Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Vietnam cambodia itinerary route

Posted by marsh9 on 12/6/2017 at 01:54

Looking for some advise on the best route to take for our trip. flying in and out of Ho Chi Minh,we have 21 days once me arrive. Looking to see Angor , Siem reap and then Halong bay and travel back down to Ho Chi Minh to fly out. need advise or a round trip if possible from HCMC. happy to pay to fly if that means saving travel time.

Thank you

#1 marsh9 has been a member since 12/6/2017. Posts: 1

Posted by mikal83 on 14/6/2017 at 15:18

Bus thru PP then Bus to Battambang, boat to SR and then fly to Hanoi. Take the train back to HCMC hoping on and off as you wish

#2 mikal83 has been a member since 19/1/2015. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 139
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Posted by jamurphy3 on 19/6/2017 at 09:29

My family of three did a 17 day trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangkok a few years ago. Angkor was amazing and not to be missed. Siem Reap is just OK so I wouldn't plan to spend lots of time there. We visited a brand new museum there which was great and spent two days touring the temples. The Cambodian people are amazingly sweet and gentle. I would love to go back to Cambodia and see more of the country and spend time with the people.

The absolute highlight of our trip was Sapa in northern Vietnam. The landscape and mountains are unlike anything I had ever seen and the people totally different from the rest of the country because of its proximity to China. We hired a local woman, Little Chi from Sapa Sisters to hike through the rice paddies and mountains for a day. She was seven months pregnant and skipped along in mud and serious elevation while we were slipping and sliding. We were up close and personal with small villages, water buffaloes, and miles and miles of rice fields. The scenery was breathtaking. We all wished we had spent a few more days there. I would love to do more hiking and visit other villages farther from Sapa.

We did a one night, two day cruise at Halong Bay which I thought was just OK. It takes hours to get there from Hanoi , with a long stop each way at a tourist place to get you to buy stuff and being on a boat with activities that I did not really care about was not my cup of tea for travel. I think I would have been fine with a day cruise. Honestly, I could have skipped this experience totally. My young adult daughter got very sick from using the water to brush her teeth on the boat and was in bed for two days. It rained the whole time we were there so were unable to spend time out on the deck.

The other place we stayed that was great was Hoi An which is on the water in the middle of the country. We flew on local flights from Hanoi to Danang (Hoi An is a 30 minute cab ride) and then Danang to Ho Chi Min city. The flights are super inexpensive with the Danang to Ho Chi Min being about $21 US per person on a super clean plane that served snacks and water. (check Skyscanner for flights) We spent time at the beach and rode bikes all over the area which is what the locals do. Hoi An had great restaurants and was lively at night with lanterns lit around this river. It is VERY hot there but the ocean provides relief and it is breezy there.

I enjoyed both Hanoi and Saigon but only for a few days. We had a guide take us to the Mekong Delta for a long day and told him that we liked to be active, We did a boat ride, hiked and rode bicycles on some of the islands and had a blast. Our guide was very open about his disdain for the northern Vietnamese and the government and we learned a lot from him. The war museum in Saigon was informative and as Americans made us feel horrible for the things our government and military did to the country and its people.

My one suggestion for any of the cities in Vietnam is to stay away from the big hotels. We stayed in this little hotel in Hanoi called Charming II which totally made our stay special. We had a room looking out over a street where a vendor set up every morning to sell huge containers of cleaning products. We would sit in the window watching families on small motor bikes pull up and buy a container or two (with three people on the bike). There were florists in this area which were preparing for a big holiday and creating these big arrangements. There were very tiny women selling fruit with these two baskets on a long pole resting on their shoulder. There were food stalls with the very short, little red plastic stools that you ear on. We did walk over to the area where the big international hotels were on the other side of the city and there was absolutely no character to the neighborhood. It felt like many cities.

In Saigon we rented an Air BnB apartment with a washing machine so that we could prepare for the next week of travel. There were amazing street restaurants and a street market during the day in that neighborhood. There is a much more authentic feel and a sense of how people really live when you get away from Western like hotels and restaurants. We found any restaurant near those hotels were grossly overpriced and the food was not very good. We tried to eat where local people were eating. Also - in Hanoi, we spent the evening with two college students from Hanoi Kids which is an organization to help the students practice speaking English and learn how to give tours of the city. We had two women who were lovely and we learned so much from their perspective. We were also able to eat on the streets as they could communicate and read the signs. This is a free service and all you have to do is pay for food and entry to museums if you choose that. I highly recommend this.

Our itinerary was Hong Kong (day layover) to Hanoi (three nights), bus ride to Halong Bay (one night) and back to Hanoi to pick up luggage and get night train to Sapa (two days one night). Then took a bus back to Hanoi for one night and then flew out early to Danang and cab to Hoi An (three or four nights). Flight from Denang to Saigon (four nights) and did one day on Mekong Delta during that time. Flew from Saigon to Siem Reap ( 2 or 3 nights) and then flew to Bangkok for a few days. After this trip we all decided we would have spent less time in cities and more out in the country as that is a much more authentic experience. Hope this helps. We LOVED Southeast Asia and can't wait to return.

#3 jamurphy3 has been a member since 23/6/2015. Posts: 2


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