Hi, my first post! I've looked over others similar but not found exactly the info I need. I have 1 1/2 months, and am currently in Chaning Mai. I initially planned to head to Laos but changed my mind due to hot weather and smoke issues. I want to go to Vietnam, and Cambodia, and at least one or two islands that have easily accessible (ie from shore) snorkelling, and- I love the jungle). I would like to leave Chaing Mai right away, but also have the issue of no visa for Vietnam. Any suggestions for getting one in short order and recommended ways to tackle this trip (hopefully avoiding the woefully hot weather in some kind of orderly fashion)! Ideally I would prefer to end up in Camobida and make my way back to Chaing Mai, where I fly home from in late May. Thanks so much for any ideas and reading my rambling so far.
#1 Thatgirl has been a member since 4/4/2010. Posts: 2
You can get your Vietnam visa online -it takes two days to process. I got mine through this website without any problem:
That will take 2 days to process your application and send you your approval letter. You just need to print it out and take it to the airport with you.
More info is on the website.
I live right on the border with Laos, and it isn't that hot right now. I'm wearing jeans and a t-shirt and I'm fine. If you're sensitive to the heat... well, it is Southeast Asia, it's going to get warm. But right now I don't find it all that hot. I would think you'd want to be here for Songkran though.
Thanks for your reply. I guess I have a couple of options, and with them a couple more questions.
I was also wondering about the smoke in Laos as I heard that the farmers are currently burning.Is it any worse than Chaing Mai at this time of year? If I decide to go to Laos, at this time is it advised to bus to Nonkai, Huay Xai, then take a boat? I have heard that the water is too low to take a boat making it a bit of an unsafe idea. Has anyone done this trip recently? Another idea might be to bus to Udon Thani,then up to Vientiane. I could also save Laos for the end of the trip in mid May.
Alternatively, if I go the other route to Vietnam and fly, is there an airline anyone can recommend for cheap flights?
Thanks again for ideas and suggestions!
#4 Thatgirl has been a member since 4/4/2010. Posts: 2
the main island in vietnam is phu quoc and there isn't any snorkeling off shore - you have to take a boat to the islands south - more of a day trip.
if you haven't been to Ko Chang on the cambodia border there is some snorkeling off shore of Ko Wai. From there you can enter Cambodia (not the best crossing I hear) and go into vietnam from the south - but that would mean flying down to Trat or taking the bus - so if you want to leave Thailand now it's not the best option. but, you then travel through cambodia first, head up vietnam as the heat increases and for may you can enter laos and go through the north on your way back to chiang mia.
I like the burn season. The smoke in the air reminds me of my grandfathers old wood burning stove. In my experience (and Somsai is really the guy to ask on this one) the smoke in the air is noticeable but not obnoxious. It's a pleasant background odor. I'm sure in some places it's worse than others, but for the most part I don't think it's horrible.