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Southeast Asia forum

Help on my five week itinerary through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia

Posted by nateyu on 19/11/2007 at 08:08


We are in the process fo planning a five week journey through southeast asia and was hoping that you all could give us some input on our rough itinerary. I know we are being rather ambitious, but we are using Bangkok Airway's Discover Asia Pass to hopefully save some valuable time:

6/10-6/11 Hong Kong – 2 days
- Flight to Ko Samui, ferry to Ko Pha Ngan
6/12-6/15 Thai Islands – Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao – 2 days on each island
- Ferry to Ko Samui, flight to Bankok
6/16-6/18 Bangkok – 3 days
- Flight from Bangkok to Chang Mai
6/19-6/23 Chang Mai – 5 days
- Flight to Luang Prabang (Outside of Discover Asia Pass, Lao Air)
6/24-6/26 – Luang Prabang – 3 days
- 6 to 8 hour bus to Vang Vieng
6/27-6/28 – Vang Vieng – 2 days
- 3 to 4 hour bus to Vientiane,
6/29-6/30 – Vientiane – 2 days
- Flight e to Hanoi
6/31-7/2 – Hanoi/ Hanlong Bay – 3 days
- Flight to Danang (outside of Discover Asia Pass), 1 hour bus to Hoi An
7/3-7/4 – Hoi An – 2 days
7/5-7/7 – Ho Chi Min – 3 days
- Mekong Express to Phenom Phen (leaves at 7am, gets in around 1pm)
7/8-7/10 – Phnom Pehn – 3 days
- Taxi or Mekong Express to Siem Reap (~4 hrs)
7/11-7/13 – Siem Reap, Angkor Wat – 3 days
- Flight to Hong Kong
7/14 – Hong Kong – 1 day

My questions are:
1) Is this a feasible itinerary and do you think there any of the places have too little/too much time (5 days is being given to Chiang Mai b/c we would like to do a trekking trip)?
2) Out of the three places in Laos, which one should I give 3 days to?
3) What is the best way to get from Hoi An to Ho Chi Min?

Thanks so much!

#1 nateyu has been a member since 30/10/2007. Posts: 9

Posted by nateyu on 19/11/2007 at 08:11

Sorry for accidentally double posting. Administrators, please feel free to delete one of the repeat posts...

#2 nateyu has been a member since 30/10/2007. Posts: 9

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Posted by somtam2000 on 19/11/2007 at 11:54 admin

Hi nateyu,

1) Probably the only point that jumps out at me is two days on Ko Pha Ngan and two days on Ko Tao. I'd suggest picking one of the other and enjoying four days on that island -- otherwise you'll spend too much time that could be on the beach, packing, trf to pier, ferry trip, trf to gueshouse, unpacking and then wandering down to a near identical beach to the one you just left!

Chiang Mai is certainly worth five days -- see exacto's Chiang Mai trip report to see just why.

2) Luang Prabang

3) If you're not stopping along the way, then fly (youi'll need to backtrack to Da Nang). Otherwise I'd suggest breaking the trip somewhere (Nha Trang is the most popular spot) and take the train.

Hope that helps

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by nateyu on 19/11/2007 at 14:05

Thanks so much for your input. The reason we'd like to do both Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao is that we'd like to experience the Black Moon party on Ko Pha Ngan and the world famous diving at Ko Tao. With that in mind, do you still recommend that we choose one or the other. And if so, do you think four days would be too much and instead add another day to one of the other locations(if so which one)? Thanks!

#4 nateyu has been a member since 30/10/2007. Posts: 9

Posted by jimsparadise on 19/11/2007 at 21:20

Quite ambitious, Yes. I only want to squeeze in 3 countries and I have 4 months. 3 nights in Chiang Mai would help and only need 2 for Angkor Wat, unless you like major heat/no shade for an extra day--one day exploring was enough for myself--I understand others who wish to examine it more closely. I'd spend at least 1 extra day on islands at beginning of trip to relax like previous reviewer commented on. Sihanoukville in Cambodia is a nice stop as well. This site has great guesthouse reviews for all these areas as you have probably already seen. Have fun....

#5 jimsparadise has been a member since 25/11/2006. Posts: 30

Posted by nateyu on 20/11/2007 at 01:20

Thanks for you input Jim,

We've taken to you're advice and taken one of the days from Angkor Wat and added it to the islands. We've also taken Somtam's advice and decided to stay all five days on one island and make a day trip to one of the others instead of splitting the days up. Of the three islands, which do you recommend making our home base - Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, or Ko Tao? Thanks again

#6 nateyu has been a member since 30/10/2007. Posts: 9

Posted by somtam2000 on 20/11/2007 at 17:58 admin

My vote would be for Ko Pha Ngan as it has good ferry connections to both islands.

#7 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by downundergal on 25/11/2007 at 15:19

I think you are doing the right thing with sticking with one island rather than splitting your time between the two islands. When we were on Koh Tao there was a full moon party on and there are boats to ferry you over and if you survive bring you back- wait until morning to return as the night boats can be dangerous. Yes, we met lots of casualties the next day mainly from the magic mushies.
The diving on Koh Tao is good we stayed and dived with Bans diving, they are professional and offer a range of accom from dorms to flashpacker to pretty flash.

#8 downundergal has been a member since 28/2/2005. Location: Australia. Posts: 15

Posted by AbigailatPenhandInk on 20/12/2010 at 12:26 TF writer

By the way, a bus to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh is definitely more than 4 hours. I wouldn't plan to do much else that day except find your accommodation and enjoy the town in the evening.

#9 AbigailatPenhandInk has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 178
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Posted by caseyprich on 20/12/2010 at 20:21

wow - 3 years old and over 2500 views . . . but the advice keeps coming

#10 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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