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Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos

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Jul 12th, 2017, 10:47 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos

We plan to go to the above countries for two months December through to Jan/Feb. We've been to Thailand before. We will fly out and back from Heathrow, London.
We are trying to work out the best way to route through these countries. Having traveled for two months in S India last winter, we understand the importance of mixing up temples with other cultural interests, with some down time/ beach time and maximising geographic area by climate.
We are in our mid 50's and being price conscious travellers still have our backpacks, but want a certain level of comfort (our own room) and not a slog. We would prefer to fly rather than do overnight road/train trips. We did energetic jungle treks when we were younger, but these days want to take things easier.
We are not sure where to start with planning this trip, such as where to start and end to make the most of the climate and logical travel links and some down time along the the way. As with S India, there are probably some well established travel routes that we are not yet aware of.
Thank you for your input.
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Jul 12th, 2017, 11:37 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Myanmar is presently my favorite travel destination. I have several trip reports here that may be useful.

While that time of the year has the best weather for your destinations, lodging during the holidays will be very expensive - expect that hotels will double (or more) their usual rates during that time, especially in beach locations.

I expect you will fly in to BKK, as it is the least expensive place to fly into. I would go from there to Burma and I'd plan to spend 3 weeks there. I'd start the planning with Burma, as it has slightly more complicated logistics, and since it has limited lodging available, you may need to make your reservations earlier in order to get what you want. There are good air connections among the cities in Burma. There are only two cities you can fly into/out of: Yangon and Mandalay. It really doesn't matter where you start, as you can head south if you fly into Mandalay and head north if you fly into Yangon.

This will be a wonderful trip!
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Jul 12th, 2017, 01:31 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I'd use Skyscanner to establish your entry point to SE Asia, hopefully you can start in Mandalay. Work your way to Yangon, fly (via BKK) to Vientiane, exit Laos via land border into the northern part of Vietnam, then head south to Saigon. From here you could take a boat to Phnomh Penh, and exit with a flight from Siem Reap.

With two months you could have a rough plan but little booked. That would allow flexibility to change/extend time in locations that grab you. If you're not terribly fussy, accomodation will be easy to find. There's many great trip reports on Fodor's that will give you some ideas. Use them and a guide book (I like Lonely Planet) to rough out an itinerary, then ask questions here to nail some details.

I envy your two months, such a generous amount of time.
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Jul 12th, 2017, 05:35 PM
  #4
 
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You may wish to have a look at Emirates for your international flights. They have recently started operating flights to Phnom Penh via Yangon ( all flights via Dubai). We used them for our current trip which involves a flying out to Australia and NZ via KL out and BKK return. There website, once I got to grips with it was incredibly flexible and the fare was hundreds £ than the competition.

As they also fly from Hanoi, so it would seem to make sense to fly home from there.

www.travelfish.org is a pretty good resource for travel in the region.

We are currently in the region and have been here many times in the past. Findin decent private accomodation has never been an issue. Sometimes we just turn up on spec, but more often we use booking.com on a free cancellation basis and find they usually offer better rates than for walk ins. A nice, private en suite room will cost circa £20. You can find places for less but these tend to be frequented by a younger set and can get noisy.

Very wise to avoid overnight road trips as the accident rate is not good. However, I would not discount the train in Vietnam. It can be cost and time effective and is great way to meet the locals!

I haven't been to Myanamar but Sartoric suggestion of Laos- Cambodia Vietnam is a good one - and has given me some food for thought for our the last month of our current trip - thanks Sartoric! I was already suffering from "chronic indecision syndrome"

The other way would be to go from Luang Prabang, South via Vientiane, Pakse, SI phan Don in the Mekong and then into Cambodia around Stung Treng to Kratie SR, PP and thence to Vietnam via Chau Doc in the delta.

Visas are generally easy for all countries but do check on current requirements as they do change, particularly for any land border.
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Jul 14th, 2017, 03:53 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Certainly Emirates would be my choice flying from UK into Yangon.Using their "multiple destinations" tab you can fly into Yangon and fly out of Hanoi,Phnomh Penh, Saigon or Bangkok back to the UK.
(I have booked UK-DXB-RGN-BKK-DXB-UK for December and my internal flights on-line with Air KBZ and Myanmar National Airline)
Using local internal or International airlines can get you to Laos,Cambodia and Vietnam.
For airlines/routes I would recommend this as a better option to skyscanner-more flexible and no agents links-only direct with the airline.
http://matrix.itasoftware.com/
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Jul 18th, 2017, 06:47 AM
  #6
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Thank you. Just what we needed to know. That is extremely helpful to start our research.
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Sep 2nd, 2017, 08:43 AM
  #7
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Thank you. I have sorted our trip to Myanmar and we fly from Yangon to Laos on 18 December. We will fly out of Luang Prabang on 29 Dec. I see a number of different options for Laos, but am not clear as to the best way to spend those 10 days. Any input would be appreciated thanks.
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Sep 2nd, 2017, 10:23 PM
  #8
 
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Are you flying in to Vientiane or Luang Prabang? If Vientiane, then the beaten tourist trail is 3/4 nights in and around Vientiane, bus [4 hours] to Vang Vieng beautiful scenery all around] for 3 nights, then bus [6 hours] to Luang Prabang for the balance of your stay. There are other places but they'll eat into your time.

You might like this link about the month by month weather conditions in the whole SE Asia Region.
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Sep 3rd, 2017, 01:02 AM
  #9
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I have started a separate post for Laos as the original post was getting too complicated. Thank you
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