Hello! my husband and I have been traveling in Thailand and Laos (only Luan Prabang so far) for the last month.
Our original plan was to follow the itinerary recommended here of the 4 countries (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam); however, we're thinking on skipping some of the small towns in Laos and Cambodia due to time matters.
I would like if someone could please let me know if what we're planning on doing is reasonable:
Luan Prabang - Van Vieng (bus)
Van Vieng - Viantiene (bus)
Viantine - Siem Reap (buses) - Preferably to do it in one day as i've read on some threads here
Siem Reap - Phon Penh (bus)
Phom Pehn - Saigon (bus??)
And then from Saigon all the way up to Hanoi stopping over at some beaches
Hanoi - Bangkok (fly)
thanks a lot!
#1 luchy1309 has been a member since 30/1/2009. Posts: 24
And I forgot to mention that I have a bit more than a month for this.
#2 luchy1309 has been a member since 30/1/2009. Posts: 24
You could save time by flying and using the Discovery Air Pass:
That way you could fly, avoid the long tedious bus journey's, and SAVE TIME.
The pass is purchased as a minumum of 3 legs and a max of 6.
It seems you're both into the tourist trail with a focus on tourist fun things, so some possibilities could be:
Vientiane > Siem Reap
Siem Reap > Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh > SaiGon
Saigon > Nha Trang /DaNang
The reason I say SaiGon > Nha Trang/Danang is that for many, there's only Mui Ne between SaiGon & Nha Trang and there are some good beaches northwards of Nha Trang (eg. Jungle beach - type in jungle beach in the Search Travelfish box above). If Nha Trang isn't on your 'must see' list, then skip up to DaNang and head back by bus to Hoi An (which I spose is on your list).
Also, I surmise you are hooked into Vang Vieng, so I didn't suggest a LP - Vientiane link.
I know the cost will be greater. But, I suggest the time made available in places where you can have fun will more than make up for the cost.
Elsewhere, ppl have indicated hassles with getting a Discovery pass in country. Others say they got it vie the web. But, there's an office in LP listed on the site.
- - -
An alternative is to look at the time/distance and book some legs - eg. Vientiane > Siem Reap which is a long timeframe.
definitely agree that flying can save time and help solve logistical issues on some of the longer and more difficult routes to cover, such as the vientiane to siem reap leg that bruce mentions above. i've certainly done my fair share of flying in thailand, laos, and cambodia, and the views from a good window seat on the aircraft can be worth the price of the ticket alone.
as a general comment, i'll also add that getting there can be half the fun as well as a big part of the backpacker experience, and flying can sometimes isolate you as a traveller from the things you came to see. so use it sparingly and strategically, similarly to bruce's suggestion above, so you'll have the extra time and energy to seriously explore the extra spectacular places. cheers.
as a follow-up comment, i'm pretty sure that the discovery air pass is only available from your home country, and not available once you've arrived in the area. but it is still a good idea for your next trip. regards.
I also thought that the pass was only available from outside SE Asia. The 'seller' appears to be Bangkok Airlines. I've spoken to a few that have said that 'outside' SEA means outside Thailand.
But, luchy1309, even if you can't get the pass, booking the airtickets on certain routes (though more expensive) may be a good option.
Also, don't rule out place > Kuala Lumpur > place on AirAsia as an option as some of their flights are so cheap. For example, their flight from Vientiane to KL, and another from KL to Seam Reap is together about half the Lao Air price.