My clueless self and my clueless girlfriend are in the process of trying to plan our s/e asia trip (7-8 weeks during feb and march), and need some advice and a few, well alot of questions answered. Here's our vague itinerary, with my many questions in brackets.
#Bangkok, four days.
#Flight to Luang Prabang (is this expensive? i looked online and it seems so, can this be arranged for cheaper wen you get there?).
#Northern Laos for about 2-2.5 weeks.
#Travel to Siem Reap (is a flight necessary? What would that journey be like over land?)
#Three days around Siem Reap and Angkor.
#Back to Bangkok via Khao Yai National park, two days.
#Travel down through southern Thailand to Hat Yai, including in the usual hot spots, three weeks. (Are three weeks enough, and are there any places that should't be missed?)
#Get train to Khota Bharu for Jungle Train to Kuala Lumpar.
#Stop off in Teman Negara National park for three days en route to KL (is it wrth doing this to sacrafice travelling along the Vietnam coast?).
Thanks in advance for the advice, if there's any other mistakes we're making in this itinerary feel free to drop a knowlege bomb or two!
#1 IrishStu has been a member since 17/9/2010. Posts: 1
Hi easy enough to do but your sort of going in the wrong direction. You could head down to PP from Siem Reap then into sthn Vietnam for a couple of weeks as the weather will be good that time of year. Or you could save Vietnam for another trip,catch the o/night train from Bangkok to Trang.Head out to the islands from there.Catch the tigerline ferry to Koh Lipe. Maybe catch the ferry to Langkawi then onto peninsular Malaysia from there.Plenty of choices with your time frame.I'm sure others will have plenty of suggestions.
It will also depend on your budget. Malaysia, while cheaper than Europe or Australia, is not cheap by South East Asian standards. Vietnam and Cambodia, on the other hand, are ridiculously cheap.
I have travelled in, and loved all three, but if I were on a strict budget I would skip Malaysia.
#3 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221
It depends on your interests. Taman Negara Park is quite spectacular, and if you're into hiking, animal-observing, etc. you'll love it. I saw deer, langurs, countless birds, huge termite mounds, and a tapir. The only wildlife you'll see in Vietnam is in a cage.
The flight from Bangkok to Luang Prabang is notoriously expensive as it's only flown by Bangkok Air and Lao Airlines, not any of the budget airlines (ex. Air Asia). The price shown on the Lao Airlines website is as cheap as it gets.
If you have a bit of time, you can fly from Bangkok to Udon Thani with Air Asia and then catch the bus from the airport to Vientiane . This is so easy. Tickets for the bus are adjacent to the arrival area. The bus takes you to the border crossing, which is quite entertaining and once through in to Vientiane.
From Vientiane you could catch the boat north to Luang Prabang and this has been subject to some interesting Forum comments.
You will love Laos.
#5 ChrisM48 has been a member since 12/12/2006. Posts: 17
I think the itinerary is fine as posted.
It seems to me that OP has more interest in natural beauty/parks and for that Malaysia is better than Vietnam. Although I disagree with durian's comment about Vietnam and it's a comment that many people have made about Vietnam.
Vietnam does have some decent parks and interesting wildlife, just not as good as Malaysia's and my guess is that very few people have actually bothered to visit those parks but make assumptions based on their chinese-influenced culture.
Emphasis in Vietnam is more on historical/cultural highlights and not on parks. The dugong on Con Dao are well protected and a beautiful sight, so are the civet cats, that produce the most expensive coffee, in the highlands and a handful of other species.
Southern Laos overland. It's a backpackers thing. While not completely off-the-beaten track travelling remains uncomfortable and in my opinion the sights are not worth it and I would make the short flight and save myself those 3 uncomfortable busdays. But I understand that there's something to be said for slow travelling in southern Laos if you have the time.
"But I understand that there's something to be said for slow travelling in southern Laos if you have the time."
Unless you would be doing that slow travelling on a chopper with a hot chick clinging to your back all the way, I can't think of what that "something" might be.