Can anyone please help. I am planning to travel to Thailand, Loas, Vietnam and Cambodia during July and August.
In short I'm looking at the following route, doing a big loop:
Ho Chi Minh
..and Im sure other places along the way but that is a rough guide. Can anyone please give me an indication of how much time I would need to do this trip, if you have done something similar already. Im thinking around 7/8 weeks.
Also how bad is the weather in those areas at that time, is it just wishful thinking that I am going to be able to do the above at that time of year? and how bad is monsoon.. should I go and risk it?
Thanking you in advance very much for any advice and tips.
Your trip sounds interesting and it's similar to what I had done in May and June 2005. You can see my blog on this site.
I think 7/8 weeks is quite good quality time to explore Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. But you should expect much rain in July and August, especially down South of those countries.
Will you arrive and departure in BKK? Then I would like to suggest the following itinerary:
1. BKK: Come and go - spend here about 5 days, including seeing Kanchanabury
2. Then go to Chiang Mai - Spend here about 3 days, seeing the elephant camp
3. Go on to Chiang Rai - spend here about 3 days, seeing the Golden Triangle
4. Cross the border at Chiang Khon to Hoayxai in Laos, spend here 1 nite
5. Go by boat to Luang Prabang - spend here about 5 days, seeing many places around
6. Go on to Vientiane - spend here 2 nites, seeing the small charming city. Then take a bus to Vinh in Vietnam and further on to Hanoi
7. Hanoi - come and go - spend here about 10 days including trips to the Halong Bay, Sapa
8. Go by bus, train or plane to Hue - spend here 2 nites
9. take a bus to Hoian - spend here at least 3 nites
10. Take bus, train or plane to Nha Trang - spend about 2 days, enjoying the beaches here
11. take bus, plane or train to HCMC - come and go, spend about 1 week here including trips to the Cu Chi tunnels, Cao Dai temple, and Mekong delta (Can Tho, My tho)
12. Take bus to Phnom Penh - spend about 2 days here, seeing the city, killing field, or more days to go down to Shihanouk ville beach town.
13. take express boat to Siem Reap - spend at least 3 days here to see the amazing Angkor temples.
14. Take a bus to the border town of Poipet - stay overnight or not
15. Continue your bus trip to BKK
I have experienced this route and there are more sites to see. Others may give you extra good points.
Please feel free to contact me for further informtion.
An excellent route made by Thi_travel. It was pretty much exactly what I would suggest. The only slight changes i would make is to spend more time in Chaing Mai and do a hill tribe hike for 3 days instead of going to Chaing Rai (though I've never been so I don't really now what it has to offer). Also, between Luang Prabang and Vientianne, spend a day or two in Vang Vieng which is a great little rest stop, some beautiful scenery, and a river for tubing.
I'm flying out to bangkok mid aug and have been having the same dilemma as you. My planned route (which hopefully i'll stick to) is pretty much the same as yours hopefully taking in other places along the way. I'm travelling alone and don't know whether I should book up a tour that incorporates the full route for the 6-8weeks or just book shorter tours here and there for a few days at a time?
Here's what I would recommend:
Come up with some type of basic travel itinerary of what you would like to see & do, then it becomes easier to plan your time.
For instance, if you go to Phnom Penh, you could be in and out in 2 days if you only plan to visit the major tourist sites, such as Choeung Ek, the Royal Palace/Silver Pagoda, and S-21. But if you wanted to visit the lesser known places or spend time getting to know the people, then you could plan to stay longer.
Bus/plane travel and rest time should be added to each leg as well, as you will be exhausted from all that traveling!
Thanks very much for all the advice.
Carol.. Im not sure what to suggest about your tour. I am also travelling alone and not going to book up a tour for this region. Happy to meet up with you somewhere along the way if you need a travel buddy?
sounds good! how long you going to be in SE Asia?