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Is it too ambitious to do Thailand, Cambodia, Laos in 22 days?

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Feb 11th, 2009, 01:31 PM
  #1
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Is it too ambitious to do Thailand, Cambodia, Laos in 22 days?

If there is anyone out there who could give me suggestions on an itinerary, I would greatly appreciate it.

We arrive in BKK at 11:25 pm on 10/22/09 and leave 11/14/09.

On our must visit list is:
Bangkok and Angkor Wat.
We are torn on whether to head north to Chiang Mai then on to Laos, Cambodia, BKK or head south to beach area, Cambodia, Laos, Bkk.

My question is, am I crazy to try and cram all of this in 22 days???

Thanks : )
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Feb 11th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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You can do this in 22 days. I would skip Chiang Mai and you can easily go to Bangkok, Angkor Wat, Luang Prabang and a beach. A key would be to see if you can fly direct from Siem Riep to Luang Prabang or vice versa. Even if you can't (and avoid transiting through Bangkok) you could do as follows:

BKK-5 days
SR-5days
LP-4 days
Beach-6 days
BKK-2 days

This will give you plenty of time in each location to relax and check out what's going on. Each p[lace is very different.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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I agree with Gpanda. Just know that you are getting a sample of each country. Like Andy, I'd skip CM. You might want to juggle the number of days in each place a bit depending on your interests, but I wouldn't spend fewer than 4 nights (which is really 3 days) at any one location.

You might like to take a look at photos of Angkor, Luang Prabang and Bangkok on our website www.marlandc.com
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Feb 11th, 2009, 11:03 PM
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Hi kikiv...

my itinerary for Cambodia & laos would be:

Day1- Fly Bangkok – Siem Reap Hotel De La Paix
Day 2- Siem Reap Angkor complex
Day 3- Siem Reap Angkor complex
Day 4- Siem Reap Angkor complex
Day 5- Fly Siem Reap – Luang Prabang Visit city & temples tour 3 Nagas Hotel
Day 6- Luang Prabang – Xieng Thong pagoda & Pak ou holy caves
Day 7- Luang Prabang – Khoung Si waterfall & local villages
Day 8- Fly Luang Prabang – Vientiane City & temples tour Settha Palace Hotel
Day 9- Vientiane – City temples tour & Buddha park & craft market.
Day 10- Fly Vientiane – Bangkok, so your remain days would enough to do all for Thailand.

Bangkok 3days

Chiang Mai 4days

Beach 5 days

You can see here the reviews from many travelers that have good holiday with them http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...-Cambodia.html My family 5 member also have a great holiday with them too they do great job. If you looking for a private tour we are highly recommend them they really base local travel agency the quote you got from them really make you surprise they are too reasonable.

Have good day.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 04:25 AM
  #5
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Gpanda and Kathie thanks for your quick response and your suggestions.
I did some more reading about Chiing Mai and will be taking your advice to skip it on this trip.

We are from MIA and have been fortunate enough to also spend many summers in the Bahamas.
Although we love the water we don't have to spend so many days on the beaches. I think maybe 3 days on a beach would be good enough for us and use those extra days elsewhere.

I'd be interested to know what are your favorite beach areas in Thailand. We would also like to stay away from the larger resort areas if possible.

Kathie, loved your pictures!


Thanks
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Feb 12th, 2009, 06:40 AM
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I'm glad you enjoyed our photos.

If you don't need so much time on a beach, that gives you to opportunity to spend more time in your other locations. I'd add at least one day to Luang Prabang and another day to Siem Reap.

Save your beach time until near the end of your trip, as you'll have better weather in November than in October. You'll want to choose a beach on the Phuket side of the peninsula. All of the beach areas of Thailand have busier beaches and quieter beaches. You might want to consider PhiPhi. Look for posts by Leigh for his raves about PhiPhi and recommendations on where to stay. Others will have more beach recommendations.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 07:29 AM
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Agreed. Not too much to see in Chiang Mai. Plus you'll have more time in the other destinations if you omit CMX
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Feb 12th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Kathie is spot on. The best weather will be on the Andaman Sea side at the end of your trip. This includes Phuket, Phi Phi, Krabi and Khao Lak. All have their charms.

