We are trying to add in a side trip to Siem Reap/Ankgor Wat as part of our upcoming trip to Thailand (3 weeks total) and we aren't sure how best to do it. I'd love to go from CM to SR directly and then on to Bangkok but I can't seem to figure out a way to do it easily. Any suggestions?
We could also travel from BKK to SR and then on to CM, but we were planning to stop in Sukhothai on the way to CM so what is the best route there? Thanks in advance!
#1 woiwoden has been a member since 3/12/2010. Posts: 3
Most direct and quickest is to fly from CM to Luang Prabang in Laos stay here for 3 nights - you wont regret it! From Luang Prabang you can fly to Seam Reap then on to BKK. Overland from CM will be a nightmare direct! Again one option would be to take a bus to Nan - quiet and hidden - awesome scenery and unspoilt, and travel onwards to Luang Prabang by road. Take the flight LP to SR.
We are open to flying or overland. Would it make more sense to fly from BKK to PP/SR and then on from there?
#4 woiwoden has been a member since 3/12/2010. Posts: 3
CM to Luang Prabang by air will be much cheaper than returning to Bangkok and far quicker.
Likewise a bus from CM to Nan and bus to LP will take around 10 hrs - same time as bus trip back down to BKK. Seam reap is much closer to BKK. LP to Seam Reap overland is not feasible if you want quick travel - the roads in Laos are grim.
I recommend Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang by air for speed, via Nan overland if you have a spare couple of days, and then fly Luang Prabang to Siem Reap , and then fly Siem Reap to BKK. You can get visa on arrival at both airports. Allow 2 nights Luang Praban and 3 nites Seam Reap. Come to Nan for a night is also worth it if you want to see a totally different Thailand
I'd just make a roundtrip (Bangkok - SR ... 4 days) after poking around in Thailand for a couple of weeks, especially if you are flying home from Bangkok. You could do a loop that incorporated Sukhothai and Chiangmai without having to backtrack. You'd get to see some nice little towns, too. For example, you could head towards Mae Hong Son via Soppong, then down towards Hod, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, etc. etc. and then Bangkok.
Personally, I'd opt for a trip that did not take in Chiangmai at all. You could go from Sukhothai over the mountains to Loei, then up to Chiang Khan on the Mekong River. Then you could follow the Mekong to Sangkhom, then head to Nong Khai from which you could take the night train back to Bangkok. THEN do your trip to SR.
All of these jaunts can be done very easily and inexpensively by bus. Scenery in all of these areas is spectacular.
Just another option or two.
As noted above, Nan is a very nice part of the country that doesn't see many visitors. It's gorgeous, actually. Worth checking out. So is the Mekong.