Hey guys, I'll start by thanking you active members for everything you post!!
Without you my itinerary would not exist.
Sorry lots to read but detailed answers need detailed questions. Thanks in advance!!!
3 month game plan. Departure: Mid November Duration: 3 months Budget $4000CAD
I have a few specific questions to be answered but any constructive input such as noticing flawed information, additional must see's, things or places to avoid I would love to hear from you.
Thailand: 3-4 week tour begins, unfortunately going to be difficult to add more to Thailand.
( Applying for a Multiple day entry visa so HOPEFULLY I can get back to Bangkok to fly home at the end of the trip)
Kanchanabri, Railay, Koh Phi Phi, Khao Sok, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and back to Bangkok for a flight to Chiang Rai.
----Will i have problems getting back into Thailand over the Poipet border crossing (Cambodia) in 3 months time?
Once in Chiang Rai I plan to take an over night bus to Chiang Khong, arrive early in the am to catch a slow boat the same morning to Luang Prabang.
Laos: Houyaxi, Pek Bang, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng & Vientiane. 3 weeks approx.
Arriving in laos mid december, I am determined to spend both christmas and new years in Laos and believe I'm
going to have to extend my 15 day entry visa in Luang Prabang to make this happen.
----Is this easy enough and should I be worried about getting into Vietnam sooner because of Tet festivals beginning at the end of January?
Vietnam: Flying from Vientiane to Ha Noi in mid january then proceeding on the passenger train south.
Ha noi, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and finally HCMC (saigon) 3 weeks approx.
----Again, will staying cost and time efficient while traveling in Vietnam at this time of year be next to impossible?
Cambodia Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Sisophon, Poipet 2-3 weeks approx.
----> Getting into Cambodia? Worth it to take a tour to Cai Be then Express boat from Chau Doc? or simply the 6 hour bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh?
----> Is it possible to take the ferry from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap at the end of january, early feb?
----> Again is it the multiple day entry visa I will need to re enter Thailand from Poipet into Aranyaprathet?
Aranyaprathet back to Bangkok!!!!!!
Thank you in Advance!
If I read your post correctly, you won't need a Thai visa. You will get a free 30 day entry permit when you fly into BKK. Since you plan on entering Laos before your 30 days are up, no need for a multiple entry visa. Laos will sell you a 30 day visa on arrival for $35USD. You fly to HAN before your 30 days are up, so no problem. I assume you are going to use the VN visa on arrival system. My blog covers my experience flying into VN. Bus from PP to SR is much cheaper than the boat, decide once in PP. Read a few blogs on the boat to PP from HCMC. Never took it. Here is one. Another. Probably more fun than the bus, but takes much longer and costs more. My blog covers bus from HCMC to PP. You will get another 15 days free when you entry Tland at Aranyaprathet. Here is a great resource for all things Cambodia.
Now Tet 2013. Official days are Feb. 9-13. I was in VN once for Tet and it can be a challenge. Most VN people will go home to be with family for Tet. All buses and trains will be full a few days before the 9th and again on the 12-14th. It will be more difficult to travel on these dates, but not impossible. I would try to use Sinh Cafe bus if you can. They cater to visitors, not locals. Good luck with your planning.
Great to know about the Thai Visa!
I've actually already read through your blog and successfully used the same business as yourself to receive my organize my own Vietnamese Visa as well.
I've also read through the blogs posted above and learned a handful more so thanks again!!
Fortunately, judging by those dates I believe I will have moved on to Cambodia so I'm sure I will be fine.
I will be back on eventually in due time after the trip to let yourself and other travellers know
how the experience went and provide any more useful tips! Thanks TP!
Why don't you take a motor and ride yourself from North to South. It's the best way to touch cultural, people in Vietnam mate
Mike has given you advice re visas which I agree with.
My future Vietnam itinerary includes transport by train. Particularly between Danang and Hue. This train trip is described as one of the most scenic & I originally had it slated in. But I subsequently changed to an Easy Rider tour (motorbike). Anyway, google and see if it interests you in lieu of the train.
Hoi An is not accessible by train, you take a bus/taxi from Danang Station to/from Hoi An.
Even though I'm over 50 if I was staying in Laos for Xmas/NY I would be staying at Vang Vieng. Of course, if you want a 'quiet' time then stay elsewhere.
I don't see any problems with any of the places you propose to visit. Safe travels.