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Any tips on my 7 week travel plan??

Posted by kelpeta on 23/11/2007 at 19:06


My boyfriend and I are going travelling for 7 weeks through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia between december and feb. We've got a rough plan of where and when but any feedback from those of you who have done it would be great!

We know its a tight squeeze to see it all, but we could cut into our island time (at the end) if need be.

Any places we dont have that are a must see?? Any places we could drop off the list??

Also, our plan is to 'go with the flow' (ie. no pre-booking) that risky at this time of year?

Day 1 (17 Dec) Bangkok. Overnight train to Chiang Mai
Day 2 (18 Dec) Chiang Mai, sight-seeing
Day 3 (19 Dec) Chiang Mai, trekking
Day 4 (20 Dec) Chiang Mai , trekking
Day 5 (21 Dec) Travelling to Laos (Huay Xai)
Day 6 (22 Dec) Slow boat from Huay Xai to Pakbeng
Day 7 (23 Dec) Slow boat from Pakbeng to Luang Prabang
Day 8 (24 Dec) Luang Prabang
Day 9 (25 Dec) Luang Prabang
Day 10(26 Dec) Travelling: Luang Prabang to Vang Viene
Day 11(27 Dec) Vang Viene
Day 12(28 Dec) Vang Viene
Day 13(29 Dec) Travelling: Vang Viene to Vientiane
Day 14(30 Dec) Vietiane, Fly Vietiane to Hanoi
Day 15(31 Jan) Hanoi
Day 16(01 Jan) HaLong Bay
Day 17(02 Jan) HaLong Bay
Day 18(03 Jan) Hanoi . Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
Day 19(04 Jan) Ho Chi Minh
Day 20(05 Jan) Ho Chi Minh
Day 21(06 Jan) Travelling: Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh
Day 22(07 Jan) Phnom Penh
Day 23(08 Jan) Phnom Penh
Day 24(09 Jan) Travelling: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Day 25(10 Jan) Siem Reap
Day 26(11 Jan) Siem Reap
Day 27(12 Jan) Travelling: Siem Reap to Bangkok
Day 28(13 Jan) Travelling: Bangkok to Islands
Day 29 - Day 46 (14 - 30 Jan) Thai Islands
Day 47(31 Jan) Travelling to Bangkok from Ko Tao
Day 48(01 Feb) Bangkok
Day 49(02 Feb) Travelling: Bangkok to London


#1 kelpeta has been a member since 19/7/2007. Posts: 10

Posted by somtam2000 on 23/11/2007 at 19:35 admin

Hi kelpeta,

I was about to say "skip Vietnam, you don't have enough time" then I got to:

"Day 29 - Day 46 (14 - 30 Jan) Thai Islands "

You got heaps of time! ;-)

I'd suggest shaving a few days off your island time and adding some time in Vietnam, then using that time to either head up to Sapa in the mountains, or break the journey at Da Nang and visit Hoi An. Perhaps fly Hanoi to Da Nang, see Hoi An, then take the train south to Saigon via Nha Trang perhaps... To add all that in and for it to be worthwhile, you'd need to shave 5-7 days off your beach time. Otherwise I'd suggest skipping Saigon, flying Hanoi to Phnom Penh and spending even more time on the islands! Depends what your priorities are.

Luang Prabang will be heaving on new years, but given anywhere that can be booked then is already full, it's no big deal not having a reservation!

Have fun!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,651
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Posted by kelpeta on 26/11/2007 at 16:00

Thanks for the advice!

We were thinking of adding in Hoi An if time allows...thats if alls ok to go there now after the flooding? Anyone know what the situation is now?

#3 kelpeta has been a member since 19/7/2007. Posts: 10

Posted by vuh on 25/1/2008 at 17:27

Hello Kelpeta,
here are my points of views about these countries:
Thailand is crowded of tourist and especially Chiang Mai which is a real tourist industry. I'd recommend to stay no longer than 2 days. Furthermore, the main point about Chiang Mai is the 3-4 days trekking but it is so touristy and about 50 USD. Skip this tourist industry and later on, when you will be in Sapa in Vietnam, the trekk is very similar and Sapa is very touristy as well but it is absolutely wonderful.
If you don't want to be ripped off, please, read my trip report about trekking in Sapa,
see this link

For Laos: I love this country because it is the less touristy of all its neighbour countries and it is a awesome place with so kind people which are not yet tourist oriented mind.
I recommend to stay at least 3 days in Luang Prabang,
Vang Vieng can be skipped unless you are looking for beer,pizza and Friends soap opera.
Vientiane needs no more than 1 day, not very interesting
There was 1 place I love in Laos, it's called Muong Ngoi, about 6 hours from Luang Prabang to the north east, quite remote village but a real delight and so authentic.
You can fly from Luang Prabang to Hanoi, it is around 200 USD and it is cheaper with Laos Airlines than Vietnam Airlines. Ticket can be bought in Luang Prabang

Vietnam: your plan for Vietnam seems very short to me.
Hanoi: 3 days
Halong Bay: 2 days
Sapa: 4 days but be sure to stay at surroundings of Sapa, not in the town.
Hue: not to be missed: 2days (Fly Hanoi- Hue, 1 hour)
Hoi An: very nice: 2 days (bus Hue- Hoi An: 4hours)
Saigon: 1 day is enough !!! And do not go to the Cuchi Tunnel, it is a real tourist attraction, and the interest for the war is minimal.

Pnom Penh: 2 days, it is worthwhile to go to the Silk island
Siem Reap: 3 days for the Temples

Well, I would recommand to cut down beach time in Thailand to have more time in Laos (amazing country) and Vietnam (to big to be visited in few days).
But if you need more advice, feel free to ask me for me details.

Have a nice trip, South East Asia is so wonderful

#4 vuh has been a member since 1/5/2007. Posts: 24

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