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Help on my 5 week itinerary: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia (Vietnam)

  • snowowl

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd February, 2010
    Posts: 3

    Hi, I'm (26 year old girl) flying from Tokyo to South East Asia the 16th of March. The idea was to fly directly from Tokyo to Bangkok and start the trip there. I have from the 16th of March until approximetaly the 19th of April (almost 5 weeks).
    I have been looking at a lot of itineraries and I am so confused. I would love to be able to go to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia (and possibly Vietnam) but the problem is that I only have 5 weeks and I have to choose the places carefully, because I don’t want to spend the entire time on a bus or on a train.

    I am new at this and I’m travelling solo (which is both scary and exciting at the same time), so it would be great if you could share your wisdom with me and give me feedback, I would really appreciate it.

    I would like to get back to Thailand and end the trip on one of the islands. I was wondering what would be the best way to get there from Vietnam?
    I haven’t bought the flightticket home yet but I was thinking about flying from Bangkok to London. Any other suggestions on how or where I should end the trip and from where I should fly back to England?

    This is just a rough itinerary, and I was hoping you guys could tell me which places I should definetaly see so I know what to skip.

    Thailand – Laos – Cambodia – Vietnam – (Back to Thailand)

    1. Bangkok
    2. Kanchanaburi
    3. Sukhotahai
    4. Chiang Mai
    5. Houayxai to louang Phaband – boat trip down the Mekong River
    6. Vientiane
    7. Savannakhet
    8. Si Phan Don
    9. Kratie
    10. (Angkor)
    11. Phnom Penh
    12. Sihanoukville
    13. Ho Chi Minh City
    14. Mekong Delta
    15. Phu Quoc
    16. Mui Ne
    17. Nha Trang
    18. Hoi An
    19. Hue
    20. Hanoi
    21. Ha Long Bay – unesco
    22. Sa Pa
    23. Back to Thailand somehow?

    I would love to hear some new ideas!
    Thank you oh so much☺

    #1 Posted: 22/2/2010 - 21:31

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  • luchy1309

    Joined Travelfish
    30th January, 2009
    Posts: 24
    Total reviews: 7

    Dear Snowowl,

    In my opinion 5 weeks is not enough time to go to all those places, you would be traveling most of the time and wouldn't spend more than 2 days en each place. And it will take you even more time if you do what you're thinking on traveling by land (or boat as you suggest in the Thailand - Laos crossing).

    I took a similar itinerary that the one you are thinking about, but it took me 3 months, and I still could have used more time.

    I would recommend for you to read a bit more on the different destinations to see what they have to offer. Furthermore, to think about what you're most interested in: temples, nature, relax, beach, people, etc... Based on that you can choose your places to visit.

    Arriving and departing from Bangkok is very good because from there you can easily travel anywhere you want. To fly back to London from Bangkok might be one of the best options because they have plenty of flights and very good prices.

    Hope this helps, and if you have a clearer idea on what you're most interested in, come back here in the forum ;)

    #2 Posted: 22/2/2010 - 22:11

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1478
    Total reviews: 15
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    I agree with Luchy. This is far too much to cram into such a short time.

    You may want to do a trip through Laos. You could cross into Huay Xai then go to Luang Prabang by boat, then down to Vang Vieng, Vientiane, then back into Thailand at Nong Khai ... then train back down to Bangkok). You could do that in about 10 days without really rushing.

    Or, you could go into Cambodia to see Angkor then cross back into Thailand at Had Lek. If you went this way you'd have a few islands in Trat Province to choose from for the last part of your trip, plus you'd only be about 7 hours away from Bangkok. In fact, you could go from Trat straight to the airport.

    Don't forget that you will get a 30-day visa on arrival in Thailand, so unless you have a 60 day visa ahead of time, you'll be forced to leave the country. Then, when you come back, you'll only have 15 days unless you arrive by air.

    #3 Posted: 23/2/2010 - 02:13

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2577
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    what about just dropping the vietnam portion of the trip and doing just thailand, laos, and cambodia? that is still rushing it, but quite a bit more feasible. if you were running out of time, you could always just drop by into thailand directly from siem reap too.

    by the way, for my money, pakse is much more fun than savannakhet, but it is a long 676 km bus ride from vientiane to pakse for the onward trip to si phan don.

    if you drop back into thailand at nong khai, as tilapia suggests, you could always pop up to sangkhom (about two hours up river from nong khai on the thai side of the river) and spend some time at buoy guesthouse. it is on a bluff overlooking the river and has huts with hammocks that will approximate that si phan don experience. just a thought. cheers.

    #4 Posted: 23/2/2010 - 05:43

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