Perhaps someone knowledgeable would be kind enough to comment on the following. My thought is to go to Vietnam in January 2011 and then drop into Camodia during Tet in early February before returning after the holiday. The itinerary looks quite busy and is mostly driven by a wish to visit Camodia on the same trip. I could cut that bit out of course and linger elsewhere in Vietnam.
Hanoi - 3 nights
Night train to Hoi An
Hoi An - 2 nights
Flight to HCMC
HCMC - 3 nights
Travel to PP via Chau Doc - 1 night
PP - 2 nights
SR - 3 nights
SR to HCMC by bus
Stopover night in HCMC before flight to Phu Quoc.
The travelling bits which possibly look a bit grim are the bits from HCMC to PP and then SR back to HCMC although the outward leg to PP would be broken by a stop in Chau Doc or maybe somewhere else on the way.
I won't be roughing it totally so am happy to use taxis etc where they help.
Any comments gratefully received.
#1 Rudolf has been a member since 10/9/2010. Posts: 2
A couple of points.Whilst the itinerary you show is quite feasible,before,during,and after Tet flights,and trains can be heavily booked and you will need to book well in advance in order to be sure you can travel when you want to on such a limited time scale.If you leave Vietnam for PP your visa will expire and you will need another visa to re-enter Vietnam,unless you can obtain a 3 month multiple entry visa the first time You could go from Saigon to PP on a bus,I believe it's called the Mekong Express,takes about 6 hours and costs around 30USD,avoiding the overnight in Chau Doc,although the river trip on the Mekong into PP is a nice way to enter Cambodia.Bear in mind also there is no railway station or airport at Hoi An,the nearest is Da Nang,which is about 40 minutes by taxi from Hoi An
I wouldn't say it looks too busy - but of course you're missing out heaps of great stuff in Vietnam! However, I can understand your desire to visit Cambodia whilst here - Angkor at least.
So, my own couple of points:
(1) Agree re TET travel issues though this is mostly driven by locals travelling elsewhere in Vietnam, hence travelling from Vietnam to Cambodia might not be a problem if you go on a direct tourist bus from HCMC to PP. I think you might face problems if you try to get to Chau Doc first but it all depends on when exactly you are hitting this part. Still best to book far far in advance or prepare to alter your plans. Note: last TET I tried to book train tickets in Vietnam about 3 weeks before travel and already availability was severely limited.
(2) Have you looked at flights from SR to HCMC? As you recognise, it's a long journey otherwise.
(3) Oasis makes a good point re the visa as well - if you don't get a multi-entry visa in the first instance you might end up in a bit of a rush in PP / SR trying to get a new one to get back in to the country. I'm not sure what the deal is if you fly from SR to HCMC and then connect straight to your onward flight though?
Thank you for the replies.
Yes, its a difficult one as I concious I'm missing out on stuff in Vietnam. An alternative maybe is simply to do something like HCMC to Dalat to Hoi An to Mekong to PP to SR to PQ. Might that be more interesting?
I plan to be in Chau Doc by 30th January so a few days ahead of Tet and then return a few days after and will get a multiple entrance visa.
Yes, the flight is an option and probably the best way as with a bit of luck I could route straight through to Phu Quoc.
#4 Rudolf has been a member since 10/9/2010. Posts: 2
There is no direct flight between SR and PQ so you should fly through via HCMC if you wish to do so.
I do not not know whether you're bound by Hanoi (flight and all). If not, I would skip Hanoi (even though it's a beautiful town) and focus on southern Vietnam and Cambodia.
here is my suggestion anyway at least for you last (Cambodian) part:
- fly HCMC to SR
- stay SR (3-4)
- bus/boat down to PP (stay 1 or 2 nights)
- bus down to Kep (stay 1 night) and cross to Ha Tien in Vietnam
- take ferry from Ha Tien to PQ
This will save you backtracking to HCMC. On the way back to HCMC you have the choice
-take ferry and overland and then visit Mekong delta
- or fly
Saves you backtracking on the route HCMC - PP and your (bus)trips are easier and less tiring.