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Laos or Cambodia

Travel Forums Asia Laos or Cambodia

1. Posted by leon82 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Halo to all...

Busy planning my trip to Asia…I have about 12 weeks to spend and having a headache deciding what to do. I’m planning on going to India, Thailand only brief as I been before, Vietnam, and Malaysia and then the question Laos or Cambodia?

I would like to go to both but came to the decision(and a hard decision it was) that I would rather spend more time in one of these countries than rush and see both…but which one!!!!

Any advice, suggestions and reasons will be welcomed…just can’t make up my mind!!!:):)

Hope you can help!!

2. Posted by joey22 (Respected Member 561 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Cross from Vietnam into Cambodia and then continue travelling overland to Thailand.

The border crossings between Vietnam and Laos are not as convenient. Vientiane to Vinh, Vietnam is a bit of a nightmare.

Both countries are fantastic but Angkor is reason enough to go for Cambodia over Laos.

If you have rewached the decision already fair enough but why not remove a week elsewhere as a week is all you would need to get a taste of Laos? 5 days even.

Hope this helps :)

3. Posted by joey22 (Respected Member 561 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Having re-read your post my advice is to skip Malaysia and go to both Laos and Cambodia. Malaysia is nice enough but having travelled through INdo-China I found malaysia a bit tame and pedestrian. Thats not a diss aimed at Malaysia (a beautiful, well ordered and enjoyable country to travel in) it's just an opinion that Indo-China is a far more rich area to discover.


4. Posted by leon82 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Thnx for the reply..

My original plan was to travel overland up Thailand to Laos, then make my way thru Laos to Vietnam (north) and then make my way to the south of Vietnam then thru Cambodia back to Thailand down to Malaysia.. all of this is overland (well that’s the plan as it would be the cheapest) so you would basically do a loop if you know what I mean….

But I don’t want to be stuck on time, if I like a place and want to spend more time than planned I don’t want to worry!!!

I tell you, you think you just gonna get on a plane and go..hahah

5. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3898 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

It's tricky to decide between Laos and Cambodia. Laos was the most beautiful country I visited in SE Asia, and is very chilled out compared to the likes of Thailand and Vietnam. However, Cambodia has Angkor which is obviously one of the major drawcards of SE Asia. If you are really short on time you could just spend a few days in Cambodia visiting Angkor and possibly Pnomh Penh and the Killing Fields.

The route you are planning on is pretty much what I did but I flew from Vientiane to Hanoi and then worked my down from there.

6. Posted by leon82 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Tnx Bex76...

How long did you travel this route??
And which border crossings did you use??:):):)

7. Posted by joey22 (Respected Member 561 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

The route you are interested in is exactly what I did Leon.

Slow boat from northern Thailand down the Mekong into Laos - crossed border to Vietnam overland from Los (Vientiane to Vinh) and then south through Vietnam, through the delta, boat to Cambodia and then through Cambodia to Thailand again. Then south to Malaysia - flew over to Borneo- back to Malaysia. Flew to Macau and boat to Hong Kong. Back to Thailand and home.

The time scale was this for the Indo-China loop:

30 days Thailand (to limit of tourist visa)
15 days Laos (to limit of ordinary visa applied for on border)
30 days Vietnam (to limit of tourist visa applied for in Luang Prabang, Laos)
20 odd days Cambodia (visa applied for on border)

I reckon you should just get to Thailand and see what happens. I knew what I wanted to do roughly speaking but just let things play out how they played out and had a blast. I know time is an issue for you so would perhaps suggest this as a plan to loosely follow:

Thailand - You have been before so just head straight up to Chiang Mai on overnight train. Spend a couple of days heading out to tribes etc if you didn't before, otherwise just carry on up to border with Laos. Def recommend you do the slow boat - 2 days of just cruising along the beautiful river and ending up in Luang Prabang.

Laos- Luang Prabang 2-3 days. Vang Vieng - tubing etc 2 days. Vientiane 1 day or so then head for Vietnam. (1 week) if you want to see more then head for plain of jars 2 days and/or 4,000 islands for 3 days or so.

Vietnam - 2 days Hanoi, 2 days Hue, 2 days Hoi An, 2-3 days at a beach perhaps, 3 days Saigon. If you fancy it head for the delta and take the boat into Cambodia like I did. Its superb downt here and the boat takes 4-5 hours - great scenery. (2 weeks)

Cambodia - 2 days Phnom Penh, 2 days Siem Reap. Then pick somewhere else in your guidebook that appeals, Mondulkiri or Battambang or maybe down to Sihanoukville? 2-3 days. (1 week)

In amongst all this I have factored in a week for the long bus rides, trains and car journeys etc.

Thailand - week at a beach chilling out perhaps?

This is roughly 6 weeks. Spend the other 6 weeks in India.

This is travelling fast and furiously I know but just to give you an idea of what is possible in my opinion.

For India what plans do you have? I sell tailor-made holidays to India and have been 3 times, travelled pretty much all over the country so if you want any help let me know.


8. Posted by leon82 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Haha...should have know this is to good to be true!!!
No only having a laught, thanks very much for the info, it really do make things much easier know..

Im still working on the India plans, so again any input will be welcomed, I still have 8 months before I go but will be in touch joey22 maybe we can work something out...

Thanks again:):):):)

9. Posted by joey22 (Respected Member 561 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I'm not entirely sure what you mean but don't worry I'm not trying to flog you a holiday to India!!

I work for a tour operator who sell individually tailored trips to clients who are typically 50+, retired or running their own businesses etc. They are loaded and spend several thousand pounds on 2 week trips where they stay in 4-5* hotels and get driven around in a private vehicle.

I don't think I can include a link or mention the name as TP might think I'm plugging the company but unless you fancy a trip like that Leon you have nothing to fear ;).

I'm at work at the moment and it's very quiet hence the fact that I am replying to loads of people's posts on TP.

Looking forward to going home at 4pm and getting stuck into a few new years eve drinks if the truth be told