My wife and I are trying to plan the rough contours of our trip to SE Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia) in November 2011. We will be traveling with our 10-month-old, so we are not making too many precise plans, but we know want to spend the majority of the time in northern Laos. Traveling with the kid means that flights will be easier than overland travel, so we need to get our flights figured out first, and then we can fill in the details. That being said, we would like to be efficient in the flights and keep the prices down as best we can.
The only "requirements" are: (1) spend a few days on an island beach off the Thailand Andaman coast; (2) spend the majority of time in Laos; (3) visit Angkor Wat. With the exception of flying in and out of BKK and scheduling the beach in the early part of the trip to shake off jet lag and to beat the late-November crowds, the sequence of the destinations is flexible.
Does this sequence make sense? Any thoughts?
Day 1 - Arrive BKK
Day 2 - Bangkok
Day 3 - Fly to Krabi (KBV), ferry to Ko Phi Phi
Day 4 - Ko Phi Phi
Day 5 - Ko Phi Phi
Day 6 - Ko Phi Phi
Day 7 - Ko Phi Phi
Day 8 - (KBV to VTE?) Vientiane
Day 9 - Vientiane
Day 10 - Luang Prabang /Northern Laos
Day 11 - Luang Prabang/Northern Laos
Day 12 - Luang Prabang/Northern Laos
Day 13 - Luang Prabang/Northern Laos
Day 14 - Luang Prabang/Northern Laos
Day 15 - Luang Prabang/Northern Laos
Day 16 - Laos
Day 17 - Laos
Day 18 - Laos
Day 19 - Luang Prabang - Phnom Penh (LPQ to PNH)
Day 20 - Phnom Penh
Day 21 - PP - Siem Reap
Day 22 - Angkor
Day 23 - Angkor
Day 24 - Angkor
Day 25 - Return to Bangkok
Day 26 - BKK -> USA
#1 pcharrig has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 1
That looks sensible to me.
Only those extra days around Luang Prabang which you marked as Laos may be a bit too much. There are not that many highlights around LP, that you could not fit into your 5 day LP stay, in the north that don't require long and bad traveltime. All other places require an almost full day on the bus and then 3 days is too short to really enjoy.
5/6 days LP is enough for most people. Even with children.
I personally would trade those Laos days for some time on the Cambodian coast which is easily accesible over good roads and can be reached within a few hours or plan to stay the whole time in LP. Fly sooner to PP then and take a taxi or bus to Kampot/Kep or Sihanoukville and relax a few days by the sea there.
I would ad an extra day at the end in BKK. You are with a kid. That is exhausting enough. Have you been here before. It can be tiresome without a kid when you are moving from place to place. SE asia travel ain't always efficient, even at airports. That extra day in Bangkok to relax and de-stress before the long haul back to the states with the little one WILL BE needed.
Research PHI PHI well and choose a quieter side. It is not as good as the old pictures you may see and the travel phi phi websites gloss over a lot. The main town is hedonism and lots of northern Euros on vacation. Not a problem in itself I love the Scandinavians but maybe you want more quiet relaxation away from party central.
Why not look at Ko Lanta rather than Ko Phi Phi ? The island has all you would want, I'm sure, but is probably more family friendly than Phi Phi.
I think the time you have for Luang Prabang is fine, personally. My wife & I spent 6 or 7 nights there and were never bored. You could probably take a side trip up to Nong Khiaw if that way inclined for a few nights, also. You can go by boat.
I'm not sure of the flight schedules and who flies where. I remember from my own trip in the area flights sometimes don't go where you want them to, or cost a fortune. This means you have to do 2 hops rather than one sometimes. It does look like you have a lot of flights in there, though. My own view, if travelling with such a young child, is to keep them to a minimum. If possible I'd skip both Vientiane (nice, though not spectacular) and Phnom Penh (not child friendly at all, in my view). and spend longer in Siem Reap.
I'd second skipping Phnom Penh in favour of spending more time in Siem Reap . You can fly directly into Siem Reap, from either Luang Prabang (Lao Airlines) or Bangkok (Lao Airlines or Bangkok Airways). I also did not find Vientiane so memorable.
For Phi Phi - I would not recommend PP town as the noise from the beach parties cannot be avoided. You could look at Phi Phi Relax www.phiphirelaxbeach.com, which has a lovely beach all to itself away from the town on the east side of the island (and great food when I was there 4 years ago). As an alternative you could also look at Had Salad or Ao Thong Nai Pan on Koh Phangan. Both have lovely beach and shallow water. Koh Phangan has no airport, you would fly into Surat Thani (Nok Air or Air Asia) or Koh Samui (Bangkok Airways) then proceed by van & ferry (but getting to Phi Phi via Krabi is not totally straight forward either).
Personally, I really liked Sukhothai (direct flight from Bangkok on Bangkok Airways). It's a nice sleepy town and you can lazily ride a bike around the temples, although if you are already going to Siem Reap it may be overkill.
Airline websites are:
#5 chocgirl has been a member since 9/3/2010. Posts: 21