Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Vietnam Verses Cambodia?!?

Posted by Jess905 on 31/3/2011 at 19:03

Hey,

I only have a week designated for either Vietnam OR Cambodia. I will be in Northern Laos for 2 weeks beforehand. Initially, I was planning to do Northern Vietnam for 5 days then fly to Siem Reap for 2days to see Angkor Wat. However, costs included in this, I am not sure whether this is too ambitios.

What would people suggest. Week in Northern Vietnam, Week in Cambodia or trying to do both...??

#1 Jess905 has been a member since 31/3/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by travellingsarah on 31/3/2011 at 19:26 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

I wouldn't try to do both: 5 days in Vietnam doesn't really give you enough time to do much beyond Hanoi and Ha Long Bay which although great, are maybe not worth the extra expense / time and best saved for another trip. However, if you dedicate your whole week to Northern Vietnam you'd have just about enough time to travel up to the North West or down to Mai Chau area, and then it becomes a great week in my opinion. Plus, if you're in Northern Laos anyway, you could look at travelling overland - depending upon exactly where you are in Northern Laos and how much time you want to spend on a bus!

I can't comment on Cambodia beyond Angkor Wat (amazing of course) and Phnom Penh (had a bad time there for various reasons but I hear it's a cool city) so I won't say whether Northern Vietnam has more to offer. It depends what you're looking for I guess.

But let me plump for something anyway: I personally would go to Cambodia and come back to Vietnam for a longer time (so you can travel south as well) on another occasion if that's an option.

#2 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
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Posted by Jess905 on 31/3/2011 at 19:48

Yep I think I will have to choose one over the other... unless you think it is worth spending 1 1/2 weeks in Laos, 1 week in north Vietnam and 1/2 week in Cambodia??

General consensus suggests Vietnam is the place to pick over Cambodia but I suppose it depends on what you're looking for, and I will be closer to Vietnam anyway. Then I can perhaps spend 2/3 weeks doing south Vietnam and Cambodia on my way back from Australia - So difficult to prioritise when they are both so different!!

#3 Jess905 has been a member since 31/3/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by travellingsarah on 31/3/2011 at 19:54 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

If you're coming back that way then yes, it would make sense to cover off the southern bits seperately. You're right - whilst there are some commonalities, each country and area is so different.

If you need any thoughts or advice on Northern Vietnam, let me know.

#4 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
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Posted by Nokka on 31/3/2011 at 20:02

Both are fabulous destinations. However, if I only had a week I would choose Cambodia. That's just enough time to go to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh - whereas northern Vietnam deserves more time than that.

#5 Nokka has been a member since 6/4/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 259
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Posted by Rasheeed on 31/3/2011 at 23:00

I wouldn't do either. Stay in Laos. One week is too short.

And those who say one week is fine in Cambodia usually have only done the dead cambodians tour (Angkor and PP). There are many more places to go...

'sheeed

#6 Rasheeed has been a member since 4/11/2010. Location: Cambodia. Posts: 311
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Posted by jnelson232 on 1/4/2011 at 20:40

I agree with Rasheed. I did Cambodia in little over a week and regretted not spending more time there.

I'd stay longer in Laos and do Cambodia and Nam on your way back from Australia. There is a ton of stuff to do in Laos and its such an awesome/cheap country.

#7 jnelson232 has been a member since 28/3/2011. Location: United States. Posts: 37
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Posted by carly3615 on 3/4/2011 at 14:29

I've just got back from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, and my favourite countries were by far Cambodia and Vietnam.This is a very difficult decision. Vietnam being alot larger is probably best saved for when you have more time as there are alot of places to visit-must sees being Hanoi,Halong Bay down the coast to Hoi An, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Dalat and then Saigon through to the Mekong Delta and onto Puc quon, it's probably really difficult to do in 7 days, you need longer to really appreciate the diversity of Vietnam.
I would say go Cambodia,as it's smaller and although loads to do, not as much as Vietnam!
If you are going to Cambodia, 2 days is ok in Siem Reap- i had one day at Angkor which is enough unless your a real temple buff, then a day riding horseback through Cambodian countryside and a night playing at an orphanage (go to ocoda orphanage, inspirational kids!! ) then onto phnom penh to see the killing fields and s21 (i was there for 2 day/1night but you really only need one day) then to sinoukville (lots of islands off sinoukville- go to koh rong monkey island for a night or two, its better than bamboo island) and if you have time a trip to Kratie to see the irrawaddy dolphins, or to kampor or kep could waste another day or 2!!Remember you have to plan your bus trips into your 7days as these can completely throw off a tight schedule, alot of the time you need to designate that whole day to a bus-finding accommodation-eating etc!!
Have fun!!!

#8 carly3615 has been a member since 3/4/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by Rasheeed on 3/4/2011 at 14:41

Doable if you like being on buses and only getting off a for a few hours before getting back on again. Seems crappy to me.

'sheeed

#9 Rasheeed has been a member since 4/11/2010. Location: Cambodia. Posts: 311
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