My partner and I are 60 years young and reasonably fit seasoned travelers and have booked to travel to Chiang Mai in October. We have been to Bangkok a few times and Phuket and surrounding areas so know a little of Thailand but we have never been up north. What we were thinking of doing was staying 4/5 nights in Chiang Mai then travel to Chiang Khong to get the slow boat down the Mekong to ?
Also we thought it might be possible to go to Cambodia to see Ankar Wat. Does anyone have any ideas if this is do able in the 3 weeks we have and also what are the must see/do experiences out of Chiang Mai? We are interested in going to an elephant camp for a few days and perhaps some easy/moderate treks in the surrounding areas.
#1 Annielay has been a member since 23/6/2014. Posts: 17
travel to Chiang Khong to get the slow boat down the Mekong to ?
Pakbeng (halfway point for overnight) then Luang Prabang. That's the standard (only) slow boat route that operates daily. Every travel agent in Chiang Mai /Rai/Khong has the details and sells package deals, or you can just buy the ticket at the boat ramp the morning of departure. From LP you can get a bus or minivan down to Vang Vieng (another popular stopover) and Vientiane. I'd allow at least 7-8 days for the Laos portion of your trip.
With 5 days in Chiang Mai plus transport (from Bangkok?) you're at about 2 weeks and could squeeze in a couple days at Angkor Wat, but probably look at flight options due to limited time. Laos Airlines flies VTE-REP direct.
As for activities in Chiang Mai it's really easy to plan as you go, so sit down with a local travel agent and peruse the many options. As for elephant camps the one that is always booked out in advance is called Elephant Nature Park - very popular! Otherwise it's worth having a day just to explore the old city, visit some temples, try local foods, visit street markets (Sunday walking street is a must-do). Plus a day trip up to Doi Suthep temple and some villages. Happy planning...