North Thailand and Laos Trip Advice
25th October, 2010
My friend and I will arrive in Chiang Mai on the 2nd of Jan 2011, and will depart from Bangkok on the 17th of Jan. It will be my first time to the region and my friends first time outside of Australia since he immigrated here at a young age. So we're adventurous but not too adventurous.. haha
What advice can you guys provide us with so we can maximize our experience in the time we have?
Some things we think we would like to include are:
A trek or two
Immerse ourselves in the local culture...
There looks like there's such a lot to do.. what are the must do/see's in the region?
Our plan was to arrive in Chiang Mai and make our way by land/boat into Laos, down the Mekong to Vientiane. Catch a train to Bangkok (hopefully spend at least a night there) and head back home.
We haven't booked any accommodation as we don't know how long we'll be in one particular area.
So....yeah. Some advice on filling in the gaps would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Tobias and my mate Dilshad
#1 Posted: 24/11/2010 - 19:08
It's exciting to plan ahead a bit, but I'd suggest you get to Chiang Mai and make arrangements from there. You can book package deals with slowboat or speedboat to Luang Prabang, every travel agent and guesthouse has this available daily or you can do it yourself by public bus, cross the Mekong, get a Laos visa on arrival, buy a boat ticket - simple. Many travellers do this every day so you'll have plenty of company along the way. Allow around 10 days to do this and the other fav spots in north Laos, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, maybe a side-trip to Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi with a boat down the Ou river to LP, or out to the Plain of Jars near Phonsavan. Also good trekking options further north near Vieng Phoukha, Luang Namtha, Muang Sing. Spend a few days around Chiang Mai and share ideas. Decent white water rafting just north of here on the Taeng river, although in early Jan the level is dropping a bit. Also rafting in Laos on the Nam Ngum river north of Vientiane. Cheapest trekking is based from Chiang Mai but beware some are very commercialised, especially the very cheapest. Expect to pay about 1500 baht ($50) for a good 3-day trek with max 12 people, or for something more specialised pay a private local guide about $30/day per person, maybe just you and a couple friends. There are also more recently-opened trekking routes in the more remote corners of northern Laos.
#2 Posted: 25/11/2010 - 02:06
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