Making the trip from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City in early January 2013.
Current itinerary calls for three nights in SR, two nights in Phnom Penh, one night in Chau Doc (after taking a boat down the Mekong) and one night in HCMC before we leave for Con Dao.
My question: Clearly this is a lot of bus/boat traveling. If you had to pick, would you fly the SR-->PP route or the PP--->HCMC route? This trip will be the week after the new year.
#1 mjbrennan has been a member since 5/10/2012. Posts: 8
I'm not sure either leg warrants a flight, however if time is critical....
The 5-6 hour busride from SR to PP is an OK bus-ride. Buses are decent (if you don't mind the crap videos that play at full volume), and the scenery is enjoyable along the way. If you were to fly, I'd imagine it wouldn't save you much time overall (2 hours?) by the time you wait around, check in, travel to/from airport, etc.
The boat ride from PP to Chau Doc is a pleasant enough one, but again, you're going to spend time on a boat one day (5 hours by memory), and then another few hours by bus the next day to HCMC. Add in the 'waiting around' and check in/out time.
If you're going to fly one leg, I guess the most practical is to fly from PP to HCMC - and spend the extra night in SR, PP or HCMC.
If it were me, I'd opt for overlanding both legs, even with the limited time as I don't believe the times savings would be substantial in the long run, and you're seeing part of the country as you go. And of course, you'll save the airfare although this may not be an important consideration for you.
Thanks for the advice. My biggest dilemma is now the PP-SGN route because I need to catch a flight to Con Dao at 0555 from SGN. Is the route PP--> Chau Doc --->SGN in one night reliable? would you recommend staying in Chau doc over spending the whole day in SGN (i.e. just going straight PP--->SGN.)
Basically, Is the overnight in Chau Doc worth it, or is the scenery on the boat trip down the highlight?
#3 mjbrennan has been a member since 5/10/2012. Posts: 8