I've found Travelfish to be incredibly helpful in planning my trip so a big thank you first. I've just discovered this section and wanted to get people's views on my itinerary. I'm arriving in/leaving from Hanoi and I have about 7 weeks to travel.
Arrive in Hanoi
2 nights Hanoi
Night train to Hue
2 days Hue
travel day to Hoi An
2 days Hoi An
travel day to Saigon (fly?)
3 days HCMC
2 Days Mekong Delta
2 Days Phnom Penh
3 Days Siem Reap
4 days some Thailand Beach - I thinking Bang Saphan/Ban Krut Easily accessible, low-key and good reviews
3 days Bangkok
3 days Chiang Mai
1-2 travel days (slow boat?)
2 days Luang Prabang
2 days Vientiane
travel fly (definite fly)
3 days Sapa
1 day Hanoi
1 day Halong Bay
1 day Hanoi
As I've thought more about it and looked at others' itinerary, I think it might be a little rushed. I'm also not sure when I'll get to SE Asia next so there is that consideration. Some cuts I've been thinking about making: skipping Hue, doing a daytrip to Mekong Delta instead (very likely), skipping the beach in Thailand, skipping Sapa. A little bit about myself: 27 yo female. I like culture, scenery, and history and have put my partying days behind me. I'm not a huge beach person (hence why I'm okay with cutting out the beach) and am more interested in day hikes/light exploring than long treks. I'm not sure if itinerary is more trekking orientated with both Chiang Mai and Sapa.
#1 arenalk has been a member since 4/6/2013. Posts: 5
If you're only giving yourself less than 2 weeks in Thailand you might want to consider going to one of the beaches or islands that are more on-the-way to Bangkok from Siem Reap. The Trat province has several decent islands and mainland beaches, and there's Koh Samet, as well as Koh Si Chang. You're going to spend (waste) a lot of time traveling to and from Bang Saphan/Ban Krut ... no way you'll make it to that area on your Travel Day. You'll be looking at the better part of two full days if you're traveling overland.
Cambodia has a good selection of islands and beaches, as well, that you could choose from before heading off to Bangkok.
I'm not a beach person either, but if you, like me, are into "scenery" you'll find that the scenery on the beaches and islands can be quite stunning. I found that Koh Wai was a great island for chilling out on. Lovely spot and good for walking around on. Great for a few days, anyway, and you can leave there in the morning and be in Bangkok later that same afternoon.
Thanks for the reply, Tilapia and your thoughtful suggestions.
I am thinking of flying into Bangkok from Siem Reap since with my current itinerary I have 14 days in Thailand and I might extend the amount of time I spent in country (I have additional unplanned days) so I am thinking the 30 day flight exemption would be useful. That is why I originally counted out the islands/beach in the part of Thailand closer to Cambodia. I was very intrigued by Koh Samet. If I got an early morning flight from Siem Reap and then took a train south the same day - would it be doable to get to Bang saphan/ban krut? After reading about it, I have seemed to have gotten my heart set on those places. Not the best plan though when it might take 2 days to get there.
#3 arenalk has been a member since 4/6/2013. Posts: 5
If you got an early morning flight into Bangkok, you could probably get the 1:00 pm train south which would, theoretically, drop you off at Ban Krut Railway Station at around 7:30 pm, or Bang Saphan Yai about 15-20 minutes later.
You might want to hop off in Prachuap Khiri Khan and spend a night there, then head south to one of the other two spots the next morning. Probably easier to get a place to stay for the night in a larger town like PKK after the sun has dropped. You might even want to hang-out there for a bit. It's a great town.