Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

3 week trip-help needed!

Posted by aleks on 14/9/2010 at 23:26

Hello,

I'm planning a three week trip to SE Asia at the beginning of October. Late notice i know but the time has recently come available and I want to fill it with a bit of a holiday.
I'm after a bit of advice really- is 3 weeks enough time to fully investigate Laos? What would be the best path the get there and back again? What are the places to visit and things to do?
I would normally reserach myself but with the lack of time available I thought this would be a good way of gethering information.

Many thanks to anyone that replies to this.

#1 aleks has been a member since 14/9/2010. Posts: 2

Posted by exacto on 15/9/2010 at 02:44

Hi Aleks,

Three weeks is a decent enough amount of time for Laos. You could spend it all in the north, all in the south, or try to squeeze in the full length of the country. Laos is relatively small, but remember that getting from place to place takes a bit more time than other places.

Assuming you are flying in and out of Bangkok, you might try to make your way north in Thailand and then eventually over to Luang Prabang. You can fly directly from Chiang Mai or take the river boat out of Chiang Rai province. From there work down towards Vientiane, and then onwards through Savannakhet and Pakse, before heading back to Bangkok for the trip home. There are other worthwhile destinations in Laos too, including the Plain of Jars, Bolevans Plateau (near Pakse), and the 4,000 islands near the southern border with Cambodia.

You've got plenty of time to do the research you need before your trip, so set aside a few hours and read the information on Travelfish. It will help you decide which areas are most interesting to you and which types of things you'd like to experience. Just be careful not to cram too much into your itinerary. A place like Laos moves at a slow pace, which is a refreshing change of pace and likely the reason folks like visiting there so much.

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Posted by caseyprich on 15/9/2010 at 06:01

I spent 3 weeks in Northern Laos last February and the thing to remember is the trip time between places. Example: Luang Prabang to Phonsovan (Plain of Jars) is a solid day travel. You could easily spend time coming into the country via Vientiane-VV and then up to Luang Prabang looping about the north via Phonsovan, Sam Neua, Nong Kiaow (Muang Ngoi) and back into Luang Prabang or if time permits up to Luang Nam Tha. You wouldn't get to see the South but you'd get a nice footing in the North.

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Posted by aleks on 16/9/2010 at 22:38

Just a quick one,

whats the best method of getting from bangkok to vientiane and how long would it take approximately? Thanks Again

#4 aleks has been a member since 14/9/2010. Posts: 2

Posted by exacto on 17/9/2010 at 00:08

the best way is to fly. i'm guessing there are still several direct flights per day. a more romantic and much cheaper option, however, is to take the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok's Hualamphong station. it's about a 12-hour train trip or so, plus extra time for crossing the border at the Friendship Bridge and the trip into Vientiane from there.

i've heard that the train goes all the way now, but don't know if that is actually true or not. if you go by train though, you can also make a nice stopover in Nong Khai.

anyway, check out the State Railway of Thailand website for details on train times and prices.

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Posted by caseyprich on 17/9/2010 at 06:46

I should add that part of my 3 weeks was making my way from Kunming, Yunnan down into Laos overland - took off 3 days. So you would have plenty of time to play around in the North.

That said I've been grinding my teeth trying to get back to Laos and see the South ever since.

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