Planning on heading round these three countries in May as a single UK lad, not too sure where the best accomodation places are and the best way to travel around. Any help would be much appreciated, anyone wanting to meet up get in touch, I'm 24. Been to NZ and OZ for 11 months so anyone need a bit advice or info I will try and help you!
I would be interested to hear how you get on in these countries. I'm heading there in June-time by myself and would appreciate any info on places to see/avoid/stay.
Try a website at http://www.threeland.com. It may provide u useful information;
First of don't worry about accomodation. You will be able to find plenty of places to stay in all budget ranges in May (it's not the high season because it's pretty hot). There are very few places that will not have accomodation for travellers. For example, if you go out to some really remote town or village in Laos that is not listed in any guidebook, you may have to sleep in the local restaurant or noodle place. It's not a problem and can be really fun. They always have a hammock for a foreigner to use for the night, just give them some money for their hospitality. Most of the accomodation in Laos will be simple bamboo bungalows, sometimes with no electricity but always with a hammock. Thailand, Vietnam & Cambodia all have plenty of places in a vareity of types & prices ranging from beach bungalows (bamboo, wooden & concrete) to dorm rooms to simple guest house rooms to mid-range hotels to swanky luxurious hotels. You will not have to reserve rooms unless you are arriving in a city during a particular festival or party. For example, Koh Pha Nhan, Thailand can get pretty crowded before and during the full moon parties, either arrive early or book in advance.
The easiest way to travel around is the most expensive: 1st class flight/train tickets or renting out a car and driver. However, I have a feeling that's not quite what you are asking for. The public transportation (bus, train, boat) in Thailand and Vietnam is easy and cheap. If you are really tight on money, you can take third class (on trains, etc.) but I would recommend spending the extra money on second class. You will get a much more comfortable ride and second class is really, really good in both Thailand and Vietnam.
Cambodia and Laos have very different transportation issues. First, the roads, especially in Cambodia, are not very good so road travel can be a bit rough. In Cambodia, it is easier to hook up with other travellers and use share taxis, not comfortable but better than some other alternatives. Boat travel in Cambodia can be a bit expensive but, trust me, it is definately better than taking the roads, especially in the NW & NE of the country. Laos has these wonderful vehicles called songtheaws, a pickup with two rows in the back and a roof that get pretty crowded, no not just pretty crowded but really, really, really crowded. You just have to have patience and smile, the Laotians make any uncomfortable ride a good time with their generosity and humor.
Another tip: Decide what you are really interested in. I have seen too many travllers complain that they didn't like their hill tribe trek or their DMZ tour. I ask them why and they answer that they don't really like camping in the jungle or walking all day but they did it because everyone else they met said they had to do it. Make up your own mind and don't give a toss about what anyone else says, as long as you're happy. If you like spending weeks on end lazing on the beaches of Thailand, do it. If you don't like climbing around temple ruins, don't feel that you have to visit every site in SEA (although you really shouldn't miss Angkor). It's your trip, no one else's.
Feel free to email me any other questions. You can contact me at:
If your trip end up or pass by Savannakhet Laos. I recommended that you stay at this Hotel, SAVANBANHAO HOTEL for about less than $10 a night with a/c. Very clean hotel. phone #(856-41)212202 or 214536 I met alot of travellers all over the globe stay here. I just got back from my Amsterdam Paris Laos Bangkok Tokyo trip last friday. At this hotel I met this local boy speak english little that offer to give you a tour of Savannakhet his name is "Viet".