Text page

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia forum

Itinerary for very short SE Asia trip- help!

Posted by esseffe on 10/1/2007 at 00:00

Help! I'm an Asia first timer trying to plan a trip but it's a short one, in April.

We are thinking of doing a 9 day trip from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh Citywith Gap. We will have 3 days from when we fly in to Bangkok and 5 days from when we arrive in Ho Chi Minh to when we fly home from Bangkok.

Current thinking is:

First three days
1. Spend the first few days in Chang Mai and then head off on the trip.


2. Catch some sun on one of the islands for a few days before going on our trip

And at the end of the trip from HCMC we can either:

1. Stay in Vietnam and fly back from there to Bangkok to get our flight home. Where should we go or what should we do?

2. Fly back to Thailand and go to either the islands or Chang Mai

3. Decide in Vietnam and not worry about it now (baring in mind that we will have to get to Bangkok for our flight home on the day that its booked)

Any suggestions for us? Thanks in advance :)

#1 esseffe has been a member since 9/1/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by steviej on 10/1/2007 at 02:32

Hi esseffe,

That'll take some doing which ever way.

Where are you flying in from and what sort of budget are we talking!!!

Maybe just concentrate on Thailand or use BKK as a springboard to Vietnam and forget Thailand. There's plenty to see and do no matter where you go.


#2 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 270

Posted by michaelnewman on 10/1/2007 at 06:00

Cannot give any advice re Vietnam but have been to Chiang Mai many times. It is wonderful and I am going back again in Feb 07. It is the craft capital of Thailand. Motorbike hire is 120 bht per day. Good clean accommodation near the night bizarre is 300 - 400 bht per day. If you are into adventure sports they have an unbelieveable white water rafting tour operating out of chiang mai 3 - 4 hours on the white water with transport and a great lunch for about $1200 bht per person. Hope this helps. Michael

#3 michaelnewman has been a member since 10/1/2007. Posts: 2

Posted by esseffe on 10/1/2007 at 06:33

Thanks steviej , will take your chill advice to heart :)

To answer your questions-

We are flying from Dublin via Copenhagen to Bangkok.
For budget, I saw the word flashpacker which I suppose is what we are, professionals taking a backpacking type holiday but willing to pay the extra few (not many) baht for airconditioning and flights to save time.

We are planning on doing the below trip which starts on a Sunday, our flight arrives on Thursday, so we have a few days to kill before the Sunday evening meeting of the tour group and some at the end before we fly home.

Day 1 Bangkok
Day 2-4 Siem Reap/Angkor Wat
Day 5-6 Phnom Penh
Day 7 Mekong Delta
Day 8 Ho Chi Minh City
Day 9 Depart Ho Chi Minh City

I notice that the price of flights between HCMC and BKK can be expensive though and that is putting me off the Vietnam trip as we'd have to fly from HCMC back to Bankgkok. Maybe we should just concentrate on Thailand so to keep things more on budget and less frantic? I know I am fussing, I just want something booked so I can look forward to it! Which beach resort in either Thailand or the HCMC end of Vietnam would you recommend for people who won't just party and lie on the beach but want a fairly active few days with things to do but the option of the beach? You can't go to Thailand without going to the beach...can you?

Michaelnewman you make Chang Mai sound like a must do, I had heard something similar from friends who were there, thanks for your input.

I have re-read my message and I sound like I have had too much coffee!

Apologies, hope I make some sense.


#4 esseffe has been a member since 9/1/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by steviej on 10/1/2007 at 07:46


That's some running around even if you fly between each place.... :-D
Seriously though, maybe 3-4 days Chang Mai or Siem Reap (flying) then head to a secluded Thai beach there's plenty to choose from have a look here--------> https://www.travelfish.org/islands.php


#5 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 270

Posted by exacto on 10/1/2007 at 07:55

Hey Esseffe,

As a first-timer to Asia, you've already got quite a busy trip planned with that 9-day adventure. It is smart of you to take full advantage of the extra time at the start and end of your tour.

My first concern would be exactly when these extra days fall in April. As you know, the Buddhist/Lunar New Year is a huge deal in Thailand and other countries in the area, so if your extra days fall on or around April 13-15, you'll absolutely need to book hotel and transportation ahead of time.

Chiang Mai is a great first stop, but I'd be worried that you won't have enough time to really enjoy it over those few days, particularly with the jet lag and the time it will take you to get up there and back. A good alternative to Chiang Mai for those first few days is Kanchanaburi, as it has lots to see and do and is only a few hours bus ride from Bangkok.

I might normally recommend Ayutthaya as an alternative too, but since you'll be visiting Angkor on your tour, I might save Ayutthaya for another time.

Another option might be to hit the beach at Ko Samet during that time. But you'll be competing with the Bangkok weekender crowds, to that might not be ideal (you could consider this option for the end of your trip instead). Don't even consider Ko Samet over the Buddhist New Year holiday. It will be packed to over-flowing.

If hitting the beach is important to you (it is to me), then I'd save that for the end of your trip, so you can have something great to look forward to and really relax before heading home. There are some great options in both Thailand and Vietnam to consider, and since you've got time, do your research and see which of the many possibilities best fits what you are looking for.

I hope this helps. Cheers.

#6 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,814

Posted by esseffe on 12/1/2007 at 19:48

Thanks for that.
We sat down and decided to give the beach a miss last night, we'll go to Chang Mai for a few days first, then do our tour to HCMC and spend 2 days there and 2 days in Bangkok on the way home.

Thanks for all your help.

#7 esseffe has been a member since 9/1/2007. Posts: 8

Please login to add your reply

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