Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Trip in Vietnam and Cambodia

Posted by NorwegianP on 24/6/2010 at 02:02

We are two guys travelling from Hanoi and Ha Long Bay down south for HCMC and later Cambodia.
What are you guys' thoughts on Hue and Hoi An. We are much more keen on the scenery and nature than shopping and street life and are considering skipping a couple of days here, and save them for a Easy Rider trip from Da Lat to HCMC.

How long does a trip from Da Lat to HCMC take?

We are wanting to get off the beaten path, but still it's our first time to SE Asia, so even though we want to be independent we can clearly benefit from all the expert advice we can get here

Another thought is to spend som days in the Phu Quoc Island s. Could you please give us some advice on the trip from HCMC, through the Mekong Delta to Can Tho and to Phu Quoc Island before entering into Cambodia? How to smoothest enter Cambodia from Phu Quoc Island?

Thank You

#1 NorwegianP has been a member since 10/6/2010. Posts: 4

Posted by busylizzy on 24/6/2010 at 03:16

The town of Hue doesn't really have as much to offer in my opinion (compared to other areas in Vietnam) and the weather is often lousy. I didn't find the Citadel particularly interesting. There are, however, some nice day trips that you can do in the surrounding areas by motorbike (self-drive or hire a driver) to visit various tombs, pagodas, etc - some were excellent, others not so good. But it's a nice drive through scenic countryside.

Hue is also a good point from where you do a day-trip to the DMZ and the nearby Vin Moc tunnels. The tunnels, in particular, were worth visiting.

I loved Hoi An , and even though it's a shopper's mecca, it's also an interesting heritage town that is worth spending 3-5 days in. Again, there are interesting day trips as well - up to Danang, to eat fresh seafood cooked at local beachside restaurants on China Beach, Marble Mountain, etc. There are also supposed to be some nice beaches near Hoi An although I didn't get there. You can hire bicycles in Hoi An and cycle around the outer edges of the town. It's a nice, quaint town and worth visiting.

I did an Easyrider trip from Dalat to Can Tho (Mekong Delta area) via HCMC - awesome! The trip from Dalat to HCMC is 3-4 days - depending on how you structure it.

If you can afford it, I would highly recommend extending your Easyrider tour through to Dalat. We saw some fascinating places that we would have otherwise missed out on had we just taken a bus. This was some of the best part of the 9-day tour.

Sorry - can't comment on Phu Quoc, so will leave that for someone else. :-)

#2 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by Nokka on 24/6/2010 at 21:11

Busylizzy sums it up nicely. Actually, I quite liked Hue, especially the Palace, though felt 2 nights was enough. From what you say, NorwegianP, perhaps its not for you. Hoi An, though, is superb and worth a few days of anybody's time. Its a beautiful place with some great places to eat, nearby almost empty beaches, a nice, laid back atmosphere. I went, determined not to do any shopping, but ended up buying various things which were shipped home as I couldn't carry them.

Didn't go to Dalat, so can't comment.

However, did go to Phu Quoc and the Delta, though came back the other way round from how you may do it. ie started in PQ and made our way to HCMC. We flew from PQ to Rach Gia in the delta, though you can take a ferry. The flight is really cheap, though. At Rach Gia we were pressganged onto 2 motorbike taxis and taken to an unofficial bus station (Hey, this is Vietnam; they don't do as you ask, which was to go to the MAIN bus station). Ended up on a local bus to Can Tho ; a really hopeless bus with no suspension, no windows and the other passengers using the curtains as handkerchiefs. Still, it was all quite funny and thankfully only took 3 hours. After 3 nights in Can Tho took a smart air con bus to HCMC, which took about 6 hours, I think. All pretty easy, plus you can organise other trips (Floating market, other delta towns, cycling etc) in Can Tho. Or, of course, you can take a bus to Chau Doc and from there by boat up to Phnom Penh.

#3 Nokka has been a member since 6/4/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 259
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