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A few questions about SE Asia - please help!!!

Travel Forums Asia A few questions about SE Asia - please help!!!

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1. Posted by clush (Budding Member 8 posts) 10y

I am going to SE Asia at the end of this April, and have a few questions!! If anyone can help me out with some of their experiencces/advice - it would be much appreciated!!!

1. My planned route- Bangkok- Chang mai-Laos-Cambodia-Vietnam- Bangkok- Southern Thailand- What do you think of this route???

2. If you agree with above route, do you know what the best way is to travel from Vientiene to Cambodia?? - I have read up about it in Guide books, but flying seems to be the only viable option, however, I am on a pretty tight budget....

3. I am arrving into Bangkok from NZ at about 11 pm, and planning to stay on Khao San Road- do you think be a problem arrving so late at night, in terms of the hotel reserving my room for me.

4. As a solo female traveller, what do you think is the best mode of transport to Khao San Rd from airport??

5. I stayed in D&D Inn on Khao San before, which I was pretty happy with, however, now as a solo traveller, can anyone recommend somewhere on, or near the Khao San road that is good for meeting people, as well as comfortable ???

6. DO Vietnam visas have to be purchased before entering the country?

That's all my questions for now!!! And hey, if any of you are around these places at end of April till mid June, we could meet up for a few cheeky ones!

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1593 posts) 10y

I'll answer one or two of your questions.

Since you are arriving before midnight you can take advantage of the AIRPORT BUS to take you to Khao San Road (KSR.) I think the bus is safest for a woman travelling alone, that doesn't mean that the taxi cabs are un-safe, just my opinion that the bus is safer and cheaper too!


The kiosk for the AIRPORT BUS (100 baht) is on the same level where the taxi kiosk is located, just outside the arrivals area. Tell the young ladies at the bus kiosk where you want to go, there are several bus routes into town, tell the bus employee you want the KSR bus route. (I think the bus is safer because it is driven by a known employee, he is checked in and out by the kiosk staff, he has probably been employed in that job for years - he is a known element!)

On that bus you will be with other passengers who have just arrived just like you, they may have some recommendations for hotels to stay at. You should be able to find accomodation in that area, April is also the start of the low season.

Make sure that when you change your money over that you have some small bills to pay for taxi cabs and making small purchases. Notes that are 1000 baht and 500 baht size may be too large for some people to make change.

If you choose to take a taxi, it is normal for you to pay a fee for the taxi service, (think it is 50 baht) and also pay the toll fee (think it is 60 baht.) I rarely take a taxi and when I do I go up to the departures level and grab a cab dropping off a passenger and not use the toll road (not much traffic late at night.) It is safer to arrange your taxi through the taxi kiosk where they "sort of" record your destination and the taxi you are on.

Avoid the touts selling stuff in the arrivals hall. There are desks that can book you a hotel room if you want. Usually these rooms are in "their" preferred hotels and slightly higher priced than budget, and in an area you may not of planned to be at.

For specific recommendation mention HOW MUCH you want to spend per night. Hotels with air conditioning and hot water, plus private toilet/shower run from 700 baht to 4000 baht per night, average.

Really young people head out to the KSR area, slightly more mature travellers, like me - head over to Sukhumvit or the Siam area. There are cheap hotels in the Sukhumvit area and you can also take advantage of the Skytrain service. (No Skytrain in the KSR area, just lots of young tourists!)

Good luck.

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

Clare;
I like your route as you do not have to backtrack much. I do not know about Laos-Cambodia route. Karazyal answered your questions getting into KSR area, Airport bus is the best option. Another option is to share a taxi with other females. Many flights arrive at this time and there should be many fellow budget travellers picking up their bags and clearing Immigration. Chat with other females and see if others are heading for the KSR area.

VietNam does require you to obtain your visa before you get to the border. There is a way to obtain a 'visa on arrival' at the airport, but it is more expensive and I think you are using ground transport. Phnom Penh is a cheap($30) & fast(1 day) place to obtain a VN visa. PM me if you have questions on Cambodia or VN. Good Luck.

