Laos- Thailand- Cambodia- Vietnam interary- how long in each place?
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 15, 2012 3:45 PM Last Post By: mitchlou84
Oct 14, 2012 11:51 AM
I am considering the following basic itenerary:
Fly into Vientiane
Bus to Luang Prabang
Fly to Chaing Mai
Train to Bangkok
Train to Siem Reap via border at Poipet
Boat to Phnom Pen
Bus to Saigon
Train to Hue
Train to Hanoi
Fly home from Hanoi.
I am hoping to do as much of the journeys as possible by night train/ bus to save time.
I don't know how long I should allow for each place, any advice would be great. For example I have read something which said I should allow 3 days for Angkor Wat, and then another article saying a day is enough. Also cities like Vientiane- although it looks amazing is there much to do?
I prefer to book transport and hotels in advance rather than just winging it, so it would be good to know if there are any particular places I should fit in for trips outside this itinerary. I'd like a beach resort at some point and am thinking maybe Sihanoukville, and also I'm wondering whether I can fit in a night at the elephant obseration tower in Ban Na.
I know it will be a busy month! I'd really appreciate your assistance.
Oct 14, 2012 12:35 PM
1There is a difference between doing as much as possible and rushing about too quickly. Sadly, yours tends to come in to the second. I feel you would remember the stress of travel more than the majesty of the region. SE Asia is so much more rewarding travelled slowly.
Rail is a better option in VN for overnight travel. But the scenery is often memorable. If you do just one day time ride try to make it Hue-Da Nang part
I assume you mean 3 days for the temples around Siem reap and not just AW. Tickets are for 1, 3 or 7 days.
Vientiane is certainly worth a couple of days.
Oct 14, 2012 7:49 PM
2The time spent at Angkor Wat is purely subjective. We spent a day and felt that was more than enough. `We researched a bit and decided on what temples we would see.
In Hue, we did a river cruise that stopped off at a variety of temples and enjoyed it more.
Oct 15, 2012 12:31 AM
3We found 1 full day of temples at Ankor Wat in the heat too much to be honest, but then we shared a drink with some people who thought a week wasn't enough!
Well I haven't been to Laos yet but I have been to the others.
We did 3 nights in Chiang Mai, and 3 nights in Bangkok, both times were doable! We also had a week in Phuket to compliment our Thailand trip.
To be honest we had over 3 weeks for Vietnam and Cambodia, we did 4 nights in Siem Reap including a 2 day trip to a homestay, and 3 nights in Phnom Penh.
Vietnam we had a full 2 weeks and did 3 days Ho Chi Minh city, 3 nights in Hoi An which was a real fave, 1 night in Hue after a 2 day motorbike trip, to be honest I'd skip Hue. We then did Hanoi which we loved, Sapa which we didn't so much as the weather was awful and Halong Bay which was very special.
If it was me, I'd be tempted to skip Vietnam and give it 2-3 weeks on its own on another trip. Don't get me wrong I loved it, but we rushed it with 2 weeks.
We are planning our Laos trip now, I reckon 3 nights Vientiane, 3 nights Vang Vieng, 3 nights Luang Prabang, 3 Nong Khiaw and a motorbike trip, like I say we haven't been yet though!
Oct 15, 2012 2:24 AM
4Thanks for all of your advice. To be honest I am basing the trip on my experience of doing 8 stops between Russia, Mongolia and China on the Trans Siberian Railway in 28 days, and that included 2-3 days of travelling at a time, which although the journies were long they were at least leisurely!
I am hoping to be in Bangkok for Songkran which sounds amazing. Is Ha Long Bay a day trip from Hanoi or is it too far? Why do you say we should skip Hue?
Oct 15, 2012 2:34 AM
5Those 4 countries in 30 days ? You must be kidding, unless you have the money to FLY from one site to another. If not, once out of Thailand, transportation goes at 30640 km.h depending on the region, car, train or motorbike (ex. Hanoi-Sapa 333 km 10-hour train, Hanoi-Dien Bien Phu : 470 km 1- hour bus-ride, etc. And I am not even talking of the smaller transversal roads, for exemple to go from Laos to Centreal Vietnam, or Sapa to Cao Bang.
Conclusion ; FORGET IT !!! Do 2 countries, 3 max which could be SOUTH Thailand + Cambodia + Vietnam.
Halong is 7-hour drive from Hanoi RT BUT going there for one day is silly, so you have to count 2 days/1 night on board of the junk
Hue is marvelous if you like History (he mausoleums are splendid)
1 day only in Angkor ? Must be a report from somebody who think History is a useless exercize; 3 says MINIMUM if you really want to appréciate (plus, Siem Reap is fun !
Oct 15, 2012 2:42 AM
6Oh I spent plenty of time in Siem Reap, really enjoyed it there. We did quad biking and cooking classes and all sorts.
I personally found one day of the temples enough, and so did lots of other people I met over there, but then some people love them. By the end of one full day which meant sunrise I was ready for a change of scenery but that's me!
I wouldn't necessarily normally suggest skipping Hue, but it was one of our least favourite parts of Vietnam and if you are trying to fit 4 countries in a month then you will be tight on time. I much preferred walking round Hanoi taking in the sights than Hue.
The 2 day 1 night Halong Bay cruise was a real highlight in Vietnam.
I don't hate history, but we were in Vietnam and Cambodia for over 3 weeks, that can be a lot of temples and museums and the like. It is nice to do other stuff too.
Oct 15, 2012 7:37 AM
Oct 15, 2012 3:45 PM
8How many days are you looking to spend in each place now?
I would fly from Vientiane to Luang Prabang if you aren't planning on going to Vang Vieng I just think a 12 hour bus journey would limit your time in Laos.
I know you can't do everything, so I'd still be tempted to skip a country and save it til later. If you are skipping Chiang mai, which was by far my favourite place in Thailand, then I'd maybe save Thailand and do a 2 week holiday later doing Bangkok, Chiang Mai and some beach.
Then you could add in Hoi An and get a bit more time in Vietnam or Laos.
If you did 3 countries you could have 10 days in Cambodia, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and maybe Sihanoukville, then 10 days in Laos which would mean that you could do the elephants, then 10 days in Vietnam, Saigon, Hoi An, Hanoi and Halong Bay.
Thats only what I'd do though :)
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