Introduction: Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia

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Planning A Trip To Vietnam (And Maybe Beyond)
Introduction: Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia
Park Hyatt Saigon Review
Cu Chi Tunnels
Nam Nghi Phu Quoc Island Review
Orchid House Hoi An, Vietnam
Visiting Hoi An, Vietnam: Delightfully Touristy (No, Really!)
Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel Review
Visiting Hanoi, Vietnam: 6 Things I Loved (And You Might Too)
Song Hong Business Lounge Hanoi Airport
Lao Airlines ATR 72 Hanoi To Luang Prabang
Satri House Hotel Review
Visiting Luang Prabang, Laos: Social Responsibility In A Tourist Mecca
Applying For A Cambodia eVisa
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Review
Angkor: Practical Tips For Visiting The Ancient City
Cambodia Angkor Air ATR 72 Siem Reap To Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia: I’m In Love
Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh Review

I feel like we’ve been talking about this trip my cousin Heather and I were going to take with our moms for months now (granted, we booked much further in advance than I typically do), so I’m excited to be finally reporting back with all the fun details.

Our 18-day itinerary

This went through so many evolutions, but when all was said and done our time in Southeast Asia looked roughly like this:

Since we were all coming from different cities, we met in Los Angeles and spent the night. From there, we flew Hong Kong Airlines to Saigon (via Hong Kong), and started an itinerary that looks really fast on paper, but was totally manageable in practice:

  • Arriving in Ho Chi Minh City (just after midnight), spending that night and the following night at the gorgeous Park Hyatt Saigon
  • Flying to Phu Quoc in the late afternoon, spending three nights at the Nam Nghi Hideaway, a property that is new to the Hyatt Unbound Collection
  • Taking an evening flight to Da Nang (this was our only connecting flight, with a stop in SGN, which by the way does not have sterile domestic transit), spending three nights in Hoi An at an Airbnb
  • Flying to Hanoi in the morning, giving us two full days and one night to explore the city, staying at the Hilton Hanoi Opera
  • Flying to Luang Prabang in the evening, spending three nights at the lovely Satri House
  • Flying to Siem Reap in the afternoon, spending two nights at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap
  • Taking a morning flight to Phnom Penh, then visiting the S21 museum before our awesome food tour, then a night at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh

To end our trip, an early-morning flight to Bangkok connected us to a China Airlines flight to Taipei, and then to Vancouver, where we had another overnight before flying to our respective homes.

I will say that the timing of the flights was critical, and contributed significantly to what made this a manageable itinerary. One night stopovers have the potential to feel like a waste of time, but the timing was such that we had ~32 hours in Hanoi, which still isn’t a lot of time, but we didn’t feel rushed.

And the ~20 hours we spent in Phnom Penh were possibly my favorite of the trip.

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Cambodia feels so different from when I was last there in 2014. There are still plenty of problems, and shocking levels of poverty, but in Phnom Penh especially there's a vibrancy, and this feeling like the city is on the *cusp*. In a country where the median age is just 24, and the average household income is ~$1200 a year, there's an incredible energy and surge in innovation. Here, a family serves impressive drive-thru BBQ from the back patio of their home and former barbershop — an entrepreneurial risk that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. (Special thanks to Leanna of @lostplatecambodia for sharing her intense love for her city along with the delicious eats!) . . . . . #travel #travelphotography #travelblogger #cambodia #pnh #phnompenh #Asia #food #streetfood #wanderlust #neverstopexploring #bbq #foodie #nightphotography #teampixel #nightsight

A post shared by Tiffany Funk (@tebfunk) on

The outbound flights (and the impetus for the trip) were obviously the Hong Kong Airlines fares. Internal flights were booked with a mix of FlyingBlue miles (when they were available, economy awards on Vietnam Airlines were ~9,000 miles) and cash. Most of the tickets were actually too cheap to warrant using miles — the base fare for our tickets from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh was literally $1, with another ~$13 in taxes.

