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Thailand forum

5 Weeks Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam??I

Posted by megwag90 on 24/2/2014 at 20:35

First trip to SE Asia. Is it possible to do Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam is 5 weeks?

#1 megwag90 has been a member since 24/2/2014. Location: United States. Posts: 2

Posted by Grubert on 24/2/2014 at 21:17

You sure can, especially if you take the "if this is Tuesday, this must be Belgium" approach. Nothing wrong with that of course - while it might be difficult to get a feel for a place, let alone explore it thoroughly (but then again getting off the beaten path is not for everyone), you'll at least be compiling a catalogue of places you can pick and choose to revisit later in life.

If I were to visit all three, I'd do a week in Cambodia (probably limiting myself to Siem Reap, Kampot, and Phnom Penh), and a fortnight each in Thailand and Vietnam. Be sure to spend a minimum of two nights in the bigger cities.

#2 Grubert has been a member since 21/2/2014. Posts: 57


Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 25/2/2014 at 05:30

You need at least 3 nights in cities to see much at all. Can only see 1/10 of a country in 5 weeks if that.

#3 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by amnicoll on 25/2/2014 at 06:29

Is it possible? YES
Would I recomend it? NO

I would suggest you concentrate on one country and explore and relax a bit. On the basis that Bangkok is usually a good location to start and finish then you might consider about a month in Cambodia (or Vietnam) and a week or so in Thailand. Much will depend on what you want to see and do so start with a bit of reading and develop a rough idea

#4 amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 686

Posted by chinarocks on 25/2/2014 at 08:12

I would highly recommend 5 weeks in Vietnam. It's a different approach to the majority I'd imagine. However, it would be worth it. Great, diverse country.

Two weeks up North, 10 days in the Centre and 10 days down South.

#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by Arikara1985 on 26/2/2014 at 07:13

I just did 5 weeks between Thailand and Cambodia. Spent 10 days in Cambodia rest in Thailand. You'd be able to include Vietnam but you'd be moving around a lot. In the end I think I should have cut Cambodia because I just didn't have enough time to spend in certain places.

#6 Arikara1985 has been a member since 14/2/2013. Posts: 32

Posted by MADMAC on 26/2/2014 at 10:30

China, you're funny. The Vietnamese I know (which is a lot) say don't go. They take a dim view of Vietnamese culture. I'd definitely go with either Cambodia or Thailand over Vietnam. BUT... I do agree, pick one that appeals to you. Is it possible ot hit all three? Sure. Why not add in Laos and Burma and Malaysia too? You could do it. Does it make sense to do it? No. Neither does three.

#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by exacto on 26/2/2014 at 18:48

Diaspora rarely has nice things to say about the home country. Look at the Cubans in Miami. They never recommend visiting the island either. I've never been to Vietnam, largely because other places appeal to me more and I only have so much time to spend. But other folks on the site here absolutely love Vietnam and go all the time.

So, back to you megwag. Five weeks is a good chunk of time, but there is quite a bit to cover in three countries. Most folks I know would suggest Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia in five weeks and save Vietnam for next time. But if Vietnam appeals most, maybe spend three or even five weeks there.

What kind of trip do you want? Are you looking to move around frequently or settle in more? What types of things do you like to do? How is your budget? Best wishes.

#8 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,657
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 26/2/2014 at 18:56

Thailand gives u 30 days visa free so a sidetrip to laos or cambodia makes sense.

Vietnam seems to get really good reviews and some bad ones. The people i know didnt like it much.

#9 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by Grubert on 26/2/2014 at 20:44

Another thumbs up for Vietnam. Having only spent three weeks there I have been forever itching to go back (sadly the allure of unvisited destinations has always proven stronger).

#10 Grubert has been a member since 21/2/2014. Posts: 57

Posted by MADMAC on 28/2/2014 at 04:41

Vietnam has only a 7% return rate. So something about Vietnam, and I suspect it's the Vietnamese, is causing people not to go back. Thailand in contrast has 50% return rate...

#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by chinarocks on 28/2/2014 at 05:29

"Vietnam has only a 7% return rate. So something about Vietnam, and I suspect it's the Vietnamese, is causing people not to go back. Thailand in contrast has 50% return rate..."

I'm sure there's a few other factors at play here.

- Bangkok is a hub airport for the region, so if people are transiting through BKK to somewhere else then they might have a few days around BKK, which might count for the "50% return rate".

- Some people I know think of Thailand as a resort country, so they would happily come from Europe to spend 11 or 12 days lounging by a pool somewhere in a 4* hotel, and may not leave their compound for the entire time. Whereas Vietnam is more rough and ready in some respects.

- More expats = more family returning to visit them.

Just my two pence worth because I can't imagine Thailand being 7 times more popular than Vietnam.

#12 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 28/2/2014 at 08:49

I can see it being 7 times more popular for sure.

