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HK >> Hanoi>>Laos >>Angkor Wat>>"a Beach in Thialand to recover...">>>HK to fly home !

HK >> Hanoi>>Laos >>Angkor Wat>>"a Beach in Thialand to recover...">>>HK to fly home !

Old Sep 12th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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HK >> Hanoi>>Laos >>Angkor Wat>>"a Beach in Thialand to recover...">>>HK to fly home !

We are departing Nov 30 to HK to see friends then plan to catch train to Hanoi... www.Seat61.com has great advice but has anyone done it ?

Then 4/5 days in Hanoi - we are on a budget but would love to find a mid priced hotel with "charm" ! Anyone an idea or recomendation ?

Then into northern Lao to Plain of Jars etc and on to Vientiane and the Mekong ... love to find yety another mid priced hotel with "charm" in the city ... Anyone an idea or recomendation ? and perhaps a river trip upstream to teh Temples....

Then to where ? Angkor Wat for sure but open to ideas ! We have 8 weeks before leaving HK again on Jan25th ...


ukinusa is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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Hanoi itself is certainly worth 4 or 5 days. You may want to consider some side trips from Hanoi: Sapa (2-3 days) Halong Bay (2 days), Perfume Pagoda (day trip).

I can't imagine going to Laos without visiting Luang Prabang for several days (at least). So you may want to plan for The Plain of Jars, Luang Prabang and Vientiane at a minumum for Laos.

The temples at Angkor are incredible. It takes three days to see the major temples, if you want to see many of the so-called minor temples, you sould plan for a week. The 7 day pass is US$60, while the 3 day pass is US$40.

There is obviously lots to do and see in Thailand in additon to nice beaches. Do plan to spend some time in Bangkok and consider a trip to the far north of Thailand as well as some time at the beach. Unfortunately, you'll be looking for beach accommodations at the busiest and most expensive time of the year.

You'll have to give us more guidance on what mid-priced means to you ($20 a night? $70 a night?) for us to give you suggestions on places to stay.

Also, some additional guidance on what you want to do/see/experience while you are in SE Asia will allow us to give you more suggestions on places to visit.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for helpful reply - in answer to questions...

1. Side trips from Hanoi are a great idea and will look into what you suggested...
2. I guess the room price is proportional to what the price structure is of the country we are in; from what I have read $20/$30 should get you well ‘set up’; the more expensive hotels, while "nice" by my cultural reference would I suspect tend to divorce/insulate you from the culture you are in and there to see. (We don’t want a Disney experience!)

A level of "western inconvenience" is fine, perhaps attractive because you get to see, feel, smell and experience more ... but I am too old to completely go rustic for 2 months!
4. Luang Prabang – I meant that town when I mentioned the temples in first email – sorry to be ambiguous. From there perhaps to Vientiane to travel some of the Mekong or is that naïve and we should use road transport…
3. N Thailand is again an option we are thinking of but getting there from Vientiane seems a challenge – Chiang Mai/Rai in particular appear well spoken of; Nan also seems to be an attractive destination (Rough Guide) and is on the road less traveled, but we know little of it and its environs…comments ?
4. 3 full days at Ankor seems fine…thanks
5. Beach – Krabi ? Ko Lipe ? Ko Samui ? have all been mentioned….

6. What about Malaria ? I hate to take drugs unless really needed - is there a significant risk or would a combination of a careful use of clothing and deet mitigate, but not remove, the risk?
My wife seems attractive to these pests and had really bad Malaria in Botswana a few years back, she doesn't want a repeat performance but as it's the dry season ?? and the risk is low ? might risk it ??... comments ?
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 04:28 PM
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From Vientiane it is easy to get into North East Thailand crossing at Nong Kai and then to Udon Thani, although at the moment no direct flights from Udon Thani to the North there are budget flights via Bangkok, but at the same time I don't know why more people don't visit the North East / Issan which is a lovely part of Thailand. It is easy to get from Vientiane to Udon Thani and from there you can travel other areas of North East Thailand.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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Just a couple more quick comments:

You can fly from Vientianne to Chaing Mai, so that part of your trip should be easy to plan. I'd say take flights as they are convenient for you, flights within this area are relatively cheap.

Malaria: Some of the places you are going (almost all of Laos, Siem Reap and any other parts of Cambodia other than PP, and the rural northern parts of Thailand (not CM or CR, but the Golden Triangle and other rural areas such as Pai or Nan are malarial risk. If you are only traveling in the area around Hanoi in VN, malarial won't be a problem there. So yes, some of your itinerary is malaria country. I'd suggest that you begin by going to www.cdc.gov/travel and reading the sections on the areas you are visiting. Then go consult with a travel medicine or tropical medicine doctor. Depending on your medical history, etc., together you can decide the best course of action. Remember that section od teh Cambodia/Thai and Thai/Burmese border areas have malaria that is resistant to larium. Thus, you basically have two choices of anti-malarials in this area of teh world: doxycycline and malarone. Malarone is the newest anti-malarial on the market and is renowned for having few side effects. Doxy is inexpensive and most people can take it without problems, but some people develop severe (3%) photosensitivity from it. One of the advantages of malarone is that you only have to take it for one week after leaving the malarial risk area.
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Old Sep 12th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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In Hanoi I really like De Syloia - bit more than your budget but write to them directly and they may give you a discount for the longer stay - we got $50/night for 2 nights. In Northern Laos in Luang Namtha take a look at the eco resort Boat Landing, seems lovely, we stayed at another eco resort in laos which u could consider too, Ban Pako, US$12/night, most amazing setting and best herbal sauna I have EVER experienced.
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