Myself and 2 friends (all girls incase this is relevant) have 4 weeks in thailand this summer - we've heard great things about laos and wondered if its possible/wise to attempt laos in 6 days??!!! we land in bangkok on 24th july, plan to possibly do 3 day jungle trek in chiang mai then head to loas, need to get to koh phangan by 3rd aug in prep for full moon party.
how should we get from chiang mai to loas?
and where would people recommend if we've got such a short time?
are we being a bit ambitious?!!!
any help/advice most welcome!!!!!
thank you in advance
#1 feeona_lou has been a member since 29/6/2009. Posts: 2
My advice would be to fly into Luang Prabang if you can stretch the budget for airfares and just spend the 6 days in that region. There is plenty see and do there - eating, drinking, meeting lovely people, temples, markets, elephant treks, eating, water falls, eating, Pak Ou caves - and you will get a feel for the country (you can go home and save to go back).
I think if you try to do more you will just end up travelling from A to B and not really enjoying the place!
#2 smartlyndy has been a member since 7/5/2009. Posts: 33
I'm with smartlyndy on this.
I suggest you either focus on Laos properly - even after the beach party - or stay in northern Thailand.
The only comment I'd make about Luang Prabang is that you'll hardly touch Laos there: it's a western holiday town serviced by Lao people, and catering to western wants. So, you won't get a 'flavour' of Laos unless you move away. You could consider taking a boat from LP up the Nam Ou to Nong Khiaw and do a trek from there - maybe bus return.
If you are 'into' trekking, also go look at the Gibbon Experience. That WILL be a journey you won't forget. Go BKK > Chiang Khong (overnight bus), cross over the Mekong (the town on the other side is Huay Xai) and the Gibbon Experience people will take you from there.
type Gibbon Experience into the 'Search Travelfish' box on top and go from there.
There are heaps of other ideas, but it would help if you replied with more details on the sorts of activities and experiences you're really after.
laos is pretty great, so i can see why you'd want to squeeze in a visit for 6 days. it certainly would be possible, either as the guys have suggested above, or perhaps by flying directly from chiang mai to luang prabang for about 4 days. then you'd either bus (with a potential stopover in vang vieng en route, or not!) or fly from there to vientiane for 2 days. after that you could catch the bus from vientiane back into thailand and either a) nong khai for the overnight train trip back to bangkok or b) udorn thani for a flight back to bangkok and points south.
having said that, i'm not sure that i'd do it given the timeframe you've mentioned. six days would be rushing it for sure, as well as taking time away from other options in thailand like kanchanaburi or sukhothai or a trip along the thai side of the mekong river and other stuff like that. there is so much to do and your 4 weeks will go quickly!
plus, the added expense of heading to laos for such a short time (flight, visa, etc.) would make me think twice about doing it.
any chance you can do it after the full moon party as suggested above?
just to muck things up a bit, how about heading over to siem reap and angkor wat for that time instead? you could easily knock out that side trip in the six days you have.
or just to muck things up more, how about a trip to kuala lumpur in malaysia instead? bruce made a killer suggestion in a different thread about how cheap the air asia flights are to KL. that would add good variety to your trip too.
anyway, the short answer would be that yes you can do it, and you'll have a great time. but it will be a bit expensive and a bit rushed and a bit ambitious. how badly did you want to visit laos? cheers.
I'm with Bruce here - why do you want to go to Laos? What kind of activities or experience are you looking for? You're heading to the full moon party - except for VV, Laos isn't a party place. On the other hand you're also going trekking out by Chiang Mai. Laos has some of that going for it... If you start with what you like to do, it's easier to advise you on where to go.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
we've decided it too tight and although we would love to visit laos, that we would be wasting too much time travelling to and from , that we would be better spending more time in thailand.
Thank you all for the advice though! greatly appreciated!
#7 feeona_lou has been a member since 29/6/2009. Posts: 2
You made the right call... don't listen to Rufus, he's biased.
#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957