Cheapest flights from Hanoi to Siem Reap? Southeast Asia airline search aggregator?
August 30, 2009 9:11 AM   Subscribe

What are the cheapest & quickest flights from Hanoi to Siem Reap; is there a southeast Asia flight aggregator (similar to Kayak in the US) that will search all the possible airlines and connections?

The Vietnam Airlines direct flight is obvious, though I think I can do better than one way 260 USD per person.

[For example, HAN to SIN (Singapore) via Tiger and then SIN to REP cost $170 but these routes don't fly every day and it'd be too long of a layover in Singapore... I was so close to finding a good fare!]

I've already spent over an hour trying to manually check every airline that flies into Siem Reap and then every destination accessible cheaply from Hanoi, but I'm now at my wit's end trying to figure this out. Is there a search aggregator that does this cross checking on many airlines for me? ... something like Kayak for low cost Southeast Asia flights?
posted by pariser to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hanoi is filled with mom and pop travel agents. Maybe someone can recommend a non-shady one that might be able to help. They ought to know the market pretty well.
posted by zachlipton at 9:50 AM on August 30, 2009

Best answer: I pulled this up on Skyscanner, which is usually great and exactly the tool you want, and found a few $250-ish one way fares, but yeah, didn't find much better.

What about flying via Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia on two separate bookings? I looked at September 30 and found $87 for the Hanoi-KL fare, then $54 for the KL-Siem Reap fare. You'd have to overnight in KL, though.

Perhaps the Singapore fare is the best? Singapore Airport is awesome and Singapore is the perfect layover destination...but be aware that Tiger uses the Budget Terminal, which isn't the one with the butterfly garden and the free movie theatre.
posted by mdonley at 10:39 AM on August 30, 2009

I'm going to reiterate zachlipton's point about checking out travel agencies while you're actually in Ha Noi. Singapore Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Air Asia, and Jetstar are the most popular online destinations as far as buying airfare online in Viet Nam goes, but you've already looked at most of those. Fact of the matter is that a site like Kayak or Expedia for flights departing from Viet Nam does not exist the way that it does for U.S. flights, if only because the travel agency market in Viet Nam is still an extremely popular method of buying airfare. If you're already in Viet Nam, walk around the Old Quarter (near Hoan Kiem Lake) and you will surely find travel agencies that offer cheaper flights than the ones you are finding online.
posted by aloneinvietnam at 12:04 PM on August 30, 2009

If you're not currently in Hanoi and you're a little wary of risking it by waiting to see what the "street prices" are, you may want to post a question on Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree asking if anyone currently in Hanoi knows the current going rate. You'll get some snark, but there's also a good chance that you'll find someone helpful who's currently in Hanoi, maybe even logging on from an internet cafe that doubles as a travel agency and can get you a solid answer.
posted by lunasol at 12:17 PM on August 30, 2009

Try Zuji. They focus on Asia and is a subsidiary of Travelocity. Best!
posted by jchaw at 12:17 PM on August 30, 2009

Check to see if Vietnam Airlines have a 'package deal' to Siem Reap (Xiem Riep) available. We were living in Hanoi last year, and in the office across the road (Don't line up at the regular ticket office upstairs for hours!), they prepare flight & accomodation deals that were fabulous value. We stayed in the recommended hotel, and exended our flight back to Hanoi to do some touring in the district. Cheap as chips and great value. They are not widely advertised. I'll see if I have any details when I'm back on my 'real' computer!
posted by Flashduck at 6:18 PM on August 30, 2009

Oh yeah, one other quick tip. I believe that you can generally get a Cambodian visa at the airport when you arrive (may require that you have passport photos with you, look up the specifics before you go), but you can also get them in advance at a consulate or embassy. If you get your visa in advance, you can go straight to the immigration line and skip the visa-purchase line, which almost everybody from the plane will be waiting in. Nice time saver and you'll avoid that particular encounter with the Cambodian authorities.

Also, bribes are often requested by Cambodian airport authorities. I'm sure the Lonely Planet forums and similar sites have more information on the finer points of bribery, but do know that it can happen and be prepared accordingly. If they want your ring or your fancy pen (both have happened to different people I know), figure out what you're going to give them instead (bit of cash perhaps?). The Siem Reap forums are undoubtedly full of tips for dealing with this stuff.

Finally, many people go to Siem Reap and then return to Vietnam in order to fly home or continue their travels. I was just talking to a woman last night who did exactly this, but only had a single-entry visa for Vietnam. She was thrown off the plane, and had to be driven 12 hours round-trip to the nearest Vietnamese consulate to obtain a new visa. Moral of the story: if there's any chance you may want to re-enter Vietnam, get a multiple entry visa in the first place; I don't believe they cost significantly more anyway.

Have a great trip!
posted by zachlipton at 9:42 PM on August 30, 2009

wego is another site which is as good as zuji (I use it regularly), check it out.
posted by joewandy at 10:03 PM on August 30, 2009

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