So, after some research (woefully scant), I've stitched together this rough itinerary and I'd like your input! I'm aiming for a mix of R&R, culture, and adventure.
Fly into HCM city -> Hoi An (by train; I've heard the Vietnamese train is wonderful. hmm.) -> Pakse, pretty much immediately to Don Det -> (possibly Ban Lung?) -> Siem Reap -> either Bangkok/Phnom Penh (depending on flight/visa costs // travel time ).
Travel's planned mainly by buses or train (and overnighters at best; saves on accommodations) unless it becomes ridiculous (eg last year's trip from vientienne->pai was ....special.)
Does this seem like a bit much for slightly less than a month? Is there any destinations around these rough locations that anyone here can recommend over my current itinerary? I'm planning on buying tickets soon so any input would be appreciated!
#1 alljokingaside has been a member since 20/12/2011. Posts: 18
Why not go right up to the top of Vietnam from Hoi An?
So HCMC->Hoi An->Hue->Hanoi->Halong Bay->Sapa
Sapa is excellent for trekking hiking, similar to Chiang Mai but you may enjoy the hiking more so.
If you have time at the end spend 10 days or so in Laos (Luang Prabang and Luang Nam Tha perhaps).
#3 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
It sounds like you're set on Cambodia, so as in your other thread I recommended doing china rocks path, but in reverse - and maybe cutting out Sapa for time reasons. Think about the trip in general schedule - 2 weeks in Vietnam (Hanoi to HCMC and the Delta up to PP) and 2 weeks Cambodia (Mekong Delta to PP - Siem Reap then down to the Cambodian beaches).
That way your schedule isn't too tight - either way you probably would have to choose between Sapa/Ha Long Bay at the start or Cambodian beaches at the end. Skipping Sapa/Ha Long bay gives you a back loaded schedule so you can play around with the days more easily as you travel forward. Chances are that flying out of BKK will be cheaper, even if you figured in another visa - I've always found international fights via PP to be expensive - so you may also consider fixing a schedule so that you go up to Siem Reap and then head over to BKK to catch your flight home.
Thanks for the advice, all! The "itinerary" is gelling along quite nicely. So: 1) To Hanoi, then Halong on the 8th, arriving around 11p. (I heard there's an island with monkeys) 2) Take an overnighter to Hue. 3) Train to Danang/? to Hoi An
Depending on how time's going, 1) fly/train to Saigon and go up the Delta or 2) bus directly to Cambodia.
From Cambodia, PP, beaches, Kampot and/or Battambang depending on time. Up to Siem Reap to meet a friend. Go to Bangkok either on the 31st of Jan slightly after, and fly out on the 3rd. God, even as is, this feel like a bit much for the "short" length of time. Ugh. Someone buy me a winning lotto ticket and we'll just travel for a year like oil princes
#5 alljokingaside has been a member since 20/12/2011. Posts: 18