1 you dont need visa for thailand
2 better food
3 more activities
4 more resorts
5 culture is more fun and open

I know people who visit thailand 20 or 30 times. Vietnam just doesnt have that same appeal.

#13 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by chinarocks on 28/2/2014 at 08:54

1 you dont need visa for thailand

Visa is easily arranged and you will make up for the cost of it with the price of stuff in Vietnam.

2 better food

Highly questionable. Vietnamese food is among the best I've tasted.

3 more activities

A nothing comment.

4 more resorts

Perhaps.

5 culture is more fun and open

I thought you don't like the word culture and think it is one used by stupid tourists trying to make themselves sound hip.

#14 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by exacto on 28/2/2014 at 10:10

i think it is true that Thailand appeals more than Vietnam to most, but i also know that light beer is the biggest selling style beer here in the states, so i seriously doubt that more popular necessarily means best. i actually kind of agree with lenny on this one that Vietnam just isn't as appealing - at least personally for me, but my wife and the Kiwi couple we often travel with are really interested in going. it is definitely the road less travelled, making it kinda cool exactly for that reason.

the bigger question is would the OP have time to visit all three places in her five weeks given what she hopes to see and do during that time.

#15 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,657
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Posted by MADMAC on 28/2/2014 at 10:41

I haven't been yet. And the Vietnamese I know I like. BUT, all the Vietnamese I know, including the Vietnamese from Vietnam (salsa dancers - surprise, surprise) say the Vietnamese are assholes. They're aggressive, difficult people. That's not my experience. But that's what they ALL tell me. So yes, I do believe that there is something inherently aggressive in their culture and they don't have as much of that Thai "Mai Pen Rai" thing going on. But I am not speaking from experience there, and I will be the first to admit it.

#16 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by exacto on 28/2/2014 at 12:20

I think it would be "bo pen yang" where you live MAC, but I see your point. That "in your face" style you mention keeps me away from places like India and has been a negative factor of trips to Nepal and even Indonesia. I know folks say the Koreans are fierce, but I didn't find that as true as expected during my brief visit there. The Turks have a reputation of being aggressive, and I thought that at first too, but after being there for an extended time realized that the Turks are exceptionally generous and accommodating to strangers.

Some folks do well in a more aggressive environment. I know one guy who even likes Somalia - or at least aspects of it. It comes down to personal choice. Even if the return rate to Vietnam is only seven percent, I'll be those seven percent really love the place.

Meg, are you still with us? What are your plans? Two weeks in Thailand, a week in Cambodia, and two weeks in Vietnam? Maybe pick just the north or south of Vietnam to make the logistics a bit easier on yourself. Let us know how it goes. Cheers.

#17 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,657
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 28/2/2014 at 21:03

"but i also know that light beer is the biggest selling style beer here in the states, so i seriously doubt that more popular necessarily means best."

Yes true in part but people drink light beer due to drink driving rules rather than taste. People also eat maccas rather than making their own better burgers cause it saves time. Quality isnt the biggest factor driving purchase.

With a holiday people decide based on quality, price and convenience. Prices are similar in these countries so it comes down to quality and convenience. The China guy is saying getting a visa is no big issue so then it comes down to quality and people are choosing Thailand over Vietnam. If Vietnam was so good you'd have a lot more people going 5,10,20 times which happens with Thailand.

#18 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 28/2/2014 at 21:07

"I thought you don't like the word culture and think it is one used by stupid tourists trying to make themselves sound hip."

Culture is what is happening around you, not soley found in some museum or temples which some people think it is.

#19 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/2/2014 at 22:04 admin

Deleted a bunch - (yet again) I ask keep it civil please.

Believe the question was "First trip to SE Asia. Is it possible to do Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam is 5 weeks?"

If you want to discuss the merits of Thailand Vs Vietnam, by all means please start a new thread on that topic.

Tks.

#20 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,575
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Posted by MADMAC on 1/3/2014 at 03:44

To be fair on this one I thought it was a natural progression, and not some wild wondering.

Megwag, your thoughts?

#21 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by Northwig on 3/3/2014 at 02:36

I'm the same. First time trip to SEA and going these places. Me and my girlfriend have spent a lot of time researching and planning. It is just personal preference. Some people like to move on regularly rather than stay somewhere they don't like that much. Glad to see different points of view though. I personally think it would be possible but only time will tell.

#22 Northwig has been a member since 12/2/2014. Posts: 14

Posted by MADMAC on 3/3/2014 at 02:56

"Some people like to move on regularly rather than stay somewhere they don't like that much."

Why you would stay anywhere you didn't like (unless you were visiting friends or something) I don't know. This is why I am not a fan of itineraries with timelines. You get someplace and don't like the vibe, move on. You get some place and are having a great time, hang around, why move on? Move when you're bored and ready to move... It's a vacation. It's suppose to be fun.

#23 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 3/3/2014 at 03:18

Exactly ^

Stay 2 weeks in one spot if u r loving it.

#24 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148


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