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hong kong->bangkok->chiang mai-> then?

  • Mr_Noob

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Hi all,

    In may, i'll be travelling from paris to Hong Kong for business.
    Then, I intend to spend 15 days-off in the area before coming back to HK, then europe :)

    Here is what i've planned so far (i'll certainly travel by plane using bangkokair discovery airpass :

    05/14 : Hong Kong (Shenzhen) -> Bangkok
    05/17 : Bangkok -> Chiang Mai

    After that, i want to visit Laos but i'm hesitating between going to Luang Prabang or Vientiane from Chiang Mai :
    -> What would be the easiest way ?
    -> What are the must-sees in Laos?
    -> Can I buy a visa at any Lao airport?

    As I'll have a third bangkokair plane ticket left, i was thinking of either going back to Hong Kong from Cambodia/Siem Reap (must be back in HK on 05/29), or returning in bangkok to go back to HK/Shenzhen

    -> In this short amount of time, would it be conceivable to make this stop in Cambodia after Laos ?
    -> What would you travel experts advise?

    Cheers

    #1 Posted: 22/4/2008 - 15:18

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2406
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    Hi Noob,

    You've asked quite a few questions for one post. I'll try to respond to at least a few of them.

    The easiest way to get to Luang Prabang or Vientiane from Chiang Mai is to fly via Lao Airways. If they are still participating in the Bangkok Airways Discovery Airpass as before, then that might be a particularly attractive option for you.

    For most people, Luang Prabang is still the must see in Laos. It isn't quite as remote or romantic as in years past, but the combination of in-town charm and out-of-town day trips makes this a great place to visit for your first trip to Laos.

    Passport holders of most European nations can get a visa on arrival in Laos.

    You could certainly visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, and Siem Riep/Angkor Wat in 15 days, but you'll spend much of your time getting from place to place and just skimming the surface of those locations. You might want to prioritize which of those places you really want to see and then limit it to just two, with side trips to a few other destinations. Good luck.

    #2 Posted: 22/4/2008 - 21:37

  • Mr_Noob

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Hello exacto,

    and thanks a lot for the reply : you responded to all of my messy questions !

    have a nice day

    Cheers

    #3 Posted: 23/4/2008 - 14:05

  • 2face

    Joined Travelfish
    8th November, 2007
    Posts: 25

    Hi Mr. Noob,

    Late here in replying, but I might get this
    in under the wire (before you leave HK, that is).

    If you meant Chiangmai by boat to Luang Prabang,
    well, I don't think you're leaving yourself much
    time.

    I agree with exacto: prioritize first - remember,
    you're on vacation. Leave all that hustling about
    to the Chinese for the 15 days.

    Yes, LP is the must-see, however it is pretty sleepy.
    Skip the cave site, which you would get to by boat.
    But do visit the waterfall and also climb up.

    Also, go for a massage and steam bath there in LP,
    at the Red Cross. All said and done, fly back to Vientiane's, or out of the country altogether to
    Siem Reap.

    And Good God Lord Shiva, yes, go see Angkor Wat
    and surrounding temples!

    #4 Posted: 10/5/2008 - 01:36

  • 2face

    Joined Travelfish
    8th November, 2007
    Posts: 25

    As to Lao visa at the airport, I don't know that
    answer.

    At the border, yes:

    30 US, a photo, fill-out a form, perform a 2 1/2
    minute Soft-shoe (a type of tap dance) to the
    delight of those in sneakers and loose-fitting
    uniforms, and who are officiating, and you're in.

    #5 Posted: 10/5/2008 - 01:48

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    2face gives good advice. And as someone who has 3 diplomas in Thai massage from Wat Po, I'd definitely recommend a massage and steam bath at the Red Cross in LP too. The masseuse I had was a qualified physiotherapist and she really knew what she was doing....highly recommended!

    #6 Posted: 10/5/2008 - 02:50

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