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  • mukapecah8

    Joined Travelfish
    28th December, 2006
    Posts: 9

    Hi guys,

    My question:

    starting from chiang mai>chiang rai>luang prabang>end up at vientiane. IN 10 DAYS.

    I know it will be definite rushing, so any ideas for this 10 days?i might cut chiang rai? or luang prabang? or how?

    is this possible:?

    24-26/12 - chiang mai 3days
    27-28/12 - chiang rai 2days
    29-31/12 - luang prabang 3days
    01-02/01 - vientiane 2days

    What do u think for 10 days my 'speedo' travel itineraries?
    ...waiting for the opinion now. plz guide me.thx

    -apek-

    #1 Posted: 2/9/2009 - 22:57

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  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 730
    Total reviews: 4
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    At least 67

    need to factor in time for travelling from place to place.
    to help us help you - what are you interested in seeing/experiencing? & your transport budget?

    ultimate 'speedo':
    Day 1: Chiangmai > Luang Prabang (1h plane)
    Day 2: Luang Prabang > Vientiane (40min plane)

    ultimate budget 'speedo':
    Day 1: Chiangmai > Chiangrai > Chiang Khong (~6h direct bus)
    Day 2+3: Huay Xai > Luang Prabang > Vientiane (~24+h direct bus)

    less than 10 days :P

    #2 Posted: 2/9/2009 - 23:47

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    apek

    I'm with the 'cat as to plane from Chiang Mai to Luang prabang.

    However, if you want to go overland, I'd skip Chiang Rai (unless there is something there that holds great fascination).

    There's a VIP mini-bus from Chiang Mai directly to Chiang Khong (leaves about 10, arrives about 3). Reason? because the rest of the journey to Luang Prabang will be full on bus travel, so try and minimise time in a bus.

    The (1st) bus leaves Huay Xai about 9am, but be at the bus station an hour before. Go check the bus station when you arrive Huay Xai - that way the ticket sellers will know you're a pax. I found that buying bus tickets from ONLY the bus station is a major rule not to be broken.

    The bus from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang involves 2 buses - Huay Xai to Luang Nam Tha (day 1), and Luang Nam Tha to Luang Prabang (day 2). The former arrives about 2pm, and at the main road bus staion - leaving a 10k tuk-tuk to ride to town (and accommodation). Bus #2 leaves around 9am: again be there an hour early (you can pre-purchase the tix the afternoon before at the highway bus stop).

    Cheers

    #3 Posted: 3/9/2009 - 05:33

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    #4 Posted: 3/9/2009 - 15:35

  • mukapecah8

    Joined Travelfish
    28th December, 2006
    Posts: 9

    wonderingcat - hahaha....even less than 4 days..cool cool...im gonna see nothing except nice cabin or exquisiteness bus interior.

    BruceMoon - thx for the feedback. so my plan now is im gonna cut my trip in chiang rai...i'll go direct from chiang mai to luang prabang, but is there a direct bus? or do need to stay for at least one days in the border?
    i try my best to maximize my journey overland so i can spend most of my day in these 3 places within 10 days [chiang mai>luang prabang>vientiane]
    ..
    how is it possible gentleman??

    #5 Posted: 3/9/2009 - 21:14

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    mukapecah8

    In the short time you have, please reconsider flying from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang .

    The bus...

    Chiang Mai > Chiang Khong (and small boat over Mekong) stay Huay Xai = US$20 app.

    Huay Xai > Luang Nam Tha (approx 5 hours) stay Luang Nam Tha = US$6 app

    Luang Nam Tha > Luang Prabang (approx 9 hrs) = US$12

    Accommodation Huay Xai, Lunag Nam Tha = US$30

    Total cost by road, about US$68.

    Total cost by air US$90 or 100.

    So, not much diffderence, and you have 3 extra days to enjoy either Chiang Mai and/or Luang Prabang.

    Cheers

    #6 Posted: 4/9/2009 - 04:30

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
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    The plane from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang does sound like it might be the best good option for you mukapecah8 given your limited time and the promotional fare.

    The road between Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng really is very scenic and if you fly to LP you should have plenty of time to do Vientiane overland with an overnight stop in Vang Vieng if you want.

    I haven't done the Huay Xai -->Luang Nam Tha --> Luang Prabang road trip ... just wondering what the scenery like on that route? Is it better than what you see on the two day slow boat?

    #7 Posted: 4/9/2009 - 05:04

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    SBE

    I haven't taken the boat from Huay Xai to LP as a single trip. I've driven along the Thai section of the Mekong between Chiang Khong and (about) Pak Tha: where it enters Laos. The banks on both sides are denuded of vegetation. I've (long) boated upstream from Luang Prabang for several hours. Again, the banks hold little (native) vegetation. The vid footage I've seen of the banks around Pak Beng also show denuded river banks.

    The road between Huay Xai and Luang Nam Tha runs through a valley, most of which is cleared for agriculture. The upper slopes of the valley sides (often some distance away) is largely vegetated. Perhaps because there is not the repetitive sameness as occurs along the Mekong, it is an enjoyable journey.

    From Luang Nam Tha to Luang Prabang, the bus travels over several (steep) ranges. For possibly a third of the whole journey, one travels through good quality vegetation (on one side, or the other, or both). As well, the villages, and their small crop style farming, dotted along the journey also make for an attractive ride.

    The only downside (to the speed focussed westerner) is that the land journey can be long and tedious. Then again, in a cramped boat with no way to exercise muscles, and a repetitive scenery, the boat isn't a preferable option. Sad, as for longish journey's I've come to prefer boat travel in SE Asia the most.

    Cheers

    #8 Posted: 4/9/2009 - 05:44

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
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    Total reviews: 5
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    Thank you Bruce! That was very informative ... people rarely describe what the view out the window is like on bus journeys but it does influence me a bit when deciding routes/modes of transport. Sounds like the Luam Na Tha-LP section is rather nice if you have the time to do it.

    #9 Posted: 4/9/2009 - 05:55

  • mukapecah8

    Joined Travelfish
    28th December, 2006
    Posts: 9

    oh…bruce thx a lot!

    then i will start my quick 'release' from chiang mai>luang prabang>vientiane.
    frens,with best regards, i'll fly.

    #10 Posted: 4/9/2009 - 20:11

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