We are planning a ten day vacation and Laos has captured our fancy. Everyone is raving about Northern Laos, particularly Hua Xhai and Luang Prabang is what we are keen on exploring. We have barely ten days to spare and we dont want to spend all our time traveling. Another place that seemed very pretty to me is Halong Bay. We are not very keen on spending a lot of time in cities- being in forests , trekking , spending some time on a beach seems perfect .
So, this is what I have very roughly sketched out -
I was thinking fly into bangkok, take the nokair flight to luang prabang , spend 2 days there, take the boat to Hua Xhai , spend three days there and then to Vintanne , from there to bangkok , go to hua hin spend a day there..
I am still very hazy on the travel plans and would appreciate any advice on route/ destinations!
#1 Maitreyi has been a member since 15/6/2011. Posts: 5
You seem a little confused as to what you may do. Huay Xai is north of Luang Prabang and would be reached, usually, by a 2 day boat trip upriver. From there you can organise the Gibbon Experience. Vientiane is south of Luang Prabang, so in completely the opposite direction.
In my view, in 10 days, you may have just enough time to see Luang Prabang and its environs, plus a few days at the beach in Thailand, but no more than that. To save time you would need to fly.
Your first priority, though, is to familiarise yourself with where the different places are. A decent map and a good session on Travelfish will sort you out. Then come back with more questions.
hi maitreyi, your plans might be set back a little as you need to ascertain which day the gibbon experience is running. you'll also need to be there a day before to check in at their office. they're also extremely hard to get a hold off (i've been trying to book via email for a short while, but have not gotten any response back at all).
unless you've already been able to book??
#3 teeo88 has been a member since 14/6/2011. Posts: 13
Thanks Nokka and teeo88.
So the revised plan stands something like this.
25 June - We leave from Bangkok to Chiang Mai via Nok Air. Spend a night in Chiang Mai.
26 June - We proceed to Chiang Rai and Chiang Khong to Huay Xai . We intend to leave Chiang Mai by the 8 am bus so that we reach Huay Xai well in time before the border closes. Spend a night in Huay Xai as well as check into the office of Gibbon Experience.
27th and 28th June - waterfall gibbon experience (hopefully!!).
29th June - Take the 5pm bus for Luang Prabanag.
30th June - Reach LP at 8 am on 30th June. Spend 2 days in LP.
2nd July - Take a flight back to Bangkok . From Bangkok , proceed to Koh Samui via Nok Air . Spend 2 days in Samui .
4th July - Back to Bangkok and proceed to India.
Please let me know if there are any hitches in the travel itinerary other than the one mentioned by teeo88. I have mailed GE and intend to call them up tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed in that regard. The website said that they leave for the waterfall experience on odd dates and the classic experience on even dates.
Also, both of us are quite keen on Halong Bay. Is it worth it? I am thinking that I should ditch Samui and instead do Halong Bay cruise and head to India from Hanoi. Are there any suggestions in this regard?
Is there something better than LP in Laos. I am not keen on Vang Vieng but I am wondering about Vientiane. Also, opinions about Vang Vieng are welcome.
Lastly, if there is any way I can cut down on travel time , even if I have to drop some destination in favor of another, do let me know. We are not keen on spending a lot of time in cities, we would prefer wilderness and beaches and adventure . So, if there are any destinations that come to mind , please let me know!!
#4 Maitreyi has been a member since 15/6/2011. Posts: 5
An awful lot of moving around here, mostly by bus. Your losing in excess of a day and a half out of your ten days moving around. Were it me I would do either the beach or Laos - but not both. Even then, you're still short on time.
Agree. Except I think nearer 4 days out of 10 travelling. Personally, I think your itinerary looks more like an assault course than a holiday. Especially as you say you don't want to do much travelling.
Agreed! Which is my sole reason for posting on this forum in first place. I am trying to figure out which places to opt out of.. Anyway, I am currently thinking of ditching Laos altogether and doing Chiang Mai and Koh Samui . I am also contemplating ditching Thailand altogether and traveling to Indonesia since lonely planet says that the weather will be much better. Also, Bali while more difficult to get into, once we are there, it will have more to offer and travel will be easier. I am thinking maybe 5 days in Bali and 5 days in another location in Indonesia..
#7 Maitreyi has been a member since 15/6/2011. Posts: 5
maitriye, if you do decide to do the gibbon experience and do call them up to book, can you post back here and let me know how that goes?
