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Vietnam - Laos - Thailand .... Easy as it sounds?

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam - Laos - Thailand .... Easy as it sounds?

1. Posted by tidyboyo (Budding Member 41 posts) 9y

Hi,

We are travelling through Vietnam in May and then going on to Thailand afterwards to do Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, is it relatively easy to travel through Laos from Hanoi to Chiang Rai or would it be better to fly to Bangkok and then to Chiang mai? Don't have a huge amount of time but could probably put aside a week for Laos including travelling. Would love to see the country but would mean less time in Vietnam and Northern Thailand. What do you reckon?

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

I have heard horror stories about bus trips from Vietnam to Laos, so just be careful, not only that but it will take you ages. Make sure you get a good recommendation for a bus company if you plan to do this. From Laos to the north of Thailand shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I loved Laos, spent 8 days there, wish I was there for longer, loved the place, I definetely recommend spending some time there.

Good luck.

3. Posted by philo (Full Member 107 posts) 9y

I'm doing a similar thing in about a months time.

I shall be getting a bus from Hanoi to Laos, and then heading down to Bangkok for my flight home (If the floods have gone by then! If not, I may have to get an internal flight to Bangkok :( )

From what I've seen so far, the bus journey is supposed to be a bit rough, but not too bad.

4. Posted by tidyboyo (Budding Member 41 posts) 9y

Thanks Laura,

Where would you recommend in Laos? Did you fly there or travel from Northern Thailand? Was going to look into flying from Hanoi but Air Asia only fly to KL or Bangkok. Are there any other airlines you would recommend?

Philo - Good luck with the trip, hope the flooding doesn't affect your plans! Let me know how you get on.

Chris

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

Quoting tidyboyo

Thanks Laura,

Where would you recommend in Laos? Did you fly there or travel from Northern Thailand? Was going to look into flying from Hanoi but Air Asia only fly to KL or Bangkok. Are there any other airlines you would recommend?

Philo - Good luck with the trip, hope the flooding doesn't affect your plans! Let me know how you get on.

Chris

I only went to the North of Laos, wish I did more.... I flew to Luang Prabang from Chiang Mai with Lao Airlines, think it was around $70 for one way. You can also do coach/boat combination which takes around 2 days long time but the scenery on the way is supposed to be stunning, the boat can get a bit packed apparently. I kind of regret not doing that :(

Luang Prabang is stunning, this was my 1st stop in Laos, great restaurants, very charming town, the Mekong river is stunning! I charted a small boat at sunset on night took heaps of sunset pictures. It's not a party place though, everything seems to shut down at 11pm on the dot!

Next place I went to in Vang Vieng, don't be fooled by it's appearance when you 1st arrive, it looks like a shanty town, but there's more to it, the setting is beautiful. The main attraction is tubing down the river, brilliant fun. You can also hire mountain bikes or kyack down the river. There are heaps of bars and pizza places, they all seem to show rubbish movies and the sitcom friends, not my thing. Go down the river in the night, seemed to be a lot going on there.

My last stop was Vientiane (the capital) a bit boring I thought, but nice enough to spend a couples of days there. We bumped into other people we'd met in Thailand and ended up having a few nights on the beer lao, great fun! About an hour away is the budda park, which is well worth a visit. From Vientiane we flew to Hanoi with Vietnam Airlines, think they are partners with Lao Airlines, as we bought out tickets from the Lao Airlines HQ in Vientiane.

Hope that helps.

Laura :)

6. Posted by tidyboyo (Budding Member 41 posts) 9y

Thanks Laura that's great, will look at Vietnam airlines now, will probably do the opposite of what you did as we will be starting at Hanoi, the places you describe sound perfect though. What was started off as a random idea is starting to take shape now!

Chris

7. Posted by buzzard (Respected Member 187 posts) 9y

I can't give you any info about travel from Vietnam specifically, but there are a couple of options to get to Laos from Thailand. The first time I did it, I took a bus up to Chiang Rai province and then crossed over from Chiang Khong to the Laos side. Then I took one of the 2-day slow boat trip to Luang Prabang (so very tranquil). After that more bus trips to Vang Vieng (great scenery) and then on to Vientiane (great, cheap restaurants). You can also enter Laos via the Friendship Bridge near Vientiane. From Bangkok that would require a train trip or long bus rides to the border at Nong Khai.
I still haven't done Southern Laos, but there are some interesting spots there, also, closer to the Cambodian border.