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SEA Itinerary Experts- Advice Please!

  • sweetjustuc-

    Joined Travelfish
    4th January, 2007
    Posts: 5

    ~ traveling solo from the USA
    ~going to be in SEA from Feb. 1st thru April 18th
    ~flying in and out of BKK- I have a 60 day tourist visa
    ~planning on spending all Feb. in Southern Thailand
    ~applying for Vietnam visa in BKK
    ~desire to travel Laos and Vietnam: I have about 1 ½ months to travel
    ~last year I spent a month in Cambodia, therefore I’d rather skip it this trip
    ~very willing to fly international border crossings- overland travel within country
    = find and dandy…. Willing to do whatever makes most sense
    ~I am currently sorting and searching through FAQ and previous posts.
    What Is My Best Plan Of Attack? From what I gather so far, my options are:
    1. fly from BKK > HCMC> travel north to Hanoi> fly Hanoi to LP (Laos)> travel thru Laos eventually making my way back to LP> Chiang Mai> overnight to BKK
    2. overnight to Chiang Mai >fly/overland to LP> travel through Laos> back to LP>
    fly LP to Hanoi> travel south through Vietnam>fly HCMC to BKK
    What plan makes more sense? Least amount of backtracking?
    Am I missing anything crucial?
    3. Question about *tours*
    are organized tours through Vietnam a good idea? From what I’ve been reading it seems a bit easier- but I don’t want to be rushed…… Is it easiest to sort out these tours in BKK?
    *mind melt* anybody with any experience please feel free to comment


    #1 Posted: 13/1/2007 - 02:08

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  • steviej

    Joined Travelfish
    18th March, 2006
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 265
    Total reviews: 2
    Places visited:
    At least 32

    Hi sweetjustucia,

    If you’re worried about back-tracking your best first line of attack would be to get yourself a map of SEA and take it from there.
    This is a pretty good map for starters: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/indochina_rel85.jpg

    With that amount of time you could skip the flying and do a great loop tour. Have a look at Travelfish's INDOCHINA Itinerary, for a few pointers, here: http://www.travelfish.org/trip_planner/thailand-indochina-tour1

    As for organised tours the possibilities are endless.

    Whatever you decide have a great trip and if we bump into each other you can get the beers in (Late March to Late April)


    #2 Posted: 13/1/2007 - 07:28

  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7371
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hi sweetjustucia,

    Isn't (2) pretty much just the reverse of (1)?

    You may want to take a look at the trip planner section, which gives some ideas on routes and transport times between A & B.

    Off the top of my head I'd suggest (2) as that means you can head downriver from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang (rather than going upriver).

    Re the Open Tours in Vietnam, personally I think they're a bit of an aberration, but thousands use them -- they;re easy and cheap, but you spend the entire time in a bus full of backpackers -- not my idea of fun...

    Hope that helps

    #3 Posted: 13/1/2007 - 07:42

  • sweetjustuc-

    Joined Travelfish
    4th January, 2007
    Posts: 5

    thanks gentleman~
    very appreciated
    so i suppose im not so concerned with backtracking..
    plan as of now-
    bkk to LP (fly) poke around the north
    scoot south to vientiane enjoying obvious stops along the way
    fly from vientiane to hanoi make my way south to HCMC
    fly back to bkk

    (((i think)))
    its funny planning these trips- b/c it usually never works out like you plan
    but its nice to have a lil barebones idea

    and yes, no worries.
    beers will be on me

    #4 Posted: 17/1/2007 - 01:33

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