#8 teeo88 has been a member since 14/6/2011. Posts: 13
Hi teeo88 ,
We are not doing Laos anymore but my friend had called up the GE people and they basically told us that that they have space. I'd suggest you directly call them up instead of waiting for them to respond via email . Good luck :)
#9 Maitreyi has been a member since 15/6/2011. Posts: 5
thank you! will call them up :)
#10 teeo88 has been a member since 14/6/2011. Posts: 13
This is the response GE sent us.
We have spaces available for you on the 27th of June.Thanks for your mail and your interest in our conservation activities.In June, a car will be leaving for the forest everyday.The Waterfall Experience departs on odd dates and the Classic Experiences oneven dates. The initial walk to your tree house may theoretically take upto 5 (five) to 7 (seven) hours long because on certain days, the car will notmake it to the end of the road. However this extreme case is unlikely to actually happen as we now have a dedicated truck and horses waiting for you up the firsthillon the other side of the Nam Ngao River. Guests to the Gibbon Experience,in the rainy season, should be in good physical shape as the trek is challenging,and be prepared to have a wet and muddy trip. Parts of the tree houses mayalso be wet and not as clean as we would like them to be. Finally, the time actuallyspent in the canopy will be shorter than in the dry season as a result of longerwalks. The rainy season is nevertheless the best season to discover the diversityof colors, sounds and wild species of the Bokeo National Park: those who chooseto join are always rewarded._What to bring _ (you can find all of this next to our office)Poncho, flashlight, mosquito repellent and gloves if your hands are delicate,a bottle of water for the first trek (you can refill it once you have reached your tree house)a long sleeve T-shirt. Please bring a small and light bag and let your big bag in our office.If you have no appropriate shoes, you will find cheap (3 usd) and excellent plastic onesnext to our office (but the biggest size is 43). Please don t use sandals.Think to protect your camera!Departure dates and fares (per person, individuals or groups alike):Classic Gibbon Experience: 2 200 000 Kips (advance online payment: approx. 270 USD or 200 Euro upon daily exchange rates )= Even days: 2nd, 4th, etcWaterfall Gibbon Experience: 2 200 000 Kips (advance online payment: approx. 270 USD or 200 Euro upon daily exchange rates )= Odd days: 1st, 3rd, etcThe Gibbon Experience includes:* Exclusive access to the Bokeo Nam Kan National Park* Transportation to and from the National Park* Accommodation in a canopy-level tree house complete with runningwater, semi-private comfortable bedrooms, and a spectacular view* Fire-cooked meals* Unlimited access to an extensive canopy cable-gliding network forexploring the treetops* Local guides with a good knowledge of the forest and a basic EnglishTo make a*booking in advance*, please follow the next steps:1- Send us an e-mail with your full name, passport number and nationality, and indicate your date preference for joining the Gibbon Experience.2- We will get back to you by e-mail with a possible date.3- E-mail us to say if the date is suitable for you.4- A Paypal money request will then be sent to your e-mail address.Follow the link and pay within 5 days the fare to the Gibbon Experiencethrough Paypal (secure online payment, you just need avalid credit card or a Paypal account) to confirm your booking. Shouldyou fail to proceed to this on line payment within 5 days, your bookingwill be cancelled.Please note that to change your trip dates upon availabilities, you haveto give us as much notice as possible. In case you were tocancel your trip, please refer to the _reimbursement in case ofcancellation _paragraph at the bottom of this e-mail.5- Come to our office in Houayxay the day before departure (we closeat 7pm) to sign in. If you are coming from Louang Namtha by roadtransportation and prefer to sleep in Ban Donchai instead, pleasemention it in your e-mail and refer to the last paragraph of this e-mail.To try a*last minute booking*, please come directly to our office.PLEASE consider the use of cables only as a smart way to access thecanopy: making it the main purpose of your visit, you would lose outmost of the experience ;-)I have attached more information below. Please read all the informationcarefully before you make a booking.Looking forward to hearing from you.
#11 Maitreyi has been a member since 15/6/2011. Posts: 5
thanks alot maitreyi. sucks that they haven't replied to my email :( lol.
#12 teeo88 has been a member since 14/6/2011. Posts: 13
i tried calling them, but no one is picking up? i'm using the no. from their website:
Phone: (084) 21 20 21
is that what you're friend used as well?
#13 teeo88 has been a member since 14/6/2011. Posts: 13