Indochina trip: DIY or tours

Nov 30th, 2009, 06:10 PM
  #1  
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Indochina trip: DIY or tours

Hello all,

My wife and I are thinking of a trip to Indochinese countries next year and wondering if it's easy enough to do it ourselves?

Thanks a bunch
scomars is offline  
Nov 30th, 2009, 06:48 PM
  #2  
 
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It's very easy (and much cheaper) to do on your own. Read just a few of the hundreds of reports here by independent travelers to these countries.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 30th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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You can certainly do Laos on your own. It helps to have a guide at Angkor Wat, if you are planning on going there.
Vientianeboy is offline  
Nov 30th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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I think most of us here would say that you do not need a tour and can arrange most things on your own, esp with e-mail and the use of websites for information-gathering. You can hire drivers/guides for the day for particular sights as needed; many people here can recommend both drivers and guides, as can guidebooks. I have never taken an organized tour of more than like 3 hours, but my personal view on tours is that they tend to pack too much into too short a time, only go to the most obvious tourist sights and then spend only a limited amount of time there, and often involve a good bit of time at "handicraft" factories which tend to be one person making cloisonné and five people trying to sell you cloisonné. They may also involve mediocre hotels and restaurants. If you can find a tour that just arranges good deals on air fare, hotels and some local transport, then maybe that is OK. (I would think you would want some choice over the hotels, however.)

Traveling in SE Asia is really very easy. There are few language issues, and they do not involve things like airline travel, airports, or even getting to your hotel from the airport. The level of English in hotels is more than adequate. English signage in museums is generally OK (not great in some cases but very good in others) but a good guidebook or an actual guide can be helpful in that situation. Language issues may involve more local things like finding a restaurant with only an English street address, or ordering in a really local restaurant, but that can be part of the fun. And you will never have a language issue buying something! And finally as there are no safety issues, the one reason you might have to take a tour in other parts of the world does not exist here, IMO.
Cicerone is offline  
Dec 1st, 2009, 04:28 AM
  #5  
 
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Hi,

I believe the term "Indochina" is not politically correct now. It is better to refer to these countries as SE Asian countries.

"Indochina" refers to the colonial days that may be offensive to the locals in the present time.
HappyMom32 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2009, 04:25 PM
  #6  
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Thanks a lot all of you for your advice.

@haappymom32: Thanks for your reminder. Will be more careful from now on.
scomars is offline  
Dec 1st, 2009, 10:36 PM
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"Indochina" is still used throughout Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. No one regards it as offensive.
Vientianeboy is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2009, 06:30 AM
  #8  
 
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Indochina is a "touchy" name.

You don't want to risk being insensitive, even to a few locals. Most SE Asian are easy going and are not too uptight on these things but it is better to show sensitivity to their history.
HappyMom32 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2009, 03:37 PM
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Well HappyMom, even the government officials with whom I work, (Laos), refer to the region as Indochina. Who am I to argue with the locals?
Vientianeboy is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2009, 04:00 PM
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I wonder what the schoolgirls call it?

Last time I checked, it ranked up there in the PC lexicon with calling Asia 'The Orient'
filmwill is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2009, 06:24 PM
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"I wonder what the schoolgirls call it?"

Why don't you ask your daughter?
Vientianeboy is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 06:36 AM
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Um...because I don't have one?

Was that a comeback? I wasn't quite sure.

Good to have you back, VB. I missed your holier-than-thou commentary about Asia.
filmwill is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 07:01 AM
  #13  
 
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The schoolgirls call IT "ครูเฒ่าหัวงู".

Indochina refers to the countries under colonial time so why use it? Like calling the USA the Colonies!
Hanuman is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 03:16 PM
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" Like calling the USA the Colonies!"

Gee, I thought they were.
Vientianeboy is offline  
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