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Help with 2013 trip to Thialand/Vietnam and ?

Help with 2013 trip to Thialand/Vietnam and ?

Old Feb 6th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Help with 2013 trip to Thialand/Vietnam and ?

Travelling with a small (10 -15) group next year (February or March). Need some advice please.
This is what we are thinking:

2 nights Bangkok
4- 5 nights Karom
3 - 4 nights Ko Chang or a similar island (perhaps 2 nights on a sailing yacht?)
4 nights Vietnam
4 nights either Cambodia or Laos
1 night Bangkok

4 star hotels, domestic flights, some meals and tours.

Our group is quite active (para sailing, elephant trekking, snorkelling, hiking, biking, boating, kayaking, touring temples, etc..)

Any recommendations for tour operators? Should we tour Cambodia or Laos..... or a different country?
Can we do this trip for under $3000p/p?
thx
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Where, might I ask, is Karom? Are you referring to Karon beach in Phuket?

With 4 nights in Vietnam, I assume you will visit one city. Likewise your request for 4 nights in Cambodia or Laos. I hope you realize you won't "tour" any country in 4 nights - you'll get to see one city, one location (or else spend the whole time on a bus).

Have any of you been to this part of the world before? What do you want a tour operator to do? These countries are all easy to travel in, and it is easy to book your own flights and accommodations.

What are your priorities for this trip? The things you most want to see/do?

Do you expect the $3000 per person to include airfare to SE Asia?

With more information, we can be more helpful.
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 04:29 PM
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Yes Karon beach. My husband and I were there 6 years ago and have fond memories.
You are correct we can only really tour one location in each country. But where in Vietnam and which country (city) should be our 3rd visit?
I guess I am looking for the right direction to go on this. Perhaps we don't need a tour operator but how is one to know which hotels are good and safe. Also sometimes a tour operator can put a nice package together at a discounted group rate.
We would be looing for a mixture of beach fun/relaxation, cultural exposure with a touch of adventure.
Our average age is 57.
As far as the price - we would be responsible for our own international flights since the group lives throughout Canada and the U.Z.
Hope this additional info helps.
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Yes, this does help.

I'd suggest you look into the temples of Angkor (Siem Reap, Cambodia) as your third visit. Here are our old photos: AngkorWat.marlandc.com/index.html If it looks interesting to you, borrow or buy a copy of Dawn Rooney's book: Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples.

If you'd prefer to opt for a place in Laos, Luang Prabang is the old cultural capital. Here is a set of our photos from there: laos-thailand.marlandc.com/index.html

Both Siem Reap and Luang Prabang would entail a rather pricey flight from Bangkok.

For VN, think of your options as being north (Hanoi), central (Hue/Hoi An) or south (HCMC).

You should be able to do this trip for well under $3000 per person, especially if you are staying double occupancy in accommodations.

It never hurts to get a price quote from an agent. Often, you can do it for less yourselves. In any case, you'll want to do your own research. How do you know the hotel the agent recommends is good?

Safety really isn't much of an issue. Just use common sense. I consider all of these places to be safer than large cities in the US. The biggest safety issues are motorcycle accidents.

As you do more research, you can come back and ask about particular hotels or activities.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 01:16 AM
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for the VN portion of our trip (3 1/2 weeks) we used Tonkin Tours which has been recommended on this site. While I could have easily booked it myself ( easy, but admittedly very time consuming, to read reviews on here, TA and lots of other sites). I used Tonkin because she consistently got lower prices for hotels. I would price them out on agoda and other discount sites If I got a lower rate, I let Tonkin Tours know and they either matched it or told me to go ahead on my own. However, in the end we booked everything thru them. During the planning and booking they were very efficient and competent. We have just arrived in Hanoi so I can't speak to their responsiveness should a problem arise, but I don't anticipate any issues. I might add, that we booked 2/3's of this trip on my own and that included Thailand, Luang Prabang and Siem Reap. I rarely use Travel Agents.
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