Hello all, just joined!
My route is Vietnam - Cambodia - Laos - North Thailand - Flight to South Thailand - Bangkok - Singapore.
I'm on my way to Siem Reap tomorrow and I plan on staying there a few days to check out the temples. I did a bit of reading and weighed up my options and decided I would fly to Laos rather than backtrack on myself and go through all the hassle. I'm flying with Laos Airlines and I'm going to Pakse . I've did some reading and note taking - I've yet to pick up my Laos lonely planet, which should proably ease my worrying a little. I know what I would like to see, it's merely co-ordinating it at this point and I keep getting confused where everything and don't really want to be going round in circles.
I want to see the 4,000 islands if possile and I know thats in Don Khon which is south of Pakse - a 4-6 hour drive right?
Then I wanted to see the Bolevan Plateau, I think thats in Champansak which is west of Pakse right?
Would like to see Wat Phou too, but I don't know where that is, then head up to Vientiane and eventually into Thailand in the Chang Rai direction
I'm struggling to co-ordinate the best route and would really apprecite some help!
Also, is there a Thai embassy in Laos where I can get my visa for 30days instead of a 20 day one (as I'll be crossing over land), do I have to pay etc?
#1 JoeFox17 has been a member since 21/6/2010. Posts: 1
Your plan from flying into pakse and then going to 4000 islands is not the best solution I think.
I'd book a bus from Siem reap to 4000 islands, otherwise you would have to come back down from pakse (it's not 4-6 hours, only 2-3h).
So stopover at 4000 islands (best place to stay is Don Det and do a day trip to don Khone (not don khong!!!) from here I'd go to pakse, relax a bit and rent a motherbike to drive back down to champasak (it's a real experience if you do it yourself by bike), about 1.30h by motorbike, cross the river on a small raft with your motorbike to get to the temples(wat phou)! In the evening drive back to pakse.
You have to ask the locals to show you directions and stuff, so if you speak a little bit of lao it might help you in a way cause you'll need it.
Thai embassy is in vientianne you can go there by yourself to arrange your visa or just drop it off at a guesthouse and for a few dollars more you got your visa the next day.
If you get your visa in advance you don't have to pay at the border, just a few border fees you'll have to pay, I think it's 1 dollar in total and a small fee for the bus to take you to thailand.
If you fly to Pakse and then head south to the Si Phan Don area, you WILL be backtracking.
You could avoid this by going from Siem Reap to the border crossing at Veun Kham/Dom Kralor by land. This crossing will take you into the Si Phan Don area. From there you will go north along the Mekong towards Pakse. Champasak is on the opposite side of the river, about 40 km south of Pakse. Wat Phu is 10 km south of Champasak. There is a ferry crossing at Ban Muang, about 5 km west of the main highway.
From Champasak you can continue on to Pakse by land or by boat and, from there, head to the Bolaven Plateau.
If you cross into Laos this way you'll probably need to have your Laotian visa beforehand. You can get your Thai visa in Vientiane. Yes, you have to pay.
Also, you say that your route is North Thailand - Flight to South Thailand - Bangkok - Singapore. Are you planning on flying to southern Thailand and then going back to Bangkok and then Singapore? If so, I would suggest that you don't fly to southern Thailand. Go from northern Thailand down to Bangkok by land, then continue by train or bus to southern Thailand, unless you're really pressed for time. You can continue on to Singapore by land (train or bus) through Malaysia, or you can take a flight from Phuket.
I'm with fondo, and a heck of a lot of people hanging out in Pakse are going or coming from Si pon don (4000 beckpecker islands)
Boloven Plateau is in Champasak Province, so is Pakse and everything else.
Maps are your freind
I'd skip the guide and get a map.