We are two Norwegian guys planning out our trip to Asia in mid-July - August.
At our disposal is 26 days, and since we both are students and funds are somewhat restricted, we've decided to start and stop the trip in Bangkok, Thailand because the flight price is the cheapest to this airport.
From here we are a bit blank, but have been checking out the option to go something like
Hoi An (Vietnam)
Ho Chi Minh/Saigon
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
And then back to Bangkok
Now, the questions:
Should we buy flight tickets home in advance or from Bangkok?
Are there any places you would derive from this example and make other towns/attractions?
Are there any tricky points in traveling this route, what to avoid and stuff?
Is it possible to go to Phu Quoc Islands from HCMC and still end up in Bangkok?
Could there be made any alterations within our time frame to also fit in Halong Bay and Hanoi? (Note: still arrival and departure from Bangkok)
We are mostly looking for smaller towns with local culture, and not as much the main stream mass tourists sights (although some exceptions will be made for the must-sees ).
Just wanted to say that Vientianne is THE most boring city ever. I wouldn't even stay there a night if I were you. Maybe, if you're up for a bit of fun, head north to Vang Vieng (not everyone cup of tea though) and maybe Phonsavan to see the Plain of Jars, and further north to Luang Prabang which is so much more interesting than Vientianne! You can fly to Luang Prabang if you are flying between countries. The bus journey there can be a bit horrible....but it was one of my fave places on my whole trip!!
Also, the Bolivian Plateaux in Laos is lovely, as is the 4,000 Islands (Si Phon Don) - Both south of Vientianne.
Enjoy yourselves, Laos is awesome ^_^
(maybe invest in the Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & The Greater Mekong Lonely Planet Book - Was pretty useful for us )
[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jun-2010, at 06:18 by ErolGirl ]
I would drop Laos entirely. Fly BKK-HAN Air Asia. Then spend 20 days in VN working your way down to HCMC. My blog covers the bus ride from HCM-Phnom Penh. A couple days in PP, then bus or boat up to Siem reap. 3 days touring Angkor, 1 long day back to BKK, fly home.
If you choose to fly BKK-HAN, I would book it a few days in advance. Check some dates and you will see some days of the week are cheaper to fly than others. Good luck with your planning.
[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jun-2010, at 10:20 by vegasmike6 ]
There are some excellent free guides to SE Asia that you can download now from Travelfish - just need to join for free
If you have time, Luang Prabang, Hanoi and Halong Bay are well worth a visit. You could possibly skip Nha Trang, it's not great. Maybe get a cheap flight (air asia possibly) to Hanoi. Its 30 hours of travel time from Hanoi to HCMC including your stops and then maybe 18 hours to Bangkok from HCMC via Phnom Penh and Siem Reap both of which are fantastic by the way.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]