Me & my friend head out in oct and we have no sense of direction and hoping someone could give us some tips or getting around overland without internals flights.
We go oct to jan and want to see thailand, vietname, cambodia and laos. Our last stop will be kohpanghan for full moon party new year in which we will probably have one internal flight to fly back to bangkok.
is there any particular route that travellers use in getting around with ease?
Any advice on getting around cheaply and in a way that will enable to see everything would be greatly appreciated
My area of expertise is Thailand, primarily Chiang Mai & northern Thailand but I will try and offer guidance on the other areas you want to visit.
If you want to finish on Koh Phangan then I would suggest the following:
Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Laos - Cambodia - Vietnam - Bangkok
When you leave Chiang Mai you can travel by bus to Chiang Rai & then cross-over into Laos overland, to travel from Laos to Cambodia I would suggest either by train or bus. From Cambodia to Vietnam a flight is probably the easiest route to take, then when you fly back to Bangkok you can take either a bus or the train down to the southern coasts & islands.
I would recommend you leave time in your schedule to visit the Andaman Sea places, as they are without doubt the most beautiful in the whole of Thailand !!. If you use Phuket as a base for this part of your journey, you can then EASILY visit Phang Ngaa Bay(James Bond Island), Phi Phi Islands (The Beach), Krabi, Koh Lanta, the Similan Islands(the best scuba diving & snorkelling in Thailand) & of course Phuket.
On the Gulf of Thailand coasts(same area of Thailand) you have Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao(scuba diving), then as you head back up towards Bangkok you have Hua Hin & Cha Am(coastal resorts), then beyond Bangkok on the eastern side Pattaya, Koh Samet, Koh Chang, Koh Kood.
In terms of time allocation, I would suggest:
Chiang Mai & northern Thailand - 2 weeks
Laos - 2 weeks
Cambodia - 2 weeks
Vietnam - 2 weeks
Andaman Sea - 2 weeks
Gulf of Thailand - 2-3 weeks
Leave a little extra time if you want to explore Bangkok, but that requires just a few days.
With a little extra research you should be able to do ALL of your Thailand travel WITHOUT stepping onto a plane, by a mixture of buses, trains,taxis, ferries & of course walking!.
I am always happy to offer more assistance if you have specific areas within Thailand.
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Most do a loop. Let's figure you will save Thailand for last. A few days in BKK, then train or bus to Nong Khai. Laos visa on arrival at the Friendship Bridge. Tour Laos, overland into VN. Buy your VN visa while in Vientiane. I would use the open tour once in HaNoi to travel down to HCMC, cheaper and more flexiblity. After touring VN, bus over to Phnom Penh. My blog covers this section and VN from Nha Trang to HCMC. After PP, bus or boat up to Siem Reap. 3 day pass for Angkor, then overland to BKK. Here is the best website for all things Cambodia. Once back in BKK, then train or bus down to Surat Thani, boat over to Samui & Phanghan. Fly from Samui or reverse the train or overnight bus back to BKK, fly home. Good luck with your planning.
wow, thanks for both of ur fast responses! both have excellent ideas and ill will be printing these off and definitely looking into these routes!
your help has been great! thanks very much x