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Southeast Asia forum

7 Weeks = Indochina and Thailand, or should we cut Vietnam out of the plan?

Posted by Banana17 on 27/11/2011 at 17:27

Hi everyone,

Me and a friend will be doing a trip to SEA in May-June and we have 7 weeks.

Now my question: Would you suggest visiting Thailand - Laos - Cambodia only for these 7 weeks, or also making a short trip to Vietnam to visit Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City, and Ha Long Bay.

We are on a tight budget and will not be traveling by plane. I am aware of the fact that going to Vietnam would include the so called "bus ride from hell" from Vientiane to Hanoi and the very long train ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.


#1 Banana17 has been a member since 24/11/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by Rasheeed on 27/11/2011 at 21:58

Ya, cut it out. Don't spend your trip in busses and trains.

#2 Rasheeed has been a member since 4/11/2010. Location: Cambodia. Posts: 311
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Posted by tyler on 28/11/2011 at 09:02

I agree with Rasheeed. You practically lose a day each time you go to and from a destination.

#3 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257
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Posted by KevandJho on 2/12/2011 at 22:52

Even if you had airplane money, I think 7 weeks is barely enough time to see 3 countries, let alone four.

We are seeing Cambodia and Vietnam for 5weeks and including 5 in country air fares and even at that it seems crammed.

I would definitly skip Vietnam this time around.

#4 KevandJho has been a member since 15/9/2011. Posts: 65

Posted by abstravels on 11/1/2012 at 07:03

Me and a friend are planning on doing a similar route for 7 weeks at similar time and having read this are now thinking to skip vietnam too so we get longer at other places.

Do you have a route yet?

#5 abstravels has been a member since 11/1/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by chinarocks on 11/1/2012 at 08:54

Definitely skip it.

3 weeks Thailand, 2 weeks Cambodia, 2 weeks Laos is adequate but also the minimum you would want in each place.

#6 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

Posted by MADMAC on 12/1/2012 at 01:39

If it were me - and I know it's not - I would cut it to one country if you are doing the "cultural thing" (which is what it sounds like here). The reasons are:

1. To absorb a place you need at least several days. Going to one place and then going somewhere else the next day doesn't allow you to appreciate the culture, just some things.

2. As Tyler points out, each time you go from place to place, you often lose a day in practical terms. Getting to the bus station, waiting for the bus, transit time, finding a new hotel. That all eats time. In general, movement should be regarded as a negative. It's seldom any fun, and it's eating time.

3. Language. Language is culture. As soon as you get off the beaten path, English doesn't cut it anymore. And these are not easy languages to pick up. You need time. So if you are spending one month in Laos, then a month in Cambodia, yhou have enough time to learn and retain next to nothing.

4. People. How can you make any kind of friendships and begin to understand what makes the people tick and how these places function if you don't spend enough time getting to know anyone? The more time you spend in a place, the better your chances for forming meaningful relationships which will help you understand the culture of the environment.

Just my two cents, for what they're worth.

#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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