to fly or not?

Travel Forums Asia to fly or not?

1. Posted by daniG (Budding Member 24 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


I have 2 months in SE Asia and I want to visit thailand, cambodia, laos and possible vietnam. My flights come in and out of bangkok. A couple of questions:

1) Should I book myself a cheap flight out of thailand so as to avoid having to get a tourist visa? I don't want to be stuck at immigration trying to get my free 30 day visa, with no outbound flight for 60 days.

2) Was planning to travel up to chang mai andthen go across to laos, (possible across to vietnam) and down into cambodia before returning to thailand to go to the islands. SHould i book flights between these countries (im travelling on my won) so as to avoid problems at border controls etc? and if so, are there any airlines apart from Air Asia I can use - they dont seem to fly to laos!

Any halp is much appriciated :)


2. Posted by stiltskin (Full Member 45 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Dani -
My advice is - whenever possible, avoid unnecessary flying. Not only does unnecessary flying add to global warming, it also means you're less likely to chance upon some of the more out of the way places, which are generally the highlights of any trip. If you've only got two months, I would advise you to stick to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, and leave Vietnam out.

I don't think you should have any problems at the borders at all - this is a fairly common route to take through south east asia, and I never had any problems making any border crossings. The only one I'm unsure of is from the south of Laos into Cambodia - this border was closed when I was there, but I've heard that it's open now. Has anyone else made this crossing recently?

As for the Thai visa - all I ever did was to say I was leaving overland, and again, never had any problems. If you're worried about it though, maybe buy a fully refundable ticket out of Thailand, and then cash it in as soon as you're safely in Thailand.

Happy travels,

3. Posted by Sophiehdm (Budding Member 32 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I think you can choose fly when you go from a country to another. However, you can take train when you travel in one country.

4. Posted by vngreen (Full Member 71 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

you can book fly from Thailand to vietnam or to Lao and Cambodia or from Vietnam to Lao to cambodia. From Vietnam you can go to Lao by bus, Cambodia by boat..

5. Posted by daniG (Budding Member 24 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

thanks for the advice - just don't want to arrive in thailand and get turned away cause i dont have anything booked to leave th country within 30 days!

will have a think about going overland thou....

6. Posted by philo (Full Member 107 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Before I flew to BKK I was worrying about the same thing but it was fine. They dont check for outbound travel arrangements- you just get fined if you overstay your visa.

I've never met anyone who's had any trouble. I'm sure you'll be fine.

7. Posted by Penster (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Dani,

I went from Vietnam to cambodia and bought both my visas beforehand from the embassys in london, however, I wouldn't recommend anyone do this really because they are soooo much cheaper to get when you're there. They're easy to arrange once you're out there too, for example we got a boat from vietnam to cambodia and there was an english lady on the boat that sorted out visa's for everyone when you got to the border.

if you travel overland from siem reap in cambodia to the thai border by bus be prepared for the worst journey of your life. it took about 9 hours in a crappy old bus that i didn't think was going to make it on a dirt track road with huge potholes. Once you're at the border though you get a lovely luxury air con'd coach and you can sleep for the 5 hours it takes to get to bangkok. It's a lot cheaper than flying (it costs about $12!) and you'll certainly have a story to tell when you get back!

p.s. if you spend longer than planned in thailand you can either just pay the fine or do a visa run (there's a guy in koh lanta that arranges them and you can stop at a tescos on the way back)

Happy travels!!