My Girlfriend is coming to visit me in the end of may in Republic of Korea. After roughly 10 days in Korea we want to visit Laos and Cambodia. We already booked our tickets home (Denmark) from Bangkok in the end of June which leaves us roughly 20days of travelling in these two countries.
I can see that tickets from Seoul - Siem Reap is way cheaper than going to Vientiane. So i was wondering whether it would be possible to visit Cambodia first, and then Laos and finally from Vientiane take the direct train to Bangkok to go home. The reason why i ask, is that this would result in travelling upward the Mekong, and i'm not sure whether that's possible? (June:Rainy season = downward stream) Or should we just buy the more expensive tickets to Vientiane and travel south and get to Bangkok from Cambodia?
And do you think budgeting with 10 days each place is wise?
The route you have chosen seems a pretty good one. I did mine in reverse to yours a few months ago going from N. Thaialnd into Laos, and then up the Mekon for 2 days to Luang Prabang. From there I flew to Vientiane (stayed a week) and then flew into Siem Reap. After 10 days in Cambodia and Siem Reap, I flew straight back to Bangkok.
Not sure about going up river from Cambodia to Laos as the trips I gather are pretty long from either Siem Reap or Phnom Pehn if done as a Package tour.
10 days in each place depends on your tolerance level I think.
Siem Reap itself isn't worth 10 days in my opinion. You can do Ankor Wat over a week if you do it leisurely like go to a Temple site each day, and then hang out at night in Siem Reap. The center of Siem Reap is a mellow place during the day, but around sunset it turn into a loud, chaotic cacophony of horns, motorbikes, beggers, peddlers taxi drivers and streets packed with people. Colorful, but I think 10 days would be pushing anyones sanity. But, a good hotel with a pool, in a quiet place outside the bustle of Siem Reap might be anothe choice too for some quieter time after walking the temples all day.
Luang Prabang in Laos is a great place to "chill out" for a week. Good food, plenty of accommodations, great scenery, cool things to do, and a very laid back European feel to the city. You can also do daily Mekon River cruises if you choose.
Vientiane has got to be the sleepiest capital city in the world I have ever been too . Very laid back. A new River Walk has been built a few years ago, and most of the locals seem to hang out there at night. Plenty of places to stay, and streets of cafes, bars and restaurants. Both Luang Prabang and Vientiane have a distinct colonial French flavor to them, but would suggest maybe 5 days max in Vientiane.
If you have any questions, let me know. Happy Trails to you