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Indochina/Thai for 8 weeks - Help!

Posted by lucasdg on 14/12/2011 at 00:28

Hi everyone!

I'm in the midst of planning an Indochina/Thai trip and I've come up with an itinerary for about 50 days (although this is extendable to perhaps 60).

I start in Bangkok, circle up into Laos via Chiang Mai , down into Southern Laos, Cambodia, and up Vietnam to Hanoi. I have figured this is the best loop to complete as I have become very interested in well and truly seeing Laos. Of all the countries I am visiting it appears to be the most laid back and beautiful.

With that in mind, please see my itinerary below. I suspect it might be a bit rushed, but I also don't want to miss out on some of the great destinations.

I would very much appreciate your thoughts and tweaks regarding number of nights spent at destinations, and suggest or subtract destinations too.

My main interests when travelling will be relaxing, walking, motorcycling, eating, hiking, exploring, culture and people. I really need to recharge!

Bangkok - 2 nights
Sleeper train to Chiang Mai - 1 night
Chiang Mai - 4 nights
Pai - 2 nights

Slowboat to Luang Prabang - 1 night
Luang Prabang - 2 nights
Vang Vieng - 2 nights
Vientiane - 2 nights
Thakhek - 3 nights
Savannakhet - 2 nights
Pakse - 1 night
Tad Lo - 1 night
Paksong - 1 night
Pakse (again) - 2 nights
Don Dhet - 3 nights
Siem Reap - 2 nights
Phnom Penh - 2 nights
Saigon - 2 nights
Vung Tau - 2 nights
Nha Trang - 2 nights
Da Nang - 2 nights
Vinh - 1 night
Cat Ba Island - 2 nights
Hanoi - 2 nights

Thanks guys!

#1 lucasdg has been a member since 29/7/2011. Posts: 20

Posted by chinarocks on 14/12/2011 at 04:33

I have not considered every spot in great detail but I would most definitely suggest spending longer in Luang Prabang, Siem Reap/Temples and Hanoi.

LP - 5/6 days
SR/Temples - 4 days
Hanoi - 4/5 days

Consider including Hoi An and Hue and leaving out Danang.

One general point that strikes me about your itinerary is that you are constantly on the move. Don't tie yourself down with such a detailed plan, and consider spending closer to a week in the places you like.

8 weeks - I would consider doing just three countries properly. Potentially fly direct from Bangkok to LP (if possible), thereby giving you an extra week to play around in Laos.

#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

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Posted by caseyprich on 14/12/2011 at 07:09

If you're going to have a motorbike around Pakse I recommend adding an extra night to Tad Lo to relax and ride around that area checking out the local scenery and waterfalls. You'll get to Paksong not too late in the day to check it out if you only spend one night there so you could take off the next day and catch the waterfalls on your way back to Pakse.
I'd keep the motorbike and head 1-2hrs south to Champasak for two nights. It's not a place to be missed in Laos. Very relaxed on the Mekong River. You can save time by moving on from there after you stop into Pakse for lunch coming back from Paksong if you are in a hurry to cover ground. Then spend one night in Pakse and head down to Si Phon Don in the morning.

Of course, I'm just adding days to your schedule, but once you get into Southern Laos you should soak up more time outside of Pakse.

#3 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by inspiredbykrissi on 23/12/2011 at 03:15

I know and understand people are very different, thus making different travel styles. This si my view and feel free to take anythign you want from it.

Have a vague idea of the countries, the cities you wish to go to. Keep it vague and your eyes will be peeled for opportunities outside of your plan. Having such a detailed plan, for me, means its going to go wrong. SEA is so east to travel around and its only flights, and soem trains, that require advanced booking. Guest houses are abundant meaning you can just rock up and book a night in most. Its great you are researching as i beleive this is important, but, remember this is time to have fun, and be relaxed. Dont stress too much. Let the wind take you where you feel its right.

Like I said, i am not preaching, and i fully understand peoples different styles and needs. This is just how i would be.

Ride the waves............ and happy travels :)

#4 inspiredbykrissi has been a member since 9/12/2011. Posts: 68
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Posted by lucasdg on 8/3/2012 at 17:58

Thanks for your post :-)

I have done a lot of planning but that doesn't mean I'm not flexible. I just like to have an itinerary to fall back on, especially when I've got a reasonable amount to fit in!

I have listened to your critiques and added in more time at Paksong/Tadlo (7 days all up for Pakse, Paksong, Tad Lo)

I have also added more time in Hanoi (4 days) and Siem Reap (4 days)

Leave in 3 weeks.

#5 lucasdg has been a member since 29/7/2011. Posts: 20

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