Hotels were also a mix of cash and points, and I’ll try and be good about detailing the costs as we go. Since we needed two rooms everywhere, there were some properties where I used both cash and points, so it will be a fun comparison.

And then in the interest of sanity, not needing multi-entry visas for Vietnam, and generally improving life, we ditched our original Hong Kong airlines return, and booked China Airlines A350 business class home for 85,000 SkyMiles each.

Changes to my (hopefully more-frequent) trip reports

This could actually probably be a post in and of itself, but while we’ve received a lot of feedback that folks want to hear more about my trips, I’m not sure that many people are really going to care 😉 .

Still, I want to address this up front, because a few things are going to be different with this trip report than with some of the others I’ve done, or that Ben typically does.

I won’t be reviewing most of the flights

I can hear the groans of disappointment from the avgeeks, so let me explain a bit.

While my eye is a bit different than Ben’s — I might notice details of the fixtures or nuances to the service — our experiences are usually fundamentally similar. So when it’s a product that he’s reviewed previously, I don’t know how much value I can truly add by creating an additional review.

We did order a cake for my aunt on our Hong Kong Airlines flight, but otherwise it was roughly identical to Ben’s trip

Beyond that, my priorities on a long-haul flight right now simply have to be sleeping and working. Someday I hope this won’t be the case, but the reality is that my days are absolutely packed — a situation that is particularly exacerbated when I’m traveling, and doubly so when I’m with other people. If I don’t get at least four hours of sleep, I’m an absolute wreck on the ground (I am incapable of short naps, or sleeping during daylight hours in general). Similarly, the time spent photographing amenity kits and menus is also time I could be spending catching up (or getting ahead) on work so that I have that time on the ground.

To top that all off, due to a variety of fun reasons (including a recent  and complicated Celiac diagnosis), there’s roughly nothing I can safely eat on most flights at present. Given how much some people grumble about the repetition of “delicious fish dishes”, I can’t imagine that a series of “the menu looked good, and the dishes emerging from the galley were nicely presented, but I can’t vouch for any of them” would be wildly popular anyway.

And that’s not even getting into the fact that a flight review usually requires 8-10 hours of time to put together, which is almost exclusively time that gets spent late at night or on weekends, and I’m theoretically trying to be better about how I balance my life.

Besides, Ben is a million times better at flight reviews than pretty much anyone.

I will be spending more time on destination details

Given all those tradeoffs, I’ve decided to spend the time and energy that I do have for reviews on more of the things on the ground — hotels (including some non-points options), destinations, activities, and some insights into the logistics of everything.

I think I have a more unique perspective there, and more to add in general, because I tend to go places Ben doesn’t, or at least in a different way.

I hope it’s a useful approach, and look forward to hearing y’alls feedback as we go. And I’m not saying I’ll never review a flight again, but for me right now, the only way for Tiffany Trip Reports™ to be a thing at all is for me to skip reviewing the bulk of the flights.

If you’re super bummed about that, or just feeling nostalgic, maybe take a gander at the first flight of mine and Ben’s I ever reviewed here; a languid piece written during a hot Sicilian summer when our lives were simultaneously simpler and much more complicated. The whole thing is slathered in my snarky love of our friendship, and contains some of the best damn writing I’ve ever published, so will be more fun to read than one more spin through an aircraft configuration he’s already reviewed anyway.

A few key takeaways from this trip

I’ll write more about my tips for traveling in the region later on in the series, but a few things standout from a 30,000 foot perspective.

There is no perfect itinerary

agonized over the itinerary and planning for this trip. And I absolutely appreciate all the comments and insights that you guys shared along the way!

At the end of the day though, the “best” itinerary really comes down to the group of travelers. Heather and I commented throughout the trip how different our days would have looked if we were with our husbands, or her girls, or just each other. There might have been more (or any) late nights out, more time hiking and less time snorkeling, different museums or tours — but what we did was perfect for our moms.

