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Figuring out last half of itinerary for my 1 month trip Vietnam Cambodia Thailand

Posted by SnowBird888 on 15/1/2016 at 03:40

Hey all! You guys have been very helpful for my trip planning! It is coming up very shortly and I still need to figure out the last part and would like to know if what I have sounds like a good plan or if it seems too rushed or too much flying.

My first half is set, flying into Saigon arriving Jan 29
Feb 2nd leave for a 3 day 2 night Mekong River trip into Phnom Penh arriving on the 4th
Feb 8th bus up to Siem Reap until the 13th

That is set in stone. My plan next is to fly into Phuket on the 13th and then leave on the 17th to fly up to Chiang Mai and stay there until the 21st, then fly into Hanoi (A friend of mine is going to be there so I feel it's a must for these dates.) until the 26th or 27th before flying back to Saigon for my flight out on the 28th. I feel like it is quite a lot of flying (I have another overnight layover in Seoul on my way out) and packing a lot into such a short time. Is flying pretty easy here? Most flights don't look too bad price-wise, but I wonder how much of a hassle/time crunch it will be.

But, if it all looks good, should I book my flights before I leave on my trip or would it be fine to book while there? (Not hours in advance, but a week or a couple days or so)

Thanks again!

#1 SnowBird888 has been a member since 13/12/2015. Posts: 12

Posted by Captain_Bob on 15/1/2016 at 11:22

It is arguably a lot of mucking around with flights for just a few days each in Phuket and Chiang Mai . SR-Phuket includes a stop in Bangkok. Phuket-CM only a couple direct flights daily which book up early in high season, otherwise another stop via Bangkok. And again CM-Hanoi requires a Bangkok transit stop, no direct flights. Looks pretty tiresome. You could simplify things by doing your beach time somewhere like Ko Chang en route SR-Bangkok and maybe a side-trip from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi for some jungle time, skip Chiang Mai and fly direct Bangkok-Hanoi. For your consideration.

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,957

Posted by daawgon on 15/1/2016 at 14:34

I agree with Bob, but it sounds like you're locked into much of this itinerary already? No question but that you should book your short haul flights ASAP if you want a good price. Getting from Chiang Mai to Hanoi is not easy by air (via Bangkok or Luang Prabang).

By the way, sounds like you're booked on either Korean or Asiana via Seoul? If that's the case, do you know about their free hotels in Seoul? I'm flying Asiana myself (March-April) and I recently called the LA office to request the hotel - no problem! You do need a minimum of an 8 hour layover to qualify.

#3 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 1,159

Posted by SnowBird888 on 16/1/2016 at 20:58

Thanks guys! My "problem" is these places are high on my list of places to go to on this trip. (Khao Lak tsunami memorial in Phuket, plus James Bond Island. Tiger Sanctuary and Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai as well as temples, Hanoi because Hanoi. lol) Who knows when I'll be back? I don't mind layovers though for sure I'd prefer none. One is fine. I'll most likely book the flights, then we'll see if I come back and say "You were right!" lol (I definitely should have made it a longer trip.)

Yep, I'm flying Korean Air! Wow, that's great, I didn't know about that! I have a 23 hour layover, I was looking into couchsurfing, but if they have hotels at or very close to the airport that could be better. (Though I love couchsurfing) I'll look into that too, thanks much!

#4 SnowBird888 has been a member since 13/12/2015. Posts: 12

Posted by SnowBird888 on 17/1/2016 at 23:01

Oops, I mean I'm flying on Asiana. (How do I edit posts on here?)

#5 SnowBird888 has been a member since 13/12/2015. Posts: 12

Posted by amnicoll on 23/1/2016 at 00:10

Book flights otherwise your itinerary could go up in smoke

Chinese new year can be very busy

You might claw back a day by having just 3 full days in Siem Reap

Do not forget to research visas and conditions (they can change) some nationalities can get visa on arrival in Vietnam BUT I think there is a restriction that to get another you must be out of the country for a minimum number of days

#6 amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 976

Posted by SnowBird888 on 25/1/2016 at 00:58

I've bought all my plane tickets, except for Hanoi-Saigon. Even found a direct flight from Phuket to Chiang Mai for a good price! Things are looking good! (knock on wood!) I leave in a couple days. Nervous but more excited! :)

I got a 1 month multi entry visa for Vietnam (filled things out online and can get it on arrival with the paperwork they sent me), so I'm set. Cambodia and Thailand I can getting on arrival w/o having to do anything prior.

I also looked into the free hotel stay with Asiana, and I just found an overnight hotel stay w/ city tour for $35. Not bad, but I think I would do better with couchsurfing for the night. :)

Thanks everyone for the advice!

#7 SnowBird888 has been a member since 13/12/2015. Posts: 12

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