I need some help trying to work out the best way to get around to all the places i want to see in 7 weeks! I know i will need to do a few flights but any advice as to which route would be best would be a great help.
I Start out from Bangkok and want to see The killing fields, Angkor wat and PP in Cambodia. In Vietnam I have decided to concentrate on the north as i dont have time to see it all. Basically would like to see Hanoi, Halong bay, Ba vi national park, Tam coc, Cat ba island, Sapa. In Laos again i was thinking of sticking up north - Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw, Vang vieng, Vientaine, Kuang si falls, Xieng Khuang province. In Thailand I noted a few places Khao Yai national park, Nong Khai, Loem singh and phang nga Finally I would like to see one or two islands- Ko Phi Phi, Ko tao. I was told the east cost islands were better and not to bother with Phuket....
From roughly marking these places on the map i seem to have set myself a difficult task!
I was thinking go from BK up to Vientaine overland.. go over land to Hanoi (although have heard this is long and could be dangerous?) I then thought I could fly Hanoi to Phnom Penh see Angkor then fly to the islands in Thailand...and finally return to Bk over land...Am I crazy???? Oh yes i am a woman and starting off alone but hoping to meet up and travel with others along the way!
any better ideas would be appreciated...
Thank you in advance.
First of all, and for sure : you are not crazy! Many of many travellers discovered our region more destinations than you listed.
My advice : From BKK train to Chiang Mai, and bus to Chiang Rai's Chiang Kong district and cross into Lao's Borkeo province. From there you can explore northern Lao (Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, etc.) and then boat or overland down to Vang Viang and Vientiane. From VTE you can fly to Hanoi (by VN Airlines or QV-Lao Airlines) or do the overland crossing to Vietnam and bus to Hanoi. Explore the northern VN you listed and then take the unification train (or bus - open ticket possible so that you can stop on the way for rest!) to Saigon and bus to cross into Cambodia at Bavet/Mocbai crossing to Phnom Penh. In PNH, see killing fields, etc, and bus or boat (flight also available) to Siem Reap to discover Angkor. From SR, bus or fly to BKK for your beach choices in Thailand.
If you allocate more time for Cambodia, you may want to visit the wild northeastern Ratanakiri and the beaches in the south. See : www.yaklom.com for info about visiting Ratanakiri; www.canbypublications.com for travel info in Cambodia; www.talesofasia.com for overland travel info from SR to BKK.
Enjoy your trip!
waaa... the plan like what sunwannaphu say is perfect, Roni! I guess it's the best way to travel all the way around.
May i have some suggestion about visiting the north of Vietnam?
- Catba island is included in tours to Halong Bay. so two becomes one!
- When you come to Tam Coc, don't miss Cuc Phuong national park. it's even better than Bavi national park.
- Sapa would be a lot of fun to see.
- coming to Hanoi, u'd better try every food you can!!! best food in the world! (not best, but most diversified and unique)cheers
Hey Guys thank you both so much for your posts. They have really helped and put my mind at ease that i am not crazy. That route sounds great to me and really nice to get suggestions of places i must see.
I am feeling a lot happier. This time 2 weeks I will be in Bangkok. so exciting....
I also agree with the routes that suwannaphu suggested. I once took a train from Bangkok to Chiangmai. Stayed a few days and then took a bus to Chiangrai and then to the border at Chiang Kong. Crossed into Laos and then took the slow boat (2 days, with over night in the village of Pakbeng) down the Mekoong River to Luang Prabang. After a few days there, a bus ride to Vang Vieng (great mountain scenery on the way!) and then another bus to Vientiane. From that point, flights to Vietnam, and then on to Cambodia. If time permits I would also suggest seeing more of Cambodia; for old temples (Kompong Thom or areas not far from Siem Reap, and great scenery, rivers, caves, etc. in Battambang and Kampot.
After your time in Thailand, from BKK you fly to Hanoi by asia air(cheaper airlines). travelling around Hanoi as Sapa by train, Halong-catba island, Hoa Lu-Tam Coc- Cuc phuong national park(Ninh Binh province). Then take a bus or flight to Vientian visit LPB..., and then across to Cambodia, from Camboadia and fly out!
Have a good trip!
That route looks pretty good. My suggestion is to not take any ground transportation in Cambodia. It's not dangerous, just annoying and it uses up time pointlessly. We traveled overland from Saigon to PP to SR to the Thai border. What an ordeal!! I'd say fly your way thru Cambodia. Also Laos is trying by road as well, but the scenery is excellent and not to be missed. The mountain ride can be too thrilling - especially when it rains, so watch the weather and if it is wet you'd better fly.
Thank you all for your input it has been very valuable. I would like to go overland as much a possible as i will see more than flying everywhere. Although as its monsoon season i may have to fly if the roads are swamped! Great to have all the different options. Am trying to psych myself up for the 10 hour flight let alone the day long bus journeys on bumpy roads. I suppose that is the essence of travelling though....
I wish i had more time as 2 months really isnt enough for 4 countries but there is nothing stopping me coming back at a later date and seeing countries more in depth..
anyway.. i will stop rambling on! Thank you all again for your advice will prob stick with suwannaphu's suggestion though.