We are flying into HCMC for 10 days in southern Vietnam in October 2014. I've done lots of web browsing and I'm so overloaded with options! I'm not sure whether to squeeze as much as we can in, or take it slow and limit the trip to 3-4 destinations. I'm travelling with my partner, we're in our early 30's and would like to experience a bit of everything - markets, natural beauty, local customs & landmarks, beaches, nightlife, hustle and bustle - and serenity. Not much to ask!
We are wondering whether it would be good to cross over into Cambodia for a couple of days because we are so close, or is that trying to do too much? We're thinking instead of flying to Phu Quoc for the last couple of days to really relax and wind down.
Any suggestions and experiences would be really appreciated! Thankyou!
#1 Bluefly has been a member since 5/8/2014. Posts: 3
Hi, I traveled to Vietnam back in 2012 and I think you can consider exploring the northern part of Vietnam like Halong Bay, Hanoi and Sapa which is near the border of China. If you want to consider crossing the border, Siem Reap of course is another spot you might want to consider. Of course, if you will be in Southeast Asia for longer time, i highly recommend you to hop to Burma especially Bagan! Happy Planning!
If you are flying into HCMC - and honestly I don't remember the weather pattern there right now, but lets just assume weather is all in your favor you could really just tool around the Delta, visit Can Tho (2 nights) and some out of the way home stays (2 nights), a few nights in HCMC (3 nights) and a few nights on Phu Quoc (3 nights) and you've had a relaxing but nice 10 days there.
I wouldn't try to stretch yourself. If you really want to see some other stuff, maybe stay 2 nights in HCMC, then fly up to Da Nang to check out Hoi'an for 2-3 nights and then fly down to Phu Quoc from Da Nang for 3 nights. Stay a night in Can Tho on an overland path back to HCMC to stay a night before you catch your flight home.
I think you will tick all boxes by limiting your 10 days flogging around Saigon and the mekong delta followed by some relaxation on pq. Plenty of hustle bustle, markets and nightlife. As tempting as a quick trip into cambo sounds, I'd be taking more time getting around southern vn and leave cambo to next trip. Travelling around vn takes time and u dont want to use up too much of your ten days on buses or airport terminals.
The suggestion to fly up to danang and explore hoi an is great but I think the weather gods might be against you as its cyclone season in the centre in october. Save hoi an for the next trip.
Good luck with it.
Thanks so much for everyone's advice and suggestions. We have made some decisions and have settled on several nights in Saigon, then a trip up the Mekong Delta, cross the border into Cambodia for 4 nights in Kampot, then catch the ferry to Phu Quoc for our final 4 days. I know you can book 1 or 2 day tours up the Mekong, organised at the last minute in the backpacker district of Saigon. But is it possible to find a tour that can take us along the Mekong, then across the border into Kampot? I know most tour companies will pick you up in Saigon and return you there, but we want to cross into Cambodia to meet up with friends. Any advice on custom tours and/or crossing the border is much appreciated, thankyou!!
#5 Bluefly has been a member since 5/8/2014. Posts: 3
Loved Kampot - I think you made a good itinerary. I can't say for certain, but I think you can just get a visa on arrival at the Cambodia border. If it is a river station though I'm not sure. Remember to book a double-entry Vietnam Visa. Trip sounds great.
Thanks caseyprich, yes we've organised a multi-entry visa for Vietnam. From what I've researched I think you're right, that you can get a visa at the borer. I know you can't pre-organise an e-visa for land entry points, and I'm nowhere near a Cambodian embassy to get a visa sorted before we go.
Do you have any suggestions for great things to do around Kampot? Anything we should steer clear of, or any must-sees? Thanks!
#7 Bluefly has been a member since 5/8/2014. Posts: 3