Our packed itinerary was neither too slow, nor too fast. We could absolutely have spent more time in some places (I would plan an entire trip just to the center and highlands of Vietnam), but this was a perfect overview. We got to experience a mix of cities and countrysides, a variety of cuisine, and a generally lovely mix of activities.

So I know some people were concerned about the pace, or that we were only spending a single night in some of the big cities, but it worked out wonderfully for us. I actually think that having a tight window in the cities meant that we saw more things we loved in each than we otherwise would have, as we curated our schedule fairly carefully.

Be wary of the “must-do’s”

This goes along with the above, but I think part of travel zen and general life enjoyment is just rolling with things, and not feeling like you have to do certain things just because they are highly recommended or someone said you “can’t miss” them.

Maybe some day I’ll go back to Hanoi (I probably will, even if only as a jumping off point for other places in North Vietnam that I’d like to visit), and if so, maybe I’ll spend hours queuing to see the embalmed corpse of Uncle Ho.

But it was absolutely not a compelling or interesting option for our group on a muggy 90-degree morning. We went for foot massages and enjoyed some egg coffee instead, and had a wonderful time.

Speaking of which, the coffee cup test remains the gold-standard of evaluating a packing situation; learn it and use it friends!

Whenever we had the option, we chose long conversations with locals over rushing from activity to activity (though there was definitely still a fair amount of rushing). I think hearing those perspectives was more interesting and valuable to our moms than seeing Tourist Highlight #47.

A little extra spending can dramatically improve your experience

I get it; we all like to get a deal, and OMAAT readers love to maximize. And I generally do too.

But I’ve realized that sometimes (especially in Southeast Asia), spending a little bit more money can get you outsized value, particularly when it comes to transportation to and from the airport.

Sure, you can haggle for a tuk tuk or taxi, but when it’s late/hot/crowded/whatever, there’s something really nice about having what my family now refers to as “a magic car” just show up, with a sign with your name, and a driver that already knows where you’re going, and has been paid to take you there. And it was especially nice for me, since the burdens of negotiation (or just not getting scammed), and communication would have fallen on me.

Given how fast our itinerary was, and how many different places we visited, it made life significantly easier to just book cars ahead of time, whether it was through Blacklane, the hotel, or with the help of our Airbnb host.

The one time I didn’t pre-book a car led to an exasperated Siem Reap taxi driver asking me five minutes into the drive “how many times have you been to Cambodia?” because I wasn’t going along with any of his proposed schemes. I estimate that we spent an extra ~$150 on transportation over our three week trip than if we’d taken the cheapest option available, and it was absolutely worth it.

SkyPriority was a huge perk

I don’t generally feel like I get much out of my Delta elite status when traveling internationally, mostly because I’m usually on business class tickets. But most of our intra-Vietnam travel was in economy. And when we had a choice of carriers, I booked SkyTeam partner Vietnam Airlines whenever possible, so that we could leverage my elite benefits.

Our one Vietnam Airlines business class flight was mediocre — the economy seats were actually more comfortable for these short one-hour flights

The busy Tet period meant airports were often packed, so getting to use priority security and boarding lanes (and not having anyone ask to weigh our bags) was a tremendous perk. I realize this isn’t applicable to everyone, but since it made a significant difference for us on this trip, I feel like it’s worth mentioning.

Being in Vietnam during Tết was surprisingly lovely

We had been worried about this, because the advice we’d received basically ranged from “everything will be closed” to “the beaches will be so crowded” to “the ATMs won’t have money” to “you might starve”, but it was fine. In ways, it was maybe even more pleasant.

We got to see Saigon as the city prepared for the New Year with abundant floral displays and festivities.

When I say abundant, I mean the city was blanketed in flowers. Even the War Remnants Museum (which I do recommend visiting) had cheerfully incongruous chrysanthemums lining the hallways.

In the days leading up to Tet, we saw endless apricot trees being carried home on scooters, and women frantically finishing holiday shopping. As the holiday period progressed, we enjoyed seeing families out taking photos in their finest clothes, red envelopes being exchanged, and a general sense of pleasantness.