4. Posted by danalasta (Travel Guru 519 posts) 10y

Clare,

to answer your Q2, the only overland route from Laos into Cambodia is Vientiane through Savanakhet, Pakse, Vangtao-Stung Treng (cambodia), and from here you csn go down to Kratie, Kg Cham, Phnom Penh, or Kg Cham, Kg Thom, Siem Reap. The Vangtao-Stung Treng (Dor Krolor) is a real experience...fast boat down Mekong River.

dana

5. Posted by danalasta (Travel Guru 519 posts) 10y

Clare,

sorry it should read Veun Kham, not Vangtao....

dana

6. Posted by clush (Budding Member 8 posts) 10y

Thankyou to all for your advice!
I am definitely going to try and get the bus to the Khao San road from the Airport. However, I am thinking of changing my route so that I fly directly from Bangkok to Hanoi, and work my way down through VIetnam and Cambodia back to Bangkok. This will mean leaving out Laos... but this way seems easier. Then i will have some time left in Thailand to head up to Chang Mai for a few days and/or to Phuket etc. for some lounging around on the beach!
Let me know what you think!!!

7. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

Quoting clush

Thankyou to all for your advice!
I am definitely going to try and get the bus to the Khao San road from the Airport. However, I am thinking of changing my route so that I fly directly from Bangkok to Hanoi, and work my way down through VIetnam and Cambodia back to Bangkok. This will mean leaving out Laos... but this way seems easier. Then i will have some time left in Thailand to head up to Chang Mai for a few days and/or to Phuket etc. for some lounging around on the beach!
Let me know what you think!!!

Clare,
I flew BKK-HAN in Jan. on Air Asia. I booked the flight from the US and got my VN visa via mail before I left. If you want, you can get a 'visa on arrival' at the HaNoi airport. There is an extra $30 for this service plus the $25 for the actual visa. Or get your VN visa in BKK.
<http://www.vietnamopentour.com/visa_on_arrival_at_tan_son_nhat_.htm>

I think you are making a smart decision. This itinerary eliminates a lot of bus and bother, gives you more time in VN plus some beach time. I vote for the Krabi area for beach, sand, and water. It is simply a gorgeous part of Thailand and you have many islands and beaches to choose from. Not too expensive either. You really should not miss the Railey beach area. Google 'krabi and railey beach' and you will see for yourself. Good Luck.

8. Posted by clush (Budding Member 8 posts) 10y

Thanks for your advice Vegasmike, I have pretty much decided that this is the route I will take. I will get my visa for Vietnam in Bangkok, as I have no fixed address at the moment (I am travelling in Oz and NZ). I have been to Railey beach about a year ago, and had a better time in other places such as Koh Phangan and Phi Phi - however, I have also heard really good reports of Railey from other people too. Perhaps it was the time of year that I went ?? (July), or maybe where I stayed? Could you reccommend somewhere to stay in Railey? Not to worry if you can't remember!!!
Thanks, Clare

9. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 10y

Best way to get your Vietnam visa is in Bangkok, you can get it within 24 hours if your time is limited. I did the 3 day option, which cost me 1600 baht (approx $42).

I did a similar route to what you're planning. Bangkok-northern Thailand-Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia-back to Bangkok, then flew down to the Islands in Thailand.

Whatever you do, don't miss out Laos! I just wished I seen more & cut out some of Vietnam.

Good luck!

10. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 10y

Quoting clush

Thanks for your advice Vegasmike, I have pretty much decided that this is the route I will take. I will get my visa for Vietnam in Bangkok, as I have no fixed address at the moment (I am travelling in Oz and NZ). I have been to Railey beach about a year ago, and had a better time in other places such as Koh Phangan and Phi Phi - however, I have also heard really good reports of Railey from other people too. Perhaps it was the time of year that I went ?? (July), or maybe where I stayed? Could you reccommend somewhere to stay in Railey? Not to worry if you can't remember!!!
Thanks, Clare

The East Railey has the cheapest accomadation, places for around 400 baht & upwards. It's not a very attractive bit, but it's a short walk to 2 other stunning beaches. I loved the Krabi area & would definetly recommend it.