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Southeast Asia forum

Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and do I get about?

Posted by kelpeta on 13/8/2007 at 01:52

I'm planning a 4 week trip across Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam but need some advice about how best to get from place to place (without having to fly everywhere but without wasting too much travel time!!)
The places we want to see are:

Bangkok - Chiang Mai (train?)
Chaing Mai - Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng (bus / taxi)
Vang Vieng - Siem Reap
Siem reap - Battambang (bus / taxi)
Battambang - Phnom Penh (bus / taxi)
Phnom Penh - Saigon
Saigon - Hue
Hue - Hanoi (bus / train)
Hanoi - Ha long Bay (train)
Ha long Bay - Hanoi (train)
Hanoi - Bangkok (flight)

Any advice about travel options between these places (especially from vang Vieng to Siem Reap and the long distances between certain places) or suggestions on changing the route to make it easier to get about would be great!

#1 kelpeta has been a member since 19/7/2007. Posts: 10

Posted by somtam2000 on 13/8/2007 at 06:50 admin

Hi Kelpeta,

Have you looked at our suggested itinerary section? That has loads of info on trip plans and suggested methods of transportation.

Vang Vieng to Siem Reap, I would suggest bus to Vientaine then fly to SR.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,937
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Posted by nackia on 15/2/2008 at 18:51


Im looking at doing a very similar trip - did you get any iedas on how you were travelling about and times - i seem to be struggling??

#3 nackia has been a member since 15/2/2008. Posts: 8

Posted by nackia on 15/2/2008 at 18:51


Im looking at doing a very similar trip - did you get any iedas on how you were travelling about and times - i seem to be struggling??

#4 nackia has been a member since 15/2/2008. Posts: 8

Posted by shelld on 16/2/2008 at 08:19

Hi Kelpeta

We're also doing a very similar trip in early March. We're flying from Bangkok to Chiang Rai ($40aud) staying overnight in Chiang Khong & then the slow boat to LP & onto Vang Vieng. Flying Vietiane to Pakse, bus to 4000 islands and then back to Pakse to fly to Siem Reap. Over land to PP, thru the Mekong to Saigon & then train up to Hanoi. We've only got 3 weeks so thats why we've opted to fly instead busing it. Planning on going back next year to see the sites we missed!!

#5 shelld has been a member since 23/12/2007. Posts: 16

Posted by Vivi on 9/3/2008 at 10:11

Hey guys, how r everyone?

I'm doing the same trip in may.. for 4 weeks as well... but i'm going by myself... I would like to know if anyone will be in Asia around 05 may until 05 june...



#6 Vivi has been a member since 9/3/2008. Posts: 1

Posted by rakhee2108 on 9/3/2008 at 15:05

Siem reap - Battambang - bus takes 3/4hrs, $5.

Battambang - Phnom Penh - bus takes 3/4 hrs, $5

Phnom Penh - Saigon - bus takes 12hrs, $15

Hanoi - Ha long Bay - I went with an organised tour. The bus trip took about 4hrs.

#7 rakhee2108 has been a member since 8/3/2007. Posts: 55

Posted by lauraskrink on 17/3/2008 at 14:33


BKK to Chiang Mai: there are two options train or bus! We plumped for the train and there are two options sleeper seats. Most people overnight the train but it is almost double to do so. Taking a sleeper is about 1100 baht (if i remember right) while a seat is about 700. Seats are pretty good but the whole ride is very bumpy and not the easiest to sleep on whatever option you choose. Book in advance though at the train station itself, as the train often fills up especiallt on weekends.
The bus is also pretty good and you can get an a/c VIP coach for about 600-700 baht which are also great. Friends recommended them!

Chiang Mai-Luang we took the slow option. Bus to Chiang Khong, stay overnight then cross to Huay Xai in Laos. Then take the 2 day slow boat through Pakbeng and arrive in Luang. It is pretty busy and can be very uncomfortable but you do see some of the country. But i do believe you can fly between the two saving quite a lot of time. We paid 1350 baht for the whole lot exc. food and accomodation in Pakbeng.

Luang- Vang Vieng. easy 6 hour bus ride with great scenery 125,000 kip.

Not sure about the bit in the middle through southern Laos.

PP- Saigon: nice easy trip through an agency. Takes 6 hours and $10 on an a/c bus. Remember that you need your Vietnam visa in advance.

Saigon- Hue There are an onslaught of overnight sleeper buses but avoid them if you can. they are often uncomfortable, busy and sometimes will stop before the destination and expect you to be happy about it! If you can afford the extra dosh get soft sleepers on the trains, they are much more comfortable and you can get a proper nights sleep on a soft bed!

Hue- Hanoi: as above

Hanoi-Ha Long: you could do this as an arganised trip. We paid $90 for a 3 day, 2 night trip from Hanoi inc everything except drinks and it was awesome. Budget trips start at $45+ but don't xpect the boats to be too awesome! Can do it independtly too but not sure of the cost.

Hanoi-BKK: fly with AirAsia as they are normally pretty cheap. Can probably fly for around $20-60 dollars depending on when you book!

#8 lauraskrink has been a member since 20/9/2007. Posts: 7

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