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Southeast Asia forum

I know youve heard it all before....

Posted by josandy1 on 11/3/2010 at 03:55

Hello All!

What a fantastic site, so much information... V.impressed!

Im just wondering if anyone can help me at all, me and my best friend are leaving on a 4 month trip on the 10th of April, we are both 19, its our first time back-packing and a tad worried!

We are flying into Bangkok and 2 months later out of Singapore where we go to our next destination.

We are really keen to do a few things, but any help/advice/ suggested itinarys would be much appreciated!

I really want to explore Laos and was thinking the Vientenine border crossing, then to van vieng? and also Cambodia if we have the time.

My only worry is that this is the total wrong direction for Singapore airport!

Any advice? Thank so much, im such a newbie!

Jo xxx

#1 josandy1 has been a member since 11/3/2010. Posts: 1

Posted by DLuek on 11/3/2010 at 12:26 TF writer

Hi Jo,

With two months you can do quite a bit - best place to start is the "suggested itineraries" on Travelfish... Then just read through the destinations and see if certain places catch your fancy. The Vientiane Friendship Bridge crossing is a fairly organized and good place to cross. You'll just need to do your research to figure out the logistics of getting from place to place.

The best thing to do is to research destinations, figure out which places you'd like to visit most, and then try to work those destinations into a loose plan, which you can always alter along the way as long as you know what you're doing. The downloadable travelfish guides also have a lot of good info on how to get around (and much more).

As for getting to Singapore you can book cheap flights (check Jetstar and/or Air Asia) to SIN from several large cities like Phnomh Penh, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. If you do go to Laos, you'll probably want to go in overland, explore, then leave overland and catch a flight from one of the larger cities (while it's possible to fly from Vientiane to Singapore, it's usually expensive and entails a layover in Bangkok). You should start researching now and come back to the forum with some more specific questions.

#2 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,298
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Posted by MADMAC on 16/3/2010 at 00:48

I would think that you could go cross into Laos on the Friendship bridge, spend some time in Vientiane and VV and then work your way down the Laotian panhandle and to Pakse, cross back into Thailand there, and from Ubon make you way back to Bangkok. You could do this in a leisurely manner with plenty of time to spare if you wanted to hit a beach or two before flying from BKK to Singapore.

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Posted by caseyprich on 16/3/2010 at 10:12

Going overland from Bangkok to Singapore the plan? I don't know how long or where the stopping is there - but it could be an interesting trip - otherwise take the above advice and fly from Bangkok to Singapore.

I think going up through Vientiane - then maybe a north detour to Luang Prabang (enjoyable) - down to the South of Laos to 4,000 Islands, across into Siam Reap to see Angkor Wat - then back into Thailand to hit some beaches, relax after your long trip. If time feels too tight, just head south without going to Luang Prabang, see the sights along the Mekong going downstream following the Laos-Thai border until 4,000 Islands and Pakse Area. I think you could still have time to get to Angkor that way.

Otherwise - you may want to check out Chiang Mia since you'll be in Thailand anyway, and from the North of Thailand you can rummage around a little bit then get into Laos - go through Luang Prabang and Vang Vien to Vientinne, go back into Thailand there and then hit some beaches before flying down to Singapore.

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Posted by francesstella on 17/3/2010 at 06:27

Hey Jo,

I was asking myself a similar question this time last year. We ended up taking the train North from Bangkok, stopping in Ayutthaya for some sightseeing then heading to Chiang Mai . We loved Chiang Mai. Besides the fact it's probably be the coolest place in Thailand you'll find in April, it has a super laid back reggae scene. We were listening to tons of live music & made friends with some local musicians who took us out every night - it's high up there in favourite moments!

From Chiang Mai we headed further North to Pai expecting to spend a day or two but got stuck for over a week. Again, it's a place with great atmosphere and tons of stuff to do, like slip sliding down waterfalls, visiting canyons and taking Muay Thai classes.

From Pai we arranged the slow boat into Laos. Very scenic. I wish we'd done the Gibbon Experience - look it up on Travelfish! We spent several days in Luang Prabang (gorgeous) before trying our luck in Vang Vieng - it's good fun for a few days. You could travel South through Laos after that. I wish we'd had time to visit the four thousand islands. From there on it's a breeze getting to Cambodia, then you'll just have to endure some long bus rides in between destinations ( Phnom Penh & Siem Reap/Angkor Wat being musts). As DLuek said, if you try ending your trip in either Phnom Penh or BKK you could easily get a cheap plane to Singapore.

Sorry to be rambling. To wrap it up, one of the things I wish someone had told me is how easy & flexible it is to travel in SEA. We rarely booked anything in advance. All we did was read up on our next stop the day before on Travelfish. If we liked a place, we stayed; if we didn't, we moved on. The bottom line is, you're probably gonna meet a bunch of people the minute you arrive and end up tagging along with each other to wherever takes your fancy. Unless you have really specific interests or aims, ie: if you're mainly looking to enjoy beautiful scenery & have fun, it's gonna be really hard to go wrong!

Take care,

#5 francesstella has been a member since 16/2/2009. Location: Italy. Posts: 95
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Posted by dedwood on 31/3/2010 at 12:01

I'm going echo basically what francesstella has said above. I did a similar route last December/January, except made it all the way down to the 4000 Islands in Laos before heading back via bus to Bangkok (4000 islands - Pakse - Ubon - Bangkok... it took an afternoon and a night but it was alright in the end, got to Bangkok around 6am).

All up I spent about 6 weeks in that journey, though we skipped through Vientiane on the way to Pakse. I was 19 at the time. I also strongly recommend Chiang Mai and the Gibbon Experience, both were definitely highlights of the trip.

#6 dedwood has been a member since 6/9/2009. Posts: 8

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