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Craig & Jeane Nervous About Nepal & Looking at Plan "B" - Laos (MaryW?)

Craig & Jeane Nervous About Nepal & Looking at Plan "B" - Laos (MaryW?)

Jan 3rd, 2010, 12:17 PM
  #1  
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Craig & Jeane Nervous About Nepal & Looking at Plan "B" - Laos (MaryW?)

We are uncomfortable with the situation in Nepal with the strikes. While all could settle down in the next 5-6 weeks, we do not want to be doing last minute changes if things are not well.
Here is what we are thinking:
(1) We will still do three nights in Varanasi, India
(2) Late afternoon flight to Bangkok (overnight Penn with breakfast by the river?)
(3) Early afternoon flight to Pakse, Laos (overnight Pakse)
(4) 2 night, 3 day "Vat Phou" cruise (MaryW did this) - depart 10 AM, arrive 4 PM
(5) Overnight Pakse - time to visit morning market (main attraction in Pakse)
(6) Late morning flight to Vientiane with 3 nights Vientiane (lots to do)
(7) Early afternoon flight to Bangkok with 3 nights Bangkok (previously scheduled)
Any comments?
Craig is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2010, 12:33 PM
  #2  
 
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looks fabulous....i have been thinking the same about KTM so have now shifted our visit to VN
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Just my opinion ...I loved Lugany Prabang and was not so crazy about Vientiane.
impacked is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Sorry you have to make this decision... The new trip sounds pretty good to me though!
lcuy is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2010, 01:46 PM
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Agree with impacked. Although I quite like Vientiane, if you only have time for one place in Laos it should be Luang Prabang.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2010, 02:13 PM
  #6  
 
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I think Craig has been to LP, which is why he is bypassing it this time.

I think your Plan B sounds just fine. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that Nepal will calm down for you.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2010, 11:19 PM
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Hi Craig,

I'm sure you would enjoy the Vat Phou cruise- its a fairly quiet type of trip. I don't know how busy the boat will be in February- we only had a total of 8 passengers so it was very spacious. I think the 2 cabins on the top deck are the nicest although they are near to the bar and lounge area so if it was a very noisy bunch and you didn't want to join in you may not like it.


Pakse itself is a small town with not much happening but very much a Lao town. The markets are interesting but I think the shopping in Vientiane is much better - It has no where near the character of either LP of Vientiane. If you found you had longer the best place to visit is the Boloven Plateau - for the waterfalls, coffee plantations etc. You can do it in a half day from Pakse but a day or more would be better.

I love Vientiane - have now been back 5 times - its grown in that time and is no longer a completely quiet little backwater but with the growth has come some good things - lots more good new restaurants and better places to stay etc. The only drawback is you now need to walk on the pavements (which at least now exist) not the middle of the road (at least most of the time) or you will get run down by the cars that have multiplied!

When we went up to Pakse from Bangkok we flew to Ubon Rathathani in Thailand and got a car over to the border and then one onto Pakse- It was a nice look at the countryside. The Bangkok Air/Lao plane only goes on certain days so just check it will fit in with you otherwise go to Ubon - its quite easy. We flew up from Pakse to Vientiane.

If there is anything else you want to know just let me know.
MaryW is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 01:03 AM
  #8  
 
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Stay calm. Your personal representative is on the ground, making sure things are fine. All will be revealed.
dogster is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 03:37 AM
  #9  
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Dog - anxiously awaiting your report...
Craig is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 02:05 PM
  #10  
 
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I'm not sure about staying calm - with the Dog on the ground anything could happen!
MaryW is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 03:25 PM
  #11  
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I am not calm - will decide one way or the other by the coming weekend - and yes, any info from the Dog will factor greatly into my decision...
Craig is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 06:43 PM
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Craig: I was corresponding with a Laos operator who just advised me that the Pakse airport will be closed for six months for renovations. She did not mention the beginning and planned ending date of this project. Maybe you already know this but just in case, here's the unverified intel I got today.
Best,
Robbie
Robbietravels is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 06:53 PM
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IMO the best way to get to Pakse from Bangkok is to fly to Ubon Ratchathani and then drive across the border. Ubon does have a few notable landmark as well and very good accomodations.
Hanuman is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 07:06 PM
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Or you could take the night train to Ubon Ratchathani.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 07:24 PM
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If you're not going to fly I would recommend you take a coach instead. The "Gold Class" coach from Nkaornchai Air is the most luxurious coach I've been on in any country. Very wide seats, better than the business class seats on airplane, full service(food and non alcoholic drinks), on demand video programming and very safe. Cost = about 700 Baht each way.
Hanuman is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:37 AM
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Hi Craig,

I would definitely recommend Luang Prabang over Vientiane. I found myself struggling for things to fill my time with in Vientiane and if it hadn't been for a local festival, I may have been quite bored.

Luang Prabang on the other hand has a wealth of things to see and do! The cuisine is fantastic and the town itself is wonderfully charming. You could easily spend a few hours just relaxing with a beer Lao at the side of the river. Perfect!
Jennifer_Laos is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:45 AM
  #17  
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Just for the record - Jeane and I are not going to Laos this time. We were in LP in 2006 though.

Robbie,
Interesting info on Pakse airport - was not aware that it is (was) closed...
Craig is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:30 PM
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Disagree that Vientiane is boring. There are many things to do which can occupy you for at least 3 days.
Vientianeboy is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 12:45 AM
  #19  
 
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I was just going to add about Pakse airport - apparently Lao airlines only announced it a day or so ago and its now in effect! It was closed for a few months late last year and only open again briefly - now closed again. I assume they are doing as they have with the previous closure and within Lao you fly to Savannakhet and then have to bus down. However for anyone who does want to get to Pakse from Bkk - flying (or otherwise) to Ubon is very good and about half the price. Then its just an easy and pleasant trip across the border.

Have to agree with Vientianeboy -I don't find Vientiane boring at all. Its a great place to hang out - I usually try to stay at week and each visit it gets busier and busier.
MaryW is offline  
Feb 5th, 2010, 07:05 PM
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Craig, I can't locate any other recent posts indicating where you ARE going, if not the above itinerary. I must not lose track of you with your great itinerary research and Jeanne's shopping acumen. BTW, road trips north and east of Pakse look interesting according to LP and another guide (which I've just discovered I left at the manicurist this afternoon!)
Robbietravels is offline  

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