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First time visit to Cambodia

Hobart, Australia
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36 posts
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First time visit to Cambodia

We are 50yo couple, travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia for the first time For the first week we will be travelling Cambodia with another couple, then for the rest of the time, just the two of us. We would love help or comments on our initial itinerary.

Day 1 – Fly to HCMC from Australia – arrive late afternoon. (Overnight HCMC)

Day 2- Visit museum and Cu Chi tunnels (Overnight HCMC)

Day 3 - Taxi to somewhere and catch a 2 night cruise up the Mekong. (Overnight Boat)

Do all boats leave from the same place ? are taxi’s big enough for 4 people and luggage ? Suggestions for which boat appreciated.

Day 4 - En route to Phnom Penh (Overnight Boat or Phnom Penh land based)

Day 5 - Explore Phnom Penh - (Overnight Phnom Penh)

(is one full day enough)

Day 6 - Travel to Siem Reap - transport ? (Overnight Siem Reap)

Day 7 - Explore Angkor - (Overnight Siem Reap)

(Is one full day enough ?)

Day 8 - Then fly to Hoi An (?) to commence the Vietnam leg for the next 10 - 12 days

Would very much appreciate any suggestions/adjustments. Thanks for your help

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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1. Re: First time visit to Cambodia

IMO the PP and SR section is too rushed. While some will say that one full day in PP is enough my preference would be for at least 2 days. In Siem Reap I'd say try to do at least 3 days if you can. But to be honest I'm not sure on the best way to rework your itinary, perhaps some other posters will have suggestions.

Have you already looked at flights from Siem Reap to Danang (closest airport to Hoi An) I suspect they will be quite expensive.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: First time visit to Cambodia

If you only have short time for Cambodia, consider just going to Siem Reap.

I always advice 3 full days for SR and 2 whole days for PP. I'm just over 50 and would certainly tire of this trip.

Edited: 18 February 2013, 06:30
Perth, Australia
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3. Re: First time visit to Cambodia

Is there some reason that you are flying into HCMC. I would have thought fly to SR 3 days, then bus Giant Ibis or Mekong Express (takes away a day but interesting) to PP for 2 days and then fly on to HCMC, do something like a Mekong Eyes cruise from there (transfers inc back to HCMC) , see the tunnels. War remnants Museum etc and then fly to maybe Dalat for a couple of days or Danang for Hoian. Dont sell yourself short on Cambodia unless you think you will come back for a second and longer look like we did)

Fairbanks, Alaska
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4. Re: First time visit to Cambodia

I agree with Annie and the others. If you time line can't be expanded, then I would drop PP entirely and spend at least two days in SR. Two days is barely time to do SR justice. Three or four in SR is really what is needed. As for PP, a busy two days is doable. But again three or four would be better.

Didn't notice where in AU your from but probably your used to the heat and humidity. If not, you'll find your functional days shortened significantly.

Mandurah, WA
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5. Re: First time visit to Cambodia

You don't say where your fly home point is from Vietnam so I'll assume it is Hanoi. I'm haven't been to Cambodia yet (heading there in July) but I did spend 22 days in Vietnam in 2011 and to be honest I could have done with at least another week. IMHO trying to do both Vietnam and Cambodia in 20 days means you will really only be able to scratch the surface of both countries. But if you're committed to doing them both here's what I'd suggest...

Day 2 - HCMC - Only doing the museum and CC tunnels means you're missing the best IMO but you can easily fit more into a big day. I suggest you stay in District 1 so that you can easily explore on foot. In a few hours you could easily take in the lovely French colonial architecture of the Central Post Office, Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, the People's Committee Building and experience the street food culture. In the evening head over to the Ben Than Markets. A visit to Chinatown is worth considering too.

Day 3 - Taxi's in Vietnam are generally the small sedan type so you'd probably struggle to fit 4 adults with luggage. Better option is a private minivan transfer which will be relatively cheap and far more comfortable. Most Mekong tours will include pick-up from your HCMC hotel anyway but if not just ask the tour agency or your hotel. Either one will be able to organise it for you.

PP & Siem Reap - Think about including an extra day in both places, then fly to Hoi An on Day 10 which will leave you 8-10 days for Vietnam. To cover the very basics you could possibly split your time like this...2 days Hoi An, then fly Danang to Hanoi . 2 nights Hanoi then 2 day/1 night Halong Bay trip. There's still 2-4 days in there that you could spend in any number of ways - Hue, Sapa, Ninh Binh. Or just consider spending more time in any of the previous mentioned places including HCMC.

Hope this is of some help.

Edited: 19 February 2013, 08:46
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6. Re: First time visit to Cambodia

I would fly into Cambodia and out of Vietnam or vice versa that way you wont need a multientry visa for Vietnam and allow 2 full days in PP and at least 2 full days for Siem Reap.

Hobart, Australia
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7. Re: First time visit to Cambodia

Thanks everyone for your help. After much research and taking into account your advice, we realise we were cramming too much into our time. So have decided to visit Vietnam only this time and do Cambodia and maybe Laos next trip.

8. Re: First time visit to Cambodia

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