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Northern Thailand and Laos: itenerary advice

  • bellatrx

    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2009
    Posts: 13

    My boyfriend and I will be traveling through northern Thailand and Laos (with a side trip to Angkor Wat) for a month this Oct/Nov. We are in our late 20s and are excited about seeing cities, eating delicious food, wandering and hiking around, and getting to practice Thai (I can read s-l-o-w-l-y, and have been learning some vocab in preparation for the trip). Some combination of the awesome things that happen to be on the tourist trail ( Chiang Mai , Angkor Wat) and more off-trail things (Nan? Luang Namtha? Mae Hong Son ? Other?) is what we're looking for.

    We are thinking of doing something like this over the month:

    Bangkok -> Chiang Mai -> Mae Hong Son -> Phrae -> Nan -> Luang Prabang (via Hongsa) -> Angkor Wat (flying) -> Bangkok


    Bangkok -> Chiang Mai -> Phrae -> Nan and areas around Nan -> Luang Prabang (via Hongsa) -> Angkor Wat (flying) -> Bangkok

    We're also toying around with going to Luang Namtha in Laos rather than Mae Hong Son.


    1) Any thoughts on which direction -- i.e. should we start with Chiang Mai and end with Angkor Wat, or the reverse direction?

    2) Any general recommendations on places to go, places to skip, other modifications/recommendations?

    3) Is this realistic, breakneck?

    Thanks so much!

    #1 Posted: 6/10/2009 - 12:52

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  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
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    First note is there is not Lao visa on arrival at that crossing, so make sure you have one before hand. Please also report back on how you go on the crossing as there are a few reports about of people being turned back.

    Going clockwise or reverse only really matters if you're taking the slow boat to Luang Prabang (as it takes longer to go upriver than down.

    Why Phrae? An interest in the temples there?

    If you're heading to Mae Hong Son for trekking you might find Soppong to be an alternative if you doing want to go all the way to MHS. Also if you were to switch it for Luang Nam Tha then you may want to factor in the Gibbon Experience as well...

    Otherwise totally doable -- have fun!

    #2 Posted: 6/10/2009 - 15:19

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