on trains, buses or boats though.
Madmac - I'm not married or attached, and just a youngster at 25 :-) I like your suggestions, and think being treated like a superstar sounds superb. I like the sound of no planning at all, but was thinking of doing a fair amount of travelling and then flying back to HCMC (but this does involve some preparation).
I'm pretty excited about the trip anyhow, now to save a few pounds before i go!
#4 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10
When suggesting flights, I was assuming you'd be doing some travelling in/around SaiGon (which ordinarily entails public transport bus/train/boat/hovercraft/motorbike).
So, HaNoi = Halong Bay = 3 or 4 days.
Siem Reap = 3 or 4 days.
This leaves 8 days (or so).
Maybe buy a Dalat Easy Riders trip to Dalat, then to Hoi An. Take bus to DaNang to fly Hanoi. Go by minivan to Halong Bay. Minivan return. Fly HaNoi > Siem Reap, then fly Siem Reap to Saigon & home.
Could you handle taking a trip on the back of a Harley through Vietnam with someone who knows the places to visit, etc? If so, [url=http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/vietnam/6282_the-real-easyriders-[read this.
You know what, I've never really had a desire to go on a motorbike, but that sounds awesome... actually awesome :-) Rah!
#7 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10
Bikes are great man. Nice way to get around. I never rode before I moved here, now I can't imagine ever owning a car again.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I am currently thinking of heading to the Mekong Delta and cross the border into Cambodia nr. Ha Tien and going to some beaches, islands, other random places and Siem Reap/Angkor , and then flying back to HCMC.
I think that sounds do-able in the time? What do you reckon?
#9 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10
You have 16 days. You can easily lose these at beach locations.
My suggestion is to fashion out a possible travel plan, and if you are doing anymore than 1 day out of 3 on transport, bring out the pencil and redefine the plan.
"My suggestion is to fashion out a possible travel plan, and if you are doing anymore than 1 day out of 3 on transport, bring out the pencil and redefine the plan."
Again, words of wisdom from Bruce here. If the travel day is a travel hour or two, no problem. But if it's really a travel day - that sucks.
The perfect vacation for a guy traveling southseast Asia - rent a bike in Maha Sarakham. Drive to Roi Et. Check out the chicas. Two days latter, drive to Mukdahan, check out the chicas. Two days latter, drive to That Phanom - check out the chicas. And so on and so forth. During the day, see the sights.
#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Yeah I agree, don't mind doing a fair bit of travelling, but would like time to explore each place once i'm there. Sounds like the weather gets worse at that time of year the further north in Vietnam you go, so will probably head to Cambodia.
#12 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10
Dave, next time, you need to visit the Philippines particularly Boracay and Palawan or cebu and since you're traveling alone, you'll see fellow americans populated in this area(they love the place so much its in their list every year)
#13 heart08 has been a member since 29/7/2009. Posts: 3
Heart08 - I hope to visit Philippines sometime actually, looks like I'd need a bit longer for that though. I'm English, so not so bothered about finding any americans when I arrive at my destination... ;-)
#14 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10
Any recommendations weather-wise at that time of year? I notice there is a monsoon in the centre of Vietnam at that time... is that a must-avoid?
#15 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10
Gosh, so i think i've come up with a plan, and think i'll just stay in Vietnam. I plan to stay in HCMC for a few days, then go on an epic train ride to Ninh Binh, stay for a few days, then a few more in Hanoi, and a few more at Halong Bay area, then fly back to HCMC.
#16 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10
While your choices aren't what would appeal to me, I think you're doing the right thing. You now know what you want to do, you've committed yourself to a sort of laid-back travel approach, and have given yourself the scope/time to change if/when needed.
You'll see lots of countryside along the way. And, if you are on a sleeper train, you'll most likely engage with heaps of similarly minded tourists. At the various stops along the way, you'll be able to buy any amount of food (from the station vendors) and there'll be food vendors plying the train as you travel. So, in some respects, the train trip is a destination in its own right. And, if you are lucky, you may be able to engage with locals also travelling (but in the hard seat carriages).
Yeah i know it has its limitations and could do with more than 2 weeks or so. I don't mind doing lots of travelling as get a bit restless after a while anyway. Think I decided that 2 weeks in Vietnam would be better than zero weeks... guess i can always go back again some other time.
#18 LD84 has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 10