thanks for all the useful feedback I've received so far. I've now planned the trip and would welcome feedback on the itinerary. I will be arriving in Bangkok in early March and leaving Vietnam mid May.
Anyway here's the itinerary:
Bangkok 3 nights
Ko Mak 5 nights
Bangkok 1 night
Kanchanburi 3 nights
Bangkok 1 night
Ayutthaya 3 nights
Bangkok 1 night
Fly to Siem Raep
Siem Raep 5 nights
Fly back to Bangkok, then connect to Luang Prabang if possible - if not further night in Bangkok
Luang Prabang 5 nights
Vang Veng 3 nights
Vientiane 4 nights
Savvanakhet 2 nights
Hue 4 nights
Hoi An 4 nights
Nha Trang 2 nights
Mui Ne 4 nights
Saigon 1 night
Fly to Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc 5 nights
Travel back through Delta 5 nights
Saigon 3 nights
This gives me a few days spare to play with as well.
What do people think??
#1 daflj has been a member since 28/8/2008. Posts: 32
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,644
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Four nights in Vientiane seems a lot. You should be able to fly from Siem Reap direct to Luang Prabang. (I've done the reverse but I think the flight is only some days of the week) Also it may be worth going directly from Kanchanburi to Ayutthaya instead of back to Bangkok first.
Why not look into a couple of days at Phnom Penh while you are in Cambodia?
How are you planning to get from Savvanakhet in Laos to Hue?
Finally Hanoi is also well worth a visit.
#3 silverwool has been a member since 8/7/2007. Posts: 7
Thanks Somtam and Silverwool,
the issue with flying direct from SR to LP is that Vietnam Air is not part of the Discovery Airpass so the cost of the flights is really expensive compared with the cost of going back to Bangkok and out again.
I will take the advice re: the number of nights in Ayutthaya . I would definitely think about going direct between Kanchanburi and Ayutthaya Silverwool - do you have any advice on doing this?
I believe that there are buses that run the Savvanakhet-Lao Bao-Hue run, but again any advice on this specifically would be welcome.
#4 daflj has been a member since 28/8/2008. Posts: 32
I agree with paring back Ayutthaya - a fantastic place to walk around, but not 3 nights' worth. Also Savvanakhet is a bit of a dusty pass-through place. I did Hoi An (up from Hue) to Savvanakhet by bus - a long and challenging journey with an overnight stop, but possible. Hanoi is definitely worth seeing.
There are public buses between Kanchanaburi & Ayutthaya. Takes about 3 hours. Ask at your guesthouse for details.
I agree that Hanoi is well worth a visit and then you can also visit Halong Bay.
It is possible to go direct from Vientiene to the Cau Treo border crossing then onto Vinh in Vietnam. This would prevent a lot of doubling back on yourself if you wanted to go to Hanoi .
Alternatively, there are overnight sleeping buses or the train from Hue to Hanoi .
I can also highly recommend Ninh Binh (2 hours south of Hanoi ) for a simply stunning slice of rural Vietnam. Its on the main highway and the buses/trains pass through here.
Have a great trip :)
#8 buzby has been a member since 27/10/2008. Posts: 6