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Need help figuring out the routing for a trip to SE Asia in Jan 2014!

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I've been reading and studying everyone's trip and wish I had 3 months, not 3 weeks, to travel. And I'm grateful for the 3 weeks- many other working folk can't even get that.! But making choices is not easy - there are so many places to go!

I've come up with the following for a trip in 2014, probably leaving mid-January:
Bangkok-5 nights
Chiang Mai - 4 nights
Chiang Rai - 3 nights
Luang Prabang - 4 nights
Siem Reap - 4 nights

In my research, I've found that Korean Air flies in and out of Chiang Mai, Siem Reap, as well as Bangkok, so my current thinking is to fly into Bangkok and return home from Siem Reap. I was initially thinking about flying directly to Chiang Mai, but I think I'd prefer to start in BKK.

In order to utilize Bangkok Air's discovery pass, we need to have 3 of the flights from their list of routes:
1) Bangkok to Chiang Mai
2) Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
3) Luang Prabang to Siem Reap

1) The challenge is figuring out how to fit Chiang Rai into the itinerary. There are no flights from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang, so it looks like I need to get back to Chiang Mai for the flight. The flight from CR to CM (okay, I'm getting tired writing out the names now!) is a bit expensive, but I'll do it if necessary. Is it possible to fly from CR to CM on the same day we fly from CM to LP or do I need to return the prior day? I could take the bus back to CM the prior day as well, but either way, I hate breaking up the itinerary that if I don't have to (that is CM - 3 nights, CR - 3 nights, CM - 1 night), but I'd rather be safe than miss a flight. Am I making sense here?

2) I plan on buying international tickets during the summer, and will get the discovery pass at that time. Is this reasonable or do I need to do this earlier?

Thanks! I have some itinerary questions, but I'll post that separately.


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