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Southeast Asia

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From China to Thailand

Posted by Ignas on 19/10/2010 at 19:00

I need your small advice... Now I am staying in Yunnan province of China and Soon I want to go out of here to Thailand visiting Laos and Vietnam but NOT Cambodia. So can someone give advice on ruff sketch of route. Is it better to start with Laos or Vietnam?

#1 Ignas has been a member since 24/9/2010. Posts: 16

Posted by idreamofdurian on 19/10/2010 at 20:39 TF writer

Do you plan to exit China by bus or plane? Also, the route really depends how much time you have and what places within those countries you want to visit. You can travel overland from China to Laos to Vietnam, but it's slooow.

For overland, you're initially limited to getting the bus in Kunming to Luang Prabang , Laos, which I think is about 30 hours. From Luang Prabang you could go to Vang Vieng and then Vientiane . From Vientiane you have a few options. 1) You can fly or take a long bus ride bus to Hanoi . 2) You can continue down into Southern Laos and cross overland there into central Vietnam near Hue. 3) You can cross overland to Thailand, work your way down to Bangkok, then fly to Vietnam (passing over Cambodia).

If you're going to fly you can go from Kunming to Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Vientiane, Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

#2 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576

Posted by Ignas on 20/10/2010 at 10:31

Thanks for replay. Sorry I did not mention that I don't want any flights and thats the issue how to skip Cambodia. So I think it is more easy to get Visa in China to Vietnam then from Vietnam to Laos and then to Thailand but it is so inconvenient down-up-down. So I am a little bit lost.

#3 Ignas has been a member since 24/9/2010. Posts: 16

Posted by caseyprich on 20/10/2010 at 16:05

No flights, you'll have to backtrack somewhere.

Option 1 - If you go into Vietnam first and work your way south then you'll have to return far north to skip Cambodia and enter into Laos - the Bo Y crossing below. I think the Dansavanh/Lao Bao crossing will get you headed to the North of Laos much faster though -- and if you can only pick one part of Laos to visit I know the more popular one seems to be the North. From there it is pretty self explanitory how to go through Northern Laos and then cut into Thailand (usually from Huay Xai towards Chiang Mai).

To be convenient you could go as far south as Da Nang/Hue and then skip seeing Souther Vietnam - just head right over to Laos.

Option 2 - Go into Laos and head south without divirting from Luang Prabang , VV, Vientinne - down into the South. You cross over to Vietnam and go to the South then back track up to the North of Vietnam. There you cross the border at Nam Xoi and finish the horizontal leg of a Laos +. If you go from Nam Xoi to Sam Nuea, to Nong Khiaow you can skip returning to Luang Prabang (unless you want to detour back) and head streat through Udomxai up to Luang Nam Tha and then down the river to Huay Xai to cross over to Thailand.

Check out this map since I can't get it to work:


#4 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281

Posted by eastwest on 20/10/2010 at 16:43

Perhaps ignas should reconsider avoiding Cambodia.
It would make things a lot easier (and most likely cheaper) if you did go from southern Vietnam through Cambodia to Thailand. You can cross Cambodia in an easy 2 days.

-either along the coast. Ha Tien (VN)- Sihanoukville. Next day to Trat (Thailand)
- Saigon to Phnom Penh and then onwards to Battambang and cross into Thailand at Poipet

I guess the visa, transport and time are far less than backtracking all the way.

Other than having a criminal record and being on a blacklist in Cambodia, I see no reason to make it so costly and difficult. Those 2 days aren't dangerous, difficult or expensive. Certainly not more than backtracking from Saigon to Hue/Danang. Even if you have seen the country already you probably could endure those 2 days on the bus.

#5 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by Ignas on 21/10/2010 at 14:51

Thanks for both of you. Both replies made me to reconsider avoiding Cambodia. It really seems too many problems try to avoid it. probably I will do with Cambodia. My avoiding reason is danger in Cambodia, for my self is not a problem but how to make parents and other people who afraid about me going there to understand? :)

#6 Ignas has been a member since 24/9/2010. Posts: 16

Posted by caseyprich on 22/10/2010 at 14:53

So go into Vietnam, head all the way to the Delta (HCMC), then enter Cambodia through the delta - by boat would be fun but bus is quicker and more direct to Phnom Penh. However, since you still want to see Laos I'd recommend (since you're in Cambodia anyway) to head up to Siem Reap to see the famous Angkor Wat temple ruins. From their head up to the border with Laos and relax at 4,000 Islands (Si Phon Don) for a few days before headed up through the South of Laos (lots of stuff to see on yur way to Vientiane ). Depart northward from Vientiane to areas such as Vang Veing, Luang Prabang, and into Luang Nam Tha where you can then cross into Thailand at Huay Xai and ramble about Northern Thailand until you head down to the Islands in the south for some final days of relaxing before doing whatever you are doing next.

A very usual North-South Cris-Cross that is planned by people trying to explore some of each country in the region.

#7 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281

Posted by eastwest on 22/10/2010 at 19:25

Completely agree with casey.

About 1.5 million tourists visit Angkor/ Siem Reap each year and there haven't been any serious incidents there. At least not more than any other hotspot in the region.
Danger is absolutely not an issue in Cambodia so make up a good story for back home and try to enjoy it while you're in the region.
It would really be a pity if you missed out on the temples just because people back home wouldn't understand.

#8 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

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