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Southeast Asia forum

Vietnam & Laos - Too many places, too little time

Posted by kiwiexplorer on 2/6/2011 at 07:20

Hi guys,

Two of us are travelling to Laos and Vietnam in August, with around 3 weeks only, and although we have cancelled out many places already, we are still stuck as to what we should see and do in such little time. If anyone could offer their advice as to what is a must see, where we should spend more/less time in, or cancel out altogether then that would be much appreciated.

Especially if anyone has experience with "The Laos Loop" and "the Gibbon Experience" it would be great to hear whether or not they are worth it, as travel time to and from those could save us a good few days! (keep in mind August is apparantly the wet season too) .

Our itinery at the moment is:

Ho Chi Minh - 2 days
Mekong Delta - 1 day tour
Hoi An - 2 days
Hanoi - 1 day
Halong Bay Cruise - 3 days/2nights
Sapa - 2 days
Luang Prabang - 3 days
The Gibbon Experience/Bokeo - 2 nights/3 days
Vang Vieng - 3 days
ThaKhet (for the Laos Loop 4 day scooter trip) - 4 days

We aim to be travelling by plane to most places to save on travel time, with the exception of Laos where it looks like we will have to bus in between towns.

Cheers for your help!!

#1 kiwiexplorer has been a member since 2/6/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by wanderingcat on 2/6/2011 at 08:50

have you included time for travel (13++h by road, 2 full days by boat) from Luang Prabang to the GibbonX office in Huay Xai ? (think GibbonX wants people to meet at their office in Huay Xai the day before in case of no-shows.) plus another 1-2 days (at least 20h by direct bus) for travel from Huay Xai to Vang Vieng after GibbonX? & 1 day for travel from Vang Vieng to Tha Khek? & what is your comfort level/tolerance for marathon bus journeys?

August = rainy season = potential for travel delays (e.g landslides), & also mud & leeches (for GibbonX).

#2 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
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Posted by kiwiexplorer on 2/6/2011 at 09:36

Thanks for your reply.

We Have done a very brief outline with travel time, mainly taking morning flights through vietnam and then night bus up to Huay Xai, and down to Tha Khek. We had planned to split up the time in Luang Prabang for before and after Gibbonx so we didnt have that long haul to Vang Vieng. We have read a mix of reviews with Gibbonx for the rainy season - longer trekking to get to the canopy, damp canopy, wet and muddy walks, but the best time to see the diversity of colours, sounds, and wild species of the Nam Kan National unsure what to do here. Have you done the Gibbonx and did you think its worth everything?

So probably best to do EITHER the Loop or Gibbonx due to the lengthy travel times, or if reviews say neither one is really worth it, then we would add those days on to longer stays elsewhere. Regardless, we are concerned that we are trying to fit too much, but at the same time we dont want to miss out on a "must see" as unfortunately the next time we will be back will probably be years away.

#3 kiwiexplorer has been a member since 2/6/2011. Posts: 2

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