What is the best route to travel from Hanoi to Bangkok? I don't have lots of time so I want to know the best places to stop and preferably how long to stay in each destination.
Good question. 5 weeks is actually quite a reasonable time for such a trip. I'd definitely take in Luang Prabang in Laos and Angkor Wat in Cambodia along the way, and of course Vietnam also has lots to offer.
For a start, I'm not sure if it's even possible to go overland from Hanoi to Laos, or even say Danang - Laos. Anyone with information on this would be extremely helpful. (When we went the only option was flying Danang - Bangkok - Luang Prabang).
From my experiences I'd suggest:
- explore the hill towns north of Hanoi for a start
- Head south to Hue and Hoi An
- Possibly head inland and explore mountain villages along the border region (although this is difficult and takes time)
- Ho Chi Minh is a fantastic city with lots to explore
- The Delta to the south of HCM is worth at least a week to explore: try public transport - My Tho - Can Tho - Soc Trang
- Phu Quoc is still a very nice island both for some R&R and because it is still unspoilt
- From near hear you can cross over into Cambodia, head to Phnom Penh then take a boat north to Siem Reap and explore Angkor Wat. I'd leave yourself a week for this alone as the temple complex is large and there is lots to explore if you have half a mind. (I'm trying to remember the name of the lesser known temples that few people visit because it's hard work to get to ... I'll try to dig it out and come back to you.)
- Then head overland to Thailand and Bangkok.
Perhaps if you've still got time and energy you could then fly to Luang Prabang for a week direct from Bangkok.
Have a great trip.
Simon almost 10 years ago
My suggested itinerary. Add and trim as needed for time and budget. Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Hue. Consider the Caves of Son Doong
( http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/largest-cave/peter-photography ), in Quang Binh Province northwest of Hue. DaNang / HoiAn/China Beach. (Regarding southern Vietnam beaches - China Beach, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Vung Tau and Phu Quoc are available, take your pick(s)) If you're not a hard-core beach person consider bypassing Nha Trang, and go west from HoiAn to close to the Lao border, take the Ho Chi Minh Trail (Highway 14) south thru the Central Highlands to Dalat. Then Saigon. (Side trips to Mui Ne beach or Vung Tau beach) Then Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc on your way to Cambodia - Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat. Bangkok. 1) Consider heading north to Vientiane, Lao (maybe the Plain of Jars) and then Luang Prabang. Back track to Bangkok by land or air. OR 2) Head north from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, go to Lao border (Chiang Khoung, Thailand / Houei Sai, Lao) and catch a Mekong River boat downstream to Luang Prabang (2 days). Bangkok by land or air.
Explore airfares for some legs to save time. Regional budget airlines are offering promotional fares in SE Asia. (JetStar - US$20 Hanoi to DaNang, Air Asia is good for online booking at last minute)
Get a good guide book(s) and check for current info / updates on the internet.
http://www.YourVietnamTourGuide.com almost 10 years ago