South Vietnam Itinerary advice
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Feb 18, 2013 7:17 PM Last Post By: longquoctran
Dec 6, 2012 3:10 PM
South Vietnam Itinerary adviceHi all, I am hoping to go to South Vietnam in May 2013. I would appreciate any feedback or advice on my plan so far.
I am going for the countryside/nature and natural beauty rather than nightlife/beaches and am on a budget!
Day 1: Arrive Saigon
Day 2: Tunnels
Day 3: ML bus to Can Tho Homestay
Day 4: Can Tho
Day 5: Can Tho
Day 6: Travel to Chau Doc (how can I get there? Do ML buses also do this route?)
Day 7: Tra Su Cajuput Forest
Day 8: Chau Doc ( Can anyone recommend anything else here?)
I was also perhaps thinking about then going on to Phu Quoc for a few days and then flying from there back to Saigon, but don't know how easy it is to get there?
Thanks in advance!
Dec 6, 2012 6:41 PM
Dec 6, 2012 7:39 PM
2Your itinerary sounds nice and this is a common way as many tourist choice when they come to the South. follow your program, i'm going to give you some tips for the perfect trip:
Day 1: Sai Gon arrival
If you flight arrive not too late, you may have a little sightseeing around the city and visit Ben Thanh market or Cho Lon market, enjoy the food, coffe..
Day 2: SG- Tay Ninh - Cu Chi tunnel
Just take an half day for the tunnel, so why don't you also visit the Cao Dai Holy See in Tay Ninh first and the tunnel after
Day 3: HCM- Vinh Long- Can Tho
Take a bus to Vinh Long and visit the Cai Be floating market, then go to Can Tho and overnight in there
Day 4: Can Tho- Chau Doc
Spending the day life with another floating market in Can Tho name : Cai Rang, not only look at the business but also experience the life of mekong delta
Then take bus to Chau Doc, over night in Chau Doc
Day 5: Chau Doc- Phu Quoc island
As you know, Phu Quoc now is very famous by the nature environment, fresh air and very very nice beach with many beautiful resort...and the easy way to get there is by the speed boat at Rach Gia pier( it's about 350.000vnd/pax), and it's quite far from Chau Doc, so you should book the boat ticket before the departure.
3 days relaxing in Phu Quoc is pretty good.
Just a very little tips, you have to prepare so much more and the advise from any people who travelled the South before or the travel agent are necessary
Wish you will have nice vacation
Dec 6, 2012 7:52 PM
I traveled Mekong Delta last few months ago, very big delta indeed. I am not sure about other places but if you love to see the real countryside and nature of the Mekong, I would recommend you to stay at Mekong Lodge, which is reached by boat from Cai Be and there are heap of things to do there to really get up close to the land.
Dec 7, 2012 1:21 PM
4Hi bellart1, yes, this is where I was planning on staying actually! Do they have safes in the rooms? I know its really remote, but I would hope so for peace of mind. Which company took you to Chau Doc? Was it like National Express/Megabus or smaller? I am a little anxious about the public transport side of it all!!
sunflower17589 Thank you for your advice, when I get home I shall look into the places you have mentioned in more depth and perhaps incoroporate these into the trip. I will also check out that hotel and area Sigridmr, thanks to all for the advice.
Is there much else to do in Chau Doc other than the forest? I dont know whether I should stay here for as long?
Dec 8, 2012 6:21 PM
5Don't worry about the buses - Vietnam has some of the nicest buses I've been on! Mai Linh and Phuong Trang have comfortable, big buses between big cities (eg. HCMC-Can Tho). For smaller distances Mai Linh have a lot of minibuses (eg. Rach Gia to Ha Tien, HCMC to Vung Tau) that go quickly (unlike the more 'local' buses that might keep stopping to pick up passengers).
I'm not sure if you can still get to Phu Quoc from Rach Gia - the more usual crossing is from Ha Tien.
Dec 9, 2012 5:19 AM
6Nguyen Shack are just that - bamboo and thatch shacks by the river - 5 in fact, all very close to each other. There are no safes in the rooms, but we felt it was very safe there, but carried our passports with us at all times. I'mnot sure which bus company it was, but Thue, the owner made the booking for us with the local company, which she was happy to do. Chau Doc was a dump actually, and we're glad we only spent the one night there, in transit for Phnom Penh. We couldnt find a single cafe/restaurant for dinner and ended up eating at a coffee place, who went to the market for our food for us, which was fine.
We did the trip the other way round, went from Phu Quoc to Rach Gia on the fast boat - simple!
Dec 9, 2012 5:25 AM
Dec 9, 2012 1:14 PM
8Hi everyone, thanks so much for your posts. Ok, I think I will only stay two nights in Chau Doc, I only really want to see the forest, hopefully I will be able to find a local to take me there! Which is the best way to get to PQ from Chau Doc? I am a little confused - a bus to Ha Tien then a ferry? Thanks in advance!
Dec 9, 2012 1:15 PM
Dec 9, 2012 1:19 PM
Dec 10, 2012 3:04 AM
11We put our rucksacks in the storage underneath the bus and they were fine - there isn't really room for them on the bus (unless,as you suggested, you bought another ticket) but NEVER have anything of value in your suitcase anyway. All our important stuff, passports, cameras, Ipad, tickets, itinerary, photocopies of passports etc etc we carried with us at all times.
It took us just over 4.... on the public bus, it stops for people to have lunch, half way...
Edited by: bellart1
Dec 11, 2012 3:09 PM
12Hi bellart1, thanks for your reply. Sounds like National Express type buses then, thats cool. I caught the Megabus from Victoria once and the driver left the hold under the bus open while it was boarding and I saw these guys walk past and take a load of cases off and peg it! Have been paranoid ever since! I read online you should have a mix of US dollars and Dong also, can you advise on this? Are the US dollars for tipping or payment?? Thanks again for all your help!!
Dec 12, 2012 4:56 AM
13True, that can happen and so we did try to keep an eye on the hold while it was being filled. The bus was very comfortable, with reclining seats, and they give you free water as you board - very civilised.
Yes, a mixture of dollars and dong is a good idea, and we tended to use dollars for larger amounts and dong for small things, including tipping (but that's another story, as we didn't tip much - being British!)
Dec 12, 2012 6:25 AM
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