Granted, many establishments in the cities were closed, and while Saigon and Hanoi were probably more enjoyable with so many people being out of town, Hoi An was outrageously crowded. So if you’re going to be in Vietnam during Tet I’d plan your itinerary accordingly, but I wouldn’t say it’s a period to avoid.

Overall thoughts

More than anything else, Heather and I really enjoyed spending the time with each other, and our moms. This isn’t the kind of trip that most daughters get to do with their mothers (or vice versa!), and I’m tremendously grateful for miles and points and the life I have that has made it possible to take a few of these trips.

I’m very excited to tell you all about this one. 🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions about the trip or details as we go, and you can see more pictures from the trip on Instagram in the meantime. Thanks as always for reading!


Planning A Trip To Vietnam (And Maybe Beyond)
Introduction: Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia
Park Hyatt Saigon Review
Cu Chi Tunnels
Nam Nghi Phu Quoc Island Review
Orchid House Hoi An, Vietnam
Visiting Hoi An, Vietnam: Delightfully Touristy (No, Really!)
Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel Review
Visiting Hanoi, Vietnam: 6 Things I Loved (And You Might Too)
Song Hong Business Lounge Hanoi Airport
Lao Airlines ATR 72 Hanoi To Luang Prabang
Satri House Hotel Review
Visiting Luang Prabang, Laos: Social Responsibility In A Tourist Mecca
Applying For A Cambodia eVisa
Park Hyatt Siem Reap Review
Angkor: Practical Tips For Visiting The Ancient City
Cambodia Angkor Air ATR 72 Siem Reap To Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia: I’m In Love
Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh Review

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  1. I’m good with the no review of flights; Ben has that covered more than enough. Definitely hope you’ll cover more about the food/restaurants, as that’s a piece that Ben doesn’t cover (unless plane food) and definitely part of the travel experience!

  2. Love that you are writing more about the destination then Ben does! Looking forward to your perspective.

  3. That said, if you are traveling together with Ben – do provide those flight reports. I still remember the one where you are flying LH F with Ben, it cracked me up.

  4. @ YGeorgeW — Hah, I linked to that one in this post, because I loved it too! We sadly don’t get to travel together very often anymore, but when it happens, I’ll see what I can do 😉

  5. “his goes along with the above, but I think part of travel zen and general life enjoyment is just rolling with things, and not feeling like you have to do certain things just because they are highly recommended or someone said you “can’t miss” them.”

    I LOVE this. You can read all about the “must do’s” in Fodor’s and Lonely planet. Usually tourist traps that give very little perspective to the true life in the countries visited. Keep up the true “must do’s” of local things, small experiences, etc…. that will add value for OMAAT readers.

  6. I was in HCMC just after Tet so all of the decorations were still up. I was struck by how happy people seemed. Dalat was a great destination too. Much cooler up in the mountains

  7. Fabulous. I much prefer this style of trip report with a focus on the destination. Couldn’t care less about the food or the seat or what’s on the drink menu. On the ground is what draws me to a destination.

  8. Looking forward to this series a great deal, Tiffany, as we are looking at various SE Asia itineraries that include Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Bali. Wondering if we can see all of those in a week?


    But I do appreciate your agony over the itinerary – thanks for taking one for the team! That experience in our family is like lather, rinse, repeat.

  9. I was in Hanoi 3 years ago so prices surely have gone up, but I found Uber to be my “magic car”. No haggling, no figuring out the 1000s of dong to pay, just get in and go. At the time, I do not think any ride within town was more than $1 US. Magic. However, it did take 3 trips to the cell phone store and a lot of trial and error and goolging from the hotel WiFi to get a local SIM card to work so I could use Uber. Back then, Vietnam wasn’t included in T-Mobile’s ONE plan.

  10. I would be curious to hear a bit about your flights, maybe 2 sentences at the end of other parts of the review? Or at least I’m curious which of the rarely-reviewed obscure Cambodian airlines you flew from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.

