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Hello there!! Is my itinerary appropiate? Tai-Laos-Vietnam-Camboya in 1 month

Posted by alemauro on 4/9/2008 at 18:14

Hi there!!. I´m getting married on December and I have always loved to visit South-east Asia. I am from Argentina.. so I am quite far far away... I would appreciate, if someone can tell me if this itinerary is OK for a month.

01) Battambang -> Ayutthaya (ruins, historical interest) [4 days]
02) Ayutthaya -> Sukhothai (via Phitsanulok) (ruins, historical interest) [1 day]
03) Sukhothai -> Chiang Mai (trekking centre, temples) [2 days]
04) Chiang Mai -> Chiang Khong (riverside town, day trips, crossing to Laos) [1 day]
05) Chiang Khong -> Huay Xai (riverside town) [1 day]
06) Huay Xai -> Pakbeng (riverside town, half-way point to Luang Prabang) [2 days]
07) Pakbeng -> Luang Prabang (temples, riverside town, scenic) [3 days]
08) Luang Prabang -> Siem Reap -> [1 day]
09)Siem Reap -> Battambang (riverside town, rural daytrips, ruins) [1 day]
10) Battambang -> Phnom Penh [2 days]
11) Phnom Penh -> Saigon (museums, nightlife, daytrips) [1 day]
12) Saigon -> Mui Ne (beaches, sand dunes) [2 days]
13) Mui Ne -> Nha Trang (beaches, boat trips) [2 days]
14) Nha Trang -> Hoi An (riverside town, shopping, tailoring) [1 day]
15) Hoi An -> Hue (Imperial capital, temples, trips to DMZ) [2 days]
16) Hue -> Hanoi (capital city, colonial architecture, shopping) [3 days]
17) Hanoi -> Ha Long Bay (stunning scenery) [1 day]
18) Hanoi -> Sapa (trekking, minority groups, scenic) [1 day]
19) Hanoi Bangkok
20) Battambang Buenos Aires

Maybe is too much.. I don´t know...
We don´t know when to take an internal flight in this itinerary... if someone can help us.. we would be pleased!!

Thanks!! and greetings from Argentina!

Jano

#1 alemauro has been a member since 4/9/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by somtam2000 on 5/9/2008 at 09:05 admin

Hi Jano,

Looks good -- I'm assuming day one and twenty, where you mention Battambang, you mean Bangkok!

My only comment would be 4 days in Ayutthaya is a long time -- I'd reduce that and give more time to Chiang Mai.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,436
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Posted by alemauro on 5/9/2008 at 09:54

It was a mistake!

01) Bangkok -> Ayutthaya (ruins, historical interest) [4 days in Bangkok, and just one day in Ayuttahaya.. maybe just passing by...

20) Bangkok > Buenos Aires

Any opinion about flying from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap??, Do we have to go to Vientane??, is worthy? Because we can go from Luang Prabang to Vientane and then fly to Siem Reap..

Does anyone think of another flight ticket to buy?

Thanks!

Jano

#3 alemauro has been a member since 4/9/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by idreamofdurian on 5/9/2008 at 23:22 TF writer

Hey Jano,

It looks like you've planned this trip out very carefully, but it seems that you are not giving yourself very much time for travel. Traveling by road and train in Southeast Asia can be very, very slow. In Laos and Cambodia average travel speed on a bus is often 40 km/h. For example, you give 1 day for Ayuthaya to Sukhothai - I think it will take you at least 4 hours on a bus to get there, longer by train. Even if you leave early in the morning and arrive in Sukhothai by 12:00, once you have checked into your guesthouse and found transportation to the historical park it will be at least 1 PM which will not give you very much time to explore the ruins.

As far as I know, it is not possible to fly from Luang Prabang to Siam Reap. Air travel in Laos is pretty limited. The bus trip from Luang Prabang to Vientiane is about 10 hours long.

When you are in Hue, Vietnam definitely do the individual DMZ tours with a guide on motorcycle - it was one of the highlights of my trip.

#4 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576
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Posted by alemauro on 6/9/2008 at 06:47

Thanks idreamofdurian!!.. that is the kind of information I need!!... what do you suggest?, should I take some more flights? should I reduce the places to visit?... I am quite dizzy and I don´t know how to plan this trip.... Do you have any advice for me about organizing the cities to visit having in mind times for traveling and means???

thanks!! for your support!

Jano

#5 alemauro has been a member since 4/9/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by idreamofdurian on 7/9/2008 at 23:15 TF writer

Glad to be of help, Jano!

