forgive me because i know nothing about SE Asia so this itinterary may not make sense....
I am trying to plan a trip in March for about 6 weeks. We were thinking of starting in Hanoi and making out way down Vietnam, across Cambodia, and then into Thailand. Specifically (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Saigon, Phnom Pheh, Siem Riep, Bangkok (although we prefer to spend little time in the big cities), then down to the islands in Thailand). We would then fly out of Bangkok at the end to go home. I was wondering if this is too much for a 6 week trip? I read it is better to not try and pack too much in a short amount of time.
I have the lonely planet book and its so much information that I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions about places that are MUST SEE or suggestions about getting to all these places?
Also, can anyone offer advice about the islands off of Cambodia, and if they are worth visiting? And if so, what the fastest way is to get to the islands of Thailand from there?
Also, is it possible in the time we have to see islands on both sides of Thailand? (Ko Phi Phi/Phuket AND Ko Tao/Ko pha ngan/koh samui). And if so, what the best way to get from one side to the other would be.
Thanks so much!
I appreciate your advice/response!
#1 jessicaf has been a member since 25/10/2010. Posts: 11
It sounds like a beach/coastal trip to me and 6 weeks is fine for that if you don't plan to visit some more historical sights and focus on beach
Probably roughly 3 weeks for the places you mention in Vietnam, 1 week in Cambodia and then 2 weeks in Thailand. Can not really help with Thai islands but here's a few comments suggestions for coastal places in Cambodia and Vietnam:
- Some of the islands in Cambodia are beautiful but are lacking any of the facilities you find in Thailand. Any accommodation is usually very basic but it's a nice "back to bascics" feeling.
You'll have to go along the coast to reach BKK but it's easy and from Sihanoukville you can reach BKK in 1very tiring day or 2 easy days. Can recommend these islands if you want a different flavor to your beach travel
- Phu Quoc (VN) is a typical beach holiday island with beautiful beaches but it has nothing else to do. Major development will start soon but it's still ok for now.
- Con Dao (VN) for a real "out of the way" feeling for your beach trip. My personal favorit.
Con Dao is a flight destination (from HCMC), Phu Quoc is also flying or overland through Mekong delta and ferry from Ha Tien or Rach Gia.
I think you can squeeze 1 or 2 of the three easily in your itinerary
I personally would trade Mui Ne (assuming that you want to visit Nha Trang for nightlife) for either Phu Quoc or Con Dao
Thank you so much for your advice! We are avid divers and live in Southern California, so planning a "beach trip" was what came naturally. However, we definitely want to see historic sites and are up for leaving the coast considering we will get plenty of beach in Thailand.
#3 jessicaf has been a member since 25/10/2010. Posts: 11
Save the diving for Thailand. I'm not a diver but my friends are and they all agree that it's no comparison between Thailand and the other 2.
I would skip Nha Trang and Mui Ne altogether and trade it in for an island. Put emphasis on three regions and take (overnight) trains between the regions:
Hanoi, Halong, ( Sapa ) (1 week/10 days).
Hoi An, ( Hue ) (4 days/1 week)
Saigon, Island/Mekong delta (1 week)
Time wise you should probably choose between Sapa or Hue (depends on your interest)
For the south it's probably a choice between the Mekong and an island
- Sapa, to see the hilltribes and beautiful mountain scenery (3-4 days)
- Hue, summer palaces make for a nice little boat trip on the river. Also Hue has some great cuisine if you try the specialties from that city. (1 day, 2 nights)
- Mekong delta. Easy excursion from Saigon. Great way to see the waterways and locals living on/with the water, fruit farms and rice fields (2-3 days). You can visit mekongdelta on the way to Cambodia.
Either via Chau Doc to Phnom Penh (2 days) or via Ha Tien and than enter in Kep and onwards to Phnom Penh (3-4 days). The latter way you can see a little of Cambodian coast and visit Rabbit island.