Help on Cambodia/Laos/Thailand trip

May 26th, 2004, 07:30 PM
  #1  
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Help on Cambodia/Laos/Thailand trip

Hi - I have gotten lots of great invaluable advice on Travel Talk and am hoping to benefit from my fellow travellers' wisdom once moore for our (me + 1 friend) upcoming trip to SE Asia. Below are some basic thoughts - I would love to get feedback (and suggestions) about whether the places, durations and plans I have listed make any sense. Thanks so much!!

We will be arriving into BKK on Jun 21 pm and leave out of BKK on July 6 am. So we have 14 full days for our trip.

So far we know we want to spend 2 days in BKK (we have both been there before). The other places we plan to visit are as follows:

Siem Reap/Angkor: 3 days
Phnom Penh: 2 days
Louang Phabang (+surrounding areas): 4 days
Koh Samui: 2 days (?)

Now the questions

I know we are trying to pack in a lot, but is this doable? Are the # of days in each place reasonable or pointlessly brief? If not, what is the best order in which to visit these places? We plan to buy a Bangkok Air TravelPass - are these destinations possible on the Pass? Is there some destination that we can skip/replace? Some must-visit place we are missing?

More specifically, is it worthwhile to visit the countryside around LP? Finally, is Koh Samui worth it or just too overdeveloped/overrun? Is there a part of it that is the nicest/most secluded/best beach? Any hotel recommendations?

Some background: We are travelling from the US. I am originally from India and my friend from the US. Aside from the culture/sights, we like urban areas and beautiful beaches.
sen28 is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 12:42 AM
  #2  
 
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Bangkok air goes to all the destination aside fron Phnom Penh (which from what I hear you can easily skip). I have been to the other locations and love all of them.
This is doable if you take out PP and depending on how well you cope with jet lag.
But 3 days in Luang Prabang may seem enough for you. It is so laid back and does not have an extensive must see list. Most of the charm is in soaking up the charm. Time ticks slower.
Unless you are really into looking at all the temples in great details you could push and take two full days in Siemp Riep only. There is not much else aside from the amazing ruins.

I would suggest Krabi over Samui (though I like Samui too). Krabi has the more beautiful beaches. You may want to go out to Koh Lanta rather than stay in Krabi itself. No matter what you do, take the boat trip out from Krabi, it is spectacular. I would take the extra days from PP and tack it onto Krabi at the back end, that way you are rejuvinated for your trip back.
nislam is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 03:45 AM
  #3  
 
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I think your itinerary is a bit rushed. Bear in mind airport transfer times at various destinations and that you may not get early morning flights everywhere. I agree with Nislam that u cud consider dropping PP. I would stay with 3 days for Siem reap - I have been twice, one for 3.5 days and once for 2 and found 2 very rushed. In terms of order do SR first then LP as u will enjoy chilling out at your own pace after a fairly packed schedule in SR. Pl give an indicative budget for us to make hotel recos.
Sameera_Anand is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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I agree with other to skip PP. It's not on Bangkok Aiways routes, and I'd say it's not worth it for the short time you have in AE Asia. I'd suggest limiting your destinations to three.

Three full days in Siem Reap to see Angkor is fine, you'll be able to visit all of the "major" temples, but won't have time for the so-called minor temples. I'd say at least 4 days in LP, it's lovely and laid back, and you have to slow down to really experience it. I spent a week there and loved every minute. That leaves you with 4 days for a beach. I think weather may be the biggest factor in choosin which beach.

You have sensibly not counted your travel days as time in each location.

Enjoy!
Kathie is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 07:59 AM
  #5  
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Thank you all for your most helpful tips! Sounds like PP is skippable - we will consider that.

Nislam, Krabi sounds great but I have read that it is the wrong season for the islands on the Andaman side - is that not correct?

Sameera, we are deciding to splurge on this trip so we would like to stay in the best hotels possible if they are not astronomically expensive.

If we cut out PP and the beaches didn't work out weather-wise, is it worth going to Yangon for a couple of days?

Thanks!
sen28 is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 11:56 AM
  #6  
 
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I'd say stick to a beach (Koh Samui should be fine, weatherwise) rather than trying to add in a different country. The other option would be to spend some time in Bangkok. If you haven't been to Bangkok before, it is a fabulous city. I've been there probably two dozen times, and I always make sure I have time for 5 days in Bangkok each trip.
Kathie is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 09:17 PM
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We went to Krabi last July. It was fine though we got 30 minutes of rain some days. Samui generally has better weather at this time. Though I still think if you are going to do one beach, Krabi is far more beautiful.
As for hotels, at Siemp Riep we stayed at the Angkor village which was lovely, with large rooms. There is a new hotel by santuary resorts which sounds interesting, called Shinta Mani but I have not been there.
Luang Prabang, I stayed at the new Three nagas hotel and loved it, the rooms (and bath) were huge modern with local flavor. We could watch the world go by from the balcony and the food was very good as well. I would plurge for the studio rooms upstairs. Though people love the Villa Santi, I found the rooms to be a little musty and dated. We stayed at the Grand, it was nice but too far out. You could also try the Pansea.
In Krabi, I would go for the Tubkaak or for a real splurge, the Rayavadee which is having a "special" on their website www.rayawadee.com. There are tons of other really nice places, you can try www.sawadee.com for a list.
For Samui, the new Pansea looks really good. And sawadee has the whole list.
nislam is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 03:43 PM
  #8  
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Thank you all for your very helpful tips! I am going to look into Krabi vs. Samui further. If too rainy, may make an impromptu trip somewhere else. We have spent quite a bit of time in BKK but maybe an indulgent spa experience is in order
sen28 is offline  

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