So I am trying to decide on a route for Vietnam. I want to enter overland from China and end up in Phnom Penh so....
Sapa - I was thinking of starting here but I am conflicted because of the comments I have read about it being over touristed now. Thoughts? Is it worth a stop?
Then Hanoi and a Halong Bay tour.
Next I want to stop in either Hue or Hoi An. What would you pick?
Then head down to Ho Chi Minh and onto Cambodia.
Any advice is appreciated! :)
#1 katsnow has been a member since 24/7/2008. Posts: 13
SaPa - there is no doubt that this delightful place has attracted many many tourists. But, please don't avoid SaPa because it no longer presents as some anti-tourist traveller would like. Also, please go read this post:
That link also deals with travel options, how to enjoy SaPa, and more.
You'll read here on Travelfish that most HaLong tours begin and end from HaNoi. At the moment, there is one company that is offering a good service - though it is not cheap. www.columbuscruise.com
Regarding Hue and Hoi An, both are tourist stops, and both present quite different options for the traveller. Rather than ask people what they think one should visit, it may be better if you tell us the sorts of activities you like. That way it would become clearer for people to refer to options in each location.
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How were you thinking of travelling from Saigon to PP? Overland or by boat?
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One of the things you haven't said in your post is how long you plan to spend in Vietnam. This might also be helpful regarding advice.
My timeline is pretty loose. I have three months to make it from Chengdu China to Kuala Lumpur. So Vietnam will get as much time as I want to give while I am there.
In regards to activities. I am thinking by the time I reach either Hue or Hoi An I will need a break. So I am looking for somewhere I can catch a few days of relaxation while seeing things leisurely. So I guess I am not looking for a lot of extreme sports of anything.
Traveling from HCM to PP I was going to try overland. I tend to get seasick on small boats. The ones on the Halong Bay Tour are bigger? Right?
#3 katsnow has been a member since 24/7/2008. Posts: 13
after thinking some more, this will probably be two weeks.....
#4 katsnow has been a member since 24/7/2008. Posts: 13
I suggest most people get seasick when the boat incurs swell. It's more likely that a boat will incur swell at HaLong than the Brassac or Mekong.
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If you have only 2 weeks in VN....
A bit more than one week - SaPa, HaNoi, HaLong, HaNoi.
About a week HaNoi > Hue or Hoi An > Saigon...
Now where with what time...???
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Hue is cultural in that there are ancient places to see, 'royal' food to experience, etc. And, Hue needs about 3 full days to get an idea of the place. The DMZ is also nearby.
Hoi An is a western city in Vietnam. By that I mean that the Vietnamese have catered for westerners wanting to do western oriented things. There is beach close by. There is the My Son ruin nearby. And, travellers buy second rate clothing 'sold' as tailored garments. And, the partying goes late into the night.
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Thanks for all the information. My trip is really in the beginning stages of being planned. I have 13 weeks starting at the end of November.
I will start in Chengdu China to see a Panda and spend about a week or 10 days there. Then two weeks in Vietnam, then off to still planning. A week or so in Cambodia, especially Angkor Wat. Then off to Laos and a little Thailand. I really want to go to Myanmar for three weeks or so. Then the train down to KL with a stop in Penang....I think. Then again, the only things that are have tos on this trip is Chengdu where I start and Myanmar.
Any suggestions are helpful.
#6 katsnow has been a member since 24/7/2008. Posts: 13
One of the fascinations of planning a journey is the sheer number of wonderful places that one could visit. It's only when the logistics of linking these places sets in does it dawn that there is a limit to the number of places one can visit. On this topic go to this post and digest the contents.
As for Angkor, also look here for more info .
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Also, out of curiosity, are you planning to float down the Li River at Yangshao?
Thanks for the information. I am trying to keep my trip pretty low key. I am wrapping up almost two years of teaching English in Korea and like many of the koreans I feel as though I haven't had a proper vacation in as much time!
I probably will stay away from boats as much as possible. I feel like I am missing out on some experiences but to me it wouldn't be much fun to be sick and miserable the entire time. Ha Long Bay is a stretch and I will def. bring some meds. I think there are a lot of other things that I can keep myself interested in on solid ground.
#8 katsnow has been a member since 24/7/2008. Posts: 13