In Vientiane at the moment... My flight leaves from HCMC so I plan on going through Cambodia and onto HCMC. Problem is (as I indicated in another thread) I'm flirting with Tet. My options are...
1) Arrive on the 6th or 7th, spend a few days in HCMC until my flight on the 9th.
2) I think I could arrive as early as the 4th but I don't know if this would give me much time to head too far out of HCMC to be safely back in time for my flight with pre Tet craziness but I wouldn't want to spend so much time in HCMC itself.
Which option would you choose? Can you pre book busses or trains online?
#1 SaltwaterGem has been a member since 4/1/2013. Posts: 22
I'd go with option 2 sort of, as even with some stuff being closed, Saigon is well worth a few days and if you're coming from Cambodia, get the boat to Chau Doc and via Can Tho (for the floating markets) so that you end up arriving in Saigon around the 6th/7th.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,707
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you cannot book directly online- as I guess you dont have some VN bank either!
You can-IF you really know now what you want, contact any of HCMC"s dozens of tr-agencies and see what they can organise for you, most are attached to some buscomp-which means they do only that comp and no others. Do I now need to say they will add a whopping service charge to that?
just like Chinese Nw Year IN Tet its actually much quiet-and many trains are cancelled due to lack of demand and workers wanting to be home too.
#3 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472
Are you coming from Phnom Penh or crossing the border at Ha Tein (near coastal Cambodia)? I'd be tempted to say just wing it, you might find something that makes you want to stay a few extra days in Cambodia and you are going to face a battle and Tet prices whatever day you travel between the 4th and the 9th Feb. To help you make your own mind up most of the offices in Saigon shut down around the 6th Feb so from the 6th till the 9th (Tet Eve) trains, buses and roads out of the city will be quite mad. Going in to Saigon the 8th and 9th (pre Tet) will be the most difficult as in rural areas they don't get so much time off. The day of Tet (10th) will be the quietest for travel, but the service will also be massively reduced as this is family day (a bit like Christmas back home), on the 11th people start moving again to visit the inlaws, on the 12th its friends and then the next four days is either extended holiday or people heading back to work - so the same as pre-Tet.
Regardless of when you decide to head to Saigon for your flight allow a couple of days to get there to be on the safe side. Traveling from Ha tien is an absolute nightmare during Tet (I've done it) so if you are in coastal Cambodia its well worth traveling up to Phnom Penh and then across to Saigon.
I was planning on going from Phnom Penh to Saigon and it sounds like this is the easiest (relatively) to do it. Sounds like I'm just going to hang around in Cambodia a little longer.
As for the 9th itself... How will it be going to the airport? Flight is at 3 PM or so, what time should I plan to start hailing a taxi?
#5 SaltwaterGem has been a member since 4/1/2013. Posts: 22
Early! Normally I allow an hour to get to the airport but on New Years Eve I'd triple it (just like the fare) just to be on the safe side, the roads are absolute carnage, as will the airport. If you do get there really early there will be loads to keep you entertained (lots of VN in motorcycle helmets going through security), International flights will be fine, domestic eeek!
Ha yeesh... This will be quite a battle. I'm heading to Singapore who will be ramping up for their own celebration so well see
#7 SaltwaterGem has been a member since 4/1/2013. Posts: 22
Oh wow, what an amazing time to be in Singapore, if its anything like Vietnam though and prices go up threefold . . well that would be awful. Enjoy Cambodia and next time spend a while in Vietnam, its really an incredible country.