I know it's been done a million times before, but hey ho. So here's my plan for a 7-8 week trip from early September to late October:
Fly into Bangkok - Not long here, just a day or 2 while I sort the train for the next leg.
-Travel to Ko Tao
-Diving on Ko Tao (4 day course, so maybe a week here)
-Travel to Ko Pha Ngan - hopefully catch a party full/half/dark moon, don't really mind
-Back to mainland
-Chiang Rai (maybe)
-Cross border at Huay Xai, Laos
-Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Siem Reap and Angkor Wat
-Maybe Ko Chang, Thailand for some beach time
-Then back to Bangkok, for a few days there before I fly back to the UK
I've tried to not overdo it, as I'd like to see plenty of places, but at the same time, I'd rather see places properly than try to squash too much in. Hence no Vietnam and only PP and Siem Reap in Cambodia. I'll save those for another trip :p
Vientiane to PP is probably the bit of the trip I'm least sure on how to do. Any tips welcome, maybe go through Pakse and Si Phan Don?
The only bits of the trip that are 'set' are the diving and the Gibbon Experience, as the diving is 4 days and I think the Gibbon X is 2 or 3. Other than that, I should be able to leave/stay in places as I feel like it.
So what do people think? Sensible? Too much? Wrong places to go at that time of year? Wrong places to go if Thailand (or Bangkok specifically) hasn't calmed down?
Thanks in advance
#1 bails87 has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 23
Sounds doable to me, especially if you're willing to drop bits if necessary as well. (I think you might have Luang Prabang & Vang Vieng round the wrong way though!) I would suggest flying Vientiane to PP though - it will take ages to travel overland.
Also, maybe it's just me but I found everything took a lot longer in Laos than I'd anticipated, purely due to my own Laos-induced laziness! For instance, we broke the journey from Pakse to Si Phan Don by staying 'overnight' somewhere (might have been Champasak?) - it was a very small place with not a lot going on apart from a bus stop and a couple of noodle stands, but we still managed to end up staying 4 nights because we kept missing the bus each day...!
I'd hope things have calmed down by September (not least because I'm due to fly out there in a fortnight!) but you will be getting there just in time for election fever. If things have started to hot up again and you don't fancy venturing North, you could always just head up to Nong Khai & do the Laos stretch in reverse, then fly LP to PP/SR.
#2 ZPeppiatt has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 38
I think you're right with VV and LP, that was a typo!
I'm hoping the politcal situation will be relatively calm (well, safe) in the run up to the elections, and I'll be out 3 weeks before them anyway. It's the aftermath, with any 'disputed' results that I'd be more worried about.
To be honest, I think I'll go down to the gulf islands for probably 10-12 days in total, north to chiang mai, and then I'll probably be spending the bulk of the time in Laos and Cambodia. So if Bangkok is dangerous I can turn up the day before my flight and not venture out except when I go to the airport!
#3 bails87 has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 23