Been scrolling this site for months - it has given me great info! This is my first post.
I'm off to Thailand/Laos for 21 days - arrive in Bangkok on Nov 23 and depart from Bangkok on Dec 15.
2 days in Bangkok
Sleeper train to Chiang Mai
5 days Chiang Mai (during Loi Krathong)
2 days boat to Luang Prabang
5 days Luang Prabang/Nong Kiaow maybe
1 day Leave Bangkok
Up to Chiang Mai is somewhat set - I'm not booking anything after that and will just go with the flow. I was hoping to get some ideas for my last week though. I want to end my trip with a couple days on an island - for some beach time and some view point hiking. Am I missing anything?
After research, I'm still not sure the best way to get from Laos to the Thai islands..... Fly from Luang Prabang to Bangkok to island area..... Make my way to Vientiane (more flight options) and fly/train bus to Bangkok and then fly/train/bus to island. Has anyone done this? The least amount of travel time the better - but also open to making the journey longer to stop somewhere inbetween.
I'm budgeting 2 days to get to an island (suggestions please!! - white sand and cliffs - quieter) and 1 day to get back to Bangkok.
"2 days boat to Luang Prabang "
Allow 3 days for this; one day for bus or minivan to Chiang Khong, then two days for slow boat to Luang Prabang (or take a speedboat to knock it down a day).
"5 days Luang Prabang/Nong Kiaow maybe"
Sounds good; two days in LP, get a bus to NK, a day exploring, then boat back to LP is a highlight.
Main obstacle then is getting south quick and/or cheap. Only flight option from LP is on Lao Airlines to BKK which will cost you around $170. Or fly LP-Vientiane for $80 otherwise it's a 10-hour bus ride. Then you still have to get south and onto a beach.
I'd say either spend those remaining six days in Laos (Vang Vieng, Vientiane) cross the bridge to Nong Khai and get a sleeper train to BKK
Get out your wallet and fly to BKK, and again to the south (Phuket, Krabi)
Get to Bangkok a few days early and just go to Ko Samet - nice sandy island only 3 hours from BKK airport.