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Vietnam, Cambodia

Realistic, adventurous, 2 week trip to Vietnam and (hopefully) Cambodia.

My boyfriend, 32, and I, 29, are flying into and out of Ho Chi Mihn Dec 22-Jan 6 which gives us about 2 week of real time.  My biggest question is how do we travel from Ho Chi Mihn to Hanoi - train, plane, bus?  Is it realisitc to think we can also make it to Siem Reap/Angkor Wat?  We want to stop along the way as much as possible - best suggestions for this?  That might help shape whether or not we make the trek to N. Vietnam or just stick to South and Central so we can definitely hit Cambodia too.  All intinerary suggestions start in Hanoi so it's been difficult to rely on the standard travel sites.  

Any other suggestions, particularly for seaside adventures and beach/jungle bungalowes would be much appreciated!

6 Answers

top answer by
Hervé from Ho Chi Minh City

You can easily spend more than 2 weeks in Vietnam alone. Typically, travellers do Ho Chi Minh City -> Hanoi or the reverse. Common stops along the way: Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hoi AnHueHa Long Bay,   Sa Pa, etc.

If you start in Cambodia, then you would naturally start Vietnam in the south (HCMC or higher), then move north towards  Hanoi.

Not sure how you define adventure. Here is my list:

- Scuba diving in Hoi An: Cham Island Diving - Hoi An - Vietnam

- Hiking and trekking in Sapa

- Spend the night on a boat in Halong Bay

Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ho Chi Minh City (city)
  2. Hanoi (city)
  3. Mui Ne (city)
  4. Nha Trang (city)
  5. Hoi An (city)
  6. Hue (city)
  7. Ha Long Bay (region)
  8. Sa Pa (city)
  9. Hanoi (city)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Corey from Ho Chi Minh

You can go from HCMC to Hanoi by plane (2 hours + 15 minutes) or train (10 hours), can not go by bus ,or else it takes several days to go along Vietnam from South to North by bus/car  . Along the way you can visit Hoi An, Hue, Da Nang. But if you want to Siem Reap / Angkor Wat, then only can start in the big cities like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. If traveling from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap / Angkor Wat, it takes 6 hours by bus or 45 minutes by plane.

My suggestion is that you start flying from HCMC to Siem Reap / Angkor Wat. After rest and travel, you can check the flight to fly from Siem Reap / Angkor Wat to Hue, and then as you continue the journey to travel from the middle ò Vietnam ( Hue) to Hanoi. In between,you can stop at any point during the process ( Hue, Hoi An, Ha Long, Vinh ...)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hanoi (city)
  2. Hoi An (city)
  3. Hue (city)
  4. Da Nang (city)
  5. Siem Reap (city)
  6. Angkor Wat (attraction)
  7. Ho Chi Minh City (city)
  8. Hanoi (city)
  9. Siem Reap (city)
  10. Angkor Wat (attraction)
  11. Siem Reap (city)
  12. Angkor Wat (attraction)
  13. Siem Reap (city)
  14. Angkor Wat (attraction)
  15. Hue (city)
  16. Hue (city)
  17. Hanoi (city)
  18. Hue (city)
  19. Hoi An (city)
  20. Ha Long (city)
  21. Vinh (city)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Pim from Amersfoort

If you visit HCMC and Hanoi and visit Angkor as well, I'm afraid you will nog have enough time to actually be able to see... Vietnam. I reccommend you to take your time there.. there are must-see in the middle of Vietnam; Hue, Hoi An.

For long distances I really should take the plane (e.g. Hue to Hanoi). Not expensive with  Vietnam Airlines. 

Hotels recommendations if your style is comfortable: 

Sofitel Metropole Hotel

La Residence Hotel & Spa

Diamond Bay Resort

Paradise Cruises Paradise Cruises

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sofitel Metropole Hotel (attraction)
  2. La Residence Hotel & Spa (hotel)
  3. Diamond Bay Resort (hotel)
  4. Paradise Cruises (attraction)
  5. Paradise Cruises (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Simon from Disley

Spend your 2 weeks in Vietnam, both Vietnam and Cambodia are both wonderful countries to travel in and rushing either will leave you really dissapointed. We did 2 weeks in Vietnam and then a week in Cambodia and that felt a little rushed.

As everyone else has mentioned there are some great highlights outside of HCMC and Hanoi (my favourite city in Vietnam) if it is still there KOTO, a social enterprise restaurant is well worth a visit - I loved their breakfast soup.  Both Cities are worth a couple of days each just to soak up the atmosphere an explore - there is nothing quite like trying to cross a road in Vietnam.  We took a trip to the Cu Chi Tunnel just outside of HCMC which is a real eye opener and includes a display of booby traps that is particularly scary - definitely worth a visit though.

For the shear beauty of it you should check out Ha Long Bay by boat, Hue is wonderful too very laid back with some really great hotels and gives you the opportunity to visit the Forbidden Purple City

Take a mix of bus and train - the Reunification express (train) was a fab experience, we had a night on it - not massively comfortable, but definitely worth doing.

And I reckon you are travelling Vietnam the right war round, Hanoi to HCMC - I urge you to take a couple of Days in Hanoi as it is a really wonderful city.

Expect loads of temples, the friendliest people you'll ever meet and crazy motorbike traffic.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cu Chi Tunnel (attraction)
  2. Ha Long Bay (region)
  3. Hue (city)
  4. Forbidden Purple City (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Hat from New York City

2 weeks is a little tight for two countries, since Angkor Wat will take you at least 4 days, plus travel time.  Siem Reap is closer to southern Vietnam, so I would focus on Mekong Delta area, Saigon, a beach city like Vung Tau, and then Hue and Hoi An.  From either Hue or Saigon, you can travel by bus to Angkor Wat or the capital city, Phnom Penh.  Flying is faster, but you can see more by taking the bus.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Angkor Wat (attraction)
  2. Siem Reap (city)
  3. Vietnam (attraction)
  4. Mekong Delta (region)
  5. Saigon (hotel)
  6. Vung Tau (city)
  7. Hue (city)
  8. Hoi An (city)
  9. Phnom Penh (city)
1 thanks

answered by
robert from Vietnam

While in Vietnam dont miss Halong Bay Vietnam. Explore Halong Bay on Oriental Sails – one cruise vessel featuring 18 deluxe cabins and one featuring 8 deluxe cabins furnished in classic Vietnamese style. This 3-day cruise into the legendary Gulf of (Halong Bay, a part of Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay) includes various activities that will indeed provide a truly unique experience.  It’s all terrific!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Halong Bay Vietnam (attraction)
  2. Bai Tu Long Bay (attraction)
  3. Lan Ha Bay (attraction)

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