Luang Prabang?

Old May 20th, 2011, 09:51 PM
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Luang Prabang?

Hello,

We are heading to Asia in July and have a bunch of places on the hit list. A few flights and accommodations are already booked, but we are leaving it a little open-ended for where the spirit moves us within a set number of places.

Luang Prabang was suggested as a place to hit, but it's one of the pricier options with flights in and out being comparable to regular travel outside of Asia. What I'm wondering is whether Luang Prabang is worth the visit over other places? Our itinerary currently sits as:

Phonm Penh (fly in)
Siem Reap
Luang Prabang
Chiang Mai
Bangkok
Phuket/Phi Phi Island
Kuala Lumpur
Penang
Singapore

I am actually also wondering if Singapore is the best option as we have a forced overnight there for our very first flight. In reality trying to decide if there is another place in Thailand or Malaysia we should be considering, or if Luang Prabang is indeed worth the extra cost and effort?

Thanks!
jandjinnz is offline  
Old May 20th, 2011, 11:34 PM
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There are a lot of places on you list. I hope you have at least a month to enjoy them otherwise you will be spending a high proportion of your time in transit. IMHO better to reduce the no. of places, slow down and really get to know the places you are visiting.

I have visited LP a number of times ove the last 15 years during which it has changed radically (having Unesco World Heritage status). It is a pretyy little town and very scenic but it does get very busy in high season and is no longer the quiet peaceful place it once was (but still worth a look if in Lao).

There are loads of other places in the region that appeal but it is difficult to suugest any without a bit more info on your likes and dislikes, budget etc.,Whether your interst are history, cultural, food beaches etc.etc.,
crellston is offline  
Old May 20th, 2011, 11:37 PM
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I have been to all those places on your list and for me Luang Prabang is one of my absolute favourites, however it really does depend on how much time you have as to wether you go there.
Smeagol is offline  
Old May 21st, 2011, 07:23 AM
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How much time do you have and what are your priorities?

We loved Luang Prabang. I'd put it far ahead of some other places on your list like Chiang Mai, KL, Phuket/PhiPhi (it will be rainy in July).
Kathie is offline  
Old May 21st, 2011, 12:28 PM
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I agree - cut down the numnber of places!
Luang Prabang is amazing, and well worth a visit. Chiang Mai was okay but after LP you may find it is not so much of a contrast. (I actually like Vientiene a lot - so laid back and great for 1-2 days but no point adding in more to your already packed schedule!)

I would def keep PP and Siem Reap and at least 3 days in SR. Love Bangkok too - also 3-4 days. If I had to choose Id go there above Chiang Mai, to constrast to LP>

I wasnt that keen on Phuket v touristy and very very expensive for a nice resort hotel. But I have been to other island off it, not Phi Phi. If you want sea and sand I hear Phi Phi is nice, but try to avoid a night in Phuket.
Or how about going instead to Langkawi? Very relaxing, cheaper and laid back and it is a short plane ride from Penang, Singapore and KL. Penang is possible to enjoy in just 1-2 days. There is a boat from Langkawi but it takes a while.
I also think Kuala Lumpur is okay for 1 day but not the most exciting place to visit of the list unless you like shopping malls and colonial architecture or jungle - all of which you can also find in Singapore. I wouldnt go to both Singapore and KL - choose one or the other if youre pushed for time.
I'd actually go for Singapore, again to contrast to Bangkok rather than KL which is sort of half way between the two of them in terms of style and 'feel'.

So if I were you I would go tobr /> PP and Siem Reap in Cambodia (2 days and 3 days)
Luang Prabang in Laos (3 days)
Bangkok in Thailand ( 3 days)
Phi Phi (not Phuket) or Langkawi (4 days)
Penang (if you have time) 1-2 days
Singapore 2 days

but then again, all of the places are lovely and it would be great to go to all of them. I am envious.....!Have a great time!
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Old May 21st, 2011, 09:29 PM
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I just returned from Luang Prabang and Hanoi and I would reroute your itinerary to go to LP...as others have said, cut out KL. LP is really enjoyable and a beautiful little town. We stayed a bit in the outskirts at La Residence Phao Vao and I highly recommend it.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 10:55 PM
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Thanks everyone, I do (thankfully) have alot of time in SE Asia (about 4 1/2 weeks)in order to hit up this many places. Phuket will be more enroute to Phi Phi, and we have also decided to cut out Singapore at this point in time. We do have an overnight there on our way into Cambodia and in order to fully appreciate all of these places we've decided that will have to be enough for now. Also, we did decide to keep Luang Prabang in the mix! Only 22 days until we leave..aaahh!

Unfortunateley KL is the one town I can't cut out as our departing flight from Asia to London UK is out of KL. Thanks for all your insights, appreciate it.
jandjinnz is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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If you do decide to visit Luang Prabang, I'd recommend staying enough days (4-5) so that you can head up to Nong Khiaw for an overnight stay (which includes 2 days of the 5). This will provide you an opportunity to experience the Lao countryside given that all your destinations with the exception of Ko Phi Phi are large cities (though Phi Phi Don is a major tourist island/beach destination).

Also, you might consider skipping Phuket and routing Phi Phi via Krabi-town (which has an international airport which offers Air Asia flights to/from KL) and is closer to Krabi-town's ferry terminal to Phi Phi than from Phuket's airport and onward to ferry terminal outside of Phuket-town. However, you'll need to double check if the Krabi ferry to Phi Phi will be running and if there is inclimate weather, whether it's worthwhile to head to Phi Phi at all.
The advantage of Krabi-town and nearby Ao Nang/Railay area is that you're still on the mainland and if there is a major storm out on the Andaman Sea, you'll still have Ao Nang/Rai Leh and nearby areas of Krabi to visit which comes a close second to Phi Phi islands beauty. Then you can still catch an inexpensive flight from Krabi Airport to Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia. Krabi Airport is a much easier/smaller airport to deal with and much closer to Krabi/Ao Nang than Phuket Airport servicing Phuket area.


Also, if you need to cut out a destination, consider spending more time in Singapore and skip Penang (since as I understand your post #6) Singapore is your first hub and, imo, I found more to see/do in Singapore than Penang. Although it may seem to you that with 4.5 weeks you've got a lot of time, with so many major destinations (and presumably so many airports) you'll be traveling fairly quickly.
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Old Jun 10th, 2011, 03:06 PM
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If you decide to go to LP and don't want to pay the price for the flight, a cheaper option is to fly from Vientiane, which is worth a day or two itself. The last couple of times I've gone I've taken the night train between Bangkok and Vientiane, and then flown on to LP. However, the last time I was there (Feb this year) I found it had changed a lot, and not for the better.
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