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Southeast Asia forum

Emergency planning help needed!!

Posted by Keelyb34 on 29/10/2013 at 08:53


I am very confused and also inexperienced at planning, so any help would be a massive bonus!

I have 6weeks starting on 10 Nov Thailand (I am going to a silent Buddhist retreat in koh Samui) and I want to cover Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. I plan to skip most of Thailand on this occasion as I feel 6weeks s not enough to see thailand). I need to fly back to UK on 23 Dec from one of the countries. Please help!

I was thinking perhaps go up to Chiangmai and across to Laos for 2 weeks then Cambodia 2weeks finishing in Vietnam and flying out of Hanoi airport does that sound good?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give xxxxx

#1 Keelyb34 has been a member since 29/10/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by somtam2000 on 29/10/2013 at 19:30 admin

That is a lot to cover in 6 weeks. A typical route would be something like (starting in Ko Samui):

Ko Samui -> Bangkok -> Chiang Mai -> Chiang Khong -> (boat) Luang Prabang -> Vang Vieng -> Vientiane -> (fly) Hanoi -> Ha Long Bay -> Hanoi -> Hue -> Hoi An -> Saigon -> Phnom Penh -> Cambodian islands -> Siem Reap -> Bangkok & exit

With the above you'd be moving every couple of days to fit all that into 6 weeks.

The route you suggest also works - we have a sample plan that is quite similar here.

More questions? Ask away.

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Posted by Geer1 on 29/10/2013 at 21:40

Not enough time to see that much ground imo. Something like Somtam said is close but to make it really work I would be advising more flights and skipping some areas. I would fly Samui to Bangkok, Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Danang to Saigon. This would save you some long days(or likely sleepless nights) of travel. And I would skip either Vang Vieng/Vientiane, Cambodian Islands or Halong Bay.

Alternatively what I would recommend doing is settle for less as you will get to see more and appreciated things more. I would either a) skip northern Thailand and Laos or b) skip Vietnam.

If you chose a then you could see more of southern Thailand like Krabi, Khao Sok, other islands. Then go up to Bangkok and fly to Hanoi and follow a similar plan to what Somtam suggested.

If you chose b then I would still recommend seeing a little more of southern Thailand, khao sok etc on way over to Phuket before flying to Chiang Mai. Then in Laos work south to 4000 islands and overland into Cambodia.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 31/10/2013 at 11:47

Don't skip Thailand. I'd do 4 weeks Thailand and 2 weeks elsewhere.

November can be wet on Samui. Krabi area should be better!

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Posted by Keelyb34 on 31/10/2013 at 19:08

Ahhhh I see what you mean I was worried I was tryin to fit too much in.
How about if I skip thailand and fly straight to Laos from koh Samui? I have to go to koh Samui as it is where my silent retreat is. I have 6weeks from when that finishes.


Really has helped...
Keely xx

#5 Keelyb34 has been a member since 29/10/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by Geer1 on 31/10/2013 at 20:48

Have you seen Thailand before? If not it would make more sense to spend more time there instead of skipping it, I say this for both financial reasons(cheaper/less flights) and because Thailand has more to offer then seeing a small portion of Laos imo.

If I had 6 weeks starting in Koh Samui I would be checking out southern Thailand(Krabi, Khao Sok, Andaman Coast, maybe a little island like Koh Phayam or Chang) then make my way up to central Thailand (Kanchanaburi area) and finish in Bangkok. Then fly into Hanoi, see north Vietnam, work down the coast to Hoi An/Danang, fly into Ho Chi Minh and then working my way back up through Cambodia. This is just doable in 6 weeks and lets you see the best sights imo. Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang are nice but I would leave them as a future trip as you could easily spend 5 weeks in northern Thailand and Laos alone.

If you are set on skipping Thailand then you can do that and should have enough time to do something similar to somtam suggested. Just switch it to fly into Vientiane and out of Luang Prabang as these flights are usually cheaper. If you want to torture yourself to save money could take night train from Bangkok to Nong Khai and/or night bus from Luang Prabang to Hanoi.

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Posted by Keelyb34 on 1/11/2013 at 09:33


Thank you soooo much.

I have not seen thailand before, but as it is sooo easy to travel there from England and also cause I have heard from other travellers how amazing Laos is etc. I just fancy it more. I totally understand I can't see the whole of the countries maybe just a taster perhaps. It is really helpful what you have said. I am just confused as to where to fly out from back to uk. Bangkok is the cheapest. I think I need to make a plan. I am in china at the moment and that is so full on so a little rest in Thailand sounds great!

Thank you so much for your help


#7 Keelyb34 has been a member since 29/10/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by Geer1 on 1/11/2013 at 17:16

If you really want to see Laos, why don't you do what I recommended earlier and do Thailand, Laos and Cambodia? East to go back and see Vietnam which is best done in 4-5 weeks anyways.

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