Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Time to travel from HCMC to Chau Doc (nonstop)

Posted by cuffedbloke on 19/10/2009 at 17:59

Hi,

I'm looking to catch a boat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. How long would it take me (fastest and cheapest) to get there?

And from Chau Doc, are there any night boats to Seam Reap?

Also, is it at all possible to rent a motorbike to go from HCMC to Phnom Penh?

Hope my questions aren't too silly, thanks.

#1 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/10/2009 at 18:07 admin

cuffedbloke,

A bit silly, but I've seen worse ;-)

1) Speedboat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh takes about half a day (depending on any delays at the border.

2) No. Boat leaves from Phnom Penh in the morning to Siem Reap -- again it takes most of the day.

3) On a rental no. You need to own the motorbike and have a passport for it etc.

Hope that helps!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,500
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 


Posted by cuffedbloke on 19/10/2009 at 18:16

Hey Somtam, thanks for the really quick reply and info (I guess you're not alseep) - it's very helpful. I forgot to mention I need info on getting from HCMC to Chau Doc (nonstop) also. And would you know which boat company is reliable, again (cheapest, fastest)?

Lastly, due to a very tight schedule I'll have to skip Seam Reap and go straight from PP to either Pattaya, or Bangkok. Would you:

1. Have another place to recommend between PP and Bangkok to go for like a day or half a day without having to detour off?

2. How what's the fastest way to either Pattaya/Bangkok from PP?

Thanks so much. This website must be one of the most useful in the world in terms of the value of info we can get.

#3 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/10/2009 at 18:41 admin

Grab the bus from Saigon to Chau Doc -- figure 6-7 hours give or take. BUT, unless you're sold on doing the boat, you can get a direct bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh via a different border crossing -- it is faster and no need to take the boat.

For PP to Bangkok, if you're in a rush fly -- look into Airasia flights from PP to Bangers and then if Pattaya is end destination there is a bus from airport to there.

If you're going to overland, Battambang or Siem Reap is the obvious stop over -- SR easier, and now, faster.

Overland, Phnom Penh to Bangkok is fastest now via Siem Reap, because the road to the border is sealed all the way now. When the road was still crap, via Battambang/Pailin was faster (quickest I did it was 18 hours and I've done it at least a dozen times), but now SR is the way to go.

Almost to bed here, more silly questions answered in the am!

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,500
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by cuffedbloke on 19/10/2009 at 19:34

Hey Somtan,thanks again. More and more useful info. Ok, just wanna know if Chau Doc is worth the trip then since it's a little out of the way. I've never traveled far by boat and don't mind if it's a nice journey. I know it's a subjective question, but if Chau Doc's nice I may spend a night there; or has Phnom Penh more stuff to see? I'm really more into rich experiences (crazy bus rides, unique cultures, insane people, unbelievable sights etc.) rather than the standard touristy fare.

#5 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 20/10/2009 at 14:02 admin

Well Phnom Penh has a lot more "to offer" than Chau Doc . Chau Doc is a nice enough place, but anything more than a couple of nights would be oodles.

It is a very scenic boat trip though (between the two) and beats a boring bustrip hands down.

If you've got the time, I'd overland from Saigon to Chau Doc, then boat to Phnom Penh.

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,500
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by krisim on 20/10/2009 at 17:03

Hi,

We did the boat tour between PP and Chau Doc (in the opposite direction) in January. It's a nice trip and defenitely much better than sitting on a bus. Also gave Chau Doc a whole day which I think is worth the time if your not in a hurry. From there you can go on a boat trip on the river around the area to see the floating villages, fish farms and minority villages. Just go down to the river and somebody (normaly a lady) will offer to row you around in a small boat.

Enjoy your trip

#7 krisim has been a member since 20/7/2006. Posts: 36

Posted by cuffedbloke on 20/10/2009 at 21:46

Hi Somtan and Krisim, thanks much for the advice and info. This is my crazy itinerary, perhaps it would give a better idea.

8th - mid afternoon arrive in HCMC.
9th - morning Chu Ci tunnels.
9th - afternoon make way to Chau Doc and stay a night.
10th - take boat to PP, stay 2 nights
11th night - take night bus/train/boat to BKK
12th morning - Arrive in BKK
13th morning - Fly out of BKK

Please perform a sanity check for me as it's my first time in Vietnam and Cambodia. Lastly, any accommodation recommendations (quiet, USD15-20 per night for double, aircond, clean)? Thanks so much guys.

#8 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 21/10/2009 at 08:43 admin

Not sure you'll be able to get a bus late in the afternoon to Chau Doc -- would say highly unlikely, so you're going to get a bonus night in Saigon I reckon.

There isn't really night transport from PP through to Bangkok (or not that I know of anyway) That said, if you leave PP at the crack of dawn, you can be in Bangkok late afternoon.

Yeah, it's pretty nuts!

For accommodation suggestions, see the accom listings for each town in Travelfish -- lots to choose from.

#9 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,500
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by cuffedbloke on 21/10/2009 at 10:36

Ok Somtom, I've revised it based on your info. Does this look "saner"?

