I have about a month vacation in december-january, and was thinking of spending either a month in Laos or splitting my time between Laos and Vietnam, both of which I've never been to. I'm worried that 2 weeks in Vietnam might be too rushed. Is a full month in Laos too much?
#1 gatoguts has been a member since 23/7/2012. Posts: 11
maybe. depends on your tastes and what you are after. Some people only sit 29 days in Muang Singh doing what anyone does there.
PLus: VN is also too big too all in 30 days-so simply narrow it down to like any visitor always does: to the places that seems most interesting. NOOne will after your visit make an exam to check if you have seen it all.
#2 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472
Two weeks in Vietnam is definitely too rushed unless you just focus on one area (ie north or south). Whether or not you'd be happy spending a month in Laos really depends on what you want to do when you are there. If you're looking at hitting the main, popular highlights then you might find if a bit too long. But if you're keen to slow things down, and want to venture away from the main travel route, you could quite easily kill a month there.
To spend a month in Laos, aim to spend half the time in the north , and the other half in the South (Pakse, Bolaven Plateau, Champasak, 4000 Islands, etc).
If you want to split your time between Laos and Vietnam, then focus on the northern half of Laos.
Where have you already been in the region? Where are you arriving/departing? What kind of vacation do you want and what kinds of things do you like to do?
Personally, I'd be thrilled to have an entire month to spend in Laos. It would give me time to visit a few spots I haven't been to yet and re-visit some favorite places.
Like the others say, it depends on what you want to do. If a slow-paced adventure is your style, Laos is perfect and there is easily a month of stuff to do.
If you split the time between Laos and Vietnam, busylizzy suggested focusing your laos time in the north. But the south is a pretty great spot to visit too. If you focused there you could move to Vietnam or through Cambodia into Vietnam. Cheers.
"If you focused there you could move to Vietnam or through Cambodia into Vietnam."
I certainly wouldn't try to see 3 countries in a month.
#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Exacto is quite right in saying the Southern Laos quite nice, too. However, I thought I'd explain why I suggested the north if you will only spend two weeks there. If you are wanting to see highlights, this suggests to me that you are more likely to be a person that wants to focus on the key, popular tourists sites (Luang Prabang, VV, etc) - and there is probably more to see/do in the north, and there will be more tourists/ravellers around for company.
Things in southern Laos are quieter and even more laid back, less people except perhaps in the Islands area. I think it's great. But if you're someone that wants a bit more activity I can't help but think that the north will provide that more so than the south. But it just comes down to what sort of experience that you are looking for. Any of the options are good - Laos is a lovely country.
"I certainly wouldn't try to see 3 countries in a month."
I wasn't suggesting that either. But depending on where the OP wanted to go in southern Vietnam, it might be easier to travel there from southern Laos via Cambodia than backtracking via some other route.
But now that lizzy made such a good case for focusing on northern Laos, I'd agree that staying north in Laos is the better option. Regards.
I've been to Laos twice for roughly 3 weeks - one excursion in the North, I took my time some places but still missed out on getting up to Luang Nam Tha area; one excursion in the south, I was pretty satisfied with my time spent. Still haven't made it to Vientiane or Vang Vieng that big cave the name of which I can not remember. . .
So my thought is that you will not get bored in a month - and great thing about Laos is that it can stay fairly cheap compared to anywhere else you may travel in SE Asia.