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advise for 3 week travel incl. Siep Reap

Miami, Florida
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advise for 3 week travel incl. Siep Reap

Planning to do 3 weeks traveling in this area in December including Siem Reap. We are open for all suggestions and would be very grateful for any input on best itinerary that would in any case include Siem Reap (for couple of days?), so for example combining with Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mia,?) and/or Vietnam or Birma or other?? Any suggestions on best connections (flights, orient express) between these countries would be very useful in starting to plan our trip.

We did 3 weeks last year in South America (Lima, Cuzco, Macchu Pichu, Puno, La Paz, Buenos Aires, Iguazu, Rio, Parati, Sao Paolo) and was the first time I used TA. The info on the site and especially through the forums was very valuable and contributed greatly to the success of our trip (much more that travelagent).

So this time we are planning our trip direction Asia and will be arranging myself (with your help).

I will for sure come back later for more suggestion on best hotels /restaurants, must see places etc...

San Diego...
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1. Re: advise for 3 week travel incl. Siep Reap

Marybel,

Seems like you have not set your itinerary. I can answer to some questions but not all. It seems that you will be taking flights between countries as opposed to crossing country via land routes.

I am not from Belgium so do not know the flights avaibility from Belgium to those countries. However, I think it is best to to flight into Bangkok. It is one of the major hubs in Asia. Therefore, there will be more flights and they tend to be cheaper.

In Dec 2006, I left BKK to Siem Reap by bus, which took me a whole day. It was an exprience but was fun, nonetheless. The information I am giving you here was 2006 so things might have changed since then. Check with other sources before you plan your itinerary. There was only one airline going from BKK to Siem Reap, therefore the availability was low and the cost was high. I am not sure if you will travel to Phnom Penh, if you do, it might make sense to go from BKK to Phnom Penh. More flights available that way. Once you are in Phnom Penh, you can take the bus to Siem Reap. Then back to Phnom Penh. From there you can fly to Vietnam, either into Saigon or Hanoi. Once you there you can go by bus from south to north or north to south, respectively.

As for Seam Reap itself, three days two nights would suffice. Or three nights would be ok too. More than that, I am not sure!

If you do have the time, you can take the Mekong River route, which you can go from Thailand, Laos, VN. I never done this myself. However, all the people who took that route sworn to me that it was great and fun.

For Thailand, Chiang Mai is great. A few days there would be great. Between BKK and Hanoi, there are a few low fare carriers. They seem to be easier to book and not too expensive. For example, you can try tiger airways. I am sure there are others.

For three weeks, I would flight into BKK. From there, I would go to Chiang Mai and then some Islands. Then, come back to BKK. From there, I would flight into Hanoi. Then, go to Central part of VN via bus (or flight). Then go South to Saigon. Lastly, take a flight from Saigon to BKK. There is not thing wrong with the intinerary you set. However, I can see lots of planning and lots of money involved. If you have lots of money to spare, they can be done.

Alternatively, you can just visit BKK, Chiang Mai, some islands and Siem Reap. Forget about Vietnam.

Miami, Florida
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2. Re: advise for 3 week travel incl. Siep Reap

Hi SD Wanderlust,

I have indeed no itinerary set yet. During the South America travel last year we took many internal flights to bridge larger distances or parts not that interested to cross by bus /train. So one day travel by bus would be a definite NO but we did take for example the Hiram Bingham from Cuzco to Manchu Picchu (the ONLY way in my opinion to get there) as well as Orient Express to Puno (10 hrs of pure bliss).

So I am planning to take some internal flights -also to save time but bus/train where it would be worth the experience (eg Orient express from BKK to Chiang Mia seems promising). We do NOT have to see all the countries in one travel as can always do this during separate travels. I am first trying to determine best combinations locally (fastest/cheaper connections by plane /bus/train).

