So, Im off to SEA in the small matter of 9 weeks and 3 days!
Ive been trying to plan a rough route that sees what I want too and hopefully gets me to places I havent thought much on but may work out good to visit too, however I have a sticking point in that my parents are coming out to visit on their spring vacation in April (they are out from the 3rd through the 18th of April).
What I have at the moment looks like this:
January 26th. Land in Bangkok;
January 31st/Feb 1st. Head slowly towards Chang Mai - say over 3 or 4 days visiting Ayuthaya and Sukothai maybe along the way?
Spend first couple of weeks in the Chang mai area or a week there and a week in Mae hong son/pai.
Scoot over to Laos after that and wander (slowly again) down the country taking in LPB, VV etc etc and eventually all the way down to Pakse for the 4000 Islands etc
This should take me to the middle of March. Get back into thailand (on a fresh tourist visa) and Im thinking the north east are for a week or two before I need to be back in Bangkok to be my parents tour guide.
April 3rd through 18th. Time spent in BKK and Ao Nang (Need a recommendation for a good place to crash here - my parents have a hotel, I dont as yet), generally mooching about and sponging food/beers out of the family.
After they leave, Im running a thought of the overland from BKK to Siem Reap in Cambodia and spending a full 30 days or so there - PP, Sihanoukville, Kampot? all the usual really.
Takes me to the middle/latter part of may. At this point, I have about 3 weeks left before I need to be back in Thailand to get home. Im mulling over Vietnam, however is 3 weeks enough to "meander up country" from Saigon to Hanoi taking in Hoi An, Hue etc or should I use it to stay fully in the South and the Delta area?
I originally had planned to follow one of the suggested itineraries you chaps provide on here, then my parents through a spanner in those works...
Looks good to me.
Yes, you can take the highlights of Vietnam in in three weeks, but you'd be better served spending that three weeks in the south -- going on some of your other comments you prefer to "float around" in which case I'd look at giving some decent time to the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc, Saigon a bit of the coast and Da Lat -- fill three weeks easy ... or yes, you could bang up the coast catching the highlights. Both are possible.
So you're allotting roughly a month to Laos right? Sounds good -- wish it was me!
Bear in mind you'll be shuffling your folks around during Songkran (Thai New Year) so should be a lot of fun -- if they're not aware of it, you may want to let them know beforehand.
More questions? ask away