Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

7 Week south asia tour

Posted by jm7bct on 4/5/2012 at 17:36

Me and a friend are flying in to bangkok in a few months and need a good plan of what way to go round to a number of locations. we wish to visit Ho chi Minh (vietnam), da nang (vietnam), Hanoi (vietnam), laos (not sure where in laos is best, suggestions please?), then to chang mei (thailand), back to bangkok, then to phuket, then to phi phi, then krabi, then to ko phangan in time for the full moon party on 4th august, then to ko tao for a few nights and finally back to bangkok where we will be expected to get a flight on the 9th.
Any suggestion on how we could do things different in order to save money on travel or any things you recommend travelling wise, such as book flights from bangkok to ho chi minh.

is this too much to do in 7 weeks or is it possible, last thing we want to do is rush it.

#1 jm7bct has been a member since 4/5/2012. Posts: 5

Posted by caseyprich on 5/5/2012 at 02:33

Remember that when you come back into Thailand you'll only have a 15 day visa if overland, so that'll only give you that much time to see Chiang Mai and make your way down to the FMP then back up to BKK. Possible if you are only going to Phangan, but I don't think you can fit in time at Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi along with time in the North.

If the last thing you want to do is rush, and you want to save money on travel, you may consider cutting Vietnam from the itinerary. It is fairly straightforward and flights not needed if you go overland into Laos at Huay Xia (take two weeks from BKK to the border via Chiang Mai) and work your way down to Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and then back into Thailand near Vientiane (for all of Northern Laos you could give yourself 3 weeks as you'll only have 15 day Visa when re-entering Thailand). So, only issue is that again this only gives you 10 days from the border to Phuket, Phi Phi, and Krabi before you need to get to the FMP are Ko Phangan.

If you really want to see Vietnam (as you appear to be more motivated and informed on there over Laos) then you're best bet is going to be to first go up to Chiang Mai, fly from there to Hanoi and then fly from HCMC to BKK or Phuket. In between I'd recommend an overnight train to Hue and at least a week in the area of Hue- Da Nang -Hoi'an, with another flight from Da Nang to HCMC to save time. This does allow you to come into Thailand with more than 15 days, if you'd rather spend most of your time there - and if you want to save money I'm guessing you could go up to Chiang Mai and then come back down to BKK to catch that flight to Hanoi.

Just some meandering thoughts on the issue - there are a lot of ways to carve this turkey up.

#2 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by jm7bct on 7/5/2012 at 15:08

Thanks for the reply, what you said has been taken in to consideration. we intend on taking flights instead of train to some of the furhter destinations to allow us more time.

what are the rules for visas in those three countries (laos, vietnam, thailand)? could we get the vietnam and laos visas on the border/airport when we fly in to hoi chi minh? or is it something we have to have pre-arranged?

#3 jm7bct has been a member since 4/5/2012. Posts: 5

Posted by altmtl on 7/5/2012 at 18:07

This has been discussed in many other threads, take the time to read trough them. You don't need a visa for TH, you get a 30 day visa exemption, Laos at the border, for Vietnam, you must get it in advance (it's the most expensive) - I'd consider skipping Laos, I spent a month there, nothing against it, but relax a little.

#4 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by jm7bct on 8/5/2012 at 10:14

Thanks for the suggestion.

We have however heard a few good things about Laos, especially in vang vieng. Although it does mean we may be a little tight for time. So the option was to either miss out vang vieng or chaing mai, what do you recommend? taking in to account we are both young, but not essentially just looking for the party side of things, more to do with what would be the best places to visit on our short stay.

Thanks

#5 jm7bct has been a member since 4/5/2012. Posts: 5

Posted by altmtl on 8/5/2012 at 10:41

vang vieng is totally not worth the detour, go to Chiang Mai, Sappong, (Caves) you can do some tubing in Pai if you're so inclined. They are close to each other.

#6 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by jm7bct on 9/5/2012 at 04:02

Ok thanks.

Do you know of a secure site we can purchase our thailand visas from? or what are the options for obtaining a thailand visa

#7 jm7bct has been a member since 4/5/2012. Posts: 5

Posted by altmtl on 9/5/2012 at 07:06

As I mentioned earlier, when you arrive in Thailand by air you get a 30 day visa exemption - it is free, you need not apply for a visa. If you are arriving in VN, then going to Thailand by land, I suggest it get it at the thai embassy in VN. This will give you 60 days. No one gets their Thai visa online.

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Posted by jm7bct on 10/5/2012 at 16:48

yeah we knew about the free 30 day visa when u fly in, but as we are re-entering the country by land we wanted to sort out our visas. Ok, so the thai embassey in vietnam, thanks. How much are they do you know? in GBP please, and does it take long to process (ie a day or two)?

#9 jm7bct has been a member since 4/5/2012. Posts: 5

Posted by altmtl on 11/5/2012 at 00:37

You should contact the Thai Embassy in VN for this information.

#10 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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