You clearly don't need a ton of beach time, so I would cut that to four days near the end of the trip. Add to Siem Riep if you're temple-oriented, Luang Prabang if you're looking for relaxed wandering or Bangkok if you're city people.

Perhaps you could draw up a draft itinerary and we will be glad to provide our "thoughts".
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Feb 12th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Kathie I took your advice and read Leigh's beach posts as well as from others.
Based on all I've read so far, I think Phi Phi will be our 1st choice.

Leigh highly recommends the Holiday Inn Resort and although I was hoping for a smaller property, I checked out the other resorts on the north east side and HI's beach locale seems to be the best. Since the consensus from this forum seems to be that this is the most beautiful beach in PP and given that we will only have 2 full days I think this probably will be where we will stay.

Gpanda and Mango I would love to hear your thoughts, as well as any of the other Thailand experts out there.

Bkk 5 nights
Siem Reap 6 nights
Luang Parang 6 nights
PP 3 nights
Bkk 3 nights

I’ve read that there are flights from both SP and LP and Phuket /Krabi so depending on what is available I might need to invert the order b/n SP and LP.
If you know which airlines offer the best routes please let me know…?

Thanks again!


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Feb 12th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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The proposed schedule looks good. You'll have a great trip. I would maintain some flexibility around the Luang Prabang and Siem Riep stays. If you find that either is not to your liking, you could visit other areas in Laos or Cambodia. This means that you will have to book your hotel with some awareness of any cancellation policies.

You should also be aware that you will need to take a ferry to get to Phi Phi. Check some threads here for information on coordinating the ferry with flights in and out of Phuket.

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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:03 PM
  #11
 
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what the..

my itinerary would be:

Day1- Fly Bangkok – Siem Reap Hotel De La Paix
Day 2- Siem Reap Angkor complex
Day 3- Siem Reap Angkor complex
Day 4- Siem Reap Angkor complex
Day 5- Fly Siem Reap – Luang Prabang Visit city & temples tour 3 Nagas Hotel
Day 6- Luang Prabang – Xieng Thong pagoda & Pak ou holy caves
Day 7- Luang Prabang – Khoung Si waterfall & local villages
Day 8- Fly Luang Prabang – Vientiane City & temples tour Settha Palace Hotel
Day 9- Vientiane – City temples tour & Buddha park & craft market.
Day 10- Fly Vientiane – Bangkok – Chiang Mai
Day 11- Chiang Mai
Day 12- Chiang Mai
Day 13- Chiang Mai
Day 14- Fly Chiang Mai – Phuket (Phi Phi)
Day 15- Phi Phi
Day 16- Phi Phi
Day 17- Phi Phi
Day 18- Phi Phi – Phuket – Bangkok
Day 19-BKK
Day 20-BKK
Day 21-BKK
Day 22- BKK – HOME

Hope this help.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:15 PM
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salie, as you have often posted advertising for your tour company here on Fodors - which is against the terms of service - your advice is suspect.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:36 PM
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Sallie's advice is somewhat suspect. Leaving for Siem Riep the first day is not wise. You will have some jet lag and it's much easier to have an easy day in Bangkok with some relaxation to adjust to the time difference. Her itinerary does not have enough Bangkok time. It is a magical city. You should spend some days at the beginning and some others at the end of the trip in Bangkok.

