Hey, I am flying to Bangkok next month and can't stop thinking about my trip! I love this site. Anyway, I have put together a brief outline plan of the places I want to see but I am not sure if this is cramming in too much over 2 months? Any suggestions/comments on my itinery would be MUCH appreciated as it is my first time travelling SEA solo.
26th April - Bangkok (4 nights)
Overnight train to Chiang Mai (3 nights)
Huay xai (border crossing to Loas)
Slow boat Pakbeng (2 nights)
Luang Pabang (4 nights)
Vang Vieng (2 nights)
Vientiane (2 nights)
Fly to Hanoi (2 night)
Halong Bay Boat Cruise (3 nights)
Back to Hanoi (1 night)
Nihn Bihn (1 night)
Overnight train to Hue (2 nights)
Hoi An (2 nights)
(maybe fly to Saigon) or bus to Nha Trang?
Cross the border to Cambodia Phnom Penh (3 nights)
Siem Reap/Ankor (4 nights)
(around the 5th June) Bus/train back to Bangkok
I will have a couple of weeks left in Thailand to head down to the south islands to chill!
Many Thanks, A
#1 amylou has been a member since 3/12/2009. Posts: 19
With some time to play with I'd allow a little more time in Chiang Mai to do a Hill Tribe hike (I recommend Pooh Eco Travel) and ALSO have time in the city to enjoy the night life. We spent a week in the area and if felt like too little.
Saigon was fun, and seeing the delta is a delight - we really enjoyed Can Tho and deeper in the delta heard it gets even nicer. Could probably fly into Saigon and work your way up to Cambodia from the delta.
Which Islands??? That's a thread in itself.
Do you have any contingency plans. For instance, the slow boat may not be running.
#3 wombatfuz has been a member since 30/12/2009. Posts: 38
Looks good. I'd 2nd the advice to leave more time for northern Thailand, not just Chiang Mai but the area north of there. Go up to Pai (backpacker hill haven) and maybe Soppong and the nearby Cave Lodge http://cavelodge.com which is a superb spot with bungalows set next to a refreshing stream and walking trails near the big Lod cave system. Chiang Dao is another worthwhile diversion a couple hours north of Chiang Mai. Check out Chiang Dao Nest http://nest.chiangdao.com which has bungalows set in a forest area beneath Chiang Dao mountain and limestone cliffs.
And yes, keep an eye on the Mekong river slowboat situation. Hopefully with a few decent rains the water levels are up and it's back to "normal" by your timeframe. Anyway, try to keep your agenda a bit loose instead of just 2 days here, 2 days there.
Amy this is almost exactly identical to my plans in terms of route, timescale and departure date. obviously the clasic route, and maybe a little crammed but i think that, as long as you know what you want to do, this is a reasonable time-frame and a great route.
any other tips let me know!
#5 alijwilson has been a member since 16/3/2010. Posts: 3
It's great to see your plan all written out!
I also have to endorse Northern Thailand. In Chiang Mai, don't miss the Doi Suthep temple: you can rent bikes and take a little ride up there, it's gorgeous! There are a ton of super hip bars that do live reggae music, the locals there are phenomenal (along Ratchamanka if memory serves) - they were by far the best nights out we had on our trip.
I also loved Pai, there was so much to do there. Waterfalls & slip sliding & Muay Thai lessons & live music & great little restaurants. I recommend the Good Life for breakfast/lunch, it's a great place to hang out all day enjoying uber-healthy foods. Mr Jan's guest house is a gorgeous little place set in a herbal garden, private bungalows with bathroom for 150B. Mr Jan teaches wicked aromatherapy massages too!
Some of the trip looks a little on the fast side but you can decide for yourself what pace to take when you get there. It's good you've got a bit of spare time at the end, don't be surprised if your plan changes considerably along the way :)
Have a fantastic time,
Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for all the advice! Northern Thailand sounds amazing I will definitely be spending a few more days exploring up there! I will keep an eye on the Mekong river and work at an alternative (thanks Wombatfuz). Has anyone travelled the South- Eastcoast of Vietnam? If I am short of time I will probably skip this and fly from Hue - Saigon. Will I be missing some must-see spots?
#7 amylou has been a member since 3/12/2009. Posts: 19
Yes, you'll be missing Hoi An ! I visited Nha Trang, Dalat & Mui Ne and I'd say Hoi An is the place most worth visiting out of them. It's a gorgeous little colonial town set along a river, we spent maybe 4/5 days here just wondering the streets & eating amazing food. If you happen to be there during a full moon there is a lantern festival, really cute. Hoi An is famous for its tailoring and it didn't disappoint - amazing quality, quick turnaround & very economic - I ended up sending a massive pack home! There's also a lovely beach not far away to cool down. Try staying somewhere near the old town if you can, it's a bit pricier but a whole lot easier to get around!
If you're in Saigon more than a day I definitely recommend checking out the war remnants museum & the Cu Chi tunnels - the latter were particularly interesting.