Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Bangkok - Angkor - Phnom Phenn - HCMC - Hanoi - South Thai Islands

Posted by oisin on 13/4/2007 at 20:26

Myself & girlfriend fly into Bankok on June 10th and fly out on the 12 July. During that 4-5wks plan to see Angkor Wot, Chu Chi Tunnels, Phnom Phenn, HCMC maybe pop out to Mui Ne before travelling up coast to Hanoi stopping at Hoi An and possibly Hue. I want to do an overnight around Halong Bay. But we want to reach the islands in south thailand by 27th June - can we fly from hanoi to the islands or what is the best route for us?

We will need to cross from thailand, into cambodia and then vietnam before going back into thailand. Any advice on travel between the locations I mentioned, including border corssings and visa's would be greatly appreciated.

Approx itinerary

10 June - arrive bankok
12 June - bankok to angkor wot or siem reap
13 June - spend day at angkor wot
14 June - siem reap to Phnom Phenn (by boat?)
15 June - spend in Phnom Phenn
16 June - Phnom phenn to HCMC
17-18 June - Spend in HCMC (inc Chu Chi Tunnels)
19 June - HCMC to Mui Ne
20 June - Mui Ne to Hoi An
21 June - Hoi An to Hue
22 June - Hue to Hanoi
23 June - Halong Bay tour
25 June - Hanoi to south thailand islands
- travel islands
10 July - island to Bankok
12 July - depart bangkok

#1 oisin has been a member since 13/4/2007. Posts: 14

Posted by somtam2000 on 14/4/2007 at 04:13 admin

Hi Oisin,

I'd say the Vietnam portion of your trip is way too many miles in too few days. Take a look at this Vietnam trip planner to get an idea of how long the individual segments will take -- for example 18 hours or so from Mui Ne to Hoi An -- doesn't leave you much time in Hoi An before you've got to jump back on the bus!

I'd suggest looking into some domestic flights to save time -- eg fly Saigon to Da Nang (which is just an hour from Hoi An) and drop Mui Ne totally -- you'll get your beach fix in Thailand. I'd also skip Hue -- you just don't have enough time -- and fly again from Da Nang to Hanoi.

Regarding getting to the Thai islands, look into AirAsia flights from Hanoi to Bangkok, then travel overland from Bangkok down to the island of your choice.

Hope that helps!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by oisin on 15/4/2007 at 19:58

This is great, many thanks..

What is the best way to get between bankok, angkor wot, phnom phenn and saigon bearing in mind I 'd rather keep flights to a minimum?? Can I get the train up from saigon passing through Hoi An to Hanoi.

Should I book accommodation ahead or best to wait until I arrive?

#3 oisin has been a member since 13/4/2007. Posts: 14

Posted by ohaileagain on 15/4/2007 at 20:53

Oisin,

I am doing nearly the exact same journey as you in May (going to Phu Qouc island insted of Hanoi). Getting from HCMC to Thai Islands via two low cost flights. Tigerairways from HCMC to Singapore & Jetstar to Phuket. I've priced around and it is by far the cheapest option. Hope this helps.

#4 ohaileagain has been a member since 2/2/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by oisin on 15/4/2007 at 20:56

How much? and do you need any visa to fly via singapore?

#5 oisin has been a member since 13/4/2007. Posts: 14

Posted by ohaileagain on 15/4/2007 at 21:47

From HCMC to Phuket (both Flights) - £53 per person

I don't think you need a visa if you are travelling out of singapore on the same day.

Does anyone know?

Plus we are travelling from Surat Thani (near most of the thai islands) to Bangkok with Air asia for £20 per person.

#6 ohaileagain has been a member since 2/2/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by oisin on 18/4/2007 at 19:23

Thank you.

Do I need to book flights well in advance or can you fly on the day quite cheaply?

Is their a website for all SEA airlines or can you advise on best ones to check??

Oisin

#7 oisin has been a member since 13/4/2007. Posts: 14

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/4/2007 at 08:12 admin

Hi oisin,

For budget airlines, best to refer to their own sites for flight details -- generally the earlier you book the cheaper the fare.

Jetstar
Tiger
AirAsia

Depending on your nationality, you don't need a visa for Singapore.

Other questions from the above:
What is the best way to get between Bangkok, Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh and Daigon bearing in mind I 'd rather keep flights to a minimum??
For Bangkok to Angkor, see this story
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh - go by bus -- takes about 4 hours.
Phnom Penh to Saigon, bus again, takes best part of a day costs around US$6.

Can I get the train up from saigon passing through Hoi An to Hanoi.
Yes, though for Hoi An, you get off at Da Nang (an hour north of Hoi An) and backtrack to Hoi An by taxi/motorbike etc

Should I book accommodation ahead or best to wait until I arrive?
Ahhhh it depends. if you're after cheap accommodation and don't mind wandering around a bit to find a room, then I wouldn't bother reserving ahead.

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by Roving_Roo on 25/4/2007 at 17:07

Hi Oisin,

As your time scale is so short I would hghly suggest flying from Bangkok to Siem Reap to spend more time around the town itself and the temples; if you are certain you only want a one day pass (too short in my opinion) then you can get your tickets at 5pm on the 13th and see the sunset for free on this day; your one day $20 per person ticket will be valid from the following morning. The sunset run and one full day (not including the sunrise) in a tuk tuk for two people should be around US$15. Too see the sunrise as well add a few more dollars to this.

If your budget really cannot stretch to the very high price set by Bangkok Airways (about $150 per person one way) then I suggest taking a public bus from Morchit bus station in Bangkok to Aranyaprathet (about 200B per person), a tuk tuk from teh bus station to the border (about 80B) then a taxi from Poipet to Siem Reap ($60-65 if arranged on the border, $45 if your guesthouse in Siem Reap can arrange this for you, sending a driver to meet you at the border at a pre arranged time. This should cut you journy time down to about 8 hours rather than the 12, 13, 14+ hours on the Khoa San Road bus.

Rachel

#9 Roving_Roo has been a member since 9/1/2006. Posts: 45

Posted by Roving_Roo on 25/4/2007 at 17:15

After reading this again I have more to add;

Air Asia flights tend to be cheaper the more in advance you book your tickets, but more than a month is not really needed. I would check the website and book if you know which dates you are deffinately going to be wanting to fly.

Travelling from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh I would not highly recommend taking the boat; old stinky interior so most people sit on top where...you are deafened by the noise from the diesel engine and sunburnt from the six hours of exposure. Also no food available on the boat and with a 5.45am pick up and arrival in Phnom Penh at about 1.30pm this can be a bit uncomfortable. The scenery in parts is nice, but for the middle four/five hours you are just rushing through the middle of the lake and there is nothing to see but water.

The buses are much more comfortable, with a decent bus costing around $7-$10 per ticket depending on which company you use.

From Phnom Penh my information dries up!

Have fun.

Rachel

#10 Roving_Roo has been a member since 9/1/2006. Posts: 45


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