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Suggested areas for our interests?

San Francisco
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221 posts
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Suggested areas for our interests?

We are looking for suggestions of must see places in Vietnam. For our plan: We will fly into Bangkok and spend a few days acclimating to time change (been before and know our way around). From BKK we will go to Siem Reap where we would like to spend 2 days at Angkor Wat (we arent huge all day temple fans and wont lat more than 2 days). From there we would like to go to Phnom Penh and the rest is up to our list of Vietnam and Laos.

For our interests: we will be 4 adults, my husband and I mid-30's and my parents mid-60's, rather adventurous and prefer experiencing LOCAL flavor, sights, sounds and food. Since we have done parts of Thailand, my parents are mostly concerned with visiting Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam that are different than Thailand and I think that they will all vary in their own people, food and culture. We are not HUE beachy people and often get bored on a beach more than 2 hours. For example we loved Thailands Phang Nga Bay and its limestone rocks but didnt love the busy Phuket and Phi Phi islands, although beautiful - just busy. We took a private guided tour of the hill tribes in Northern Thailand and handmade wooded boat trip down the Mekong and it was amazing and stunning and wonderful and we hope to do more of that.

I dont believe we would like busy Ho Chi Minh City but Hoi An and definitely Hanoi and Halong

Bay sound totally "up our alley".

So please give us some recommended Must do's based on our information.

Thanks so much in advance!

Hanoi, Vietnam
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1. Re: Suggested areas for our interests?

Tell us the timeline and exactly which month(s) for better answers

suggest you research Vietnam at http://www.travelfish.org/

VN beaches do not compare to those of Thailand

Hanoi, Vietnam
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2. Re: Suggested areas for our interests?

You may not get good advice with very general information you wrote above. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are not Thailand. Each country is different. So you will definitely find each country unique and has so much to offer you. You may need to do a little research and it's always very good to start with Travel fish as suggested above by daawgon. Not sure how much time you have for all three countries but to cover the highlight of Vietnam it takes 3 weeks. The highlight of Cambodia and Laos take at least one week. Here are the highlights for Vietnam.

South:

- Saigon

- Mekong delta: countryside, boat trip, floating markets, rivers

- Phu Quoc and Con Dao island

- Mui Ne: beach town

- Dalat: Hill station

Center:

- Nha Trang: beach town

- Hoian: beach, ancient town, river, countryside, Cham ruins

- Hue: ancient capital with Royal palace, King's tombs, rivers

- Phong Nha: countryside, rivers, cave, karst landscape

North:

- Hanoi

- Sapa: mountain, rice terraces, hilltribe villages, markets

- Mai Chau: mountain, rice fields, hilltribes villages, river

- Ninh Binh: countryside, boat trips, national parks, karst landscape, traditional villages

- Halong Bay

Enjoy researching and planing. You can not really shortcut this stage and by the way this will be always the interesting part to warm up and start the excitement before your holiday.

Edited: 05 November 2013, 16:27
San Francisco
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3. Re: Suggested areas for our interests?

Thanks for your responses and I will research Travelfish

To answer Daawgon we will travel last week in Feb to 3rd week in March 2014.

Thanks to vn_haongnguyen for the brief descriptions of some areas.. That really helps. Have been reading and marking up my Lonely Planet book "Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Northern Thailand".

Rockhampton...
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4. Re: Suggested areas for our interests?

We are the are the same age as your parents and travelled in March this year.

My favourite part of Vietnam was the Phong Nha National Park, staying at the Phong Nha Farmstay.

This is slightly adventurous and physical , with wonderful caves to explore, swimming, cycling, and a local farming community to interact with. Hardly any tourists other than those at the farmstay.

This is in central / west Vietnam. ( at the narrowest part )

My husbands favourite was the Ninh Binh area,( near Hanoi ) very scenic , boating, cycling, long walks , paddy fields.

The old quarter of Hanoi is also very interesting, especially some of the streets a bit away from the main track.

I have also been to Thailand and Cambodia, I must admit I enjoyed Vietnam the most.

sydney
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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5. Re: Suggested areas for our interests?

so your time frame is 3 weeks or 4 weeks (your answer can be interpreted several ways?

Are you wanting 3 weeks in Vietnam or do you intend to cover Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia in 3 weeks.?

I think Laos needs 10 days minimum (LP, Phonsavan, Vientiane) Cambodia needs 10 days too (SR< Battambang & PP) and vietnam needs 3 weeks all on its own.

I realise the US is a long way to fly but to do any justice to these places (particularly Cambodia & Laos) I think you need to prune your itinerary plans or extend your time.

cheers

helen

6. Re: Suggested areas for our interests?

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