Looking to fly into Hanoi and out of Bangkok travelling through Laos over land (bus/train?), possibly Cambodia.
Has anybody done this and have any advice?
1. Is this even possible???
2. Any issues with border crossings?
3. How long is it likely to take?
4. Cambodia/Laos/Thailand don't seem to have any visa issues. But Vietnam you need to apply prior to arrival. As we will be travelling for 3 months leading up to Vietnam... will this represent any issues?
any tips on the above really appreciated!!!
Steven and Rosie xx
The good news is that it is relatively easy to travel overland between these countries, with the exception of Laos-Cambodia or vv - you would need to look into the current situation - when I travelled there last yr, it wasn't possible to move overland between them.
Depending on how long you have you have several options:
You could travel Vietnam, starting in Hanoi, explore Sapa, Halong Bay, down the central coast to Saigon (you can do this by bus or train) where you can jump on a bus or a boat to Cambodia. You can spend some time in Cambodia - perhaps Phnom Penh then Siam Reap, then head overland back into Thailand by bus. Be very careful which bus company you use, be sure to get recommendations - there are some dodgy ones. HOWEVER, the Siam Reap-Bangkok bus route can be a nightmare in the monsoon season and I wouldn't recommend it.
Or, you could travel north Vietnam, jump on a bus from Hue to Laos (usually Vientiane or Savannakhet - again you need to check which borders are currently open). Savannakhet may be best as you can then work your way north, then maybe jump on a mekong boat to north thailand, where you can visit Chiang Mai etc then head down to Bangkok by train.
It's tricky doing all four in a 'round' trip if you are flying to Hanoi. You're probably better off getting a return to BKK (which will be cheaper) then doing Cambodia, sth Viet-central Viet-nth Viet-Laos-Thailand. All overland. Yes, you need a visa in advance for Vietnam which you can pick up in a few days in most cities if there is a Vietnamese embassy. Thai, Laos, Cambodian visas can be picked up at the border. Thai is free, Laos & Cambodian, you have to pay a small fee.
Regarding the vietnamese visa, if you don't want to chase an embassy or consulate down, you can go through a company like guidevietnam.com and arrange a visa on arrival. The fee is 22$, but it's really convenient. Good luck.