Thanks for reading firstly. I'm planning to head to SE Asia mid July for just under 6 weeks. I will be doing the first 2/ 2.5 weeks solo so was going to do a 15 day tour of Vietnam with Kumuka and then head over to Bangkok to meet a friend and travel together for the next 3 weeks.
So my questions are
- Has anyone experience of Kumuka? Good, bad or otherwise?
- Should I try to get a tour from north to south Vietnam or visa verse? Which is easiest and cheapest to get back to Bangkok?
- For the latter 3 weeks we were hoping of travelling up to Chiang Mai and doing some trekking from there? Any recommendations? Does this have to be pre booked?
- We would also like to go to Laos and take a slow boat on the Mekong River? How long does this take? Where do you catch it from? Does it have to be prebooked?
- What else should we do in Laos?
- And I would like to see more of Thailand, the islands, beaches etc. but how can we fit it all in or are we trying to do too much?
I realise this is jumping all over the place.
Could anyone recommend another (neater) way of doing it bearing in mind I want to go to Vietnam before my friend arrives and we are not going to take in Cambodia this time?
Thanks for reading!
I personally would skip the Islands and do Cambodia instead. The Islands are expensive for that part of the world. If its beaches you're after there is a beach town called Sihanoukville in the south west of Cambodia which I've heard is nice. Not to mention the Islands are a little out the way of everywhere else on your itinerary.
Where are you flying into?
I would say your best bet would be to get a flight to Hanoi and to travel south through Vietnam. I have never used a tour company here so cant help you in that respect. From Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) you could then travel through Cambodia to Bangkok.
Then you'd probably have to decide to either head down to the Islands or go north to Chaing Mai as I don't think you'll have time to do both. If you travel to Chiang Mai you can get a train or bus directly there from Bangkok. Most treks can be booked the day before but its probably best doing it a couple of days before just to be safe.
After that if you still have time you could travel to Chiang Khong where you can cross the boarder to Laos and get the slow boat down to Luang Prabang. I did this in January and it was beautiful. From there you can continue to travel through Laos until you run out of time. I've heard the 4000 Islands in Laos is pretty nice but havn't been there myself.
Hope that helps, anymore questions just ask.
Thanks Elliot for your reply.
I probably should have explained that my friend has been to both Cambodia and Vietnam so that's why I'm doing Vietnam before meeting. He hasn't been to Northern Thailand or Laos so that's why we are focusing on those.
We've looked into flights for him straight to Chiang Mai but they stopover in Bangkok so there isn't much point in that.
Thanks for the information about the trips, it's good to know they can be booked closer to the time.
I realise it's all a bit awkward but I'm dying to see Vietnam and as much as possible.
viet vang in Laos for Tubing is mean't to be great, I would def check that out for a couple of days if its your thing.
I'm coming around to the idea of tubing!I guess if we're in that part of the world we'll have to give it a go!