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Thailand Laos Cambodia and Vietnam, End of March and on wards

Posted by neilmatt83 on 17/2/2011 at 00:56

Male 27 Flying Solo.

Right this is the plan so far (noting Booked yet). Flight from Dublin to Bangkok via Dubai (maybe with a week stop over. Friend might be there) Once i arrive in Bangkok the plan is to take it easy, adjust for a couple of days. Then maybe travel down to Puckett and else were. Haven't really planned the whole Thailand part. Just gona see what happens. Next stage is to get a flight to Huay Xai (Laos) and slowly make my way down the Mekong river through Laos Cambodia and into Vietnam taking in the sights along the way. Then make my way to Ho Chi Minh city were I hope to buy a bike and ride up to Hanoi. And then on to Oz.
So thats the plan. I'll be going Solo so is there anyone who has done a similar trip that might have some advice. Be much appreciated. Or is there anyone else thinking of doing the same trip that would like to meet up along the way. Be great to meet up with different people.
Look Forward to hearing what you lot think

Neil

#1 neilmatt83 has been a member since 16/2/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by ryder80 on 21/2/2011 at 21:03

hi neil, your time-line and itinery is quite similar to mine, i'll be heading back to hong kong end of march, hang there for a few days or so, then fly off to se asia early april, and spend about 3 months there, and go back home end of june... pretty much like to do and see as much in the time i have... possibly visit some friends in malaysia i met and a co-worker in the phillippines.

any ideas how abouts your going to get a bike, i actually ride here in canada, but have heard some horror stories about riding there...

#2 ryder80 has been a member since 19/12/2010. Posts: 83


Posted by clairemurph on 23/2/2011 at 21:49

Hey, im also doing something similar!
Im flying into Bangkok on the 31st March, heading around south Thailand first, heading to the Full Moon party & to do the PADI diving course (1 week) at Koh Tao.

I'll be in Thailand for the 30 days so gradually making my way north to Chaing Mai (until the visa runs out!) then heading over to Laos (1 week), Vietnam (3 weeks), Cambodia (1 week) and then back into Thailand (1 week) and then i fly out to Sydney.

#3 clairemurph has been a member since 23/2/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by neilmatt83 on 24/2/2011 at 03:37

Hey. Yep looks like I'll be hitting Thailand early April. Plan to leave Ireland end of March with a Stop off in Dubai for around 10 days. You both travelling on your own? Be great to meet up along the way.
Where you from Claire? I'm gona say Ireland.

Ryder 80.. I've heard the horror stories aswell. And I was kinda turned off the idea. But then I found this site and the forum on biking around Asia. and everybody was recommending it. That said if I get over there and find it a bit dangerous looking I may change my mind. There is a couple of places recommended by people to buy bikes both in HCM city and Hanoi. So I'll see what happens.

#4 neilmatt83 has been a member since 16/2/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by clairemurph on 24/2/2011 at 04:23

Yeah i'm going on my own!
mix of emotions at the moment, flights are booked so theres no backing out!

ha ha, how did you guess with the surname 'murphy' :P
my dad's side of the family were Irish.

How long are you in Asia for before going to oz?
claire

#5 clairemurph has been a member since 23/2/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by neilmatt83 on 24/2/2011 at 04:43

yep the name Murphy kinda gave it away alright.
It all depends how much I like it. The way I was gona do it was just book a flight to Bangkok and see what happens didn't want to be restricted by having to be in certain places by certain times. But I think I want to be moving on to Oz by the end of June.
Yep its a bit weird heading off on your own alright. But if I don't do it now I'll never do it So the quicker I book my flights the better so I don't back out.
So do you have your flights to Oz booked and all?

#6 neilmatt83 has been a member since 16/2/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by RTW96 on 24/2/2011 at 11:59

Hi Neil,

I've just got back from a couple of months in SE Asia alone and just wanted to say don't worry at all about meeting people, I find you tend not to be able to avoid picking up travel buddies along the way! I actually wanted some time on my own and struggled massively...

As for riding, I spent a week travelling with school friends (who I randomly met in a hostel in HCMC!) with them on motorbikes and me taking the bus to destinations in Vietnam. One of them had never ridden a bike before and on the first day he was terrified but that all quickly disappeared, they were clearly having the time of their lives doing it and I was very jealous. Just be aware of the police as if they stop you it can get problematic, accept you will have to pay a bribe and just do it so you can be in your way again quickly. And only take a very small bag, my friends had trouble getting their 45 litre packs secured on the back.

Good luck and enjoy the trip!

Cat

#7 RTW96 has been a member since 24/2/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by clairemurph on 24/2/2011 at 16:28

Yeah i was in the same situation! was umming and arring for AGES before booking flights.


i was looking at RTW tickets and one way! in the end i decided to pay slightly more than i wanted and got a multi-stop one way flight (so i'm not restricted to the 12 months with a RTW ticket). I'm flying from London - Bangkok on the 30th, and then on the 15th June i'm flying to sydney.


