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Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

Manchester, United...
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Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

I am starting to plan a trip and hope to go to a few places in Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas. I've only got about 18 days though and I'm really not sure what I can fit in.

I've had a look through some of the other forum questions and have got some great ideas about some places to visit. Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia look great, as does Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Loas and Hanoi in Vietnam. I know that I definitely want to go on a junk boat in Halong Bay. I think that I've accepted that I cannot fit Ho Chi Minh City into the schedule, but other than I'm struggling to prioritise and also find out how easy/difficult it is to travel between the different locations.

I'm hoping to start booking flights etc in a week or so time with the aim of travelling out in mid-April. I cannot wait; I just want to make sure that I make the most of it, so any advice that you can give would be much appreciated!

Thank you.

sydney
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1. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

18 days ... pick 2 countries max. You can visit the main sites in Cambodia & Laos in that time frame but Vietnam really needs all this on it's own - there is so much more than just Halong Bay.

If you picked Cambodia & Laos I'd suggest fly into PP (3 nights) bus to Battambang (2 nights) bus to SR (4 nights) fly to Vte (3 nights) bus or fly to Phonsavan (Plain of Jars) 2 nights, bus to LP (4 nights) fly home from there.

We had 10 days in Laos in July last year before heading into Cambodia. This might give you a few ideas. …blogspot.com.au/2011/07/day-1-in-laos-luang…

cheers

helen

Manchester
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2. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

Personally I'd cut out Vietnam. I spent 2 weeks there and it was my least favourite place out of the 3 & you wouldn't be able to do either any justice if you split the time between all.

Itinerary above looks good...it really does depend on what you like doing/what age you are/who you're travelling with/budget etc Other places could include Sihanoukville if you want to chill on the beach for a couple of days or Vang Vien if you want some crazy partying!

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

In 15 days, you can do the three countries... (my parents did it)...but you won't have time to wander to much around!

It was something like this:

Day 1 : SAIGON

Day 2 : SAIGON - CAI BE

Day 3: CAI BE - CAN THO - LONG XUYEN

Day 4: LONG XUYEN – CHAU DOC

Day 5 : CHAU DOC - PHNOM-PENH

Day 6 : PHNOM-PENH– SIEMREAP

Day 7: ANGKOR

Day 8: ANGKOR

Day 9 : SIEMREAP – VIENTIANE - LUANG PRABANG

Day 10 : LUANG PRABANG

Day 11 : LUANG PRABANG

Day 12 : LUANG PRABANG – HANOI

Day 13 : HANOI - CAT BA

Day 14 : HALONG – HANOI

Day 15 : HANOI

I looked at several travel agencies and they offer this kind of tour...which means it's possible.

With 3 more days, you even have time to go to Ninh Binh...or Sapa in Vietnam.

Hope it helps. Let me know if you need more advice.

(Btw, my parents travelled with Vietnam Insolite - the whole family do travel with this agency! ^^ - but as I said, there are not the only ones to offer this kind of tour - so you can find plenty of info and ideas on the travel agencies' website).

Vientiane, Laos
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4. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

As above, 3 countries in 18 days will just be a whistlestop tour, with many early mornings and taxis to and from airports.

To do Halong Bay any justice you need a 2 day/3night boat trip - with at least a day either side for getting to hanoi and back from laos - so a full week if you also want to see some of Hanoi.

I would either chose Halong Bay + 10 days Laos if you swing towards Vietnam, or 8 (days Siem Reap/Phnom Penh/Sihanoukville or Battambang) plus 10 days Laos if Cambodia is your preference, but not all 3 countries in that timeframe.

With 10 days in Laos you would need to chose between north or south to avoid rushing around with lots of time travelling. If its your first time I would suggest the north - more culture and less Thai/Viet influence than the south.You could spend 2 days Vientiane, 3 days LP, and 3 days in one of the quieter popular northern destinations like Luang Namtha, Muang Sing, Muang Ngoi or Nong Khiaw.

Vientiane, Laos
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5. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

As above, 3 countries in 18 days will just be a whistlestop tour, with many early mornings and taxis to and from airports.

To do Halong Bay any justice you need a 2 day/3night boat trip - with at least a day either side for getting to hanoi and back from laos - so a full week if you also want to see some of Hanoi.

I would either chose Halong Bay + 10 days Laos if you swing towards Vietnam, or 8 (days Siem Reap/Phnom Penh/Sihanoukville or Battambang) plus 10 days Laos if Cambodia is your preference, but not all 3 countries in that timeframe.

With 10 days in Laos you would need to chose between north or south to avoid rushing around with lots of time travelling. If its your first time I would suggest the north - more culture and less Thai/Viet influence than the south.You could spend 2 days Vientiane, 3 days LP, and 3 days in one of the quieter popular northern destinations like Luang Namtha, Muang Sing, Muang Ngoi or Nong Khiaw.

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

it also depends if you want to travel with a travel agency or on your own. You always waste more time when you are on your own, trying to find places and transportation, etc. But it can be fun. Really depends on your travel style.

Regarding Halong Bay 2days/1 night is a must. 3days/2 nights is only if you really have time...but it's not like you are going to do a lot more than when you do a 2d/1n cruise. (just to clarify what bluecramp said..because 2 day/3 nights don't exist -hehe). If you have time, I would advice to do a 2d/1n cruise and then 1 day in ninh binh.

Vientiane
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7. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

I agree with Cramp. A tour like the one proposed reminds me "Its Tuesday, this must be Rome". 2 days in Angkor Wat is generally not regarded as enough, just as an example. I also disagree that you waste more time by travelling on your own. ot at all. If you are organised and plan your itinerary carefully, you actually get to do what YOU want to do. It is FAR cheaper as well.

sydney
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for Cambodia
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8. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

The itinerary posted by Aimi (#3) will have your head spinning - all you will really see is the inside of airports etc and much of the rest of your time is spent packing & unpacking - yuk!

There is also a huge diffrence between "wasting your time" and being shunted round like cattle. Laos & Cambodia are so easy to DIY - you get to see & do what you want not what some travel agent on the other side of the world thinks you should see.

You're on holidays - slow down, enjoy what you're seeing & doing and remember the moments not just look at the pictures you took.

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

Hi guys. Thank you so much for your feedback. It's really useful and has given me a lot to think about. I'm 27 and will be travelling with my boyfriend. We're definitely up for exploring, with a bit of relaxing thrown in, but I don't think that the crazy party places are for us.

Would you say that it's easy enough to travel by coach/train or would you recommend flying between the locations?

Thanks again!

sydney
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10. Re: Vietnam, Cambodia and Loas

no trains in Cambodia or laos and 'coach' is not a term that can reasonably be used to describe some of the buses you will see either.

Check out the Bangkok Airlines discovery pass - you need 3 flights min for the pass