Suggestions for a Month in Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jul 4, 2012 10:01 PM Last Post By: mooslie
Jun 19, 2012 4:07 AM
I am planning on travelling with 3 friends to Vietnam for about 5 weeks in December/January. We also wouldn't mind going to either Laos or Cambodia for about 2 weeks. We are planning on starting in Hanoi and checking out northern Vietnam and then moving south along the coast, spending time in a handful of cities, which leads leads me to my first two questions. We want to see Vietnamese culture in its purest, alongside some beautiful scenery but we're interested in the historical side of Vietnam.
1) Where would you recommend going in northern Vietnam to see some beautiful places that are on roads less travelled?
2) Which cities would you recommend seeing along the Vietnamese East coast? (eg. Hoi An seems like a lovely place to visit)
We would also like to go to Cambodia or Laos. If we go to Laos, we'd move west from northern Vietnam and into Laos, later returning to Vietnam to go down the East coast, flying out of Ho Chi Minh. If we go to Cambodia, we'd look around northern Vietnam and move south along the East coast of Vietnam, then travel into northern Cambodia, probably flying out of Phnom Penh.
3) What is the best way to travel the routes I have mentioned? Would you recommend bus?
4) Is there anywhere that you'd recommend steering clear of?
If a few people could share some opinion about these four, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Jun 19, 2012 7:43 AM
Jun 20, 2012 1:24 AM
Jun 20, 2012 1:57 AM
1) In Nothern Vietnam, I recommend to go to Sapa, it is very unique in culture, ethnic minority people with their own lifestyle, costumes. Trekking there is fantastic, you can take the chance to Conquer Mt Fansipan, the highest one in Asia. Another option is Ha Long bay, one of 7 new world wonders, try overnight on cruise there with kayaking included. It will be memorable.
2) In the Centre of Vietnam, if you love culture and histotical, Hoi An and Hue are good location. But maybe just 2-3 days enough or you will feel bored since it is a little peaceful and quiet there.
3) From Ho Chi Minh, you can take flight to Cambodia or there is a bus goes directly to Phnom penh (4 hrs). Another option is take the speed boat from Chau Doc.
Jun 20, 2012 2:40 AM
Jun 20, 2012 3:56 AM
6If you have time try to head to places north of Hanoi as well as Sapa. Sapa is beautiful and not to be missed but you'll be harassed a lot of the time to buy stuff. Much of it cheap Chinese imports. Other places e.g. Meo Vac is not as beautiful but spectacular with a range of minority groups that don't give a fig about you. By that I mean, they have little interest in selling you things but just want to get on with their daily lives. Meo Vac etc. are hard to get to without being on a tour.
Luang Prabang is almost the Laos equivalent to Sapa. Beautiful and not to be missed
Pnom Penh is a great city and the river trip up to it s worth it in itself.
Siem Reap is a forgettable city but the Temples of Anchor are not.
Jun 20, 2012 4:00 AM
7as above if you into trekking head up to Sapa for a few days. Ha Long Bay is fantastic but suffers from being over touristed....book your trip with a reputable company and not the cheapest...a night on the boat and a night on Cat Ba island is a good trip. Hoi An is a great town...(one of my favourite places ive travelled to). If you into the war history i would recommend a trip to village of My Lai (3 hours from Hoi An) site of the infamous american masscre of women & children.....very few tourists go there and its on a fantastic, unspoilt section of coast and beach. I also found a homestay to be a great experience....our host talked openly about vietnams history/politics/communism and problems.
Jun 20, 2012 11:52 PM
8LP do a guidebook called "Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Northern Thailand". It covers each of those countries in reasonable detail and more importantly discusses all the border crossings and transport routes between each of those countries. Its well worth buying for the trip you have described above.
Jun 25, 2012 7:32 PM
9Thanks for all you help everyone! I'm looking forward to heading north into Sapa and hopefully can do a bit of looking around up there. Thanks for all the advice about cities to visit and things to do :) Dale, I just bought that book from the UK Book Depository for around 18 Australian dollars, which is a great buy and the book looks fantastic so thanks for that - will be helpful for the border crossings into Cambodia. Has anyone got any recommendations for Cambodia?
Jun 25, 2012 11:00 PM
Jul 3, 2012 7:33 PM
Jul 4, 2012 10:01 PM
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