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Final Final Itinerary, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, 12/09

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Nov 1st, 2009, 02:09 PM
  #1
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Final Final Itinerary, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, 12/09

Hi again everyone! It's taken me a while with alot of interruptions and changes but here are my soon to be booked plans. I would appreciate any final thoughts but NOT on the number of days in each place as we have exhausted all permutations and are happy with this plan:

Arrive Saigon Late Night, Sleep Saigon (Caravelle)
Roam Around on our Own, Sleep Saigon (Caravelle)
Full Day Tour With Guide: Cu Cui Tunnels and Saigon City Tour, Sleep Saigon (Caravelle)
Full Day Tour With Guide: Drive to Mekong Delta, Sleep Can Tho (Victoria Can Tho)
Full Day Tour With Guide: Mekong Delta Cruise, Drive back to Saigon, Sleep Saigon (Caravelle)
Fly to Phnom Penh Mid-day, Tour With Guide, Sleep Phnom Penh (Amanjaya)
Full Day Tour with Guide including Genocide Museum and Killing Fields Sleep Phnom Penh (Amanjaya)
Fly to Siem Reap Very Early, Full Day Tour With Guide, Sleep Siem Reap (Royal Angkor Resort)
Full Day Tour with Guide, Sleep Siem Reap (Royal Angkor Resort)
Fly to Luang Prabang mid day, Sleep Luang Prabang (Grand Hotel LP) NOTE: Everything in town was booked.
Full Day Tour with guide including Pac caves, Sleep Luang Prabang (Grand Hotel LP)
Full Day Tour with guide including Elephant Ride, Sleep Luang Prabang (Grand Hotel LP)
Tour Luang Prabang on Own, Fly to Hanoi Evening, Sleep Hanoi (Sofitel Metropole)
Full Day Tour With Guide, Sleep Hanoi (Sofitel Metropole)
Roam Hanoi on our Own, Sleep Hanoi (Sofitel Metropole)
Roam Hanoi on our Own, Sleep Hanoi (Sofitel Metropole)
Friend Does Overnight Junket to Halong Bay, I will decide what to do, Sleep Hanoi (Sofitel Metropole)
Friend Returns from Overnight Junket, Fly evening to Danang, Sleep HoiAn (Hotel TBD, see other post)
Roam around HoiAn on Own, Sleep HoiAn, (Hotel TBD)
Full Day Tour with Guide to Myson or Hue, Sleep HoiAn (Hotel TBD)
Roam around HoiAn on Own, Fly to Saigon and Arrive After 7PM (Sleep at First Hotel Near Airport)
Fly US

We are booking the tours from here even though it is more expensive because we are just moving around too much (particularly Phnom Penh and Angkor).

Any final comments before I collapse from this project? Thanks again all!!!
sueblue is offline  
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Nov 1st, 2009, 02:33 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Looks like a great trip.
Femi is offline  
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Nov 1st, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Do you really want all of that time with guides? You might be fine with it, but it would make me crazy.
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Nov 1st, 2009, 04:02 PM
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Congratulations on getting your plans lined up. It is an ambitiously paced trip but you know that, and it is exactly what you want, so go for it!

You will feel some relief and renewed enthusiasm once you make the bookings -- it is stressful to be in the zone in which you are juggling options and negotiating possibilities, endlessly trimming time here and adding it there, wondering what is best for you and workable with transportation schedules.

You do have lots of guide time booked but the guides will help you switch gears each time you move to a different city and culture and that will help you keep up with the pace of the trip.

I hope that you decide to report back. When do you leave? Wasn't this a December trip?
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Nov 1st, 2009, 04:05 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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Sorry -- rushing between appointments and missed the 12/09 tag above. Excuse the question.
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Nov 1st, 2009, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 91
Hi sueblue,

I really don't think you'll need a guide for the Pak Ou/Tham Thing Caves in Luang Prabang.
You could benefit from Denise Heywards, Ancient Luang Prabang guide and it's very comprehensive akin to Michael Freeman's Ancient Ankor (part of the RiverBooks series such as Ancient Bagan).

Just my two cents.

Anyways, I'm headed off to Laos tomorrow and will be off-line for most of the week but if you have any further Qs on Prabang, I'll be checking in on Friday or later so would be happy to help.

The Grand is a bit out of town. Even though it seems that everything is booked, I'm sure some places will be available. There's a new hotel closer into town but off the peninsula and is a short 10 minutes walk away called the Muang Thong Hotel:

http://www.muangthonghotel.com/

I've watched that hotel being built the past couple years and it looks like it's in the same level as the Chang Heritage though I haven't seen the finished insides, yet.

Anyways, I'm leaving tomorrow for SEA and LP so will be off the forum for most of the week. But I'd be happy to check out this new hotel after I've arrived.

Have an excellent trip.

PS--I hope I don't piss you off, but I do want to say, only 2 days for Siem Reap?! I'd trade a day in Luang Prabang for more time at Angkor. Sorry, if this upsets you, but to me Angkor is one of the most amazing archeaological sites in SEA.
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Nov 1st, 2009, 09:15 PM
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ooops, sorry about the double paragraph.
seagypsy is offline  
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Nov 2nd, 2009, 12:47 PM
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Thanks everyone. I think we are going to stay with the guides when we don't have a lot of time in a particular place. Even in LP, we have limited time our first day and then two full days and one half day. It will be less stressful than us trying to figure it all out and we can actually relax if there is down time rather than speaking with the concierge or reading our guide books.

I've asked our travel agent to look into the Muang Thong Hotel . . .

I know alot of people think we are cutting Angkor short. It's just that I saw sooooooo many temples in China and when I arrived home, I couldn't even remember the differences. Hopefully, we will get our full in two days.

Well, I am excited to depart and hopefully I won't pick up swine flu!

Thanks again all for your help!!
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