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Thailand forum

5 weeks in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

Posted by waitrya on 15/2/2010 at 04:39


My partner and I are travelling through these 3 countries for the first time in May for 5 weeks. We mostly want to experience new cultures, see all the sights and relax on some nice beaches.

We have a bit of an itinerary which includes, Bangkok - 3 days, Ko Chang - 3 days, Siem Reap - 3 days, Phnom Penh - 3 days, Ho Chi Minh City - 6 days, Phuket and West coast islands - 4 days, Eastern Islands - 6 days, Chang Mai - 4 days.

Just wanting to know if this sounds like a good plan or if we may be trying to see a bit too much in this time frame?

Should we be allocating more time for some places and less for others?

What is the best way to spend 6 days in Vietnam on a bit of a budget.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.


#1 waitrya has been a member since 15/2/2010. Posts: 1

Posted by francesstella on 18/2/2010 at 00:22

Hi Ryan!

Keep in mind it takes almost a whole day to travel from one place to another. I think the winning strategy is to do fewer stops but for a longer time to avoid feeling like the whole holiday has been one long bus ride! The places I remember most fondly from my trip are the ones where I spent at least 5 days.

Chiang Mai, for example, is an awesome place but it's not really en route to anywhere else you want to go to and it's a 10hr train ride both ways. Of course, if it's somewhere you really want to go it'll totally be worth it, but you get the gist.

If Cambodia & islands are your priority, I would suggest getting a cheap flight from Bangkok to Phnom Penh with then working your way West to Sieam Reap before hitting the islands (or the other way round).

6 days in Vietnam might be a bit wasted & you might wanna save it for another trip, it's the kind of place that needs time to grow on you. And it's $50 for an entry visa!

I wouldn't worry too much about allocating time too tightly - that's what I did last year then realised it was a lot more fun to go with the flow: if you like a place, stay; if you don't like it, leave. Bookings are rarely needed unless you wanna be in a place when a particular event is on.

Hope you have a great time, take care!

#2 francesstella has been a member since 16/2/2009. Location: Italy. Posts: 95
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Posted by EmjayReet on 20/2/2010 at 02:49

Yep way too much for the time allocated... and trying to spend 6 days in Vietname is just a pure waste of time.. however if you really must spend time there I would head up to Hanoi and do 3 days Hanoi and 3 days Sapa... amazing part of Vietnam to see...

I have done a couple of 6 week trips to SE Asia and both times I just did two countries... first time was 5 weeks Thailand 1 week Cambodia and the 2nd time was 2 weeks Laos and 4 weeks Thailand.

A good plan would be similar to my first trip which I couldnt fault:

Bangkok 3 days
Overnight train to CM
Chiang Mai 5-6 days
Fly to Bangkok, overnight train to KPN
Ko Phangan and/or Ko Tao 5-6 days
Khao Sok National Park 2-3 days
Phuket 5-6 days
Ferry to Ko Lanta via PP Island
Ko Lanta 3-4 days
Flight to Phnom Penh from Krabi via Bangkok (1 day travel)
Phnom Penh 2 days
Siem Reap 3-4 days
Bangkok 2-3 days

If anything take out Ko Lanta and do a 1-2 day trip to PP Island... but it gives you a good amount of time in a few different places with some small side trips per se!

Have a look at my blogs for other ideas:


#3 EmjayReet has been a member since 4/7/2006. Location: Australia. Posts: 156

Posted by MADMAC on 20/2/2010 at 09:44

I'm with the other posters here. WAY too much travel time for five weeks. There's at least a whole week in transit - some 20% of your vacation stuck waiting in airports, bus and train terminals, or sitting on a bus, train or plane.

I also wondered why you would want to spend 6 days in Saigon and only three in Bangkok?

I would cut either Vietnam or Cambodia entirely (I assume BKK is your point of entry). In fact, with only five weeks I would cut both. Get some good beach time down south, and then head north and add Laos to your agenda. The reason is geograghy. If you want to go to Chiang Mai, then moving from there further north and northeast into Laos makes sense to me.

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