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Southeast Asia forum

6 weeks in southeast asia

Posted by cassrose on 13/9/2009 at 15:26


A friend and are planning a 6 week trip, spending xmas/new year in thailand then heading to laos. What im wondering is will 5 weeks be enough for Laos, Vietnam and Combodia. I was thinking around 5 days in Combodia, mostly just wanting to see siem reap and maybe around kep.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to do it and best places to go etc

Thanks :-)

#1 cassrose has been a member since 13/9/2009. Posts: 22

Posted by somtam2000 on 13/9/2009 at 15:52 admin

If you're wanting to see Angkor Wat and Kep and allow for at least a night in Phnom Penh then you'll be needing about a week.

You'll struggle to see a lot of Vietnam and Laos in your remaining time, so would suggest picking one part of each -- for eg Thailand, then northern Laos, then northern Vietnam ( so Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Sapa ), fly down to Saigon, travel overland through the Delta to Kep in Cambodia, north to Phnom Penh then Siem Reap and exit to Thailand.

You'll be covering a lot of miles, so I'd pick your stops carefully and look into some regional flights to save you time.

Itineraries section is a good starting point else if you've questions about specific destinations, ask away.


#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by cassrose on 13/9/2009 at 15:58

Thanks, was thinking more southern vietnam, starting around Hue. Do you think this kind of trip needs a lot of planning or just do as you go?

#3 cassrose has been a member since 13/9/2009. Posts: 22

Posted by DLuek on 14/9/2009 at 01:01 TF writer

"Do you think this kind of trip needs a lot of planning or just do as you go?"

It needs enough planning so that you know when/where/how you'll get your visas, and what options you will have for transport. My opinion is that 5 weeks is really not enough time for a totally free "do as you go" type of trip, but that's not to say you can't be spontaneous and make some decisions as you go.

If I were you, I would decide on some places you really want to visit, and then research how to get to and from each of those places and on to the next. Then, put together a "loose itinerary" that you feel confident with in regard to transport. In Vietnam if you're using the open tour bus systems, it's relatively easy to decide your next destination on a whim. On the other hand, you never want to blindly expect that you can get from one place to the next on a moment's notice, particularly if you're using local transport (i.e. trains in Vietnam or public bus in Thailand). Sometimes arranging transport can be more stressful, difficult and time-consuming than one may think. The Travelfish guides offer a lot of real good info on local transport, including timetables and fares.

Another consideration is that if you'll be travelling by air for longer legs you'll want to book tickets at least a week or two in advance - have you looked in to Air Asia and Jetstar for cheap flights?

In sum, my suggestion would be that since you have 5 weeks only and since this is you're first time in SE Asia (correct?), get as much of the transport and visa issues worked out before you leave as possible. This will save you stress and time, which is precious when trying to see 3 countries in 5 weeks. Perhaps book a couple flights that you'd be committing to, but also leave room inbetween to be spontaneous? Just make sure you know what your options are, or you could find yourself in an unnecesarilly stressful position.

Good luck,


#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,302
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Posted by cassrose on 14/9/2009 at 04:30

Hey thanks DLuek that was some really great info. I thought as much.

#5 cassrose has been a member since 13/9/2009. Posts: 22

Posted by KazAussie on 14/9/2009 at 14:38

Hi Cass Rose,

Following a lot of lurking and a lot of advice from this site, we have a rough plan for Vietnam and Cambodia for 30 days. I have copied it below. If I had the extra time I wouldn't fly from Siem Reap but instead would go to Kratie and Dan Lung Cambodia, then Plieku and Dalat in Vietnam.

We have been pretty generous with our timings and a lot will be weather dependent, but for example if it is raining in Hoi An, we will do some travelling in the central highlands, otherwise we will just chill out there for a couple of days.

Hope this helps

Date Where
Saturday, 12 December 2009 Fly Sydney to Ho Chi Minh Arrive 8:35 pm
Sunday, 13 December 2009 Ho Chi Minh
Monday, 14 December 2009 Ho Chi Minh
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 morning flight to Phu Quoc
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 Phu Quoc (dive)
Thursday, 17 December 2009 Phu Quoc to Rach Gia
Friday, 18 December 2009 Rach Gia to Chau Doc
Saturday, 19 December 2009 travel to PP
Sunday, 20 December 2009 PP
Monday, 21 December 2009 PP Travel to SR
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 Siem Reap
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 Siem Reap
Thursday, 24 December 2009 Travel to BB
Friday, 25 December 2009 BB
Saturday, 26 December 2009 BB - Siem Reap
Sunday, 27 December 2009 Siem Reap
Monday, 28 December 2009 SR - Fly/Da Nang
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 Travel to Hoi An
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 Hoi An
Thursday, 31 December 2009 Hoi An (maybe a dive - weather dependent)
Friday, 1 January 2010 Hoi An
Saturday, 2 January 2010 Travel to Hue (motorbike or train - about 200 k)
Sunday, 3 January 2010 Hue
Monday, 4 January 2010 Hue (overnight train to Hanoi)
Tuesday, 5 January 2010 Hanoi
Wednesday, 6 January 2010 Travel to Halong Bay
Thursday, 7 January 2010 Halong Bay
Friday, 8 January 2010 Travel back to Hanoi
Saturday, 9 January 2010 Hanoi
Sunday, 10 January 2010 Fly to Sinapore 20:30 arr 00:50 11 Jan
Monday, 11 January 2010 Fly Out of Singapore 19:55 arrive Canberra 9:10am 12 Jan

#6 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by cassrose on 15/9/2009 at 06:19

Thanks KazAussie. Hope you enjoy your holiday

#7 cassrose has been a member since 13/9/2009. Posts: 22

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