I will check out from Brussels for best arrival/departure combination possible (e.g. fly into Cambodia but leave from BKK). Do not want to fly via Singapore -been there and quite boring. I am only planning to use travel agent for main flights but arrange the rest directly (boutique style hotels, local guides etc)

Ideally the last few days/week would be spend doing nothing on some idyllic beach. Any tips on specific islands/resorts?

Have not budgeted yet as this would be our main vacation of the year and willing to splash. Lots of planning yeah but that’s half the fun for me! LOL

So for the moment we would fly into Bangkok, spent 2(?) nights there, fly to Cambodia (3 nights in Siem Reap and catch anything else on the route) or first go to Chiang Mia (bu Orient express?), and/or ... The completion of the itinerary will be highly depending on must-see things in the area. I have been to BKK before but missed Chiang Mia so will most likely include now.

Which of the places you mentioned did you like most? (Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Saigon, ...) –should we happen to transfer in any.

I will look into the Mekong River Route you mentioned.

Also good idea to concentrate on Cambodia/Thailand and some islands. Vietnam looks like a separate trip in itself anyway.

Thanx for all your feedback. It helps me to start defining the general itinerary.

San Diego...
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3. Re: advise for 3 week travel incl. Siep Reap

<<<So I am planning to take some internal flights -also to save time but bus/train where it would be worth the experience (eg Orient express from BKK to Chiang Mia seems promising). We do NOT have to see all the countries in one travel as can always do this during separate travels. I am first trying to determine best combinations locally (fastest/cheaper connections by plane /bus/train)>>>>

If you will be flighting most of the time between countries or within country, it will indeed be faster and save time. However, this may not always be the case. Beside the the cost factor, another factor to consider is the security line at the airport. Gettting to and leaving the airport will also take time. Therefore, flying does no always mean saving time. But between BKK and Seam Reap, you will definitely save time and be more comfortable by flighting. To really save money and time, you can take busese at night. In theory you can sleep on the bus/car by taking them at night. This way you actually save time and money. However, I would not recommend this as the road to SR is pretty bad. More likely, you will not be able to sleep on the bus due to the poor road conditions.

<<<Ideally the last few days/week would be spend doing nothing on some idyllic beach. Any tips on specific islands/resorts?>>

Sounds like a great idea in that you will be able to recover a bit from all the traveling by doing some R&R at some islands/beaches. I have been only to Koh Samet and nowhere else. Koh Samet is relatively not too touristy and well developed as others, such as Koh Samui. Therefore, there is no mega resort there. Personally, I like Koh Samet. So, it depends on what you like. However, there are many different beaches and Islands and some will fit your taste. I am sure you will find one that you will like. I suggest you post this question on the Bangkok forum. That forum tends to be more active than this one. Furthermore, most of the posters there have travelled to these islands, most likely. And when you post a question there, be specific about your likes and dislikes.

<<<So for the moment we would fly into Bangkok, spent 2(?) nights there, fly to Cambodia (3 nights in Siem Reap and catch anything else on the route) or first go to Chiang Mia (bu Orient express?), and/or ... The completion of the itinerary will be highly depending on must-see things in the area. I have been to BKK before but missed Chiang Mia so will most likely include now.>>>

Chiang Mai, 2 nights and 3 days would suffice. Then again, depends on what you like. I swear that some of my friends stayed there for a week and they did not get bored. I got bored easily there.

<<<Which of the places you mentioned did you like most? (Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Saigon, ...) –should we happen to transfer in any>>>

Of the three, I would say Hanoi would be most interesting to see; colonial architectural and history.

I<<< will look into the Mekong River Route you mentioned.

Also good idea to concentrate on Cambodia/Thailand and some islands. Vietnam looks like a separate trip in itself anyway.

Thanx for all your feedback. It helps me to start defining the general itinerary>>>

Concentrating on Thailand and Cambodia is not a bad idea. Bon Voyage!

4. Re: advise for 3 week travel incl. Siep Reap

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