Like I said, skip Chiang Mai. Four locations for 21 days is plenty. You will have the opportunity to get acquainted with each location.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 09:20 PM
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I disagree that Chiang Mai should be left out. It would kind of depend if you are ever thinking of returning to SE Asia one day. Most regulars on this forum love Bangkok returning many times and prefer here than to the north. With your time you should be able to fit Chiang Mai in and also the Cambodia capital. Here is my suggestion

day 1 to 3 - Bangkok

day 4 - afternoon flight by Air Asia
to Phnom Penh
day 5 – Tour PP

day 6 - Morning bus or taxi to Siem
Reap (4-5hrs)
day 7 to 9 Tour Temples

day 10 - early afternoon direct flight by Vietnam Air to Luang Prabang
day 11 to 12 - Luang Prabang

day 13 - early afternoon direct flight by Lao Air to Chiang Mai
day 14 to 16 Tour CM and countryside

day 17 - travel day - CM/BK/Phuket/PhiPhi. By Thai Air through Bangkok’s old airport (Don Mueang) arriving Phuket Airport in time to make last ferry.
day 18 to 20 – beach time

day 21 - afternoon ferry to Phuket and evening flight by Air Asia to Bangkok
day 22 - Bangkok
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Feb 13th, 2009, 08:12 AM
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We just did this trip and it was great!

* 4 days in BKK
* 2 days in Chiang Mai
* 4 days in LP (loved that)
* 3 days in Siem Reap
* 4 days in Phuket
* 2 days in SIN

For us it was plenty of time in BKK. Wished we had more time in Chiang Mai and LP. We thought the temples were incredible, but Siem Reap itself was not that great esp when compared with LP. We really enjoyed the beach at Phuket and could've stayed longer. Singapore was a family visit so had to go.
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Feb 13th, 2009, 04:18 PM
  #16
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Wow, thanks everyone for all of your input!
Hmm, I have to do more reading and figure out what to do.

We love big cities so I know that we'll want to spend the most amount of time in BKK.

Scotters, yes we do plan on returning to SEA soon, hopefully next year via Singapore to visit a friend. We got our tickets w/ AA miles and we could only fly in and out of Bkk on the dates we wanted.
If we miss Chiang Mai this year we will most certainly visit on our next trip.
Your airline information is a big help, it will certainly make my life easier knowing where to look for flights!

At first we were just going to visit Thailand and Angkor (I have dreamt about this place since I was a kid), on this trip.
But as it turns out I started reading more on Laos and thought, why not since we are so close?

Linjudy, I’m curious to know why you thought Siem Reap was not as nice as Luang Parang. I have read that SP was getting a bit run down b/c of all of the tourism.
Where did you stay in SP and LP?

Again, I appreciate all of your input!!!
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Feb 14th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Most people would go to Luang Prabang because of the town and its ambience. They go to Siem Reap because of Angkor Wat. It is very touristy and there are large featureless hotels everywhere, especially on the road to the airport.

But don't let me put you off Angkor, it is fabulous.
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Feb 16th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Luang Prabang is beautiful and magical in both the scenery and architecture. It's also very "chic" in an "bygone era" sort of way -- everything (shops, restaurants, bars) were "just so" -- elegant and ambient. People were friendly and low-key. Food and shopping were fabulous, and if you're into adventure, there's plenty of trekking, rafting, elephant training etc. nearby.

Siem Reap itself was a big letdown for us after LP. The city was rundown, polluted and very touristy. That said, Angkor Wat is spectacular and the highlight of any trip. But once we finish the temples, we wanted to leave. In LP we could've stayed indefinitely.

I stayed at the Lotus Villa in LP (simple but nice, great location next to Wat Nong), and Hotel Be Angkor in SR (great location right on Pub Street, so so rooms).
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Feb 16th, 2009, 01:27 PM
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linjudy, LP sounds so lovely and serene that I might just have to take a day out of SP and add it to LP.

I actually looked into the Hotel B but cannot book any of the hotels until I have my flights figured out.

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Feb 16th, 2009, 04:41 PM
  #20
 
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kikiv, I just posted my photos http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=35183495 (will post trip report soon).

You can see LP for yourself, it's about half way into the slide show

Also, for flying between LP/SR and SR/Phuket, we used Bangkok Airway's Discovery Pass. It's $50 per segment and a great value. To/from Laos the actual carrier is Lao Air, which was fine.
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