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Southeast Asia forum

Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam in 3 weeks

Posted by bbluedd on 16/7/2013 at 04:04

I have read many posts saying that I will need more time than 3 weeks to travel Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, but please hear me out and help. My friend and I can only take 3 weeks off work, and we really want to visit all three countries. We understand we may not hit all the main attractions. With such a tight schedule, we know we won't get to relax a lot, but we are excited about being on the move all the time. We like sightseeing from buses and trains too.

We are interested in experiencing just the main highlights of the three countries. The problem is, we are having a hard time narrowing down which places to hit in each country so that it's still possible to travel in just about a week per country. Please help us start our itinerary. We have no idea how far things are, so it is difficult to pin the places to go. We are planning to go February 2014, so we are just beginning our plan. We have not purchased or reserved anything yet.

Thanks in advance, travel veterans, for your kind help!

#1 bbluedd has been a member since 15/7/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by MADMAC on 16/7/2013 at 07:44

"but we are excited about being on the move all the time. We like sightseeing from buses and trains too."

Are you guys masochistic? There's a place in Bangkok I've heard of that caters to that sort of thing.

What you will see from the buses is lots of the same kind of stuff. Long bus rides (and you'd be in for a lot of them) suck. Plain and simple. Long bus rides in Laos and Cambodia suck a tremendous amount.

The logic behind this escapes me. You can go to any one of these countries and just scrape the surface of what there is to see and experience. Why waste most of your time sitting on a shitty ass bus? Transportation infrastructure in a lot of these places isn't very good, buses can be painfully slow and grossly uncomfortable to boot. If you get the runs and you're on a bus with no toilet - like the vast majority - it's not a good time. The chances of one of you getting the runs out here are high.

Beyond that, for anyone here to help you build an itinerary that's worth anything, you have to give a hint as to what your desires are. What kind of experience you are looking for? Some focus.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by chinarocks on 16/7/2013 at 08:16

If you must do this then I would recommend the following (someone else had a similar post on here last week):

- Pick one base in each country;

- Fly between countries.

Logical base in Vietnam would be either Hanoi (from where you could travel to Sapa and Halong Bay) or Saigon (from where you could see the tunnels and Mekong Delta). My preference would be Hanoi, as a city, but also because Sapa and HB are great places, particularly Sapa.

Logical Cambodia base would be Siem Reap (temples, Tonle Sap) and probably Bangkok for Thailand (not familiar with Thailand).

Even with this approach, I don't think one week per country will give anywhere near enough time time to see the "highlights" of a country but if you must do three countries in three weeks then I think it is the best approach.

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

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