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Vietnam - Siem Reap

DAYS STYLE BUDGET
15 Sightseeing $$
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Shweta Reddy

Introduction

Get a little taste of South East Asia. This itinerary includes all the major regions in Vietnam and also Siem Reap, Cambodia. Siem Reap is a short detour in what mostly is a Vietnam trip. This is a long travel itinerary with many locations. Trip starts at Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Min city.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1

Hanoi

Hanoi

Things you can do in Hanoi

  • Walking and shopping in old quarters
  • Hoàn Kiem Lake
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
  • Water Puppet Theater

Hanoi

Stay at any of the wonderful hotels in Old Quarters.

Hotels in Hanoi


Day 2

Ha Long

Ha Long Bay Tour

There are many tour options and they all have similar itineraries. The more money you spend the better boat you will be on and its worth it.

There are one night or two night options. We did the one night which doesn't have much of free time as opposed to the longer tours. Try to book a tour that includes the Ti Top mountain, it's a islet in the Bay that you can climb.

We went with Paradise Peak and they were amazing.


Day 3

Ha Long

Bai Tho Mountain

The Ha Long tour ends around noon and most people head back to Ha Noi without venturing out into Ha Long city.

Bai Tho mountain is a short hike in the city which has great views of Bai Tho Bay and Ha Long city. It's a hike preferred by the locals. The trail head is very nondescript between shops on a busy street. Our cab driver had to ask couple of locals to find it.

You can only do this hike if you plan to take an overnight bus to Sapa which is what we did or stay the night at Ha Long Bay. If hike doesn't sound appealing then head back to Ha Noi with the tour group.

bus icon Ha Long to Sapa

There is only one bus service that connects Ha Long to Sapa. It's a semi sleeper, not the most comfortable bus. If you are a tall person, you won't even fit in your seat/bed. But it does save a day because the only other way to get to Sapa in to go back to Ha Noi and take the overnight train.

Read more about the bus and book the ticket here. You can also buy the tickets at the bus station.

There is a change over at Lao Cai going to Sapa. The bus ticket includes the entire journey.


Day 4

Sapa

Sapa

Hike among the rice paddies with Sapa Sisters.

You can do one day or multi days hike with home-stays with local women turned guides. Hiking is the only way to see Sapa.


Day 5

Sapa

Sapa

More rice paddies!! Back to Sapa city by afternoon.

bus icon Sapa to Lao Cai

Its about a 90 min bus ride. Sapa Sisters or any other Sapa tour company can book it for you.

train icon Lao Cai to Hanoi

There are many overnight trains from Lao Cai to Hanoi. You can book them online at Baolau or Sapa Sisters or any other Sapa tour company can book it for you.


Day 6

Hanoi

Hanoi

Same as day 1.

Hanoi

Continue where you left off on the first day in Hanoi.

train icon Hanoi to Dong Hoi

It's a 10 hr overnight train. You will reach Dong Hoi early in the morning.

Book your train tickets at www.baolau.vn. Book early so that you get soft beds.


Day 7

Phong Nha

car icon Dong Hoi to Phong Nha

Take a taxi from the railway station to Oxalis home in Phong Nha village where the caving expedition will begin. Oxalis can also book the taxi for you.

Phong Na

Join the two day Hang Va expedition for some serious caving in the world's largest cave system with Oxalis Adventures.


Day 8

Phong Nha

Hang Va Cave

It's an experience.

Phong Nha

It's a small town. You can book a stay at Oxalis Hotel.

Other Hotels in Phong Nha.


Day 9

Hoi An

car icon Phong Nha to Dong Hoi

Take a taxi back to the railway station in Dong Hoi.

train icon Dong Hoi to Da Nang

Take the morning train so that you can spend half a day in Hoi An. It's 5-6 hours train journey and you can book tickets at www.baolau.vn.

car icon Da Nang to Hoi An

Take a bus or taxi from the railway station to Hoi An.

Hoi An

Things you can do in Hoi An

  • Old town
  • Beach
  • Tra Que
  • Biking


Day 10

Hoi An

Hoi An

Continue where you left off the previous day.

car icon Hoi An to Da Nang

Take a bus or taxi to the airport at Da Nang.

plane icon Da Nang to Siem Reap

Take a evening/late flight so that you can spend the day in Hoi An. Vietnam Airlines has direct flights.

Golden Temple Villa

I recommend Golden Temple Villa, it on a quiet lane but just couple of blocks away from pub street and night market.

Other Siem Reap Hotels


Day 11

Siem Reap

Siem Reap Day 1

Take a tuk tuk to Angkor Wat. Be there for the sunrise. Start early and end early as it gets really hot in during the day. You can hire a guide or else most tuk tuk drives double up as guides as well.

You can spend an entire day or more just in Angkor Wat. Siem Reap has enough temples that you go to a new one every day for a month. If you want to hit the highlights, there are the temples you can cover in a day.

  • Angkor Wat
  • Ta Prohm
  • Angkor Thom
  • Bayon

Nights in Siem Reap

Siem Reap is much more active in the nights than during the day.

Enjoy the food and drinks at Pub Street and shopping at Night Market.

Phare Cambodian Circus is incredible and refreshing break from temples.

Golden Temple Villa

Same as day 10.


Day 12

Siem Reap

Siem Reap Day 2

Beng Mealea is far away but it's well worth it to see an unrestored temple.

You can see Preah Khan and Bakong on your way back.

Golden Temple Villa

Same as day 10.


Day 13

Siem Reap

Siem Reap Day 3

There are lot more temples if you are still interested.

  • Banteay Srei
  • Ta Som
  • Banteay Kdei
  • Pre Rup
  • Bike in Siem Reap

plane icon Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh

Take the evening flight. Vietnam Airlines has direct flights.

Ho Chi Minh Hotels

It's a big city with many options for all budgets.

Ho Chi Minh Hotels


Day 14

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City

Things you can do in Ho Chi Minh over couple of days.

  • War Remnants Museum
  • B?n Thành Market
  • Nguyen Hue Street
  • Ph?m Ng? Lão Street
  • Cu Chi Tunnels

Ho Chi Minh Hotels

Same as day 13.


Day 15

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City - Day 2

You can do more sight seeing or even take a Mekong Delta tour which usually takes more than a day.

Ho Chi Minh Hotels

Same as day 13.


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