I was looking into visas and one a one way ticket you have to prove you will be leaving Thailand at the end of the stay, so booking the sydney section made sense. My original plan was to stay in bangkok for 3/4 days then move north to Chaing Mai, into Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and then finally do south Thailand. But when flying into Bangkok you get 30day visa on arrival - so i may as well make use of it! instead of coming back into thailand at the end of the trip and then doing the border run every 15 days!

#8 clairemurph has been a member since 23/2/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by neilmatt83 on 24/2/2011 at 23:01

I read somewhere that they don't check for proof of leaving the country. That said I might do the same as you and book a flight onto Sydney for the end of June or something Hopefully I be able to get a flight that I can change dates on easy enough. Plan is to fly into Bangkok either 3rd or 4th of April. You probably will have moved on by then. I don't plan on staying to long in Bangkok maybe a day or two. Just to get a feel for the place. One other thing have you your Vietnam Visa sorted?
Cat sounds like you had a great time? Any tips or advice, like how long to stay in certain countries and what not to miss. Thanks in advance

Neil

#9 neilmatt83 has been a member since 16/2/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by clairemurph on 25/2/2011 at 00:56

I didn't really want to chance it, so i just booked the flights!
i can change it for £90 - i think thats what the majority of airlines charge?

I've not got my Vietnam visa yet as i'm not sure of the exact dates i'll be there. I'm going to get it when i'm in Laos (i'm not flying into Vietnam from Laos, i'm planning to go by bus (am i mad!?ha ha) so i need the visa before i arrive)

#10 clairemurph has been a member since 23/2/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by neilmatt83 on 25/2/2011 at 02:27

No your not mad at all. I don't plan on doing any flying once I land in Bangkok. Might get a flight from Hanoi back to Bangkok at the end. Here turn on your private messaging thing and I'll send you on my email. You never know might be in the same place at the same time.

#11 neilmatt83 has been a member since 16/2/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by clairemurph on 25/2/2011 at 02:45

oh i didn't know you had to enable the messaging! all sorted and turned on.

#12 clairemurph has been a member since 23/2/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by neilmatt83 on 25/2/2011 at 02:52

doesn't seem to be working here's my email neilmatt@gmail.com send us an email.

#13 neilmatt83 has been a member since 16/2/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by RTW96 on 25/2/2011 at 17:29

Advice? Sure! I only did Vietnam and Cambodia this time so will stick with them as advice for the rest would be out of date.

I had four days in Siem Reap, go to Angkor for sunrise, it's an effort but worth it. I met people at my hostel to share the cost of the tuk tuk with, it's always more fun to see these things with someone else too. The landmine museum is worth the effort to get to too. Bars-wise, its hit and miss as to which particular place will be busy as it seemed to change every night but conveniently they are all on one street (bar street!!) so you can just wander around and see what you find.

I took an overnight bus to Phnom Penh and it was fine, Cambodian roads aren't great but I felt safe and managed to sleep so I saved a night's accommodation cost.

Again, I met people at the hostel to go to the killing fields and S-21 prison with. Both sites are morbid and horrifying but have to be seen. Don't bother with the national museum, it's rubbish.

Nightlife and food is better in Siem Reap, phnom penh felt less safe and way more seedy so I just did the night market and dinner and then to bed, can't advise on bars etc I'm afraid.

I then bused it to Saigon and had a few days there (Cu Chi tunnels and several museums) before heading to the beach at Mui Ne where I learned to kitesurf, there are v few dorms there so if you want to make sure you get a bed in shared it's best to book ahead with Mui Ne backpackers, aka Vietnam-Austria house. Then I flew up to Hanoi as I didn't have time to do the usual bus trip up the coast via Nha Trang and Hoi An (which you should do and get some custom shoes and clothes in Hoi An!) Hanoi is crazy, but fun. I only did a day trip to Halong Bay as I was there when the tragedy with the sinking boat happened. To be honest, a day trip was enough, I don't see what else you could see there really.

Think that's it. Enjoy your travels and stay safe, I heard about, and witnessed, a lot of muggings and pickpocketing in Vietnam in particular.

#14 RTW96 has been a member since 24/2/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by neilmatt83 on 28/2/2011 at 02:54

Thanks for the advice Cat.

#15 neilmatt83 has been a member since 16/2/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by ryder80 on 5/3/2011 at 00:12

hey there,

any new up-dates to your itinerary as of yet, is everything is closely as planned...

i'll be booking my flight to HK for the near end of march... take off early april.. around the 13-16 is the water festival in thailand, full moon party on the 18th...

have you already book accomodations when you arrive in bangkok. if so, what are your factors in choosing, since i'm think of pre-booking it before hand... but people have said, just go and do it when your there.. supposely more than enough accomodations there.

thanks

#16 ryder80 has been a member since 19/12/2010. Posts: 83

Posted by neilmatt83 on 5/3/2011 at 00:21

Hey Ryder. Booked my flights today. Fly out on the 23rd. to Dubai for 10 days land in bangkok the 3rd of april. Haven't booked accommodation yet but I will in the next few days. how long you staying In Bangkok? I'll probably do 2 days in it before heading south. for the full moon party. Here's my email neilmatt@gmail.com send us an email.

#17 neilmatt83 has been a member since 16/2/2011. Posts: 12


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