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Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

London, United...
7 posts
Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

Hello!

I am planning a 17 night trip to South East Asia in December. My current plan looks something like this:

- 3 nights Hanoi (VN)

- 1 night Ha Long Bay (VN)

- 4 nights Luang Prabang (Laos)

- 2 nights HCMC (VN)

- 1 night overnight on the Mekong Delta (VN)

- 4 nights Siem Reap (Cambodia)

- 2 nights Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

We might change the order up, depending on flights.

I really want to go to Hoi An, but cut it because of the weather in December and because people seem to say it is very touristy. However, it does look very pretty with all of the lanterns and old buildings, so I am not 100% sure about my decision to cut it.

My question is whether people would recommend cutting HCMC or Phnom Penh instead?

I like culture, good food and nice scenery. I don't like shopping. I've been to other big Asian cities before (like Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore) so don't know if HCMC will just be more of the same (but I do like the sound of the overnight on the Mekong Delta).

Does anyone have any insights for me? I am completely torn!

Thank-you!

Dong Ha Market
Flea & Street Markets
Lam Son Square
Gift & Speciality Shops
Yen Sao Hoang Hac
Gift & Speciality Shops
7 replies to this topic
Mackay, Australia
Level Contributor
182 posts
45 reviews
1. Re: Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

Everyone is going to have a different opinion on this obviously but for me I still enjoyed Hoi An in December even though it rained. For HCMC or Phnom Penh I think it comes down to what you want to do there. I preferred PP as HCMC was just too busy for me We found it difficult to walk on the footpath let alone cross the roads. . But in PP if you intend to visit the Killing Fields and associated sites remember they are very confronting, it can be a very sad and depressing place to be. On the other hand visiting the Tunnels and Museums in HCMC can also be sad, but not as in your face, so easier to do.As stated this is only my opinion. Have a great trip.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
56 posts
16 reviews
2. Re: Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

I'm not sure about Ho Chi Minh City or Phnom Penh, but as a local, I'm really into Hoi An. The weather is a big interference to your exploring trip, and I know you concern about staying in the hotel in rain days, which seems not great

My advice is: if you're sure you will come back to visit Hoi An in the future, cut it. But if you don't know when you will visit SE Asia again, I will say skipping Hoi An is something a little regrettable

Edited: 02 August 2018, 08:14
Ben Tre, Vietnam
Level Contributor
2,537 posts
1 review
3. Re: Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

How will you get to PP from Vietnam? By bus, flight or ferry boat?

London, United...
7 posts
4. Re: Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

I think flying will be easiest (we will have big suitcases) and quickest?

Ben Tre, Vietnam
Level Contributor
2,537 posts
1 review
5. Re: Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

If so, your above itinerary looks ok.

Level Contributor
323 posts
23 reviews
6. Re: Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

I like culture, good food and nice scenery. I don't like shopping. I've been to other big Asian cities before (like Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore) so don't know if HCMC will just be more of the same

====

Saigon is not quite the same as Hong Kong, Bangkok, or Singapore. It's more raw, chaotic, and less developed than those cities. Some people don't like that, but others like it because of that. If you don't like shopping, you'd be fine. Saigon is not a shopping haven like Hong Kong, Bangkok, or Singapore. It does have good food, a bit of a culture, and nice sceneries in the surrounding areas (though not in the city itself).

Edited: 02 August 2018, 15:56
Lismore, Australia
Level Contributor
559 posts
101 reviews
7. Re: Hoi An, HCMC or Phnom Penh - which to cut from itinerary?

We have been lucky enough to purchase cheap flights to HCMC from Australia next March.

We have stayed there previously, and although we enjoyed our time and the people, we would like to experience the beaches and other areas in South Vietnam. Can you suggest any sites from HCMC please? We dived on the cheap flights and now need to investigate to create our next adventure.

We loved Hoi An and would like to return, and have 16 days in Vietnam. To fly to Hanoi will unfortunately cost more than our flights from Australia, so we will just explore the southern end of the country. We did love the north during our last visit.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions or information.

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