Unless you're very keen on seeing the ruins, Ayuthaya and Sukhothai are quite similar (and Ayuthaya town is much nicer and easier to get to). If you skip on Sukhothai you could take the overnight train to Chiang Mai (you can book a sleeper bunk and they're pretty comfortable) which would also save on time since you won't have to spend daylight hours traveling. Also, as somtam mentioned, Chiang Mai is a really cool city and you might wish you had scheduled more than 2 days there.

If you're trying to see as many cool places as possible while you're here you might consider going from Ayuthaya to the very nearby town of Lopburi . It also has some ruins but is more famous for its population of monkeys who live in the old temple ruins in the centre of town - a great place for photos! It's only an hour or so to Lopburi from Ayuthaya so you can go there just for the day (most hotels will gladly store your bags for 50B or less) and then you can catch the night train to Chiang Mai from there.

I've done a lot of backpacking and one thing I've learned that works for me is to schedule some "empty" days - that way if all the trains to my next destination are full (occasionally happens on local holidays!), I really like a place and want to stay longer, or even if I'm just really tired and want to spend a day taking it easy then I can do so without worrying too much about my schedule.

#6 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576
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Posted by EmjayReet on 13/9/2008 at 20:44

Wow that itinerary leaves me breathless.. you are trying to fit in WAY too many places in the short amount of time you have... as the others have mentioned transport in SE Asia is notoriously slow..

I would suggest that you do 2 countries MAXIMUM in that time... and based on your time I would probably look at 3 weeks in Thailand and 1 week in Cambodia...

A couple of problems I picked up in your itinerary...

1 day in Siem Reap is no way even near enough time... you want 3 days minimum there....

2 days in Pakbeng? Trust me... you do not want to spend more than the night sleeping there.. there really isnt alot there to look at... and it will take you a good 2 days just sitting on the boat to get from Huay Xui to Luang Prabang... Huay Xui is nothing exciting either...

My first trip of 6 weeks was Thailand and Cambodia, then my 2nd trip was 6 weeks of Thailand and Lao... as lovely as Lao was .. it was notoriously slow transport wise... and you will waste alot of time travelling...

Why dont you look at doing something like this:

Bangkok (3 days)
Ayuttaya (1 day)
Sukothai (1 day)
Chiang Mai(4-5 days) - chiang mai is worth a few days
Chiang Rai (3 days) - this place is amazing!
Bangkok (just to transfer)
Phnom Penh (2 days)
Siem Reap (3-5 days) lots to do here.. check out The Villa Siem Reap as a place to stay.. they have great packages.
back to Thailand and head south... highly recommended is Khao Sok National Park (2-3 days)
then an island beach area (7 days)

I highly recommend Ko Lanta , Ko Phangan or Phuket ... Ko Lanta is very romantic and rustic for a honeymoon

Sometimes you will find LESS IS MORE!

Anyway if you want any more ideas have a look at my trips here : www.mytb.org/reet

Reet xx

#7 EmjayReet has been a member since 4/7/2006. Location: Australia. Posts: 156
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Posted by EmjayReet on 13/9/2008 at 20:50

Wow that itinerary leaves me breathless.. you are trying to fit in WAY too many places in the short amount of time you have... as the others have mentioned transport in SE Asia is notoriously slow..

I would suggest that you do 2 countries MAXIMUM in that time... and based on your time I would probably look at 3 weeks in Thailand and 1 week in Cambodia...

A couple of problems I picked up in your itinerary...

1 day in Siem Reap is no way even near enough time... you want 3 days minimum there....

2 days in Pakbeng? Trust me... you do not want to spend more than the night sleeping there.. there really isnt alot there to look at... and it will take you a good 2 days just sitting on the boat to get from Huay Xui to Luang Prabang... Huay Xui is nothing exciting either...

My first trip of 6 weeks was Thailand and Cambodia, then my 2nd trip was 6 weeks of Thailand and Lao... as lovely as Lao was .. it was notoriously slow transport wise... and you will waste alot of time travelling...

Why dont you look at doing something like this:

Bangkok (3 days)
Ayuttaya (1 day)
Sukothai (1 day)
Chiang Mai(4-5 days) - chiang mai is worth a few days
Chiang Rai (3 days) - this place is amazing!
Bangkok (just to transfer)
Phnom Penh (2 days)
Siem Reap (3-5 days) lots to do here.. check out The Villa Siem Reap as a place to stay.. they have great packages.
back to Thailand and head south... highly recommended is Khao Sok National Park (2-3 days)
then an island beach area (7 days)

I highly recommend Ko Lanta , Ko Phangan or Phuket ... Ko Lanta is very romantic and rustic for a honeymoon

Sometimes you will find LESS IS MORE!

Anyway if you want any more ideas have a look at my trips here : www.mytb.org/reet

Reet xx

#8 EmjayReet has been a member since 4/7/2006. Location: Australia. Posts: 156
 Website 


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