My boyfriend and I have booked flights to Bangkok next February to backpack through the 4 countries - Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia in 1 month. We have been to Thailand twice before and this time want to head up north rather than the south.
Basically our itinerary looks something like this:
31st JAN - Arrive to Bangkok early morning
(Either train to chiang mai or fly later that day?)
1st- 4th FEB - Spend 3-4 days in Chiang Mai... maybe a cooking class and another few tours? Then need to make our way to Vangvieng in Laos. Fly or Train? How to get there? Would we have to cross through Vientiane ?
4th-8th FEB - Spend 3 - 4 days in Vangvieng river tubing then head over to Hanoi ... we thought best way to get to Hanoi was to fly from Vientiane as its a fair distance away. Is this the best option?
9th-12th FEB - Arrive at Hanoi for one day then get a tour to Halong bay and spend the night on a Junk Boat. Leave Halong bay and make our way to Hoi An - fly or train?
13th-15th FEB - Arrive at Hoi An - no ideas yet as to what to do? Any suggestions? Fly or train down to Ho Chi Minh City ?
16th-19th FEB - Arrive at Ho Chi Minh City -maybe see Cu Chi Tunnels or other tour? Then fly to Phnom Phen or train?
20th-22th FEB- Arrive at Phnom Phen for 1 day or 2- Any good tours or things to see?
22th-24th FEB- Spend 2 days at Siem Reap - Angkor Wat is a must. Any other good tours or things to see?
24th FEB- Arrive back in bangkok to be at airport on the 25th Feb
I would really appreciate any advice people can give us about some good tours to do and good things to see... would love to hear what people have experienced ( good or bad)
Another thing we would like to know is the easiest way to get around... i.e.: flights or trains or buses? As we only have 4 weeks to do the 4 countries we don't think it’s a great idea to be spending 10-15 hours on transport every few days, however we may be wrong... what has everyone else done and recommend?
We are not on a tight budget so money isnt really an issue and are happy to spend the extra few bucks here or there if it means we add more time to our trip
Also if anyone has any suggestions about accommodation in the above places would be great to know too... just thinking we will book something when we get to each place and not before hand.
#1 reneejordan has been a member since 4/11/2010. Posts: 7
Wow - I'm exhausted just reading your itinerary! I'd honestly recommend cutting it down, but if you're fixed on covering the 4 countries then flying is the way to go. Chiang Mai to VV would take a few days by land / river and same for getting up to Hanoi . Yes, you will need to go through Vientiene (or LP but Vientiene is nearer to Vang Vieng and I think flights are easier and cheaper).
You could do Hanoi to Hoi An by train as it's an overnight train so doesn't waste any time in the day but a flight to Danang is also feasible. However Hoi An to HCMC is about 20 hours on the train so a flight from Danang would be better for that stretch.
I went to thailand last year and went to chiang mai, I travelled by train and it took 12 hours from bangkok... so may be best to fly? depending on your budget..
#3 danni87 has been a member since 7/11/2010. Posts: 7
It depends if you want to spend that day in Bangkok. If you transferred straight from your flight into Bangkok onto a connecting flight up to CM then it makes sense, but to go into Bangkok for a few hours and then back out to the airport would waste quite a bit of time so I'd suggest the train as it's overnight so you won't lose any sightseeing time and the train station is in central Bangkok so getting there is easier.
Yes we are thinking flying where possible to save time so we can spend alot more time at our destinations. Also leaning towards the night train to Chiang Mai, first get some supllies in Bangkok then make our way onto the night train to CM.
Thanks for the feedback and advice, anymore would be greatly appriciated :)
#5 reneejordan has been a member since 4/11/2010. Posts: 7
Hey I'm planning to spend 2 months in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Loas this summer. I'd really like to know how you ended up getting around and if you have any recommendations for me. Thanks.
#7 charlie_b has been a member since 6/3/2011. Posts: 1
Hi I am also planning on travelling through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in a month or so for 2 months. charlie_b I would be interested to know how your plans are going so far I still don’t know where is best to fly in or how I am going to get from a to b.
#8 maz_mo has been a member since 6/3/2011. Posts: 1