What a great site, I found so much good advice here, I am even more excited about my trip. This is the only time I can go so I will be going to hot south east asia between May 8th and july 3rd arriving and leaving from Bangkok. I looked on the threads and saw the great itineraries and read the weather pages but I am not sure what is the best direction to go in given the weather at the time of my trip. I want to do a week on a beach at the end and would welcome recomendations, but mainly I need to figure out which countries to hit first to do the best I can with the weather...
Places I want to visit are chang Mai, Luang Prabang, Ventiane, Hanoi, Sapa, Halong, hue, and cambodia. Should I do Chiang Mai in Early May or mid June or is it just too hot there? should I start with Hanoi and north Vietnam or with Laos? The weather pages mention that Laos suffers from a lot of slash and burn agriculture in May. Is it better to go there in June or is it pretty much the same smoky time?
Thanks again for sharing your insights.
#1 natachar has been a member since 3/5/2008. Posts: 2
Welcome to Travelfish Natacha,
You have not mentioned southern Vietnam, so I'd suggest you try and add that in, just to make a more convenient circle... then you could do something like:
Bkk -> Siem Reap (Angkor) either overland or fly
Siem Reap -> Phnom Penh (overland or boat or fly)
Phnom Penh -> Chau Doc (boat)
then either hang out in the Mekong Delta for a couple of days, or head straight to Saigon
Saigon -> Hue (fly or train)
Hue -> Hanoi (fly or train)
hanoi -> Ha Long Bay and back
Hanoi -> Sapa (train)
Sapa -> Dien Bien Phu (bus)
Dien Bien Phu -> Muang Khua (in Laos, via the Tay Trang border crossing)
Muang Khua -> Luang Prabang (bus and boat)
Luang Prabang -> Vientiane (bus)
Vientiane -> Chiang Mai (fly)
Chiang Mai -> Bangkok (bus/train/fly)
The above is doable in the amount of time you have. I wouldn't change your plans according to the smoke -- the entire region is affected.
Hope the above helps getting the planning going!
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,770
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Thank you so much I was thinking of going the other way starting with Chiang Mai and going from Hue to south Laos to Cambodia so this is a big change. I had taken the south out for fear of heat and in order to spend more time in each place. I will check it out again. I was looking at going through Dien Bien Phu but I thought the roads might be washed out. Maybe this is what happens later?
#3 natachar has been a member since 3/5/2008. Posts: 2