  11. @ Rico — Vietnam still isn’t included with Google Fi (which I have), so might not be with T-Mobile either. I bought two data-only SIMs from a Viettel kiosk at SGN airport for ~$15 for 10GB. The process was amazingly efficient, and I had both SIMs activated and tested before Heather had finished withdrawing cash from the ATM down the way.

  12. I’m so glad you are doing this trip report, Tiffany, since I have been to some of the places you visited and am thinking about visiting others. I appreciate Ben’s flight reviews and your perspective on travel in general, so I think your focus being different than his is great. Thanks!

  13. I literally got back yesterday from an 18 day trip which centred on Vietnam. My itinerary only involved 3 internal flights and when I look at yours – it looks frankly horrible! However I am glad to see you had a great time with your moms, but wow that must have been one exhausting schedule. Personally I can’t see that you would have had much value in adding Phu Quoc but hey I’m willing to be proved wrong. A well timed stream of articles for me. PS I think you probably only needed one more day in Hanoi.

  14. If I recall correctly isnt your mom a “clean freak” and didnt want to eat at restaurants in singapore. How did she do in these countries that dont have western standards of cleanliness and not being able to drink the water?

  15. @Tiffany I think you’re a phenomenal writer, and I love your sense of humor (that photo caption in the LH trip report about the hanging jacket had me laughing out loud). It will definitely be refreshing to read more insights about destinations and that would complement the rest of the blog content very nicely. I’d agree with others though, that maybe writing up a quick paragraph about your flight going over the seat and the service (if you can’t really do the food) would still be very useful. Looking forward to the rest of your trip report 🙂 .

  16. @ Jojo — Oh, my poor mama. She trooped. We did what we could to make it easier on her, often choosing restaurants in a different category than I’d typically go for otherwise, but we mixed in lots of local dives and street food too, and while her eyes were very large at times, she did try everything. I brought a steri-pen and collapsible water bottles too, so that she could manage that element of it and feel comfortable.

    Frankly, after that last trip I think she was more nervous about the possibility that I’d report back to you guys that she’d been a difficult eater again than she was about the food. There were several times where she adorably noted “make sure you tell them I tried that,” even when she didn’t love it 🙂

  17. @Tiffany — I was one of the many who urged you to write more trip reports, and it’s good to see you doing so. There’s an authentic voice when you write – you don’t seem to care about pleasing anyone, and just seem gratified that others seem to enjoy what you have to say.

    Your trip is a really impressive SE Asia highlights tour. I spend an absurd amount of time planning trips, and I’ve always thought my great gift is compression – fitting the right amount in the available space. Which sounds like a rushed trip, but that’s the gift – being able to pack a lot in and yet make it not rushed. It seems like you have that ability in spades, and I take my hat off to you.

  18. @Tiffany – So happy to see this series kick off! We go later this year and I look forward to hearing about your travels. I suspect you will, but please don’t shy away from mentioning the fails as well as the successes. Sometimes more helpful to learn enough to avoid a fail then to try and replicate a success. Like several others, I hope you’ll talk at least a bit about the flights. We go Danang, Saigon, Phu Quoc one day, so your note about transfer in Saigon is interesting. Also curious what steps you thought were prudent to avoid food sickness at various places (i.e. zero food concern at Park Hyatt Saigon?), thoughts on how to have a leisurely Hoi An visit, getting around on Phu Quoc, safety, restaurant gems, night market highlights, and your Vietnam visa/entry experience.

  19. Lovely!

    I’m currently on my way to the airport for a trip from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An/Hue and Hanoi/Ha Long

    Hopefully your reviews will come as I move along!


  20. @ Malc — Thank you! Compression is a perfect vocab word. There’s obviously more we could have done, but I am very happy with what we did.

