#1 11-26-2017 7:05 AM

bennn123
Couch Potato
Posts: 4

Travelling to Thailand and Vietnam

Hi Guys,

Just need a bit of advice as its my first time travelling. I will be travelling to Thailand for 30 days and onto Vietnam for 30 days. What would be the best way to explore these two countries? Would you get a package deal from a travel agent or is it easy enough to just go and explore and then buy the tours while you are out there?

Any advice would be great

Thank you

 

#2 11-26-2017 9:00 AM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Wanderer
Posts: 426

Re: Travelling to Thailand and Vietnam

There is no need for a tour in Thailand, except for trecking, this is better to book localy when there. Thailand is a very easy country for traveling by yourself. For Vietnam you will need a visa. For Halong Bay and the Mekong delta you will need a tour, book also that localy. Sinh Cafe www.sinhcafevn.com is quite good, also for open bus ticket from Saigon to Hanoi with several possible stops on the way. But be careful there are several fake Sinh Cafe agencies.

 

#3 11-26-2017 5:25 PM

cynthiasmiller
Cindy
Seattle, Washington
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Tourist
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Re: Travelling to Thailand and Vietnam

Agreed, there's no need to book a tour in Thailand.  Since this is your first time traveling, it might be worth your while to look into day tours until you get more comfortable getting around independently.  Thailand is pretty easy to get around, but most people don't speak English.  So you may need some extra help if you run into a snag.

Vietnam is also okay for getting around by yourself.  If you want to do some trekking in the north, which I recommend, then you should book a tour.  But, learn from my mistake, don't book a tour online.  Just show up and book there.  If you book online, you'll get crazy ripped off.

Well, if you're going to Thailand and Vietnam, you're going to get ripped off.  Get used to the idea now, and just be on your toes.  Be suspicious, and don't be afraid to say no and look for better options.

You've chosen two great countries to travel to, but a lot of other people travel there too.  The locals are used to foreigners being around, for better or for worse.  Tourism infrastructure is pretty solid, but in many situations that require payment, the price will be higher than it really needs to be.  Have fun and take care!

 

#4 11-26-2017 11:38 PM

ryanltzw
Leo
Singapore
Couch Potato
Posts: 12

Re: Travelling to Thailand and Vietnam

I'm from Singapore so we do travel out to South East Asian countries pretty frequently. Contrary to what most people think, Thailand is actually one of the safest places to travel alone as a tourist within SEA countries. Vietnam, on the other hand, is a little less so. When I say safe, I'm referring to active crime: Thai people aren't known to be as confrontational, so the main things to watch out for are scams and cons. For Vietnam, the same can happen as well but there are also incidents of snatch thieves on motorcycles, so take extra care of your valuables when walking near roads. As a rule of thumb, always practice safe traveling habits, never be afraid to say no to any ridiculous deals (they will try to rip if you off if you look lost and can be persistent about it).

To answer your question, it won't be worth it to book your holiday through a travel agent in your own country especially since you'll be there for 30 days each and it'll be really costly.

Just do a bit of research beforehand and figure out which parts of both countries you want to visit and plan your tours depending on the location (example if you're in Thailand, arrive at Bangkok first then make your travel arrangements if you're heading out of the city). If you're in main cities, it'll be pretty easy to navigate yourself around as long as you get a local sim card and have done your homework. Hope this helps!

 

#5 11-27-2017 3:11 PM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Nomad
Posts: 959

Re: Travelling to Thailand and Vietnam

Not necessarily to book a package tour. You can easily do Thailand and Vietnam on your own, the only thing you need is booking some excursions.

This two countries has really good public transportation to get around. Either you start in Vietnam or Thailand it doesn't matter, you can fly or crossed the border. Budget airlines are plentiful

Book your tours when you get there, never book tours online as it is expensive. Plenty of tour operators in Thailand and Vietnam, they sometimes gave discount if you book more than two tours with them

Most hotels or hostels has free wifi these days so no need to buy simcard. If you have mobile phone download maps.me you can use this apps offline to navigate you around. For bus and train tickets,  travel agencies can arranged for you, it'll cost a little more than buying yourself at the station but your ease

We don't know where you from. Most visitors to Thailand can have a visa on arrival, Vietnam on the other hand you need to get this online. But I heard it change lately, some says you can get it on arrival some says online. During my visit a couple of years ago we apply online

 

#6 12-6-2017 11:04 PM

chrisphh
Angella
Sightseer
Posts: 58

Re: Travelling to Thailand and Vietnam

You can book package tour for traveling from Thailand to Vietnam through Vietnam Tour Booking agency, or you can book a private tour in each country. However, personally, you should book package tour because it will help you save more money and better itinerary

 

#7 12-7-2017 1:10 AM

jacobi
Bendigo, Australia
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Re: Travelling to Thailand and Vietnam

When I went to Vietnam in February, I booked all my excursions through the hotel. There were plenty of travel agencies around the place, but I just took advantage of the convenience of the hotel. Enjoy your travels.

 

#8 12-7-2017 4:30 PM

planxty
Fergy
London, England
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Posts: 166

Re: Travelling to Thailand and Vietnam

I cannot speak for Vietnam as I have never managed to get there despite several attempts which I won't bore you with.  I have, however, been to Thailand many times so I feel I can comment on that and I would say that you have already had some great information from some very experienced travellers who I respect. 

I appreciate it is your first time travelling but you have made a good choice in starting in Thailand as it really is one of the most "user-friendly" travel destinations in Asia.  As a general principle, I would not bother with an arranged tour for several reasons, the most obvious being money.  Tour operators / guides  / drivers etc. have to make a living and I have no problem with that but someone has to pay i.e. the traveller.  I cannot think of anything that I have wanted to do in Thailand that I could not organise for myself.  Certainly, if you are unsure, it does give you a "security blanket" of having someone with you.  In some countries this is useful because of a potential language barrier but English is very widely spoken in Thailand.

However, for me, the main reason not to go on an organised tour is that you lose all flexibility as there is an itinerary to be adhered to.  I like to travel where I can stay an extra day somewhere I like or can move on if I don't like it although I must say I cannot think of anywhere in Thailand that I don't like! 

Organising tours is so easy in Thailand as every hotel / guesthouse / hostel will have a hookup with some local outfit but it is often not necessary.  Just decide what you want to do and go and see it yourself.  I do not know if you ride bikes / scooters but they are widely available so just get one and go.  That way you can stay as long as you like in a particular place and tailor make your own itinerary as you go along.  If you don't ride (everyone does there), then bicycles are an option in some of the more travelled areas.  Alternatively, just negotiate a day rate with a tuktuk (three wheel taxi) or scooter driver and do what you want.  It will still work out much cheaper than a tour.

I love Thai food and tours will generally take you to restaurants where they are getting a kickback.  I have no problem with this as it is how they live and feed their own families but with independent travel you can just pick what you fancy or, if you take my other option of hiring a driver / rider then ask them to take you to where they eat themselves.  I have had some great results that way.

I realise that this is very much repetition of what has already been said above but hopefully the more opinions you get the better you will be able to decide.

Have a great trip.  I know you will love it there.

 

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