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Southeast Asia forum

Thailand, Cambodia, Laos - How long to go for?

Posted by Munkychump on 19/8/2008 at 09:40

Hi guys,

I'm heading to Europe in a few months and thought I'd stop off in SEA on the way through (since it doesn't cost any extra)... I have been to Vietnam in 2007 (in which Travelfish was a great help!) so I want to cover off Thailand, Cambodia and Laos this time around.

Just wondering how long I should leave to explore before heading on to Europe?

I won't be making a detailed itinerary but want to have a rough idea of where to travel and keeping with these main points:

- I will be leaving at the end of October and flying into and (eventually) out of Bangkok.

- I am probably going to follow the crowd and spend New Years at the Full Moon party.

- I'd like to avoid mass tourist migration and hopefully go the road less travelled, although it is my first time travelling solo.

- I'd like to see as much of each country as possible but my budget (not including air travel) is about $5000 and I'm more keen to see Laos and Cambodia than Thailand.

I was thinking of the following rough plan..

1st week Nov - Thailand (getting adjusted to travelling)
2nd wk - 1st week Dec - Cambodia
2nd wk Dec - Head to Ko Phangan to beat the rush and secure accomodation.
After new years head up to Nth Thailand and into Laos
then back into Thailand for the flight out of Bangkok

I thought doing Cambodia in November would beat the main tourist rush around Christmas/New Year and then to do Laos in January as I assume it receives less Tourists than Thailand or Cambodia.

A few extra questions..
Can I enter Thailand unlimited times without a visa (assuming I leave within 30 days)?
How long do I need to explore North and South Laos without rushing?
Is 4 weeks enough to do a good run in Cambodia?

And I guess the big question is how long will $5000 last me as that's the biggest deciding factor?!

Sorry for such a long post but I really want to make sure I leave enough time between my flights so I don't have to pay a fee to change them later.


#1 Munkychump has been a member since 28/12/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by Lother on 19/8/2008 at 15:02

Well, your budget should not be a problem, you could make $5000 last five months at least.

Looking at your rough plan, I think it looks great, apart from spending over two weeks on Ko Phangan during the busiest of times! But then again, horses for courses, if it's your scene then go for it.

You can enter Thailand as many times as you want, as long as you stay in the country for under 90 days within a 6-month period.

I've only been to Southern Laos, but we spent 2 weeks there, mainly motorbiking, and felt there would've been much more to see still.

4 weeks in Cambodia sounds awesome, and November is a good time to go there in my opinion. Leaves plenty of time to check out smaller places too and explore the lovely northeast part of the country. Of course you could always spend longer there, but I think 4 weeks will give a good idea of the country.

#2 Lother has been a member since 12/5/2006. Location: Earth. Posts: 214
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Posted by Munkychump on 19/8/2008 at 19:50

Thanks for the advice :)

I'd love to motorbike around Laos but I've only ridden a bike a couple of times so I doubt I have enough experience.

The full moon party is not totally my scene but I would like to check it out and I'm at a loss as to what I'll do over christmas/new year! I'll actually aim to get to Ko Phangan about 4-5 days before the christmas party to get a room.

Thanks again for the advice, hopefully I can now decide flight times and get this thing booked!

#3 Munkychump has been a member since 28/12/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by Lother on 20/8/2008 at 03:43

To be honest, it was only the 2nd or 3rd time I'd ever ridden a bike, and apart from one treacherous jungle road (which we didn't have to take but decided to nonetheless), we had no problems whatsoever. The main roads between the Southern provincial capitals (Pakse, Sekong, Attapeu, Salavan) are great and there is very little traffic, apart from Pakse itself.

#4 Lother has been a member since 12/5/2006. Location: Earth. Posts: 214
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