Southeast Asia forum

Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia HELP!

  • puglet

    Joined Travelfish
    11th November, 2006
    Posts: 2

    Ok I have finally convinced my boyfriend there is more to life than laying by the pool in exspensive hotels but now I have to organise to perfect trip!

    We want to go through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, preferably in no more than 3 weeks (is this not enough time??). We are not planning to go until well into next year but I want to get planning now so any help would be much appreciated!

    #1 Posted: 11/11/2006 - 08:58

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
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    hi puglet,

    three weeks is not enough time to visit all four countries, and if you try, you'll spend half of your time getting from place to place and not enough time enjoying where you are.

    take a look at the trip planner section. it has some great ideas to get you started. after you pick out a few of the highlights that appeal to you, you can start to do more in-depth research and piece together an intinerary.

    just remember, less is more. pick a few places you'd like to go, and focus on those. you'll spend less money, have a more meaningful experience, and most important of all, have the time to enjoy where you are. cheers.

    #2 Posted: 11/11/2006 - 09:42

  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Indonesia
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    Hi puglet,

    Welcome to Travelfish!

    As exacto says, if you try and visit all four in three weeks you'll be spending a lot of time on the road.

    In the past my mantra has always been Less is More - ie, spend longer seeing less and you'll leave with a far more memorable trip than a blur of cultures, guesthouses and people.

    That said, you could take advantage of your boyfriend's penchant for laying by the pool at the flashest digs in town and trade some of those in on a few regional flights -- then you could see a fair bit in the short time you have.

    So here's some starters to get you going:
    1) Look into Bangkok Airway's Discovery Airpass - it lets you fly a number of the popular routes pretty cheaply.

    2) Check out the timetable charts in the trip planner section - they'll give you an idea of just how long it really takes to get from A to B...

    3) Three weeks four countries... hmmmm try to skimp on time in Cambodia (where most are interested just in Phnom Penh and Angkor) and Laos (where it takes a long time to go anywhere) and spend more time in Thailand (excellent network of low coast airlines to fly you all over the shop). In Vietnam -- pick NORTH or SOUTH - do not try to see both ...

    Just off the top of my head (and assuming you're flying all this you could do something like:

    Arrive Bangkok fly to southern islands - take your pick - there's loads then return to Bangkok - that's 5 days gone.
    Fly Bangkok -> Chiang Mai go trekking, see temples, hang out. 3 days
    Fly Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang - hang out, do stuff! 3 days
    Overland south via Vang Vieng to Vientiane - 3days including hammock time in Vang Vieng
    Fly Vientiane - to Siem Reap 2 days angkor wat
    then either overland to Saigon to see Mekong Delta, or, fly back to Bangkok then Air Asia to Hanoi for 4-5 days in north Vietnam before flying back to Bangkok and leaving.

    There you go three weeks, four countries, and at least 7'll need a few days poolside to get over it!

    With three weeks I'd suggest ditching two countries - but you've still got loads of time to plan -- so feel free to come back with different solutions/questions.


    #3 Posted: 11/11/2006 - 11:37

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
    Posts: 2583
    Total reviews: 47
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    wow. i'm exhausted just reading the itin that somtam suggested. with my three weeks and my first trip to the area, i'd probably spend the first in bangkok and surrounds (bangkok, kanchanaburi, ayutthaya), the second week in chiang mai (chiang mai, chiang dao, pai or mae hong son), and the third week at the beach (samui, samet, krabi, etc.) and that is still too much travelling.

    if you really felt ambitious, you could add a trip to luang prabang and then down to vientiane, or perhaps a trip over to siem reap and angkor instead. even with this more modest itin, you'll still wish you had extra time in every one of the places you visit. have fun. cheers.

    #4 Posted: 12/11/2006 - 10:06

  • puglet

    Joined Travelfish
    11th November, 2006
    Posts: 2

    Hi guys,

    Thanks heaps for all the advice. I think we are going to maybe skip Thailand and do that seperately another time as I want to see Cambodia and Laos before that get too touristy. (We are going to do maybe 2 nights though in Bangkok as my boyfriend wants to see some Muay Thai fights)

    Hopefully this makes things a little easier for us! Had a browse through the tipr planned area and they are great too so I will start trying to piece together an itinery and will get back to you!

    Thanks again!

    #5 Posted: 13/11/2006 - 07:36

  • skinnylatte

    Joined Travelfish
    19th July, 2005
    Posts: 57

    3 weeks sounds about right for:

    Bangkok (if you're not staying long you can leave the next morning) to Siem Reap (through Aranyaprathet) -- stay in SR for 4 days

    Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (by bus) -- stay in PP for 3 days

    PP to Ho Chi Minh (by bus)

    then you can fly back to Bangkok and then go watch muay thai or lie on a beach on an island.

    Either that, or spend most of it in Laos before getting back to Thailand, as exacto suggested.

    #6 Posted: 24/11/2006 - 12:21

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