I'm wanting to get from chiang mai to hanoi and have been looking for cheap flights but they are relatively expensive. does anybody know a good site to find cheap flights for this route? alternatively is it easier to head back to bangkok and get a cheaper flight from there. how long will it take to cross Laos by land and will this be cheaper?
You have no choice - no flights from CM to Hanoi - must go via BKK. Best by far is Air Asia.
Johnny is right. Forget trying to do this overland. Fly Air Asia CNX-BKK, last flight. You will get in BKK around midnight. The only flight BKK-HAN is at 6:55am. You can be at your hotel in HaNoi before noon. Good luck with your planning.
Cheers guys, thanks for the advice.
Is it advisable to book ahead or can you book these tickets at reasonably short notice without the price going up?
I played around with dates and you can wait to buy. With 3 days notice you get a 1,810 baht quote, 7 day advance notice and it comes down to 1,530 baht. Same with a 30 advance purchase, 1530 baht. This is CNX-BKK, flight FD 3241. Check some dates and then hit 'next day'. You will see weekends are more expensive than mid-week. You don't save enough to book before you are in Chiang Mai and know what day you want to fly. Same with BKK-PNH. Not much difference between flying with 3 days advance or 7 days advance. If you can, fly mid-week, 7-8 days advance purchase.
Last flight out of CNX, kill 5-6 hours at Suvarnabhumi and on the plane to HAN. Good luck with your planning.