Please help advise for Vietnam vacation

Hey Folks,

I need some advice.

I have about a month and a half off this January and February.

I have lived in Taiwan for many years but have never seen Vietnam, Cambodia or Lao.

So, I figure this is as good a time as any to travel there.

I also have a friend from Canada coming from Toronto to Taiwan around the 11th of January.

We plan to fly out to Siem Rip (sp) Cambodia to see Ankor Wat. I figure that three days should be enough for that. Then, we want to head to Penom Pen for a day or two. Then, fly to Ho Chi Min City and basically, my plan is to make my way up through Vietnam to Hanoi. Then, perhaps, fly to Lao and spend some time there and possibly make my way down through Northern Thailand back to Bangkok and fly back to Taiwan from there.

I have several questions in this regard.

#1 I want my friend to be able to enjoy a nice trip but he really only has about two weeks off. So, can anyone recommend what the best itinerary should be for him. (i.e. fly to Cambodia, then to Saigon and then spend time in Southern Vietnam for a while and fly out of Saigon?) Would we have enough time to make our way up through Vietnam and for him to fly out of Hanoi? Or, is this really pushing it? Can anyone recommend a good timeline for Vietnam and what should not be missed. I want him to be able to spend as much time travelling with me as possible, but, be able to fly out of a major city as I proceed along my trip.

#2 I have to be back at school on the 26th of February. I can fly out of Taiwan as early as the 12th of Janurary. Given this timeline, would this be enough time to go from Cambodia, through Vietnam to Lao and down through Northern Thailand and fly out of bangkok? I’d like to spend some relaxing time on a beach somewhere in Vietnam and also, I am an avid scuba diver and would like to do some diving as well.

If anyone can recommend a realistic timeline for this trip I would really appreciate it.

Thanks very much in advance,



Nah. A week. Believe me. Three days barely scratches the surface. But if time is limited, that may be your only option.

I’d give it three. Quite a bit to see there: Tuol Sleng Museum, the Killing Fields, the Royal Palace Grounds, the Russian Market

Pushing it.

For him I’d recommend Cambodia, then Ho Chi Minh City, then fly out.

Then you can continue on at your leisure. Make sure you have your Vietnam and Lao visas lined up before you depart - it’ll save you time.

Two full days would IMO be enough for that. I didn’t go to the Killing Fields but did the others in one day.
Better spend more time in Siem Reap / Angkor (as you already suggested).

Thanks folks!

Any more advise would also be appreciated, esspecially about Vietnam.

Timelines, things to see and do, beaches, diving etc…

Thanks in advance,


You can do some interesting excursions from the Siem Reap area. Two that I did were Kompong Phluk, which is an island village and a floating forest on the Tonle Sap lake. Surreal. Another is Kbal Spean -a stream whose rockbed is carved out in ornate (and hacked off, sadly in some sections) gods, shapes, I don’t remember the terminology for it; the drive out to Kbal Spean or “River of a Thousand Lingas” (lingas, that’s the word) is amazing -Cambodian countryside as you’d imagine it in daydream -rice fields, palm trees, coconut trees, waterbuffalo, the occasional karst mountain, houses on stilts.