Hi folks, I got permission today to have 4 weeks off this christmas (mid Dec - Mid Jan)! Very happy bunny! I've never done anything like this before and really want to experince Vietnam & maybe even Cambodia but don't really know how to got about it. Do you guys think its possible to backpack round these two countries and do them justice in this amount of time? Would you recomend somwhere else? Laos? Vietnam? how much would you budget for? I know these are pretty big questions but any advice would be really appreciated.
Or even Thailand instead of going to Vietnam twice lol.
I suggest 3 weeks for Vietnam starting from Hanoi the heading south, so that you can get some sun at the end of the trip. Hanoi, Ha Long bay, Sapa, Hue, Hoi An, Sai Gon, Mui Ne, Mekong Delta - enough time for 3 weeks then you take a bus from Sai Gon to Phnom Penh. Spend a day in PP then take a bus/boat to Siem Reap. 3 day pass for the Angkor temples would cost US$40.
Not enough time if you add Laos into the list. Vietnam is a long country and it takes time to get from A to B.
Cheers for the reply Red, Would recommend anywhere in particular for christmas?
Sai Gon has a more exciting atmosphere at Xmas if you like parties. Hanoi is more quiet, but still fun.
Cheers again Red "Its all going according to plan". Construction eh. cool. I'm a draughtsman.
For more information about Vietnam and Cambodia, see my "FAQ Vietnam thread" in the Thorn Tree travel forum. I'm the author of that thread and there is a good source of info, including border crossings, visa, restaurant recommendations, what to see in Vietnam, how to go from A to B etc.
I've been a regular poster in that forum for 4 years, but now I love this website. Travel blog is great, as I can write travel stories and different topics, at the same time I can show the photos.
If you look at northern Vietnam map, you will find the Red River, especially in Hanoi. I liked your saying, but sometimes progress schedule on the construction side is behind the plan.
Now that's allot of info! Ta very much indeedy.
Hello Tony 😊
It is certainly possible to backpack around these places.
A backpackers budget would be approximately 20 Euros per day.
I suggest u invest in a copy of the Lonely Planet Guide for SE Asia. That covers all the countries u are interested in so it will help u decide between Laos or Cambodia etc. It will even give u suggested inineries. Also info about accomodation, transport, budget, safety........ This guide costs around 30 Euros and is available in most bookshops around the world.
Thanks Mell, I shall investigate accordinglay. (Cartmen styli)
Good morning RedRiver
I come from Spain, and I am planning my honeymoon for December 2008.
I am thinking of going to Vietnam or Thainland for three weeks. I would like to spend 10 days sightseeing, and then 10 days in a lovely beach nice and warm
can you tell me how is the weather like in December? and places to go?
It may be cold in December in northern Vietnam. If you want a beach, I think Thai beach is better. It's warm in southern Vietnam. If you still want some beaches in Vietnam, I suggest Mui Ne or Nha Trang beaches, more off the beaten path would be Con Dao island or Phu Quoc island.
thank you for the quick answer.
What do you mean cold in northern Vietnam? temperatures????
In some web sites, it is writen that it rains in the middle of Vietnam, and in the south in this time. how is it?
The weather is unpredictable these days. Some years it's warm even hot in the winter, but this year 2008, it's very cold in northern Vietnam, in Feb, some days it was even 7oC in Hanoi. Normally it's 10-25oC in Hanoi. Sapa would be much colder as it's in the mountainous area.
If you have only 10 days, I suggest you spend your time in northern and central Vietnam, then fly to Thailand for beaches. Hanoi (2 days), Ha Long bay (2-3 days), Hue (2-3 days), Hoi An (2-3 days). They are the world heritages sites.
Sapa, Bac Ha in N.Vietnam can be cold, although I traveled in Dec 06 and it was perfect, just fogging at times. Hanoi is a delight, not so hot and usually overcast. Take the train from Hanoi to HCMC 36 hrs and stop in Nha Trang, Hue and other places. I'm friends with www.stayvietnam.com They can get you great rates, book trains at great prices. I've been going here off and on and I'm really to go again this year. I'm looking for a travel partner...cheers
<- my photo site of Vietnam
Thank you. I will consider your suggestions.
For info on Vietnam I have been reading the Rough Guide and it's really good. I find the RG much better than the Lonely Planet guide books, but have a flick first and see which suits. The RG has some great ideas for slightly less obvious places to go and is divided into geographical sections so you can gen-up on the towns / areas you are planning to visit, its also great on customs/traditions / key phrases and dos'donts. Enjoy your trip, I am off to V on Sunday and can't wait!