  21. @Tiffany – I’m Gluten Free and love to travel, though it can be challenging. Please review what food, if any, you were able to eat on planes because there are a lot of us that are GF!!! I find that Delta and KLM have done a good job providing GF meals that can be ordered ahead on their flights. My last flight on AF in J they forgot to board my GF meal and gave me 25,000 miles on an award ticket booked through Delta for the inconvenience. The crew couldn’t have been more apologetic and cobbled together meals for me of things that I knew were safe for my GF diet. Honestly my GF diet is the biggest reason why I favor Europe over Asia for travel, so would value your insights on being GF on this trip.

  22. @ SEAguy — Hah, it’s interesting you led off with food concerns at the PH SGN, because that’s actually the only place where everyone was ill. But in general I find that the large Western hotels aren’t necessarily better at preventing food sickness issues than the highly-frequented local places, or even the street stalls where you can inspect cleanliness and look for steam and frequency. I’ll try and share more as we go though!

    I applied for eVisas ahead of time for Vietnam, using Ben’s instructions (and it worked just fine for me):

  23. @ DLPTATL — Hoo boy, I’ll try, but I actually don’t usually special-order meals. I probably should, but GF only gets me halfway, at best. I struggle with all prolamines, and even quinoa is problematic, and since most “designated” GF items have at least corn or oats as substitutes, that doesn’t really help in my case. I’ll ask for sauces on the side when reasonable, or salads without the croutons, but I’m also happy to just not eat on planes, and I sorta plan around that possibility.

    Otherwise, I travel with a pack of bouillon (you can get hot water anywhere), and usually a handful of Kind/nut bars.

    I will say that this region was one of the best places I’ve traveled to in Asia from that perspective. Vietnamese soy sauce doesn’t have wheat in it, so that opened up a whole world of things I’d have usually had to skip. Laos was easy too (the local beer was even brewed from rice). Cambodia has more Chinese culinary influence, so that was a little bit harder, but still much better than I’d anticipated.

  24. Hotel Des Arts Saigon. It was 2 years ago when I visited, but one of the best hotels I’ve experienced. Part of Accor hotels group

  25. Love your posts, and even though I have zero interest in visiting any of these places you went, I am so excited to see it through your eyes (btw your vocabulary and writing style is very impressive and thorough)! Cant wait 🙂

  26. You gave away half of the HK Air mistake fare to book on China Airlines and spent 85k of points? And you consider that a huge step up from HK Air?

  27. @ AJ — I didn’t say it was a huge step up (though I would say China Airlines is more polished than Hong Kong Air), but it was a big improvement for us because of what it enabled as far as the itinerary and trip duration. If I’d thought about it more, I would have booked the HK tickets differently to start with (what I had only gave us 7 days on the ground), but I obviously couldn’t change those, and that’s how mistake fares go sometimes.

  28. It’s ironic that you highlight the utility of SkyMiles elite status for domestic economy flights in Vietnam given that SkyTeam is a garbage alliance (like SkyMiles is a garbage loyalty program) with no lounge access on domestic itineraries.

  29. Tiffany, love your style of writing. Very informative with a certain humour that I appreciate. Well done. Your pictures look amazing, are you capturing these on your phone and if so what model ?

  30. @ Jamie — Thank you! Yep, Ben had/has my camera for YouTube purposes, so these were all either shot with my phone (Pixel 3) or there’s an occasional one of Heather’s (iPhone X I think).

  31. My husband and I just spent 3 days in Ho Chi Minh at the Reverie Hotel. Spectacular hotel in the Leading Hotels group. Got a beautiful upgrade to a suite, but because it was an upgrade, we still didn’t have access to the lounge, which stunk. We flew to Da Nang on JetStar this morning. It was fine. About 2/3 full only. It’s a short flight, 1 hr 20 min. The airports are easy to navigate and newish. However, our flights out of SGN and into DAD were bussed to remote stands. Stinks lugging your carryon up and down the stairs. Vietnam Airlines had the jetways. And, my husband did get sick and is currently sleeping off some food poisoning. We did some adventurous trips (speedboat to the Mekong Delta; Back of the Bike Street Food Tour, which was super fun). Ate some sketchy food. I guess my stomach is stronger than his. We are at the Hyatt Regency Beach Resort and got upgraded (he’s Globalist) to a HUGE Regency suite. The beach is beautiful and there are multiple pools and restaurants. Because it’s a Holiday week here there are lot’s of children. Also, concerning T-Mobile, I checked online before we came and it said T-Mobile wouldn’t be available here until June I believe. But when I landed I got the message from them saying welcome to Vietnam, unlimited data at up to 2g speeds. But I usually get 3g. The Hyatt Regency has a complimentary shuttle to Hoi An that we will use tomorrow. Then it’s VietJet to Hanoi, and the Sofitel Legend. We also book the Hotel pickup and return to the airport. It cuts out so much stress.

