Itinerary suggestions Thailand/Laos

Sep 14th, 2005, 06:13 AM
  #1  
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Itinerary suggestions Thailand/Laos

Looking for itinerary help for Thailand/Laos trip. 2-3 weeks.
We are very interested in culture, nature and museums. Unique experiences. Not so much on beaches and shopping. We been reading quite a bit on the forums, but seem to be overwhelmed. Has anyone done the river cruise of a few days in Laos? It sounds like many seem to think Vientiane should be skipped? ANY help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
connette is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 06:26 AM
  #2  
 
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First, I would make it a 3 week trip and do 5-7 days in Laos and the rest of the time in Thailand. If you only have two weeks I'd just do thailand.

I'm also not a beach or shoppping person. I would suggest 6 -7 days in Bangkok and the rest of the time in nothern thailand. Check out my long post on off the beaten track northern thailand and then let me know if you have any specific questions.

You could spend 2-3 days in Chiang Mai and then with a driver explore the other wonderful areas of nothern thailand. Too many people spend a few days in Chiang Mai shopping and then go to a luxury resort. From my perspective they miss what makes the area so interesting.

I liked Vientiane but I was there almost 15 years ago so it could have changed a lot.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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I agree with Gloria, if you only have two weeks, spend it in Thailand. If you have three weeks, spend 5-7 days in Laos, preferably Luang Prabang.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Thanks for the great replies. We can take 3 weeks. We have a proposed itinerary - but I don't like some things and we have plenty of time to tweek. This involves trains and some long car trips - neither of which sound appealing to us. Also, don't think we want to go to the trouble of the plan of jars. Also need to figure out which month and still wondering about the river cruise where you see Vat Phou, etc. What do you think (tweek help)? Thanks again. Post Bangkok:

Bangkok - Ayuthaya - Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai -Pai - Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son - Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai - Golden Triangle Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang Pakou Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang Khouang Si Waterfalls Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang Xieng Khouang
Xieng Khouang Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng - Vientiane
Vientiane
Vientiane Pakse Khong island
Khong island
Khong island Tatlo - Pakse
Pakse

connette is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 09:33 AM
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you will be spending no time in bkk is this correct??

looks like way too much time in chiang mai....why would you return to CM after the golden triangle?? transportation?? i would fly as much as i can as road and train trips do not appeal to me either...waste of time in some cases, i.e. trains...

you have also alloted quite a bit of time in LP...it is nice but 4 days seems enough to me...
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Lots of thoughts.

First, you can't drive to CM in one day.
Personally I think you are better off flying from Bangkok to CM. The other alternative would be to fly to Mae Sot and go to Sukothai and then drive (but you should have a driver) from there to Mae Hong Song and then work your way to Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. I will ttt the northern itineray I did.

You can go to these places without all the back and forth that you are currently doing.

I actually don't think you're spending enough time in CM. Seems like you are there a lot in transit but only have two days. I would add a third.

How much time are you spending in Bangkok?

I'd reduce your time in Laos by at least 3 days and add the time to northern thailand.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 10:35 AM
  #7  
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This would all be post Bangkok. We can stay there for several days. We use private guides and drivers. Getting to CM was the suggested overnight train. I am just not a candidate for that - so that must be adjusted. The CM -CR part is exactly where I seem to be challenged. Having not been and only read, I am working on wrapping my mind around the choices. What would you do similar (or different) to this? I am very open to someone who has been and not read. We are very flexible. The itinerary at end of the trip in Laos looked interesting to us - but maybe not??
connette is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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I just sent back my off the beaten track in northern thailand. You may get some ideas.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 10:52 AM
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Some thoughts if you want to stay in the areas with better tourist infrastructures.

To Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Song to Pai
To Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Boat to Chiang Rai (luggage goes with car and driver)
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai
glorialf is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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Let me comment on the Laos portion of your trip.

I would suggest that you fly from CM to LP. From LP you can do a number of day trips, such as the Pak Ou caves and the two waterfalls outside of town, the silk weaving villages, Hmong villages. But you also want to allow enough time to enjoy LP. I spent a week there, including the days I spent outside of town, and it was the perfect amount of time for me. Vang Vieng has beceome sort of a backpacker's mecca. Persoanlly, I wouldn't include it.

You'll have to decide how much time to take for Vientiane, taking into consideration that you'll want less time there than in LP. At that point, decide if you really have enough time to go anywhere else in Laos.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:59 AM
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Definitely spend 3 or 4 days in Luang Prabang and also do the three day river cruise on the Vat Phou. This is the best boat trip on the river. Skip the rest as there is much more that's interesting to see and do in Thailand.

You can find info on the Vat Phou by Goggling Vat Phou or check this link:

http://www.asian-oasis.com/MekongCru...u_cruises.html
jog2121 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 04:02 AM
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I'd make that Googling because I don't think Goggling is going to get you anywhere. Seriously, the Vat Phou is by far the best boat on the Mekong River. A slow and leisurely way to commune with nature and see some fascinating sites along the way.
jog2121 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 04:13 AM
  #13  
 
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On the issue of transportation from Bangkok to Chiang Mai I would recommend that you take the one hour flight which is very inexpensive. By car it is at least a 9 hour drive and by train it is probably 10-12 hours.

P.S. No reason at all to spend a full week in Bangkok. Absolutely not necessary and there are too many other fabulous places to go Thailand.
jog2121 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 08:05 AM
  #14  
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I see this popped up again, so I thought I should post what we have decided on. We have a driver from Bangkok stopping overnight in Ayuthaya and Sukhothai for museums, sites and for Loy Krathong one night each for the celebration. Then either adding a night in Sukhothai or Lampang to hit the elephant center on the right day. We have at least one night planned for Lampang at this time. We have several days in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. Other days in Pai and Thaton at kind of an ecolodge type place. A couple of days in Chiang Rai and 4 nights in LP and don't worry - Bangkok at the beginning and again at the end. We are about 80% finalized. Some hotels are fully booked and some say it is too early to book. We head to Vietnam and Cambodia in two days, so most likely will have to finish every thing up upon our return. MANY, MANY thanks to all!
connette is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Looks great
glorialf is offline  
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