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Goldshadow Dec 19th, 2017 07:35 AM

2 Weeks for Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos doable?
Hello all!

I'm in the beginning stages of planning a two week trip to Asia!

I fully understand there is no possible way to see everything in such a short time, and I would plan on returning in the future to see more, but what cities/countries would you recommend I begin with?

For example, is it doable to spend 1 week in Thailand, then head to Vietnam for the last week? Or should I spend say 4 days in Bangkok, 2 in Laos, 4 in Phnom Penh et cetera? Some countries I am interested in, for the first visit, are Thailand, Laos, Vietnam Cambodia, Myanmar, but I am 100% open to other suggestions!

What would be the most efficient and affordable way to city/country hop? When in is the best time to go? I was thinking June, but then I read it's monsoon season, and don't know how bad it gets. I can go anytime after April. Humid and heat do not bother me at all, the cold does! Below 60 degrees feels too cold for me.

I feel once I know which cities I should see, how many days minimum are needed for each, and how to get from one city/country to the other most efficiently without wasting time and money on the road, then I can research what to see and do in each city.

Some background info: 30 years old, female and will be travelling solo. I currently live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although I have traveled, and lived, internationally, I have never been to Asia. I love hiking, culture, history, food, colors, and art.

Thank you so much in advance!

RM67 Dec 19th, 2017 08:08 AM

I would pick two countries max and have a week in each - and even then you will be limited in what you can see.

Air travel is cheap - plenty of budget airlines. Rail too, though it will eat into your time considerably.

Ours was a longer trip than yours, but may help you narrow it down a bit:-

MmePerdu Dec 19th, 2017 08:38 AM

I see no point in rushing around trying to pack things in as you'd certainly get less feel for where you are and, as you say, you'll be back. Two weeks is little enough time to see much in 1 country and I fear you'll be condemning yourself to seeing just big cities without the time to venture into the countryside, my favorite places.

As you're young, maybe the big cities, though, are what you're thinking. I'd make that determination before proceeding. If you decide on 1 main destination plus just a city in a second country from which you can fly home, you can time it based on the weather in your primary destination. Ten days in 1 country divided between city & a smaller place + nearby countryside would make sense to me, then spend a few days in a 2nd city before heading home from there.

It really is impossible to make place recommendations to strangers. I think you need to study the possibilities and I think as you do, one place will ultimately stand out as the country where you'd like to begin. Then, with weather details, you'll have your starting point. If cost is a concern, you can then put your arrival city into the airline search sites for your dates and come up with a likely destination from which to fly home. In most cases, using the low fare airlines, getting from one country to the other won't be a major expense.

All that said, I found Thailand a very easy & delightful beginner's country for Asia. But then I might have said the same thing had I gone anywhere else first. But starting in Bangkok, proceeding elsewhere in Thailand and ending with a few days in Hong Kong is, for me, still a great trip. The food in Thailand is some of the very best, I think, and Hong Kong cannot be beaten in so many ways and also has countryside for day trips. Good hunting!

Kathie Dec 19th, 2017 10:27 AM

You have already gotten some good advice. I'd suggest. Thailand plus a side trip elsewhere - either Cambodia or Laos.

I don't recommend a week in Thailand and a week in VN. VN has too much to try to see it in a week. Wait until you have at least two weeks to spend to go to VN. Likewise, Myanmar needs more time, at last 10 days to cover the main sights.

I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip. SE Asia is my favorite part of the

Kay2 Dec 19th, 2017 11:23 AM

Good suggestions above. I've been to Thailand multiple times and we are headed to Cambodia next month.

Starting in Bangkok or Hong Kong is fun, but also easy for tourists to get over jet lag and become immersed (in two totally different cultures). Then branch out.

BKK and HKG are major airline hubs that you can reach with one change of plane from LAS.

I enjoy fast moving trips with no more than 4 days in one location and a mix of city and countryside, so I can usually see 2-3 stops in a week. A "typical" trip might be starting in Bangkok, spending minimum of 3-4 days (palace, river and klongs, markets, etc.), perhaps travel by land to Ayutthaya for day or two, fly to north hill country (Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai) where you could get outdoors for 2-3 days (organized hikes in northern Thailand hills are available--check out Lisu Lodge for an example), fly south to a beach for as many days as you want to swim or other water activities (also some national parks that have hiking), fly to Siem Reap to visit Angkor Wat for 3 days. That would probably fill 2 weeks with the most common destinations.

I will be going to Siem Reap for the first time next month. We fly into BKK and then take a short flight from there. We are staying longer than many people do and longer than we usually stop in one place so that we can move slowly in the heat to see the temples and also get out into the countryside with a guide. One must be careful hiking in Cambodia because of land mines.

I've been in Thailand in July during monsoon and the humidity and heat were much more oppressive than in the southern US. When it rained (not every day), the streets filled and there was no way to stay dry with coat or umbrella or boots. October was nice. December/January is usually pleasant. Temperatures below 50 are unusual.

Goldshadow Dec 22nd, 2017 08:59 AM

Thank you @RM67, I will look up that link, I wish I had more than two weeks at a time!

Goldshadow Dec 22nd, 2017 09:03 AM

Thank you @MmePerdu , I wouldn't be upset if I were to miss the countryside :) ..Thinking of it and reading the responses, I will limit to 2 countries, so my time is not wasted on the road.

Which budget airlines do you recommend? I looked up flights on google for that date, and prices are reaching $1,000 or more for a return flight from Las Vegas!

Goldshadow Dec 22nd, 2017 09:11 AM

@Kathie Thanks! Make sense, so perhaps 10 days in Northern Thailand, and a couple of days in Laos? Or 10 days in Southern Thailand and a couple of days in Cambodia? Allowing for time loss during travel?

What are top 3 or 4 sights/activities to experience in Cambodia and Laos?

Thanks in advance!

Goldshadow Dec 22nd, 2017 09:15 AM

@Kay2 Thank you! It seems you're also suggesting majority of the time should be spent in Thailand?

I will take your advice and narrow down to 1 country and 1 city from a second country, and go back other times to finish up.

Kathie Dec 22nd, 2017 10:17 AM

Am I recommending 10 days in Northern Thailand and a couple of days in Laos? or !0 days in Southern Thailand and a couple of days in Cambodia? No.

First of all a couple of day in either Laos or Cambodia isn't enough to even give out a taste. I'd suggest not less than 4 nights in either place. Nor would I recommend 10 days out of your two weeks in either northern or southern Thailand.

Get yourself some guidebooks and read and look at photos - see what calls to you. A library is a good place to start. Once you have your destinations, you will want buy a guidebook for each country.

Then you will be at the point where we can answer specific questions about your destinations.

There are no low-cost airlines from the US to SE Asia, but within SE Asia, I recommend Air Asia. There are a few other budget airlines, but Air Asia covers the most destinations.

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