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Southeast Asia forum

Really stuck and need some help!!

Posted by joanne1981 on 21/8/2010 at 01:55


I am in the final stages of planning for my trip with my hubby in December and I am really stuck in making a decision on our route. I have changed my mind so many times and really need some advise.

We arrive on the 4th December and depart on the 2nd January. We have to be in Krabi by the 23rd so we basically have 18/19 days to cover Laos and Cambodia. We are planning on spending approx 7 days in Cambodia and the rest of the time in Laos. I was thinking of taking the train to Vientiane and making our way up to Luang Prabang. From there I was planning on flying to Siem reap and then head down to Phnom Penh from where we would fly to Bangkok for a flight to Krabi.

The main problem now is that we do not have as much money saved up as I hoped and all these flights are totaling £650 for the 2 of us. i am now thinking of the crazy idea of doing the whole thing overland from Bangkok and back to Bangkok. Is this totally crazy and impossible?

Thanks in advance for all replies.

#1 joanne1981 has been a member since 10/12/2009. Posts: 14

Posted by MADMAC on 21/8/2010 at 02:11

Is it possible? Yes. Will it totally suck? Yes. Is there a specific reason you want to go to Cambodia or Laos? Because seven days isn't even enough to get a taste of what one of these countries is like. If you are specifically going to see something, like Angkor Wat, then it would help if you specified what it is you want to see. If not, I would simply pick the country that interests you most and go there.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by exacto on 21/8/2010 at 02:49

I agree with MADMAC. If you were to try and do this trip overland as you mentioned, by my estimates you'd be spending six or seven of the 18 available days travelling all day. All day. Even if you were to fly, in my experience you'd still be spending far too much time getting from place to place to be able to fully enjoy yourself once you arrived.

As suggested above, you might want to decide whether Laos or Cambodia interests you the more and then focus on that one country. I think you'll be much happier and have a more relaxing as well as meaningful experience that way.

Also, remember that if you cross back into Thailand by land, you'll likely only get 15 days on the visa waiver when you re-enter. It is important to figure that into your timetable so you don't overstay on that second trip into Thailand. Have a great time.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,764
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Posted by eastwest on 21/8/2010 at 11:42

I disagree with the others and think it should be fine to do that in 18-19 days. IF YOU FLY and are only interested in the cultural highlights.

Doing it completely overland is an absolute waste of time (I agree on that). Especially the flight Luang Prabang to Siem Reap is essential. If you try to do that overland it will take a gruelling 3-4 days and sap all the energy out of you. As you see below you could trade the PP to BKK flight for a very long busride to BKK (24 hours or so but have never done it). Wouldn't be my choice though but an option could be to do that in two days.

1. train to Vientiane (not a bad travel experience)
2. full day in Vientiane (there aren't that many highlights)
3. day on bus/car to Luang Prabang
4-5-6-7 Luang Prabang
8. fly to Siem Reap and get organised there with arranging tuk tuk etc for temple visit
9-10-11-12 Siem Reap and temples
13. bus/car to Phnom Penh
14-15-16 Phnom Penh
17. fly to BKK

#4 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778
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Posted by joanne1981 on 21/8/2010 at 20:50


Thanks for all the opinions. I definitley want to do the highlights of both countries and this will be my last chance to do a holiday like this for a long time so I will definnitley go down the flight route. It is probably going to be worth spending the extra money!
Thanks again,

#5 joanne1981 has been a member since 10/12/2009. Posts: 14

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