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Vietnam and Angor

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Vietnam and Angor

Can you suggest a good tour operator that does customized trips? We have only 14 days and would like to visit Angor and various sites in Vietnam. Our priorites are excellent guides and very small groups. Thanks.

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1. Re: Vietnam and Angor

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Removed on: 22 July 2011, 00:05
ON, Canada
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14,154 posts
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2. Re: Vietnam and Angor

Most people travel independently in Vietnam and Cambodia since it's so easy to make the arrangements, and it's economical. We used the services of a travel agent in Vietnam who is often recommended here on the forums. I determined where we wanted to go, how many days at each place, and hotels (although she'll help with an itinerary & recommendations if needed). She did most of our bookings, including hotels, Halong Bay cruise, domestic flights, drivers, tours and guides where needed. We had 17 nights ... spent 12 in VN, 4 at Angkor Wat, and a night in Phnom Penh (where we flew back home to Canada from.) It all went off extremely well and we enjoyed travelling on our own.

Susan

Edited: 21 July 2011, 21:40
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Halong Bay
Halong Bay
9,005 Reviews
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
39,703 Reviews
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Cambodia
Sydney, Australia
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14,431 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Vietnam and Angor

Cambodia- Siem Reap/Angkor are, without doubt, about the easiest places for DIY travel and sight seeing. In addition, the second language of Cambodia in the tourist areas and related industries is english.

Just get yourself to Cambodia/Siem Reap and take it from there. No need at all for all the costly add-ons of travel agents.

Just spend a bit of time on the Trip Advisor Cambodia Forum and read a few of other peoples trip reports and experiences. You will soon see just how easy it is in Cambodia. Far easier in fact than in Vietnam.

best regards. Ian

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Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
angkor
angkor
19 Reviews
Siem Reap, Cambodia
ON, Canada
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14,154 posts
45 reviews
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4. Re: Vietnam and Angor

Hi Ian,

Just to clarify...we had no costly add-ons from our TA. I had priced out our trip before contacting the TA because I was initially going to book all of the arrangements myself. It was a pleasant surprise when she came back with pricing that either matched or was lower than what I could get for the various arrangements.

Agree that for Siem Reap, they can easily do their own bookings (which we did).

With only 14 days and wanting to fit both VN and Cambodia in, having their plans in place before the trip will free up their time once there to devote to exploring.

Susan

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Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
Sydney, Australia
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14,431 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: Vietnam and Angor

Hello Susan,

True "at cost" and that advised to client are never the same.

It simply can not be.

Any TA has to meet the cost of his/her overheads and the cost of staff time in making bookings, never mind wages etc.

Therefore DIY, at cost, is miles in front of any TA provided service.

Of course, even for DIY it does require a modicum of common sense and knowledge gained from fora such as this.

In Cambodia DIY is the way to go. And all so very easy for the majority of FIT travellers. GIT for groups can be cheap but seldom as cheap as a half informed DIY traveller.

Best regards. Ian Tour Developer/Tour Leader - Indochina Region.

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London, United...
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6. Re: Vietnam and Angor

I travelled to Vietnam and Cambodia independently solo and I had nice time. In Vietnam there are local agents who can handle all the bookings and Cambodia is very easy to DIY.

Diva

travelpod.com/travel-blog/smittee/1/tpod.html

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ON, Canada
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14,154 posts
45 reviews
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7. Re: Vietnam and Angor

"Therefore DIY, at cost, is miles in front of any TA provided service."

Hi Ian,

Not always ... "At Cost" for me was the pricing that I was being quoted by hotels, junk operators and from VN airlines website. As mentioned, I was going to book these myself, but instead turned it over to a TN in VN to book. Her price for the individual arrangements was either better than or the same as I could have gotten on my own. She was able to negotiate better pricing than I was.

Agree that quite a lot of research needs to be done for DIY ... without these forums, TA reviews, and research elsewhere, I would not have been able to work out all of the details that I did to plan our trip. And, yes, common sense helps :)

Susan

Edited: 23 July 2011, 10:40
Newcastle, Australia
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8. Re: Vietnam and Angor

I've just finished making all the arrangements for a trip I'm taking with friend, in September, to Vietnam & Cambodia. We are going to be away for 3.5 weeks, and our total cost is $4000. We are doing a 5*, 8 day luxury cruise up the Mekong from HCMC, (inclusive of all meals/sightseeing), 6 nights in SR, before flying to Hanoi (Vietnam airlines, $300 ONE WAY!!), then travelling back down to HCMC via Hue/Hoi An, before returning home. We are staying in 4-5* hotels all the way - ie Caravelle in HCMC. This pricing includes ALL our airfares, both international, & domestic airfares in Vietnam, guide & driver for 3 days in Siem Reap, plus some meals in hotel in SR. All hotels are breakfast inclusive.

Of course it's taken some time and research to do this, but I've also had quite a few quotes from different agents, both here in Oz, and on-line from VN. On balance we are saving at least $2000, (and in the case of some multinational tour companies, up to $4000) each by doing it all on-line, without all the hassle and time it was taking emailing all the 'quoters' back and forth to change itineraries etc to get exactly what we wanted. I also work full-time, and I'm over 60, so if I can do it, everyone can!

Have a great holiday no matter how you decide to arrange it!

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Mekong Lodge
Mekong Lodge
685 Reviews
Cai Be, Vietnam
Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
Hue
Hue
Thua Thien - Hue Province, Vietnam
Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
Phoenix
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4 posts
15 reviews
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9. Re: Vietnam and Angor

We are going on a cruise in March of '12 and want to go from Bangkok to Siem Reap for two nights and then on to Ho Chi Minh City to catch up to the cruise again. Any suggestions on who might help with the air arrangements for this kind of itinerary? Can you get good guides to Angkor Wat from the hotels? We would like to see a little of Bangkok, too, before we fly to Siem Reap, is that possible?

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Bangkok
Bangkok
Thailand
Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
39,703 Reviews
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ho Chi Minh City...
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201 posts
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10. Re: Vietnam and Angor

Strongly agree with London Diva, Cambodia is smaller country than Vietnam so you can do DIY travel - I did alone and discovering each corner of Angkor Area by your self with a guide book ( I bought a very helpful guide book at USD 6) will make you feel like a winner :)

However, if you wanna take a real adventure in Siem Reap, you should hire a bike or a Jeep (Angkor Jeep Tours is recommended)

Mekong Express Bus is the best recommended transportation means for travelling from Vietnam to Cambodia. You only need to spend 1 day in Phnompenh and 3 days in Siem Reap for exploring mysterious Angkor!

Good luck!

Michelle

Edited: 20 August 2011, 04:28
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angkor
angkor
19 Reviews
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
Mekong Express
Mekong Express
304 Reviews
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