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Cambodia,Vietnam,Laos,NorthernThailand ARGHHHHH!!!

Travel Forums Asia Cambodia,Vietnam,Laos,NorthernThailand ARGHHHHH!!!

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1. Posted by edwinedwin (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

I have read through several threads on the very issue I am wondering about, but I would like some help with some of the specifics. I plan to do a Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Northern Thailand trip starting and ending in Bangkok. I was wondering which places are truly interesting and a must see. I would appreciate some tips in the off-the-beaten-path category. I know Angkor Wat is a must, but for the rest I am not sure. I have lots of time (up to 4 months), little money, and plan to travel without a 40kg bag strapped to my back. I enjoy getting to know the people and culture and I don't want to spend too many days starring at Wats and what-nots. I'm also interesting in different sport or activity options in these areas. I have been living in Thailand for the last 5.5 months and now have a chance to travel. I am certified for recreational diving. Let me know what you think.

2. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Edwinedwin

Last time I was in Thailand, I met an American guy who gave me the following link. It is for a Thai island, which is not yet heavily touristed. If u go, make sure u give me all the info. I will be going there, some time. But on my next trip to Thailand, I will go to Khao Sok. There, one can sleep in a tree house, beside the jungle. More foreigners there, than on the island, but maybe it would interest u, anyway.

Island link.

http://www.hornbillhut.com/

Mel

3. Posted by claireh (Respected Member 318 posts) 9y

Trekking in Nth Thailand (from Pai, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai) is a good choice. You can find treks that allow overnight stays in hilltribe villages. When I did this, I found the experience amazing. We met some of the villagers and helped cook, played thai games and met the children. It was one of the highlights of my time in Thailand. Before doing this, I would stress the necessity of visiting one of the hilltribe museums or at least reading some literature on the hilltribes so that you are aware of their customs and culture before visiting. It makes it a more rewarding experience. Also, avoid treks where you 'visit long neck tribe' as I've heard these are more like a human zoo than experiencing any culture.

4. Posted by inanon (Full Member 85 posts) 9y

Quoting claireh

Trekking in Nth Thailand (from Pai, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai) is a good choice. You can find treks that allow overnight stays in hilltribe villages. When I did this, I found the experience amazing. We met some of the villagers and helped cook, played thai games and met the children. It was one of the highlights of my time in Thailand. Before doing this, I would stress the necessity of visiting one of the hilltribe museums or at least reading some literature on the hilltribes so that you are aware of their customs and culture before visiting. It makes it a more rewarding experience. Also, avoid treks where you 'visit long neck tribe' as I've heard these are more like a human zoo than experiencing any culture.

How much did it cost you as that sounds amazing

5. Posted by fredchris (Budding Member 14 posts) 9y

I travelled around Thailand and cambodia not extensively I have to say, so maybe my advice will not be as good as some of the travellers on here, but in Thailand I would suggest you get off the beaten track/touristy parts and see the real Thailand. I am lucky in that the fact my friend lives in Thailand so I got to see the real ulture first hand.
I went toPai and did not rate it at all, hippy hide out in the mountains if you ask me and very touristy.
Cambodia is lovely you can do almost anything here, the temples are beautiful, really take your breath away.
The toture side of it, as in the s21 museum and the killing fields are very sad but in a strange way interesting too, especially if you have read literature before hand.
We actually went to shoot an AK47 after the killing fields visit which was very surreal, but my partner cant bypass a gun and an opportunity to shoot one. Quite scary really you could shoot anything there including a ROCKET LAUNCHER I ask you, never in the UK...........
I am a great lover of Thailand and Cambodia, so I am probably biased but it has had the most profound efect on my life, the people are fantastic and the opportunities for any traveller are great if they want it.
OPEN your eyes and heart to Asia and it will open itself to you.
Enjoy your trip.

6. Posted by edwinedwin (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Thanks folks, for the tips so far. FREDCHRIS, could you give me more information on shooting an AK-47 or something else as outrageous as that. Sounds like something I would enjoy. I agree with you that Thailand is great. It has made an affect on me as well.
I have heard of trek options in Northern Thailand. On my way through i intend to do a trek for at least a week or so. Thanks for your tip on finding out some of the traditions and culture of the hill tribes before heading in.
Thanks for the hornbill island infor, Mel. Since my base in Thailand is Chumphon, I may visit hornbill near the end of my stay, after i have traveled Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

Does anyone have any information on non tourist cave areas that can be explored alone? I've heard of things from other tourists, but not specific places.

7. Posted by claireh (Respected Member 318 posts) 9y

Quoting Howie87

Quoting claireh

Trekking in Nth Thailand (from Pai, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai) is a good choice. You can find treks that allow overnight stays in hilltribe villages. When I did this, I found the experience amazing. We met some of the villagers and helped cook, played thai games and met the children. It was one of the highlights of my time in Thailand. Before doing this, I would stress the necessity of visiting one of the hilltribe museums or at least reading some literature on the hilltribes so that you are aware of their customs and culture before visiting. It makes it a more rewarding experience. Also, avoid treks where you 'visit long neck tribe' as I've heard these are more like a human zoo than experiencing any culture.

How much did it cost you as that sounds amazing

1450 Baht (or thereabouts) for two days, one night. Did it from a guest house called Thaphae Garden on Thaphae Rd, Soi 3, but they did give me a discount as was staying there. Included food, 1 hr elephant trek, bamboo rafting and obviously the trekking!!! Would highly recommend them as it was really well organised. They are an agent for the actual trekking company, but I don't remember what the name of the trekking co is...

8. Posted by rover9495 (Budding Member 35 posts) 9y

havent really read all the other replies you have... but if not mentioned already there is a bus service that runs from ho chi minh/saigon to hanoi. me and a few mates took it and its well worth the approx $16 you pay. its hop on hop off, you just have to let the place you get dropped off at when you want to move on again, has about 5 stops or so. we stopped overnight in nah trang which is an amazingly beautiful place to go to. also stopped at hue, but we arrived really early and left really late in the same day (backpackers pressed for time and money!) the transport is basic, and not really comfortable but for anyone on a budget its great. just dont sit on the back row....way too hot (engine situated there!)
Cambodia is beautiful too, S21, gun firing, and killing fields in Phnom Penh but not much else going on there. the temples up north, siem reap, have to be seen, stunning. siem reap also has a better nightlife (so we thought). we spent about a week there altogether and i thought it was about enough time.
most people spend 2 or more days looking round the temples, but i think that it can be done in 1. you get "templed out" after a while.
off to laos myself soon, missed it out last time.
have fun!

9. Posted by edwinedwin (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Thanks rover9495. I like the Saigon-Hanoi bus idea. I will look into that for sure. For anyone that knows, is there a way to get from Vietnam into Laos and then back into Vietnam and then later back into Laos. I know Vietnam has a multiple entry tourist visa option, but i don't know about Laos.

10. Posted by G-trotter (Budding Member 50 posts) 9y

If you must save some money think about do treking in Laos wich is a really great spot too and you get it really cheaper, go to Luang Prabang which is a really must, for me much better than Angkor!
There are also lots of adventure activetis to doo in Luang Prabang, lovely landscape and waterfalls, don't miss it!!!
Take enough time for Laos you'll like it I'm sure, to really relax go to the 4000 Islands in the south Dong Det or Dong Kong, its a lovely place.
Beware of the antz ;)

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 13, 2007, at 1:48 PM by G-trotter ]