I am planning on doing a mix of overland travel and flights on my upcoming trip. I'm trying to figure out which overland trips are more tolerable. There's a few trips that I am questioning and they all seem kind of bad. What parts should I skip with a flight?
Bangkok to Siem Reap
Pros: Most of the travel is in Thailand, should be nice.
Cons: Khmers try to scam you at the border.
Phnom Penh to Vientiene
Pros: A lot of cool towns in between. Don Det looks cool.
Cons: Lengthy trip and hassle across the border
Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai
Pros: A boat ride sounds like a good way to see the countryside.
Cons: Lengthy trip, boats are uncomfortable
OK, so which sucks more? Which leg would you avoid at all costs? Is there a more obvious route that I'm not thinking of, to hit all these sites?
I should also mention, my goal is to hit all these places in 3 weeks or less. I know that is very ambitious and very likely not to happen. But I'm just trying to think in advance...what land travel should I not attempt?
#1 minerman has been a member since 2/3/2012. Posts: 6
PP to Vientiane is a VERY LONG overland ride. If you didn't break that up with a number of stops on the way, I'd dare say you are at risk for suicide. This would suck at a level that starts approaching the Bataan death march. I'd fly that leg for sure.
Three weeks to cover that much ground isn't going to be fun. So if you just want to see these specific places, then I would simply fly to each one - because they are so far apart. Eating half your vacation in the process of moving about kind of sucks...
'Khmers try to scam you at the border.'
Just ignore them.
BTW The scammers are everywhere not just at borders though I admit Poipet is just about the worst advert for Cambodia there is.
I think Vietnamese scammers probably take the prize though. The Khmer are ***** cats in this department.
Mac's right about that Phnom Penh to Vientiane leg,it's a killer but it would be a shame to miss Kratie and Ban Lung and then across the border the Pakse area and the islands are beautiful.
BKK to Siem Reap isn't that long - so no worries there. If you want to see BKK-Siem Reap-PP-Vientiane- Luang Prabang - Chiang Mai in 3 weeks you certainly need to fly into Vientiane, you'll be missing a lot of cool stuff in Southern Laos but you simply don't have the time for it anyway. In fact, if you want quality time in those areas I think I'd agree with Mac and say you've got to fly at least two of the legs - Luang Prabang via boat-bus to Chiang Mai takes something like three days of travel at a comfortable pace.