I want to travel with my girlfriend for two weeks around October – November. I want to know what’s the best way to travel between this four countries, do you suggest by airplane?
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I’ve never travelled in the Philippines so can’t speak for that, but I know that there are very good bus/train links between Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. The buses in Vietnam are particularly good – you can buy one hop-on-hop-off ticket and get from north to south, or vice versa, really easily with good connections down the coast. Flights between all of those countries would probably be fairly cheap too – I flew from Saigon to Bangkok for 15 USD a few years ago.
Have a brilliant trip!
For Thailand and Philippines, you do not need visas. But for Vietnam and Cambodia, you will need to obtain visas. Depending on the points of entry in Vietnam and Cambodia, you can get E-visa or regular visa. You could see more information here: http://www.vietvisa.ca/index.php/vietnam-visa. Have a good trip!
I have to say two weeks in those four countries sounds like a very ambitious trip! You could easily spend a fortnight in any one of them and barely really scratch the surface. Could I suggest focusing on just one?
As Lottie says, there are good bus links between Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, though there are no international rail links between them. Thailand and Vietnam do have (more limited) domestic rail networks though.
There are hundreds of bus companies in the Philippines and, obviously, boat links between all the islands, but an flying is definitely the easiest way to travel (and cheap), and for a short trip would be the best way to go.
About your focus on Vietnam-Thailand-Cambodia, i suggest your trip plan following:
@Vietnam: Focus on visitting mountainous landscapes and local ethnic culture there. Destinations are: Dong Van – Geo-heritage; Sapa – Town in Cloud, Mai Chau – Montagnard village where Thai ethnic living.
In addition, you can spend a day walking around Hoi An ancient harbour town where Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese culture interferred.
@Cambodia: Visit Angko Wat n Pnompenh.
@Thailand: Focus visitting Phuket beaches with Krabi, Phang Nga, Phi Phi islands…
So the itinerary i suggest is:
Day 1-4: Hanoi – Ha Giang (or Sapa). Then flight or bus to Danang (to visit Hoi An).
Day 5: Hoi An ancient town.
Day 6: Flight to HCM city to take a tour to Cambodia.
Day 7-9: Angko Wat. Take flight to Bangkok.
Day 10-14: Bangkok – Phuket.
I’m tour operator in Hanoi, so if you need further info or some reasonable joint tours in Vietnam, pls contact to me by email: [email protected].
To cover that amount of ground, you will have to go by air. I would not attempt to cover those 4 countries in 2 weeks. You’ll be spending too much time on airplanes. I suggest you spend the 2 weeks in the Philippine’s or 1 week in Thailand & 1 week in Cambodia. Be aware that bus travel in S/E Asia is significantly dangerous. The roads in Vietnam are not very good, especially in the mountainous areas. I never take night buses anywhere in S/E Asia. Most Auto & Bus Maintenance parts are factory 2nds (or worse) from China. Air Vietnam is very cheap. It is only slightly more USD, to fly from Hanoi to Saigon, than it is t take a 1st class Sleeper Train. Make sure to spend 2-3 days 2 Angkor Wat … a really fantastic place. I wasn’t all that thrilled with Hanoi or Saigon. Hue & Hoi An are much more interesting.