8th - mid afternoon arrive in HCMC.
9th - morning make way to Chau Doc and stay a night
10th - morning take boat to PP
10th - Stay 2 nights in PP
12th morning - take bus to BKK
13th morning - Fly out of BKK
13th Morning - Arrive in Phuket (or surrounding island/s)
15th afternoon - Fly back to KL

Also need help on transportation (departure point, reliable operator and rates) for:

1. Bus from HCMC to Chau Doc
2. Boat from Chau Doc to PP
3. Bus from PP to BKK

Thanks again Somtam, think I'm almost there. By the way, any way I could get a discount for the nice t-shirt? I already bought some guides so perhaps a purchase-with-purchase???

#10 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 21/10/2009 at 11:40 admin

Ok, looks better.

Bus from Saigon to Chau Doc goes from Mien Tay bus station, or ask after one of the tour companies in Saigon, they may be able to stick you on a minibus out to there.

Boat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh takes 4-5 hours (depending on delays - if any - at the border). The pier the boat leaves from is central and any many and his dog will be able to sell you a ticket/point you in the right direction.

Phnom Penh to Bangkok: Early morning bus to Siem Reap , then share taxi to the border at Poipet then bus or train to Bangkok. The Siem Reap to Bangkok bit is well covered in this story: http://www.travelfish.org/feature/71

Or, Phnom Penh Sorya and Mekong Express run a direct bus service from PP to Bangkok (takes around 15-17 hours and you change buses at the border. That could be simpler.

A discount! What kinda street-market bargaining scene do you think this is?! :-)

Ok, we'll credit you back the cost of the guides you bought against a tshirt -- depending on where you live it works out at about 50% off -- sound fair? Mrs Travelfish says you have to wear the tshirt every day!

If that sounds good, just buy the tshirt like normal and I'll credit back the guide amount via PayPal.

Cheers

#11 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,500
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by KazAussie on 21/10/2009 at 14:21

This looks way too crowded for me. If I read you right the most time you will spend in any place is 1 day. Why not base yourself in HCMC see a bit of the city, a couple of days travel through the Meekong, a couple of days on Phu Quoc or maybe Ha Tien for beach and fly back to HCMC.

You wont see PP or Phuket but will still get Big City, River life, temples and beach.

#12 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by cuffedbloke on 21/10/2009 at 15:04

Hi KazAussie, thanks for the advice. Unfortunately because of cost I went ahead and bought air tickets from BKK to Phuket (13th morning), and also from Phulet to KL (15th afternoon). So with the inertia I am pushed towards Phuket inevitably. Think I'll have to go back some day to do a longer trip in Vietnam. Thanks anyway, appreciate it.

#13 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by cuffedbloke on 21/10/2009 at 16:56

Somtam, you're awesome man! I am going through the guides now and I noticed that it lists both Mien Dong and Minh Tay as having buses to Chau Doc 24/7 (from MD) and until midnight (from MT). Is this true? Thanks.

Ok, now I get a better idea. If I go according to what you say and the overnight buses to Chau Doc are as stated, here's a revised itinerary:

8th - mid afternoon arrive in HCMC and stay a night
9th - at night take an overnight bus to Chau Doc
10th - early morning arrival at Chau Doc, tour a little then take a boat to PP
10th - Stay 2 nights in PP
11th night - take overnight (17 hour ride) bus to BKK straight from PP
12th afternoon - arrive in BKK and stay 1 night
13th morning - Arrive in Phuket (or surrounding island/s)
15th afternoon - Fly back to KL

Thanks so much for the discount, backpackers must bargain you know???

#14 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 22/10/2009 at 06:43 admin

On Minh Tay Mien Dong that was the case when our researcher did the update (about a year ago) not sure if things have changed since.

Cheers

#15 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,500
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by cuffedbloke on 22/10/2009 at 06:47

Thanks Somtam. By the way, I'm in KL, how long will the t-shirt take to arrive? I had "trouble" paying for it, not sure why, Pay pal was asking for some approval code which I have to wait for in my next statement. Any other way to pay for it directly like I did the guides?

I think you've also forgotten to list delivery estimations on the t-shirt page - can't find one anywhere. Actual pictures (with real-life models) would help you out greatly I believe. =)

#16 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 22/10/2009 at 07:09 admin

Just sent you an email on this.

#17 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,500
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by cuffedbloke on 23/10/2009 at 12:06

Hi Somtam,

Need some more info on accommodation. The prices listed in the Travelfish guides are for per pax, or for the entire room for a night's stay? When I use some online booking sites they seem to charge by the head count. Thanks.

Johann

#18 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by cuffedbloke on 23/10/2009 at 12:39

Somtam, need another sanity check on itinerary and also traveling times.

7th - mid afternoon arrive in HCMC and stay 1 night
8th - late afternoon take a bus to Can Tho (4.5 hours) and stay a night
9th – very early morning boat tour then take a bus to Chau Doc (3 hours) in late afternoon and stay 1 night on floating home
10th – very early morning boat tour then take early afternoon boat to PP (7 hours) and stay 1 night
11th night - take overnight (17 hours) bus to BKK straight from PP
12th - early afternoon arrive in BKK and stay 1 night
13th morning - Arrive in Phuket and stay 2 nights
15th afternoon - Fly back to KL

#19 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30

Posted by somtam2000 on 23/10/2009 at 13:08 admin

Prices in the guides are for the room, not per person (unless a dorm is listed, in which case it is by bed).

Itinerary is probably your sanest so far ;-)

#20 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,500
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by cuffedbloke on 23/10/2009 at 13:53

Thanks again Somtam, got it.

#21 cuffedbloke has been a member since 15/10/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 30


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.