Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

4 countries in 19 days.

Posted by Agee on 29/9/2013 at 05:28

This year (early November) my husband and myself we are going to the region of the South Asia for 19 days. We will start in Bangkok, where we going to stay not longer than 3 days. Next 8 days we would like to visit Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. We realized that this is very tight schedule and we will not be able to see a lot. However we hope that you can suggest us optimal plan for these 8 days. We have been thinking about visiting the 4 000 islands area- Si Pan Done, as this is near the border of these 3 countries, mentioned above.
After that we are going to Ko Lanta and the Phuket/Krabi area and stay there for 7 days - for snorkeling and relax.

We do understand that we don't have much time, however we prefer to use various kinds of transport, not only plains. Because you cannot see local life during the flight.

What do you think about that? Any suggestions appreciated.


Agee.

#1 Agee has been a member since 27/9/2013. Posts: 8

Posted by JaiYen88 on 29/9/2013 at 10:28

8 days is too little time to visit 2 countries, let alone 3, unless you want to spend half your time moving from one place to the next.

I would suggest spending all 8 days in Cambodia, visiting 2/3 destinations - Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and then maybe somewhere like Kampot. It's quite easy to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap - see my previous post for detailed information on this journey: https://www.travelfish.org/board/post/cambodia/22739_travel-by-road-from-bangkok-to-siem-reap The journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh then takes about 6 hours. You could then fly back to Bangkok from Phnom Penh, and onwards to the south of Thailand, which would save you some time.

Trying to do any more than this in 8 days will result in a rushed and stressful trip where you will be constantly moving and trying to settle into places that you have just arrived in.

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Posted by Agee on 29/9/2013 at 14:57

Thank you for your answer. We decided to visit Cambodia - Sihanoukville and Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh. Have you got any suggestions how to get from the border of Cambodia to Sihanoukville and then to Ho Chi Minh? We are considering buses.
Thank you in advance

#3 Agee has been a member since 27/9/2013. Posts: 8

Posted by Geer1 on 29/9/2013 at 15:24

Bangkok
Fly to Siem Reap(flights are reasonable through Air Asia now so no point wasting a day travelling) (3 days)
Bus to Phnom Penh (2 days)
Bus to Ho Chi Minh (3 days)

That is what I would do since you only have 8 days. Save a little bit of money on buses. No point in seeing Sihanoukville imo, it is out of the way, takes too much time and would mean you miss out on Cambodia must sees(Angkor temples and Tuol Sleng/Killing Fields).

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Posted by Agee on 29/9/2013 at 15:40

What about the visa? We've read that the best place to get it is in Sihanoukville?

#5 Agee has been a member since 27/9/2013. Posts: 8

Posted by Geer1 on 29/9/2013 at 15:46

With so little time I would be arranging my visa at home prior to the trip, sure it costs you a little bit more but it makes for one less thing to worry about. You can get Vietnamese visa's in Phnom Penh as well but it all depends on the day of the week etc whether you will be able to get it rushed(which you would need to do). Would suck to show up and then have to hang around a couple extra days in Cambodia just to go to Ho Chi Minh city in time to catch your flight out of the country.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 29/9/2013 at 18:20

What does HCM have that Bangkok doesn't? I don't get the rush around. I would skip Vietnam altogether.

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Posted by Geer1 on 29/9/2013 at 19:17

War Remnants Museum, Cu Chi Tunnels, History Museum, Reunification Palace.

I personally would skip Vietnam as well but whatever floats his boat. If he wants to go to HCM to be able to say he has been to Vietnam then go for it.

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Posted by amnicoll on 30/9/2013 at 04:55

I have to say I am not sure what the purpose of your trip is apart from collecting stamps in your passports and it is not easy to offer constructive advise that would direct you to places you might enjoy

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Posted by JaiYen88 on 30/9/2013 at 06:43

So you mean you are cutting out Siem Reap altogether? I would strongly suggest spending some time there, the Angkor temples really are 'must-see' and it's a great town to eat and shop in, with a buzzing nightlife. 3 days is way too little time (you will wish you had more!).

Also, Sihanoukville is a beach town, and you will be seeing plenty of beaches in the south of Thailand, many of which are arguably a lot nicer than those of S'ville (I know I am probably going to spark a debate here :) ).

So for the sake of saving time in transit (S'ville is a little out of the way), I would recommend a visit to Phnom Penh instead (where you can get your Vietnam visa in 1 day as long as it's a week day), and a 2 night stay before you head on to HCM. The visa for Vietnam is also quite expensive, which is one of the reasons why we are recommending to skip Vietnam. Paying upwards of $50 for a couple of days stay is not really worth it, IMO.

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Posted by daawgon on 30/9/2013 at 12:57

Everyone is different - I consider Saigon the least interesting place in Vietnam, and by far!

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Posted by Geer1 on 30/9/2013 at 13:02

I wasn't a huge fan of Saigon but the sites I mentioned above were definitely interesting and the tunnels/war remnants museum are pretty much a must see for any visitor to Vietnam imo.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 30/9/2013 at 19:31

I heard the tunnels were lame. Just holes in the ground aren't they?

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Posted by Geer1 on 30/9/2013 at 20:17

The actual tunnels aren't what I would consider amazing but the tour is informative and the tunnels played a huge role in Vietnam's success during the war. I definitely would recommend seeing them in order to learn more about the war and Vietnam's history but don't expect a world class sight if that is what you are thinking you will see.

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