Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

where to start,where to go

Posted by gansam on 16/1/2011 at 21:41


I am wondering if any one can help us plan out Holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia My two sisters and I would like to travel to the above places in Mid April but can not decide where to start the trip., I have been researching the trip but not having much luck in planning an itinerary
We have though of doing organised tours however we are not keen on this as we prefer the freedom to visit places on our own and manage our own time table.

The problem is that we want to clam to much in 14 days and want to see the every thing but realistic I know this is not possible, we will need to make additional trip in the coming years Therefore can any wise traveller out there give me ideas of where to start my trip and what is worth visiting in the time scale I have.

What should be my first port destination- Cambodia or Vietnam[/li] Should d I do the north first or sick to the south[/li]What are internal flights like in both counties [/li]I would like to take in PP, Angkor and, HCMC and the Mekong bay[/li]finishing the trip with a few days on the beach to unwind[/li][/ulist]
Am I being to ambitions?


#1 gansam has been a member since 16/1/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by mikethediver on 17/1/2011 at 05:38

Hi ,
If you only have 14 days then yes you are being too ambitious; you'll spend more time travelling than seeing things. However, you could fly into Siam Reap for a few days, down to PP and fly to Hanoi . Spend a few days in Sapa then Cat Ba (Halong Bay) and fly into Siagon to travel to the Mekong.

There really aren't any internal flights worth doing in Cambodia but you would need to fly Hanoi to Siagon; you don't have enough time to do it by any other way.

I'd try to do less and then you'd be able to enjoy what you actually do rather than pack/unpack & rush from one place to another!!

#2 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206
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Posted by caseyprich on 17/1/2011 at 07:41

From my own experience searching, It is a lot cheaper to fly into HCMC (Saigon) or Hanoi than into PP. You could possibly hit HCMC first, fly to Siem Reap , then work your way back from Siem Reap to HCMC in the two weeks you have. That would give you a week in Cambodia and a week in the Delta and around HCMC. With this option the visa gets trickier as you'd need a double entry.

Another option could be to save Siem Reap for another time and focus on doing just Vietnam this trip. That way you could have a week in the north around Hanoi/Halong Bay, and Sapa if time, and then a little under a week maybe to hit HCMC and the Mekong Delta - maybe even squeezing in Hoi An (I haven't been but the way people talk about it I really must). You'd probably need to fly around Vietnam for this, which I find relatively inexpensive to flights in the USA and even China.

#3 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by 40PlusTraveler on 19/1/2011 at 14:43

I agree with the first suggestion from above post. If you only have two weeks, keep it within a smaller area . HCMC to seam reap & PP, then back down the Mekong. Explore a couple of Delta towns, and then ferry to Phu Quoc Island for those couple of days unwinding on a (sensational) beach. Then fly back to HCMC (1 hr, $100)

#4 40PlusTraveler has been a member since 29/9/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 8
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Posted by egg1964 on 19/1/2011 at 16:21

Hello, I agree with others, you maybe being a bit ambitious. We did that with our last trip to Thailand and came home more tired than when we left... not this time.

We are having 21 days, but you could maybe look at our trip and alter. We fly to Hanoi spend time there, a 2 night / 3 day halong bay tour. Rail overnight into Hue, bus to Hoi An (which souns fantastic), Flight to Nha Trang for the beach, flight to Saigon and then home. A combination of country, history, beach and mad city. We did this on our first trip to Thailand and it was magical. Hope you have fun, we are really excited about our trip - going end of March / April, and I believe weather is meant to be fantastic.

#5 egg1964 has been a member since 19/1/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by gansam on 23/1/2011 at 19:25

Thank you for all your helpful comments, a lot to think off. I think we will just do Vietnam only and enjoy the county rather then spending most of our time travelling , I have done this in India and you are shattered through out he trip and not really enjoy the trip.

I now have decide whether I want to go to Nha Trang or Phu Quoc for the beach part of the trip both sound wonderful
Once I have booked my flights from the UK I can start working on the finer details of the itinerary

#6 gansam has been a member since 16/1/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by travellingsarah on 24/1/2011 at 18:09 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

Sorry to throw my opinion in after you have made your decision, but bear in mind that even just "doing" Vietnam in 14 days means you will have to miss out some of the main tourist areas. So you'll still need to think about where your priorities lie. The amount of travelling to cover Vietnam North to South is further than covering HCMC / Mekong and Cambodia.

#7 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
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Posted by _gabriella on 31/1/2011 at 20:26

Posted from within Vietnam.

Phu Quoc over Nha Trang . I've been to both in the last few weeks (in Nha Trang right now) and Phu Quoc was amazing, perfect weather, clear water etc. Nha Trang is hazy and beach is murky. It rained here today. Apparently northern Vietnam is particularly cold this year so that is something to take into account as well - Sapa is supposed to be covered in cloud and freezing cold! We planned to go to Sapa but decided to skip it based on what we've heard about the weather.

#8 _gabriella has been a member since 6/11/2010. Posts: 7

Posted by _gabriella on 31/1/2011 at 20:28

Posted from within Vietnam.

Also we flew from Phu Quoc to HCMC and it was more like $50 with vietnam airlines

#9 _gabriella has been a member since 6/11/2010. Posts: 7

Posted by vietnamrum on 1/2/2011 at 10:20

Posted from within Vietnam.

It has been pretty much raining in Nha Trang for 3 months.The worst i have seen in 3 years.
The last couple of days have had sun shine but a strong wind.

Keep it flexible - goto Nha trang if you like it then stay or jump on a flight to Saigon and then onto Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc Island to saigon and hanoi have opened recently.

#10 vietnamrum has been a member since 21/1/2011. Posts: 39

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