Travel To Cambodia, Vietnam And Laos
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Posted 2012-08-05 10:31:58
I'm thinking of a single trip to these three countries and would probably want to visit Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Vientiane. I had a quick look at flight prices and it was about $US1300 to make a round trip. But a return to Phnom Penh from Bangkok was less than $100, so the full trip price seems expensive. I'll be starting and ending at Bangkok.
What's the best way to travel between these places (in any order) that will ensure reasonable comfort. I would prefer flights, but trains and buses are ok if much cheaper. But I don't want to waste whole days sitting on a bus.
I'm sure many on here must have done similar trips.
Also suggestions for accommodation would be much appreciated. 3* and above, as I don't want to slum it.
This is just initial research, so i'll check things in closer details once I have the basic trip planned. And I'll let you all know the final cost, how I got on, etc.
Posted 2012-08-05 10:56:16
How much time do you have? When are you thinking of traveling???
$1300 seems like a lot. I did the boat from Angkor Wat to Phnom Penh. It was fun and cheap. I've heard the road is better from there to HCMC, but have not done that. Flying from HCMC to Hanoi is the way to go, unless you want to stop off in Hue or Hoi An, which are both great places to visit. What about Luang Prabang?
Posted 2012-08-05 13:08:47
Three of us did a trip in Dec 10/Jan11 from Thailand to Cambodia into Vietnam then flew to Beijing, train back to Hong Kong via Shanghai, and then flew back to Bangkok. It was a three week trip.
We did everything, except the two flights I mentioned, by road and rail. All very inexpensive.
The roads were no different to Thailand, the train in Vietnam was the worst, not very clean.
If I were doing your suggested itinerary I would go by land from BKK all the way to Hanoi, then fly to Vientiane and fly/road/rail back to BKK.
I looked at Vietnam Airlines before and it was $165.00/one way to Vientiane. I assume it means US$, not sure if taxes were included, did not do a complete booking.
Accommodation was easy, just book the first stop. In case you want to stay longer somewhere you are not locked in to specific dates. I use Agoda for nearly all my bookings they are nearly always the cheapest and you accrue points if you register. You will get reduced rates or free nights once you have accumulated enough points.
The standard of all the accommodation, no more than three star, was very good.
Hope the above helps, have fun planning the trip.
Posted 2012-08-05 16:08:13
Have just checked a spreadsheet I did for our trip.
Transport - Road & Rail
From Poiphet/Siem Reap/Phnom Penh/HCMC/
Nha Trang/Hue/Hanoi = US$104.00/person
19 Nights averaged US$35.00/double room/night
Posted 2012-08-05 17:56:28
That's very reasonable. Did you mostly take trains or buses? How many hours did you spend travelling between places?
Posted 2012-08-05 17:57:40
Might go to Luang Prabang as well. Planning to go for 10-14 days or so.
Posted 2012-08-05 18:23:08
Bus in Cambodia, rail in Vietnam.
3 hours - Car - Poiphet/Siem Reap
Bus - To Phnom Penh - 0700/130
Bus - To HCMC - 0630/1400
Rail - To Nha Trang - 1300/2200
Rail - To Hue - 0530/1700
Rail - To Hanoi - 1500/0400+1
Bus times are not much different to rail from what I can remember. Some very scenic views on the train, daytime of course.
I looked before, Air Asia fly Vientiane/Bangkok via KUL for around US$135.00/one way(Air & Taxes) in October.
Posted 2012-08-05 18:38:07
Given you have only allocated 10/14 days for your trip traveling by train/bus will consume a lot of time (you can of course travel overnight, but don't if going via bus). e.g. traveling between Hanoi & HCMC by road or train will consume up to two days, depending on mode of travel. It's inexpensive to fly direct. As someone else suggested, travel via Hoi An; you can fly to Hoi An (airport is Danang).
As a starting point an itinerary could be:
BKK to Phnom Penh (side trip to Siem Reap)
Phnom Penh to HCMC
HCMC - Hoi An
Hoi An - Hanoi
Hanoi to Luang Prabang (a lot more interesting than Vientiane)
Luang Prabang - Vientiane (some beautiful scenery if traveling by road)
Vientiane - BKK
Edited by simple1, 2012-08-05 18:42:15.
Posted 2012-08-05 22:45:36
Dont know how much room you have in your passport but be careful if limited pages, Laos and Cambodia will take a FULL page each, unless you get the E-visa for Cambodia. Just a word of caution .
Posted 2012-08-06 07:21:13
I have plenty of room, but it's starting to fill up fast, so that's good advice and something I'll keep in mind. Why can't all countries introduce passports with the stamps stored electronically? Or they could just download to my cellphone. Governments are always way behind the technology curve.
Posted 2012-08-06 09:27:25
Very much agree re the full-page visas being nuisance. Malaysia does it right (as do many others), going straight from the old stamp to all electronic.
Posted 2012-09-05 12:50:44
I can also recommend to take the boat from Phnom Penh to Siem reap or vice versa. Bring food with You..
Posted 2012-09-05 12:58:56
Vung Tau, south of HCMC is well worth a trip. Take the hydrofoil both ways; 1.5 hour trip. The road trip to Vung Tau is much longer and best avoided.
Posted 2012-09-05 18:12:26
I am also looking at doing a similair trip overland to Ho Chi Minh through Cambodia, and would like to know what the hassel is really like at the boarder crossings in Poipet and into Vietnam? Have heard its a right pain in the arse. Any info on what is the easiest way with visas etc and transport from the boarder would be great.
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