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Itinerary Advice please!!! Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

Posted by seanstenning on 8/7/2007 at 05:56


Myself and a friend have booked flights into/out of Bangkok, from 28sep-10dec 2007, so we have just over 10 weeks in the region, and want to travel round Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

The regional explorer on this site looks amazing (nice one guys) and it says that 10 weeks is a comfortable amount of time within which to do this, but it seems tight, especially if we want to spend at least a week island hopping at the end of our tour.

So, I guess my main question is, is it possible to do the regional explorer, with a few add-ons, and fly back from Hanoi to Bangkok, leaving a week or so, to do some diving, or will this involve travel every single day?

Thanks in advance!

#1 seanstenning has been a member since 7/7/2007. Posts: 5

Posted by somtam2000 on 8/7/2007 at 20:31 admin

Hi Sean,

Yeah, you'll be doing a fair amount of travel -- not every day, but still very frequently. So if you were trying to do that trip in ten weeks, plus a couple of add ons and a week in the islands at the end, you'll need another holiday to get over it!

Perhaps look at saving some time by skipping some of southern Laos -- you could save a week there and add it to an island break.

Plan out your trip roughly, day by day over the ten weeks. If you travelling more than once every three days, I'd say reconsider how much you're trying to fit in.

More questions? ask away!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,090

Posted by seanstenning on 8/7/2007 at 20:37

Thanks for your advice, Somtam, I was thinking the same thing...I really wanted to see 4000 islands in Laos though, looks beautiful...perhaps flying some of the legs, will cut out some travel time, though obv will lose out on some of the scenery...

Is there any legs you would suggest flying between, maybe to cut-down travel, and not miss out on too much? Perhaps Chiang Mai- Luang Prabang, or Phmon Penh- Saigon??

#3 seanstenning has been a member since 7/7/2007. Posts: 5

Posted by somtam2000 on 8/7/2007 at 20:52 admin

Flying Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang will save you a lot of time -- to do it overland takes at a minimum three full days (one to border, then two on the boat downriver -- longer still if you take the road).

Phnom Penh to saigon isn't sucg a time saver -- the trip is easily done in a day, so at most you'll save yourself half a day.

4,000 islands is absolutely worth the time to see -- very laid back, relaxing area. You can always fly Vientiane to Pakse, or take an overnight bus from Vientiane -- both will save you a few days.


#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,090

Posted by seanstenning on 9/7/2007 at 02:27

Thanks again Somtam, very useful info!

Am going to be doing some more thinking about this....will ask if there are any more questions that spring to mind...

#5 seanstenning has been a member since 7/7/2007. Posts: 5

Posted by AmandaJordan on 9/7/2007 at 21:48


My boyfriend and I just did the trip in 8 weeks at a pretty comfortable pace (stayed in most places 3 nights) although we had to cut out southern laos and did not hit mui ne, sapa, or ayutthaya.

If you have 9 weeks because you are subtracting the week you'll be spending in southern thailand I think you will have to choose some places to cut out or do some flying. The boat trip from chiang mai to luang prabang was a great way to meet people but definitely not a highlight of the trip in terms of sightseeing so flying that leg would be a great way to save 3 days that you can then spend in southern laos.

Also I know a lot of people choose either sukhothai or ayutthaya. People have different preferences. We headed to sukhothai and really enjoyed our day there.

In vietnam I would highly recommend dalat which was not on the itinerary posted on travelfish. It is in the mountains so very cool which is a welcome change from the heat in other places and also has these guides called the easy riders that drive you around the countryside on their motorbikes. They were by far the highlight of our trip. Our first day with them around dalat was so great that we hired them to take us to nha trang. It was fabulous. The people I spoke with all recommended dalat over mui ne but if you are looking for quiet relaxing beach supposedly mui ne is good for that.

Feel free to ask anymore questions. Also as was already said bus ride from phnom penh to saigon was only 5 hours so not really worth flying. We flew Hue to Hanoi because it saved us taking an overnight bus and was almost the same price as the train.

#6 AmandaJordan has been a member since 15/1/2007. Posts: 12

Posted by seanstenning on 10/7/2007 at 01:21


Thanks very much for the reply, gives me a lot to think about. Definitely considering the Chiang Mai- LP flight now, as it seems won't miss out on too much, really want to see Sapa though, maybe will have to sacrifice 1/2 places in order to do that, thinking perhaps doing the same thing and flying Hue-Hanoi as well, in order to save some time...

Will definitely take Dalat into consideration when finalising arrangements, thanks for the advice, sounds fantastic! Also wanted to do Phu Quoc Island, but may have to sacrifice this in order to have some down-time on one or two of the Thai ones...

No other questions at the moment, but thanks for your advice again...

#7 seanstenning has been a member since 7/7/2007. Posts: 5

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