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Vietnam forum

9 days in Vietnam/Cambodia

Posted by tungcj97095 on 19/2/2014 at 02:19

My spouse and I are planning a SEA trip and within this month long trip, we've allocated 9 days in Vietnam and Cambodia.
We will be arriving at HCMC on April 20th, 2014 at 1:30 pm. We plan to fly out to Hong Kong on April 29th at 10:50 am. This will be our first time in Vietnam and to be honest...I have no idea what to expect.

I've done some research and there are some place that we'd really like to see.
1. Ho Chi Minh City
2. Phnom Penh (around Cambodia if possible)
3. Nha Trang

My question are as follow:
1. What is the most efficient way to travel in between these places? (We don't mind the travel...as long as there are things to see on the way)
2. What are some absolute must see's?
3. Should we just go with a tour?

Any help would be awesome!

Thanks in advance.

#1 tungcj97095 has been a member since 19/2/2014. Posts: 1

Posted by Want2BHappy on 19/2/2014 at 08:11

Well, why do you want to see Nha Trang? Hardly a highlight of Vietnam, I'd say.

Also 9 days isn't really enough to see much of Vietnam, never mind Cambodia.

If you limit yourself to Siem Reap (which is worth 3 days of anybody's time) as far as Cambodia goes, then you could spend the other six in the Delta, Saigon and around.

But really, Vietnam alone is worth more than 9 days. You need to take a look at a guidebook to see where you might like to go then throw the guidebook away and make your own plan based on your own interests.

#2 Want2BHappy has been a member since 23/2/2013. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 69
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Posted by chinarocks on 19/2/2014 at 08:14

How about Northern Vietnam?

Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay. Could be done in 9 days. Two countries in 9 days is a bit mad if you ask me.

#3 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by 11 on 19/2/2014 at 09:34

9 days isn't much but I just had 2 and a half weeks and had a great time.Clearly limit yourself to what you want to see; don't try and "do" everything and accept some people want a week anywhere, and some don't. PP and Saigon are great; noisy, busy and fun. You have to do Siem Reap, mostly for Angkor of course (it isn't necessary to do 3 days there, it's your holiday not a task - 1 day was enough for me, though I also fitted a day's horse ride out a further temple, but then I don't care much about temples). Anyway SR is also great fun. Everything from SR to Saigon is manageable by bus - take a day for most SR to PP of course. You could stay a short while in Chau Doc (go back-of-a-motorbike up Sam Mountain for the view). Consider Phu Quoc island (fly in from Saigon to save time) - still beautiful and gorgeous beaches but getting developed fast. For Saigon think about the Vespa tour of the city (VietnamVespaAdventures) - did it last week: excellent and some places seen well off the normal guidebook run.

#4 11 has been a member since 19/2/2014. Posts: 2

Posted by daawgon on 19/2/2014 at 13:19

I agree with the first 2 posts here - the north of Vietnam is much more interesting, and you really don't have enough time for both countries

#5 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,111

Posted by Want2BHappy on 19/2/2014 at 14:14

But the OP is planning a trip in December/January.....

I'd want to stay in the South at that time of year. Could be wet and cold the whole time up North.

#6 Want2BHappy has been a member since 23/2/2013. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 69
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Posted by AbigailatPenhandInk on 20/2/2014 at 04:06 TF writer

If you want a taste of Cambodia as well as Vietnam, you might be better to change your flight to arrive in Phnom Penh, then cross into Vietnam. You'll need to check, but I suspect you won't get a multi-entry visa for Vietnam, so you'd need to buy two if you wanted to arrive in HCMC then go to Cambodia and then return to Vietnam. Cambodia offers visa on arrival, so that's not a problem.


You can book a transfer from PP to HCMC which includes a boat on the Mekong. Bus from PP, transfer to the boat, land to cross the border then get back on the boat, finally transfer to a bus to get into HCMC. It's not the quickest journey but interesting to be on the river and see the differences between the two countries.

The Angkor Wat complex at Siem Reap is definitely worth a visit, but it would take a chunk out of your limited time if you're arriving in HCMC. Outside Phnom Penh, you could visit Tonle Bati, Phnom Chisor and Oudong, which would give you a feel for some old temples. The first two are easily combined into a day trip.

#7 AbigailatPenhandInk has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 179
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