Just after some advice on how long to spend in each country?
We're flying into Bangkok then doing a guided cylce from there to siem reap which takes 1 week.
Next thoughts are to either:
Go up through northern cambodia, into Laos and travel up as far as Luang Prabang, then fly to Hanoi and travel down to Ho Chi Minh, then cut back into Phnom Penh, then down to Sihanoukville, and ferry into Thailand to spend a couple of days relaxing on Ko chang island before heading back to Bangkok and flying home...
From Siem Reap travel down to Phnom Penh then fly up to Luang Prabang, see Laos, although we're keen on seeing southern Laos rather than just the usual northern trips, and over to Vietnam...not sure how this'll work being that both countries are long and skinny!
i guess the main things are to go Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh (like the idea of trains / buses), keen on Southern Laos but also Luang Prabang and maybe Vientiane...and we're also pretty keen on doing the ferry from southern cambodia into Thailand...and we'll be starting from Siem Reap where we end the bicycle tour. On a budget so want to do minimal amount of travel by plane, although we understand it will save lots of time but also keen on seeing the countryside.
Is this too much to do in 5 weeks?
Any advice on best places to go / itinery?
You can do it in 5 weeks but you will spend a lot of time on buses. Depends how fast you can travel.
Minus the one week in Thailand, you have 4 weeks (one month), to cover Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam). Taking your option two ( since you are more keen to see southern Laos), from Siem Reap, head by bus to Stung Treng, stopping over in Kratie for a night. From Stung Treng, you can get to southern Thailand via river border crossing at Don Krolor (C)..and Vuen Kham (L)... Best to stay overnight in Stung Treng ( maybe at Sekong Hotel)..by the pier.
Once you are in Vuen Kham, take transport to Pakse, and use it as base to explore southern Laos (more varied in terms of interests, compared northern Laos, like Luang Namtha)...From Pakse, you can bus up to Vientiane, and on to Luang Prabang.
From Luang Prabang, you can take direct flight to Hanoi...and if u are more adventurous , u can take overland, via Xam Neua border crossing to Quan Son, and head for Hanoi.
From Hanoi, it is easy to bus all the way to HCMC...and then back to PP, down to Sihanoukville..
Message me if you want additional info..
sorry...you can get to southern Laos via river border crossing...not Thailand
We would say it all depends on WHEN you are planning this trip... the cycling in the wet season may be a tricky one and certainly will slow you down...
We live here so IF we can help feel free to ask... & safe travels!