Hello everyone, im just at the planning stage for my trip and wanted to ask you guy's for your opinion. My plan is to head to Ayuthaya and kachanaburi from bangkok then make my way to the border crossing at vientiane at laos. From there i will head south into cambodia. I was just wondering if Ayuthaya is worth the trip and how long would you suggest being there and also how long would you suggest spending in kachanaburi. Whats the best way to travel to these places and in which order should i do them if i plan to head to the border with laos. Is there anywhere you think is worth a stop on the way to the border, thats about it, any help or feedback is really appreciated. cheers, Gordon
I would do Kanchanaburi first, worth 2-3 days to see and relax a bit. Then bus over to Ayatthaya. Again, worth 2-3 days to see and experience the area. You may want to stop at Korat for a few days. There are Khmer ruins at Prasat Hin Phmai Nat'l Park and waterfalls, animals and hiking in the Khao Yai Nat'l Park, both close to Korat.
I prefer buses to trains, easier to catch and frequent departures. Always take the best class offered, a/c over fan, first class over a/c. There are two main types of bus service in Thailand. The Tourist bus is geared to foreigners and can be booked at travel agencies. Gov't buses run between almost all Thai cities and are generally for Thais. You go to the bus station in that city for service. In general, the gov't a/c, first class buses are in better shape than the tourist bus, less theft as well. Good Luck.
I think a better idea than just going to Vientaine is to go via Chaing Mai and down the Mekong. You could go to Kanchanaburi for a few days which is a great town. Ayathya is also nice, but I don't think you need more than a full day to check out the ruins. From there you can head North to Sianoukville which is similar to Ayathaya but I think better. Then you can head to Chaing Mai. From Chaing Mai you can get to the border of Laos direct, or via Chaing Rai. Once at the border you can take a two day slow boat ride down the Mekong to Luang Prabang which is the highlight of Laos and should not be missed. From there head to Vang Vieng which is a great and relaxing town. Then you can get to Vientianne and continue your plan South to Cambodia. Of course this will all take longer than your plan to go straight to Laos, but its a great route. It's a very popular route for the area and is extremely easy to organize as you go along. Just ask at your hotel how to get to the next place and they will help you out.
Be careful in Kanchanaburi. Shooting tourists has become the new sport in town. Two gunned down last year and another victim last month. A lawless city, or just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?
[ Edit: Edited at Jul 15, 2006 12:41 AM by buzzard ]
I'd like to get to Ayuthaya by train from Bangkok Airport and then, from there, head North to the border with Laos, Vientiane or, most likely, Chiang Khong-Houei Xai border crossing. Do you know if Ayuthaya is a main stop on the bus routes from Bangkok to Laos, i.e. if, from there, I can easily jump on a bus going to Chiang Khong or Vientiane? If so, how long would this trip take?
Any help would be really appreciated, thanks a lot in advance.
You can do really cheap day trips to kanchanaburi from bangkok, taking everything they have to see there including the tiger temple. You shouldnt need more than a day to see all the temples at ayutthaya, and it is on the main bus route to chiang mai. With regards to crossing into laos, i went up to chiang khong and got a fast boat to luang phrabang and it was beautiful, if not a bit painful on ye olde rear end! Its bumpy and you are sat basically on the wooden floor of a motorised longboat - an experience anyway!