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advice on 2013 north vietnam, Laos and Myanmar

advice on 2013 north vietnam, Laos and Myanmar

Feb 28th, 2012, 06:55 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 16
advice on 2013 north vietnam, Laos and Myanmar

I am overwhelmed so looking for some advice. I generally plan our trips but not sure I am setting up the easiest schedule for this one

We are traveling in the spring of 2013. We live in Phila
so an early plan is

Fly to Hong Kong and stay 2 days
Fly to Hanoi- Can I get cheap tickets to there from Hong kong or should I book with my international travel
Stay in North Vietnam for 7 days 3 Hanoi, 1 Halong Bay 1 Mai Chau 2- 3 either Hue or Hoi An Which should we do .Seems like doing both could be too much
Fly to Luang Prabang- If I am in Hue or Hoi An do I have to go back to Hanoi to get there and is there a smarter way to do this like start in Hue and work our way north but then how do we get from Hong Kong to Hue
Fly to Bangkok as I think I have to go there to get to Myanmar
Hook up with a travel agency there for 5-6 days
Back to Bangkok and then end with 3-5 days at the beach
Home from Bangkok


so questions
What airline will let me arrive in one location and leave in another
Am I crazy with this plan
Is there any way we can see both Hoi An and Hue by staying on one hotel and just traveling from one to the other or are they too far apart
What is the best beach if we can fit it in

Thanks in advance

Mary
jroe111 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2012, 06:59 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,631
Yes, you are crazy with this plan. You are trying to fit in too much and you'll just end up exhausted and frustrated that you haven't seen/done experienced what you wanted to.

Choose two countries in the time you have.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 28th, 2012, 07:01 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,631
PS - no, you can't stay in Hue and visit Hoi An as a daytrip or the reverse, the drive is too long. And 5-6 days in Burma is not enough. You need to budget an absolute minimum of 7 days just to see two places.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 28th, 2012, 07:39 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,619
I agree with Kathie. Pick two. You will be spending too much time in planes and airports.
I would suggest
Hong Kong for 2 days if you need to or just plough straight through
either Laos or Vietnam and then Burma
or
just Laos and Vietnam.

a few days at the end at a Thai Beach would be nice.
You dont say how many days you would have in Luang Prabang so not sure of your entire trip length.
live42day is offline  
Feb 28th, 2012, 02:11 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,505
Drop Hong Kong; fly into Hanoi. Budget airline service from Hong Kong is relatively scarce compared to other locations. Fly home from Bangkok. Or vice versa. Asia budget lines do not necessarily show up on the big travel search sites. Do specific searches for JetStar, Tiger, and Air Asia.
Yes, most if not all international lines will let you fly into one city and out of the other -- click on the multi-city button on their search pages (known, less formally, as open-jaws.)
From Philadelphia, you can fly either east or west. For instance, a non-stop to Britain, France or Germany and then non-stop on Air Vietnam. The other way, you will have to change at least once, and maybe twice, to reach southeast Asia.
It takes a lot of shopping using multiple search agencies to sort it all out and there is no easy way to do it. Wait: You can hire a travel agent to do it all for you. Not as cheap as questions on this board, though. You do have lots of time; tickets for spring 2013 aren't on sale yet.
Southam is offline  
Mar 11th, 2012, 05:21 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 51
My suggestion:

Fly to Hanoi (Malaysia Air or Thai International Air or Eva Air). 3 days in Hanoi, a 3d/2n cruise in Halong Bay to Cat Ba Island. Fly to Luang Prabang (3days) - cruise or speedboat up-river to crossover into Thailand (2d/1n). Two or three days in/around Chiang Rai.

Fly (Thai International) back to Bangkok and on to Yangon. Spend as long as you can in Myanmar (I'd suggest a 10 day absolute minimum) , Yangon, Mandalay, Bagon, Kalaw, Inle Lake. Back to Yangon and fly out to Bangkok, and on to Hua Hin, Phuket or other Thai beach resort (avoid Pattaya). Home.

Open jaw tickets are possible on the 3 Asian airlines I've suggested, and all 3 are highly rated, reliable and very safe airlines. (Service on each far exceeds that on US airlines).

Have Fun.
obione980 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2012, 06:48 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,072
There are no must stay days for any one place. You have to decide what you want to do and then see how much time you have to stay to get that done. As far as Myanmar, 10 days is great but others on this board have gone for shorter periods and others for longer. I once flew to Germany overnight to go to the Christmas market so I'm not one to tell you 'you have to stay a certain length of time'. For instance, I did not go to Kalaw my first time in Myanmar and I'm going back in November and still will not go to Kalaw. Others would leave out Mandalay but I saw things in Mandalay I will never forget (seeing gold leaf made by hand, etc.) I like the 'if I had 2 days, or had 7 days, or whatever, what would I like to do. AND are you a return visitor to places or tend to always want to go to a new place? I think you have a lot of questions to answer for yourself before you start pinning down number of days here or here. Lucky you, you have a long time to enjoy the planning.

I will also add that of your possible destinations, Myanmar is the one changing the most so I would probably give that priority believing it won't be so different in Vietnam or Laos in another 2 or 3 years but Myanmar is rapidly changing.
wintersp is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 10:28 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,466
I went to Bagan and Yangon for 6 nights, so I think it can be done in shorter time scales ( and we still felt like we saw a lot) however slower pace is best and I agree that you should try and keep the countries to a minimum or you won't realty SEE anything
Smeagol is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 11:25 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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In general I agree with wintersp. How long you choose to stay in places is based on your likes and dislikes and the rate at which u like to travel. How many days on the ground do you have?

Agree that a one day visit to Hue from Hoi An would be a but much for me. - its about a 3-4 hour drive between the two. Since u r trying to c a lot I would not spend 2 nights at Halong Bay. It can easily be seen in 2 days/i night.
yestravel is offline  

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