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Advice Itinerary 2 months: Thailand, Laos & Cambodia

Posted by andreabarbera on 22/3/2013 at 09:48

Hello!

I'm a 22 year old woman, first time solo traveler and I'm planning a trip through South East Asia. I have 2 months; from the beginning of May to the very last day of June (60 days because of the Thailand visa) and I'd like to visit Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Flying to and returning from Phuket.

I've been reading tones of Blogs, sample itineraries, travel guides... about it and I have finally decided a draft itinerary that allows me to taste a bit of everything. I'd really appreciate any suggestions and feedback, regarding itinerary, time allocations..

THAILAND (around 3-4 weeks)
Phuket (4 days)
-Visit to Phang- Nga (day trip)
-Ko Phi Phi
-Ko Lanta
Krabi (3 days)
-Railay
Surat Thani (5 days)
-Ko Samui
-Ko Pha- Ngan
-Ko Tao
Chumphon
[train/bus to Samut Songkhram]
Samut Songkhram (1 day)
Kanchanaburi - is it worth it to include a couple of days here or should I just excluded?
Bangkok- just 1 day as I will come back with time

[train to Phitsanulok]
Phitsanulok & Sukhothai (3 days)
Chiang Mai (3 days)
Chiang Rai (2 days)

LAOS (2 weeks)
Huay Xai
-The Gibbon Experience (1-2 days)
Luang Nam Tha (2 days)
Nong Khiaw (1 day)
Luang Prabang (1 days)
Vientiane (2 day)
"the loop" (3-4 day trip):
-Nakai
-Lak Sao
-Khoun Kham
-Kong Lo Cave
[to do "the loop", do you know if is possible to rent a motorbike in the origin and leave it in the destiny?]
Pakse (1 day)
-Bolaven Plateau
-Tat Lo
Si Phan Don (2 days)

CAMBODIA (2 weeks)
Stung Treng (2 days)
-Mekong Discovery Trail
-Kratie
Kompong Cham (1 day)
Phnom Penh (2 days)
Krampot (1 day)
Sihanoukville (1 day)
Koh Kong (1 day)
Kompong Thom [train from Phnom Penh] (2 days)
-Sambor Prei Kuk
Siemp Reap (5 days)
-Angkor Wat (3 days)
-Beng Mealea
-Banteay Srei
-Kbal Spean
-Phnom Kulen

THAILAND (1 week)
Nang Rong (1 day)
-Prasat Phanom Rung Park
Pak Chong (1 day)
-Khao Yai Park
Ayuthaya (1 day)
Bangkok (3 days)
[flight to Phuket]
-Phuket to HOME!

I know is quite complete and I'm trying to see everything that I can, and maybe along the way I will have choose between some destinations but please let me know your feedback!

Thanks everybody!

#1 andreabarbera has been a member since 13/3/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by somtam2000 on 23/3/2013 at 17:34 admin

Hi,

A few thoughts:

I wouldn't bother with Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao -- I'd pick one and settle in there rather than moving every few days.

Get a train from Chumphon to Bangkok and then backtrack to Samut Songkhram - are you headed to Amphawa ? Is so, you may find these useful.

Yes Kanchanaburi is worth visiting.

Laos:
See this story on the loop - it is a loop so yes you bring the bike back :)

I'd give more time to Si Phan Don

Cambodia:
Your coastal bit is a bit unworkable -- Koh Kong is well out of the way and probably not worth visiting. I would give more time to Kampot. Bear in mind you'll be there in the middle of the wet season...

The passenger trains in Cambodia no longer run on any kind of a regular basis - take the bus.

Back to Thailand
Pak Chong is really just a transit point for Khao Yai National Park so I'd give more time to the park. Same goes for Nang Rong.

Ayuthaya is worth two days if you can fit it in.

Overall
It think you're trying to fit an awful lot in and bear in mind that travelling every couple of days will get a bit tiresome. I'd consider paring back your island time a little to give you a bit more time to slow down and smell the coffee elsewhere.

Sorry for the short ansers - have a flight to catch!

Hope this helps!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,710
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Posted by busylizzy on 23/3/2013 at 20:32

I think trying to cover 3 countries in 2 months is do-able, but you've got far too much moving around I think. For starters, that will increase your costs significantly, but even if that's not an issue, you're going to be spending a large % of your time 'on the move'. Each time you move on to a new place you will lose time doing the following:
- checking out of your hotel
- Travelling to the airport/bus station/train station
- Checking in for the plane/train/bus
- Waiting for plane/train/bus
- Sitting on plane/train/bus as you go from A to B. Whatever time they tell you it will take, add 20-30%.
- Finding accom at your destination and checking in.

All in all, you end up losing 1/2 to 1 day each time you move. Add that time up and it's a fairly big % of your holiday.

I try to stay a minimum of 2 nights at a place, but generally aim for 3-5. It give you time to arrive, explore, relax and absorb.

Somtam - is right on all points.

- Out of Koh Samui/KPN/Tao, just pick one. It's going to take you a good day to get there anyhow, and there is always plenty to explore of each of the islands. Personally, I'd pick KPN or Tao.

- You're covering a massive amount of ground in Laos with a huge % of your time spend in transit. I keep starting to type examples and reasons why, but you say that you've done your research, so I'm presuming that you are aware of this. (e g Nong Khiaw to LP will take a good chunk of a day, then only 1 day in LP before going to VTE - really? How are you getting to VTE? If by bus, that's another full day gone. One day in Pakse/Bolavan Plateau? It's not worth the effort of going there for only 1 day. (It's a different story if you were going for 5 days - then it's worth it).

I just think it's WAY to much time in transit. I don't want to discourage you though, and if you're up for this, then that's fine. If it were me, I'd say slow it down.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,153
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Posted by andreabarbera on 25/3/2013 at 03:34

Hello Somtam and Busylizzy,

Thank you very much for your advice!!

I guess I already knew that I was trying to cover too much but everything looks so amazing that is difficult not to include it in my itinerary, I was hoping that EVERYTHING was a possible option, but I see is not.

Ok, based on your comments I will be preparing a more simple itinerary with less places and more time in each one of them so I can smell the coffee =) Apart from the places that you already mentioned, do you have any other suggestion of places that are not a MUST?

Thank you again!

#4 andreabarbera has been a member since 13/3/2013. Posts: 4

Posted by MADMAC on 25/3/2013 at 04:05

Boy, it's back! The word amazing won't go away.

Liz is, of course quite correct. Unless you love sitting on buses, this will suck. This won't be a vacation, it will be a test of your endurance.

Get rid of the timelines. Have a rough plan of places you'd like to go to and sequence them in logical order. Then simply go to each one in sequence. You get to what you get to, what you don't get to, no sweat. Then you can enjoy yourself without feeling pressure to get to that next spot.

The only thing that is a must is that your relax and enjoy the lazy pace of life. That's a must.

#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by andreabarbera on 26/3/2013 at 07:36

Hello Madmac,

Actually I think yours is a great advice! I am going to forget about the itinerary and I'm just gonna ENJOY! I will keep in mind the places that I'd like to see but I will decide during my journey if I may or not visit them!

Thanks to all of you for your advices!

Regards!

#6 andreabarbera has been a member since 13/3/2013. Posts: 4


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