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Vietnam forum

First timer, advice much appreciated!

Posted by paulchangman on 17/6/2009 at 10:38

Hi everyone,

My girlfriend and I have about 2 weeks to travel, and would like to see Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I know there's not enough time to see all 3 places and we want to make the best use of our time. Due to time constraints, we have to arrive on July 12th and leave on the 25th.

Here are a few questions we have:

1. We're aware that July is the monsoon season in that area, but we've also heard that while it rains everyday, the rain is usually bracketed by periods of sunshine and dries quickly. We've also heard a fair bit of conflicting information. For example, most sites say Hanoi in July should be nasty and wet but one or two say it will be hot and dry. We're wiling to put up with rain, but don't want it to stop us seeing things. Is the weather going to be a problem?

2. Weatherwise, where would be the best places to visit for our time period?

3. Is 2 weeks enough to see more than one country? Would it be better to focus on say Laos or Vietnam than spread ourselves too thin?

4. As for transport between cities and places, I assume its easy to get tickets for trains and buses? Is there any need to book now, in advance?

5. And finally, any suggested routes or itineraries that would suit the time period and weather?

Thanks so much in advance, any tips are greatly appreciated!

#1 paulchangman has been a member since 17/6/2009. Posts: 9

Posted by BruceMoon on 17/6/2009 at 14:51


In order...


If you are largely in museums, etc., in HaNoi, then the rain doesn't matter. Also, in the tropics the rain isn't (usually) cold, so its not as if you are rugged up as well. Things get wet? oh well!


Absolutely not. 2 weeks is not enough to even see ONE country. Assuming of course that you do want to experience something.

Personally, I'd recommend Laos. Not because it is any better than Vietnam (its just different), but because Vietnam is a long narrow country and travel arrangements need to be really tight to be able to see a variety of options.

Also, if you visit only Laos, choose either the north or the south, not both. Depending on whether you arrive in Vientiane or Luang Prabang (the usual), you'd need to suggest the sorts of things that interest you for me to further advise.

In Vietnam, It's either Hanoi & environs or Saigon (& environs). If Hanoi, (say) 3 days haNoi, 3 days (2 on water) for Halong Bay, 3 days SaPa (but arriving on a Sunday am at Lao Cai station to 'do' BacHa, then skip back to SaPa for 2 nights, and return Hanoi. That's 9 days, the remaining 3 could be in Mai Chau, or the overnight train down to Hue (by air to return?).


Yes, that's right - this time of year isn't heavily booked. But, also dont leave to very last minute.


See above.

- - -

Hope this helps


#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

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Posted by paulchangman on 17/6/2009 at 14:57

Thanks a lot Bruce. I actually came to the conclusion about sticking to one country after I wrote that post and as you said, Laos seemed to be the best option. I've actually posted up a rough itinerary here if you don't mind taking a look.

Thanks again!

#3 paulchangman has been a member since 17/6/2009. Posts: 9

Posted by BruceMoon on 17/6/2009 at 15:33


#4 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by lexkssnbrg on 22/6/2009 at 17:23

Thanks a lot Moon. Just keep on with posting useful tips for newbies of this forum.

#5 lexkssnbrg has been a member since 5/5/2009. Posts: 53

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