  32. I’m much more interested in the destination than how I get there when I travel, so this tone of review is much more suited for me. I like the airline reviews, though I’m not as keen on the reproduction of entire wine lists, so reviews in this style will bring a nice balance to the site.

  33. @Rico .Uber was acquired by GRAB in S.E.Asia recently, so Uber is no more in these countries . Grab works just like Uber and we used it in Malaysia ( Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Sandakan over last 6 weeks ). Very efficient in Malaysia , but not tried other countries yet .

    Grab operates in Malaysia, Singapore , Thailand ,Philippines,Indonesia,Vietnam, and Cambodia . I have a European service provider and I was able to download the Grab app and use it without any problem. I paid cash instead of loading a European credit card , I believe it is safer, I do not like my personal credit card details spread around in certain countries

  34. @ DLPTHTL I recognise and understand gluten free , but in SE Asia , forget it , except upmarket restaurants in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur . Most local people selling street food have no idea even what it means . I have lived in Asia 42 years , with Chinese wife and now I have gluten problems myself due to age . I just reduce /stop eating anything I think has gluten , but not always easy

  35. Great review as usual Tiffany. As a Hyatt fan this property has been on my short list for a while.
    Aside: I mean no disrespect, but has the practice of eating dog been eradicated in countries(like Vietnam) that once had that history? I might sound like a rube but I am genuinely interested. And I sincerely apologize if I am mistaken about Vietnam being one the countries that did this. A brief internet search(I know, I know) mentions they were once.

  36. @ geoff — I don’t think that’s a disrespectful question. It’s contentious even in Vietnam, where the mayor of Hanoi has been on a campaign to discourage the practice. To my understanding though, it’s not super prevalent, and you’re not likely to come across it accidentally (especially in the South), so it’s more like eating horse meat in parts of Italy — something considered a delicacy that you’ll pay a premium for.

  37. I usually have a sensitive stomach when I travel. For Vietnam, I brought probiotics that didn’t need refrigeration and took them daily. Ate food on the street and off and had no issues. Seems like that the probiotics worked, but to know for sure I’d have to go back and try everything without taking them. No thanks. YMMV

    PS I checked and T-Mobile works in Vietnam now. Also, I really enjoyed the Hyatt Regency Danang on free nights. And HGI Hanoi is a great deal for 10K points, 5th night free, free breakfast, free self-serve laundry.

  38. @Tiffany – the fact that VN is the only Vietnamese domestic airline that’s part of an alliance doesn’t invalidate the fact that SkyTeam and Delta are the worst alliance and loyalty program when it comes to everything, including lounge access. You sound like an apologist when I wish you would call out Delta and SkyTeam because your platform is so powerful. Remember Delta is the airline that recently advertised a “sale” of 200,000 miles round trip between the US and Asia in business. Such a disrespectful garbage loyalty program.

  39. What a great, informative, and well-written report! I too liked that you wrote more about the destination rather than the process of getting there. I can’t believe you planned all of that by yourself, I wish I had the capability to plan and organize over a two-week-long trip like you. My husband and I have been wanting to visit Cambodia and Vietnam for quite some time, and have finally booked our tour and flights there. We decided the best way for us to go was to reserve a guided tour through Stride Travel to eliminate all of the stress of us having to plan our itinerary. After reading your report, I’m even more excited to travel and experience it all has to offer.

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