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China, Thailand and Laos in 3 weeks

Travel Forums Asia China, Thailand and Laos in 3 weeks

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1. Posted by Umber07 (Budding Member 10 posts) 6y

Hi guys, I am new to this so bare with me!

My husband I are planning to go to Asia this year (hopefully). We want to go in August for 3 weeks and will love to do China (Beijing and Shanghai), Thailand (Phuket and BangKok) and Laos (Luang Prabang and Vientiane). I know I might not be able to do much, but is it doable? We are time constricted and definitely want to do those coutries.

Also do we need visas for each of those countries and vaccine shots?

Your opinions will be helpful!

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 6y

You only need to pre-arrange the visa for China since Thai and Laos give visas on the spot when you land/cross borders. It just seems to me to be a big waste to visit such a large country as China and only go to 2 cities in the NE. SE Asia is a very long way from Shanghai! In other words, I'm suggesting 2 trips: China and SE Asia. I say do China first (before it turns into Singapore North!)

I'm planning on 3-4 weeks next Feb for Siem Reap-Luang Prablang-Hanoi. I've never been to China, but I have been to SE Asia 3 times.

For a 3 week trip to cities (only) in Asia, you need very few shots. I only have the Hep A series.

(Bangkok is blazing hot in August)

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Mar-2010, at 22:56 by Daawgon ]

3. Posted by Umber07 (Budding Member 10 posts) 6y

Do you think it is really a waste? I can skip Thailand but I really want to do Laos. If I do Thailand in August I was thinking 2 days in Phuket and 3 in Bangkok but if anything then I can skip it. How long of a flight is from Shanghai to Laos? I thought it was like 4 hours but we have to connect in Bangkok. Since we have to connect in Thailand that is why I added that stop.

How much did you like SE Asia?

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 6y

I agree with Daawgon that 2 separate trips would be better, otherwise it's a lot of travelling around when you only have 3 weeks.

I had Hep A and typhoid for SE Asia; it's also worth making sure you are up to date with your tetanus booster.

5. Posted by Lou sun (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Quoting Umber07

Do you think it is really a waste? I can skip Thailand but I really want to do Laos. If I do Thailand in August I was thinking 2 days in Phuket and 3 in Bangkok but if anything then I can skip it. How long of a flight is from Shanghai to Laos? I thought it was like 4 hours but we have to connect in Bangkok. Since we have to connect in Thailand that is why I added that stop.

How much did you like SE Asia?

How about traveling Yu'nan Province of China after Beijing and Shanghai. It borders Laoes. You can get Loas by plane, bus or even ferry. I can offer you more information if you need.

6. Posted by Umber07 (Budding Member 10 posts) 6y

Thank you Bex76. It might be a lot for 3 weeks! I guess I didn't think of it. I was just so eager to go and get there. Do you think I need to get malaria pills too?

Lou Sun, if you can provide me with more information on Yu'nan providence it will be very helpful! I can probably skip Thailand and do what you said. I can probably do more of China and then stay in Laos for 6 days. Will I be able to fly direct from Yu'nan to Luang Prabang and if so how many hours is it compare to the boat?
Can I also fly from Shanghai to Yu'nan direct? I was doing my research and there is no direct flight from Shanghai or Hong Kong to Laos.

How many days will you say it's good for Shanghai? knowing that I only have 3 weeks.

Would you recommend Shanghai or Hong Kong? and why?

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 6y

Quoting Umber07

Thank you Bex76. It might be a lot for 3 weeks! I guess I didn't think of it. I was just so eager to go and get there. Do you think I need to get malaria pills too?

How many days will you say it's good for Shanghai? knowing that I only have 3 weeks.

Would you recommend Shanghai or Hong Kong? and why?

I took malaria pills for SE Asia but that was mainly because I was spending 3 months in the region and it was possible I'd be going to malarial areas; for the parts you have mentioned I don't think you will need to, but I would get proper medical advice on this.

2-3 days is enough to see the main sites of Shanghai. If you are choosing between there and Hong Kong I would go for Hong Kong as there is more to see and do. You could also take a day trip to Macau while you are there. Shanghai is a good city but doesn't have as many interesting sites as HK.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Mar-2010, at 15:02 by bex76 ]

8. Posted by Lou sun (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Quoting Umber07

Thank you Bex76. It might be a lot for 3 weeks! I guess I didn't think of it. I was just so eager to go and get there. Do you think I need to get malaria pills too?

Lou Sun, if you can provide me with more information on Yu'nan providence it will be very helpful! I can probably skip Thailand and do what you said. I can probably do more of China and then stay in Laos for 6 days. Will I be able to fly direct from Yu'nan to Luang Prabang and if so how many hours is it compare to the boat?
Can I also fly from Shanghai to Yu'nan direct? I was doing my research and there is no direct flight from Shanghai or Hong Kong to Laos.

How many days will you say it's good for Shanghai? knowing that I only have 3 weeks.

Would you recommend Shanghai or Hong Kong? and why?

Umber07, I know nothing about laos, but as for China, I know a lot. Yu'nan Province is a lightspot of China to the western travellers. It has awsome "stone forest ", the ancient city "Lijiang", which is exotic and peaceful´╝îthe old Dongba culture and Shangrila etc. . Two weeks will be enough for you to travel Beijing, Shanghai and Yu'nan province. I have just arranged an itinerary in Yunnan Province for a group and they will also travel forward to Laos. I recommended them three ways of getting Laos.
1. Taking bus (about 20 hours) from Kunming(the capital of Yu'nan, where the stone forest locates) to Luang Prabang
2. Fly from Lijiang to Jinghong(another city in Yu'nan Province with some sightseeings) and drive to the border called Moham, travel forward to Laos. It takes 7 hours for driving.
3. Take cruise boat from Jinghong to Chiang Saen ( about 8 hours). Chiang Saen is a border city of Thailand. It is also a famous destination for the travellers and it's very close to Laos. The cruise may be a little bit tough but must be interesting.
Referring to Shanghai and Hongkong, bex76 is right. Generally, Hongkong would be more worthwhile traveling than Shanghai. But this year, the city of Shanghai hosts the 2010 EXPO. The EXPO Park there is worth a visit. And you could also pay a visit to Suzhou which features silk, embroidery and the classical Chinese gardens. It's very close to Shanghai. You could travel between two cities by taking BULLET TRAIN, if you r interest in it. :)

9. Posted by Cathy_joy (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

I'm native in China, so I would like to give you some suggestions for the China part.

Beijing and Shanghai are the good choice for foreign travelers, who come to China for the first time. Usually you need to stay at least three days in Beijing and three days in Shanghai, for there are a lot of things worth visiting in these two cities.

In Beijing, there are Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Place, Hutongs, Teahouses, Bird Nestle, Aquatic Cube...

If you have chance to Shanghai, you should not miss the world famous water town---Zhouzhuang, which is in Suzhou, and West Lake in Hangzhou, which you need to spend two days exploring. You can take train to Suzhou and Hangzhou, it takes just several hours, with easy access.

By the way, for the transportation from Beijing to Shanghai, taking trains is the best choice, for it is much more economical than flight and you can save more daytime to explore the city.

10. Posted by Umber07 (Budding Member 10 posts) 6y

Cathy, if I take the train from Beijing to Shangai how long will it take? I will like to know how many hours because I guess my time is limited.
I was thinking 3 days in Beijing and 3 days in Shanghai, so what you have told me it's perfect!

thanks guys! If I think of any more questions I will ask you! :)