During my RTW travels next year after spending some time in Vietnam i would like to go see either Cambodia or Laos for 2/3 weeks. I know Cambodia has Angkok wat which looks amazing to visit, but not sure about what Laos has to see.
Which would you recommend for spending 2/3 travelling?
which is cheaper and better value?
and also whats worth seeing in each country?
Both of them are amazing places to visit, Laos is such a differnent place to anything else dependinng on if you like to party or not but one of the highlights of my trip to Laos was Tubing in Van Vieng, Tubing is where you sit in a rubber tube with groups of tourists and float down the river having ropes thrown out to you and being pulled in to a number of bars along the banks (i think there is about 10 all up) and you can drink party, play volley ball, soccer, jump off rope swings and flying foxes etc Laos lacks some of the Big Monuments but it is interesting and I am looking forward to getting back there to explore more.
Cambodia has the Angkor Wat which is breath takng and also has the killing fields which is such a shock to visit as I was not aware of the extent to which Pol Pot terror reigned, we spent the whole day visting the kiiling fields and the Camps and also the Angkor Wat will take up the whole day and then some.
If I was you I would look at visting both as Air Asia flys so cheaply throughout those areas and spend a week and a half at each. I just caught VIP buses from city to city in each country which are comfortable and safe but I would recommend when making the trip from Lao to Cambodia to fly...that is one bus ride I would not do again it was the longest and craziest bus ride of my life,
In Lao I visited a small town overnight as I caught a slow boat from Thailand and then spent time in Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Louang Phrabang
In Camodia went to Siem Reap, Phonm Phen, Battambang and Shihanoukville, Siem Reap and Phonm Phen are the two most visited places out of them all
I think within your 2/3 week time frame it will be possible to include a stay in both countries eitherside of your trip to Vietnam. I also only had 3 weeks to visit both of these countries and I managed it. I also travelled on the slow boat from Thailand like to above post states, it was quite a long but great trip to get to Laos and one that most travellers go on.
During my time in Laos I visited Vientiane, (not much there considering its the capital - only spend two days here at the most,) Luang Prabang, (great place to chill out in and one of my highlights of my trip to Laos,) and Phonsavan to see the Plain of Jars. These are quite hard to get to though and I would advise you to take a place from Vientiane to Phonsavan if you did want to visit them.
My time in Cambodia was spent in Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples, Phnom Pehn visiting again temples and then travelling up to Kratie to see the Irrawaddy dolphins.
A week or a week and half is enough in Laos I feel...
Luang Prabang - Nice relaxed place with lot of temples, falls and stuff...
Nothing much to see in Vientiane though... Vang Vieng is nearby which is the partying place of Laos...
Pakse was very good... actually liked the falls/Wat Phou temple(same temple like Angkor)/ 4000 Islands...
Actually you can take a bus from Pakse to Cambodia(Siem Reap)...
Don't split the time between the two countries. 2-3 weeks is not enough time for either place (imo) unless you're interested in just taking photos quickly and getting back on busses.
If I had to choose one, I'd go Cambodia. But I'm way biassed.
Both places have are brilliant and if you do not plan on returning to this part of the world go to both. You can have a brief taste of both places. To make the most of your time coming from Bangkok take the Bangkok Siem reap express. Spend a couple of nights in Siem Reap, Angkor Wat then take the hydro foil boat to Phnom Penh for two nights, you should stay in a hostel next to the lake as this is the best part of the city. Don't bother with the beaches in Cambodia as they are nothing to write home about. In Phnom Penh visit the killing field etc. then take a bus up to the 4000 islands in southern Laos. Try to avoid the high speed boat as this is really not comfortable and quite dangerous. The slow boat is a little longer and make sure you take a book!
After 4000 islands head to the Bolovan plateau to stay in the hotel overlooking Tat Lo then travel up the spine of Laos by bus to Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Phonsavan (the plain of Jars is amazing) then back over to Luang Prabang. Get a flight form Luang Prabang to bkk to fly home.
Hope you have a great trip!