Hi, I hope someone can help me evaluate this travel plan...I have never been to southeast asia and this is definitely a once in a lifetime trip for me. I have 6 weeks and I'm on a bit of a budget and this is what I'm thinking.
Fly into Bangkok and spend 3 nights to rest and look around
Fly from there to Luang Prabang and spend 5 nights
Fly into Hanoi and spend 7 nights (including 2 nights on Hao Long Bay)
Take the train to Saigon, sleeping overnite and stopping in Hue/DaNang/Hoi An,
8 nights leg
Stay in Saigon just 1 night.
Take bus to Ha Tien and ferry to Phu Quoc, 6 nights,
Back to Ha Tien, then Kep stay 3 nights,
then Phnom Penh spend 1 night and take speed boat to Siem Reap .
Stay in Siem Reap 4 nights
Fly back to Bangkok and spend 2 nights before early morning flight out.
I know...this doesn't add up. I'm hoping for a bit of advice on whether this is too ambitious, if I should add or drop locations, extend stays, etc. etc. Any comments are really appreciated.
PS I hope to use discover pass for most of the flights and will already have my Vietnamese and Cambodian visa.
#1 nutella828 has been a member since 6/3/2012. Posts: 2
Well obviously it can only be modified by what we would do personally but if it was me, the main thing I would do is cut out Luang Prabang and just stick with Cambodia and Vietnam. I think 6 weeks is a decent amount of time to tackle those two countries but tacking on a quick trip to only one city in Laos adds a lot of time and expense.
I would say from BKK go overland to Siem Reap, bus (boat can take a VERY long time and isn't that nice a journey) to Phnom Penh, to Kampot/Kep, overland to Phu Quoc, up to Saigon, and then make your way to Hanoi , fly Hanoi back to BKK.
Although, like I said, that's just me! Good luck and have a great trip!
Thank you . That's very helpful. That is the one visit that complicated things for me. I added the stop in Luang Prabang because I thought I might feel I'd missed something if I didn't go to a mountain/hill town like Chiang Mai or Luang Prabang, or Sapa. If I went the South to North route, I suppose I could always consider one of those towns at the end if I had the time. Given the three choices, do you have any advice there?
And thanks so much for writing!
#3 nutella828 has been a member since 6/3/2012. Posts: 2
nutella - the general advice you will get from posters here is along the lines of "less is more". So while you have a nice circle route planned, you are essentially planning on visiting 4 (large) countries in 6 weeks. Excluding travel time, that is perhaps 10 days per country for pure sightseeing / eating and drinking / interacting with locals etc.
You could potentially cut Vietnam from the trip. It appears that you are flying into and out of BKK but you don't want to do much else in Thailand. Vietnam does not share a border with Thailand, hence if you exclude it you could keep the whole thing a lot more compact. Vietnam is very big and, in itself, would warrant a 3-4 week trip. Why not save it for another trip?
This way you would have 2.5 weeks + for each of Laos and Cambodia, a decent amount of time. In terms of a logical route to get you back to BKK, well you could do the following:
LP --> Vang Vieng (if you are so inclined) --> Vientiane --> Pakse --> Si Phan Don
Cross to Cambodia
Kratie --> PP --> Kampot/Kep --> Sihanoukville (if you have time, the weather is right for beaches and you can cope with the many, well documented negatives that exist here) --> Siem Reap
Then back to Bangkok
#4 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738