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My Laos Itinerary

  • ChrisJenko

    Joined Travelfish
    4th November, 2010
    Posts: 18

    Howdy all,

    Looking for some advice on my itinerary for Laos, I will be heading to Luang Prabang from Hanoi on the 31st Jan 2011 and have a rough plan that is open to change and very flexible and i would like some advice from fellow travelers on the sites / places i have chosen to spend my 30 days in Laos.

    Luang Prabang - 3/4 days
    Phonsovan - 1 day
    Vang Vieng 2/3 days
    Savannakhet - 2 days
    Pakse 4 days - 1 day trip to Champasak ( What Phu Ruins) and 1 day trip Bolaven Plateau
    Si Phan Don Islands - Don Dhet - 3/4 days

    will be entering Cambodia at Stung Treng after this itinerary finishes

    Thats around 20/25 days with a further 5/8 days of travel in between each place.

    What advice would you give? anywhere i missed that is a MUST SEE. not enough time ect ect? Any advice appreciated

    #1 Posted: 29/12/2010 - 15:38

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  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 961

    Well you missed out on Vientiane which is definitely worth seeing. How do you intend to get from Vang Vieng to Savannakhet without going via Vientiane anyway?

    #2 Posted: 30/12/2010 - 08:25

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2410
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    wow. nearly a full month to stretch out and really experience laos sounds nice.

    i agree with Rufus that vientiane is definitely worth seeing. the city is more and more sophisticated each time i visit, and there is a good range of cultural, historic, and just plain fun stuff to do there.

    you'll find that transportation in laos moves at a relaxed pace, so it is smart to leave extra time in your itinerary for travel. for example, you've listed one day for phonsovan, which is probably enough to check out the city and visit a few sites on the plain of jars, but unless you are flying, just getting there will take the better part of a day and getting from there to your next stop likely the same.

    inbetween vientiane and savannakhet, you may consider stopping over in thakhaek just to break up the long bus ride, unless you are prepared for a 10 hour+ trip.

    i very much enjoyed pakse, but there isn't all that much to do there. most folks were just resting up and relaxing while using the city as a staging area for trips to champassak and wat phu or the bolevans plateau. you might be better off scheduling two days for the bolevans circuit. that way you won't be rushed and can work in an overnight enroute. champassak and wat phu can be visited via day trip like you have planned, but they are very charming and could also be turned into an overnight stop on your way to siphandon.

    anyway, great that you have some extra days built into your itinerary so you can spend an extra day here or there as you fancy. sounds like a great trip. have fun.

    #3 Posted: 30/12/2010 - 09:26

  • ChrisJenko

    Joined Travelfish
    4th November, 2010
    Posts: 18

    My bad sorry i missed Vientiane when i was typing out the post will add 2/3 days in Vientiane in between Vang Vieng and Savannakhet really dont know how i missed that.

    #4 Posted: 30/12/2010 - 11:18

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    I'd skip Phonsavan unless you have a real interest in seeing the Plain of Jars. Head to Nong Kiaow instead from Luang Prabang. OR if you are heading south and have the time check out Konglor cave...

    #5 Posted: 31/12/2010 - 04:05

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 961

    I definitely would NOT skip the Plain of Jars. If you are remotely interested in history and culture then I suggest that you will love the area.

    #6 Posted: 31/12/2010 - 08:43

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2410
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    Maybe they aren't mutually exclusive, since the OP (Chris Jenko) mentioned having a few extra days built in to do additional stuff, particularly if he works in a domestic flight on Lao Airlines for one of the travel legs.

    I haven't been to Nong Kiaow. Chris Taylor, what is it that makes it so special for you?

    I have been to Phonsavan, and it was something quite special for me. Just as Rufus mentioned, I liked the history and the culture as well as the really different feel of the place.

    http://www.travelfish.org/feature/55

    #7 Posted: 31/12/2010 - 09:29

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6371
    Total reviews: 10

    "I definitely would NOT skip the Plain of Jars. If you are remotely interested in history and culture then I suggest that you will love the area."

    Anyone doing tours of battlesites on the plain of Jars now? The conflict between the Hmong and the Pathet Laos was fierce in that area.

    #8 Posted: 2/1/2011 - 11:18

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 961

    Yes, if you go on a Jars site tour you can stop at a number of strategic battle areas. There is also the remains of a Russian tank to see.

    #9 Posted: 3/1/2011 - 08:23

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6371
    Total reviews: 10

    What kind of Tank? I've seen lots of PT-76 and T-54/55s. Both destroyed and intact. But I would be very interested in seeing a T-34/85 or T-34/76.

    #10 Posted: 3/1/2011 - 10:10

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  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 961

    Really couldn't tell you. sorry.

    #11 Posted: 3/1/2011 - 14:39

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