I will be travelling for 2 months in Asia before moving onto New Zealand and Oz.
I would like to visit Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand within the 2 months.
I would like some advice on where the best place to fly into and out off.
Any tips on an itineray to get around these areas quickly to make the most of it, how to travel etc?
Is there any good *must-see* places to see etc.
Any help greatly appreciated.
First thing you need to decide is: how much time in each country? I suggest 3 weeks in Thailand, 3 weeks in VN, 1 week in both Laos & Cambodia. You may want to expand or shorten time in a country. Most fly into BKK as it is cheaper than the alternative airports.
I am going to suggest 3 options.
- 1. After your 3 weeks in Thailand, fly Air Asia BKK-HAN. I would use the open tour bus system to travel down to HCMC. Yes, others will vote for the train system. The cost is not even close. It will cost more to take the sleeper train from HaNoi to Hue than the open tour all the way to HCMC. One 'must see' is HaLong Bay. Decide on a 1-2-3 day tour. Book it once in HAN, not before. Sapa is an option, the weather may be a factor. Not much fun slogging around in the rain/mud. Check with others before deciding. Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, either DaLat or Mui Ne, HCMC. Bus over to Phnom Penh, 2-3 days in PP, bus/boat up to Siem Reap. 3 days at 'must see' Angkor. Bus/taxi to Poipet, then back to BKK or bus up to Nong Khai. Into Vientiane, tour Laos, back to BKK, home.
- 2. Up to Nong Khai after your time in Thailand, tour Laos, into VN at one of the Laos/VN border crossings, bus to HaNoi. Then same route as above back to BKK.
- 3. After touring Thailand, one long day overland:BKK Siem Reap. Bus/boat to Phnom Penh, bus over to HCMC, then open tour up to HAN. Book your bus into Laos with a HAN travel shop, tour Laos, into Thailand at Nong Khai, BKK, home.
Visas. Thailand will give you a free 30 day entry permit if you fly in, 15 days if arriving via land border. If you fly into VN as I suggested in #1, use the 'visa on arrival' system, I go over this in my blog. If you go with Cambodia or Laos first, obtain your VN visa in either Vientiane or Phnom Penh. Cambodia & Laos will sell you a visa when you hit their border.
Now, I defer to other members to tout their 'must see; places and how to see it all in 8 weeks.
thanks very much for your response, this is greatly appreciated! sorry for delay in responding!