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Southeast Asia forum

6 weeks in Cambodia and Laos - Please check my intinerary

Posted by mattocmd on 29/10/2008 at 11:46

Hello,

I have been to SE Asia a few times but have never visited Cambodia and Laos.

I am taking the trip with my girlfriend. I am a beach bum which will explain all the time in southern Cambodia. Other than that and Ankor Wat, we are much more excited about Laos.

Please look over this intinerary and tell me if I will have problems with transportation and/or if I am missing any major stops. Thanks in advance!

Phnom Pehn (3 days)
Sihanokville & islands (6 days)
Siem Reap (3 days)
Stung Treng (1 day)
4000 Islands (3 days)
Pakse (2 days)
Vientiane (2 or 3 days)
Viang Vieng (2 days)
Luang Prabang (3 or 4 days)
Gibbon Experience (if possible)
Muang Ngoi (2 days)
Anywhere (6 days to stay in some places longer if needed)
Head to Bangkok (2 days)

What is a good cheap way to get to Bangkok from N. Laos?

I have 6 extra days in Laos, any suggestions on what I am missing? We am thinking 1 day for those caves near Vientiane.

#1 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365

Posted by mattocmd on 29/10/2008 at 11:48

Correction - By "we am" I meant "we are" ^^

#2 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365


Posted by Kaja on 29/10/2008 at 13:27

Posted from within Vietnam.

I would recommend you spend less time in Phnom Penn (a rather terrible place, at least compared to te rest of Cambodia....you'll see what I'm talking about when you get there :) and maybe spend more time up north....if you go all the way up to Banlung instead of Stung Treng and stay there for 2 or 3 days you could get bikes & go round the tribal villages, get a feeling of the 'real' Cambodia, with hardly any tourists and loads of great people.
in Sihanoukville, be sure not to miss the excellent seafood BBQ in the Moonshack, it's right on the beach, you can't miss it since it's the busiest place around dinnertime.....great BBQ and 0.50$ beer :)
and the cinema across the street from Monkey Republic is just brilliant!
If you've got time, the Plain of Jars is really impressive in Laos, a nice way to spend a couple of days is also just taking a local boat down the Mekong and jumping off at random villages that you like the look of...most have a 'hotel' (a room with a bed & a mozzie net) and the locals are really happy to see tourists (they seem to think westerners are just about the funniest creatures about :)
anyways, take it easy and don't be too obsessed with sticking to your itinerary and you'll hae a great time :)
cheers!

#3 Kaja has been a member since 29/10/2008. Posts: 1

Posted by mattocmd on 29/10/2008 at 20:00

Kaja, thank you so much for the great advice. The Banlung idea is wonderful and will be added to my intinerary.

I wanted to follow up with you about Phnom Pehn. I had it listed for three days because I am interested in history. I have been reading about the "Dark ages" of Cambodia and thought I might want to stay there to see the museums and the killing fields. Can I get all of this history outside of the city? (I wasn't sure if the good museums and killing fields were inside the city or somewhere else)

These "local boats" that go down the Mekong...Are these the ones that everyone complains about being overcrowded? Or do you just hire a guy with a little boat in each of the towns? It's another great idea so I would like to fit it in. Where did you hop on and off?

Thanks a lot!!

#4 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365

Posted by mattocmd on 29/10/2008 at 20:04

By the "dark ages" I meant the time it was ruled by Pol Pot not 1618-1863.

#5 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365

Posted by Lother on 29/10/2008 at 21:39

I strongly disagree that Phnom Penh is "a rather terrible place" :). And as long as you stay away from the lakeside area and explore a little, it is anyway more "real" Cambodia than Sihanoukville for sure, whatever that means. But the rampant development for the rich combined with the poverty of the rest that one sees in a short stay in PP does give a rather one-sided image of the country, so I do agree with the suggestions to spend some days in the more countryside provinces too. Kompong Cham and Chhnang are pretty good choices for that too in my opinion.

For an introduction into Pol Pot times, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (inside PP) and the Choeung Ek killing fields (a short ride outside PP) are the usual choices, and worthwhile. You'll get much more out of your visits with an actual guide and not just a driver, if that fits your budget. For other periods of history, the National Museum in PP is pretty good too.

#6 Lother has been a member since 12/5/2006. Location: Earth. Posts: 214

Posted by planteroftrees on 31/10/2008 at 04:55

You might want to add a day or two to go out to the Bolaven Plateau...I always recommend Tad Lo as a nice retreat in southern Lao....also I would go to Champasak (the town) and go to Wat Phu...no as impressive as Angkor...but relaxing town and atmosphere that is often over looked on the way to Don Det

#7 planteroftrees has been a member since 19/11/2005. Location: Earth. Posts: 3

Posted by planteroftrees on 31/10/2008 at 04:55

You might want to add a day or two to go out to the Bolaven Plateau...I always recommend Tad Lo as a nice retreat in southern Lao....also I would go to Champasak (the town) and go to Wat Phu...no as impressive as Angkor...but relaxing town and atmosphere that is often over looked on the way to Don Det

#8 planteroftrees has been a member since 19/11/2005. Location: Earth. Posts: 3


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