Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Need feedback-Thailand/Vietnam/lao itinerary

Need feedback-Thailand/Vietnam/lao itinerary

Old Mar 30th, 2005, 01:44 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Need feedback-Thailand/Vietnam/lao itinerary

this is our second trip to s.e. asia...
all of you fodorites made our last trip so wonderful and easy I am requesting your input again. our tentative itinerary is open to suggestions and we will not make domestic plane reservations until we get there and check out the weather.

1. arrive bkk from honolulu (actually maui)
2 nites at marriott or other riverside
hotel

2. fly to hanoi...we have approx a week to
see as much as possible without being on
a set schedule (weather will play a
factor...we would love to see sapa,
halong bay, hoi an...but if the weather
is too cold up north...we can head south

3. 3 - 4 nites in luang prabang...we will
probably fly...see the caves, villages

4. lao to chiang mai....get a car or fly to
chiang rai and get a car and spend a week
cruising around...we had poon as our
driver last time but it is easy enough to
do on our own this time. we liked mae
salong, mae sai (go across the border for
shopping) golden triangle areas. i dont
think we want to stay at anantara..it
looked beautiful but too remote and $$$ .

5. back to bkk for the weekend market, last
minute shopping and we missed jim thomp-
sons house last trip as well as other
must see sites in bkk....

so...if you have suggestions...recommendations....let us know.
can we easily buy our flights from bkk to hanoi and back when we get there? are flights and hotels usually available without
advance reservations in lao and vietnam?
we are going october to first week in november. thanks in advance to everyone,,,,

divediva is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 02:19 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Looks like a wonderful trip. My major comment is I think you are spending too little time in Vietnam unless you decide to do just one area. I personally feel that the north is the most interesting. I would do Hanoi/Ha Long Bay, Hue and Hoi An. I'd skip Sapa because it takes a long time to get there and back so you'd end up using 3-4 days just for it.

Luang Prabang -- I think 3 days is enough here. Perhaps add a day to Vietnam. Hanoi alone is worth at least 3 or 4 days.

Your week in northern Thailand sounds great. If you have the time think about going to the Nan province. It's pretty interesting and not touristy -- just south of Chiang Mai.
glorialf is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 02:54 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hi gloria....
did you go to sapa??? i dont have a major desire to go there...just heard it is beautiful but cold...we like hilltribe handicrafts and beautiful scenery...
what do you recommend for han province?
is it driveable on our own? best sites??? thanks for the info
divediva is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 03:50 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,753
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flts should be easily available if you are flexible on fliht timings and carriers. Hotels really depends on whether you have some ideas in your mind re where you want to stay - SOE hotel may be available just not necessarily the one you wanted. Oct-Nov is tourist season in LP and Vietnam. Having said that some acco will be available. Post your budget and maybe we can help you get some idea in advance.
hobbes is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 04:11 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,638
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hi divediva-I'd skip Sapa-it is very over-rated in regards to handicrafts, scenery, etc. The weather can be totally misty & foggy and unless you have a few days to waste until the weather clears, you won't see a lot. Sapa handicrafts are available in Hanoi and I might add that the ladies who sell handicrafts all dressed up in their hill-tribe costumes are thoroughly sick of tourists and let one know it! We went in Dec 2003 and would not recommend the area to anyone other than enthusiastic trekkers. It is well marketed and unfortunately did not deliver for us! Good luck-your trip sounds very good. Have a ball!
Lyndie is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 04:24 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks hobbes and lyndie...
ok...sapa is out...sounded quite cold to me anyway...we want to ride the train somewhere...what do you suggest??
we like to shop, take photos of beautiful scenery and visit less touristy areas...
budget for hotels $25 - $50 a nite...there are three of us...and clean,safe,quiet, hopefully a/c and central are the most important...will most hotels allow 3 in a room???

what hotels do you recommend for hanoi,
hoi an and luang prabang?

we are very opened to days and times of flights...i like to travel with the "no worries" attitude...
do you have any problems with lao aviation??? i see conflicting comments.

we even thought about taking the upriver mekong trip from luang prabang to thailand...has anyone done this? two days on a boat going up the mekong might be a great escape.

thanks again everyone

divediva is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 04:52 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,042
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
I agree with a previous poster, 3 nights in Luang Prabang is plenty, you could walk the entire town in one morning! I would also add Saigon, and from there you can do a trip into the Mekong Delta, which is beautiful and very interesting. If you're pressed for time, you can do a day trip to the Meking Delta and get a good taste of it. I personally liked Hue very much, the Royal Tombs alone are worth it. You can hire a car and driver from Hoi An to take you to Hue and go through some beautiful country and see stunning scenery.
laurieco is online now  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 05:04 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
with 8 or 9 nites in vietnam...
how would you pace the trip?
we could go north to south...fly/train/hire a driver....
weather in october is monsoon in central vietnam, isnt it???
dont mind alittle rain...
then fly to luang prabang...that gives up 2 extra days...
hmmmmm...what should we do....
divediva is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 07:12 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,276
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, I appear to be in the minority here, but I spent a week in LP and loved every minute. In three days you can "see" it, but there is so much to experience! Do take a trip on the Mekong, visit the two nearby waterfalls, the silk-weaving village, as well as taking plenty of time to meander through the town.

Fall is rainy season in central VN. You could have flooding in Hoi An and Hue. We ended up staying a week in the Hanoi area, and didn't go to Hua and Hoi An due to flooding. You'll probably have to play it by ear.
Kathie is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 08:40 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,638
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We had 7 days in Luang Prabang. We hired a car/driver and went up to Nong Khiaw. I think 4-5 nights will let you see a fair bit. We chilled out and I got sick so we needed a week!

If you like mountain scenery think about Dalat. It is in the south but has a reputation for being a lovely mountain village, with great vineyards etc.

I hear its possible to catch a train from Chiang Mai to Laos via Friendship Bridge. Do a google or check out Lonely Planet's Thorntree website for more info.
Lyndie is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2005, 08:47 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,051
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i like to make my reservations through asian souces when ever i can and i like them all made in advance, so i do not waste time on vacation trying to get things to work for me....hotels in major areas have the potential to be a disappointment if you leave it for the last minute, especially in places where the supply is not unlimited...bkk no problem as you know but other places it is more limited, especially if you need a decent standard of place...
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2005, 12:47 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Divediva-- for information on Nan and other places in northern thailand check out the thread I posted today on off the beaten path northern thailand.
glorialf is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2005, 06:35 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks everyone for your suggestions...
if i could please get your
mid price hotel recommendations for
hanoi, hoi an, hue, luang prabang...
$20 - 50 for 3 pax....
what about airfare...do we need to book our bkk to hanoi prior or can we do it in bkk???
and we are checking out the option of
seeing the Nan province...
thanks in advance
divediva is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2005, 07:17 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,638
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
divediva-check out www.vietnamstay.com for Salute Hotel in Hanoi. Magic little boutique hotel in a quiet area of Old Quarter. Good breakfast included and cheap as chips. Request room with balcony on level 5. Not sure how many beds in this room but it is lovely. They have an elevator, which is a luxury in budget hotels in Vietnam. In Luang Prabang we love the Sabaidee Guesthouse (email: [email protected] or phone 856 71 253143) & the Hoxieng Guesthouse, phone 856 71 212703. Both around US12-15 for two and very clean and comfortable, although basic. If you can afford around US75 then Sala Prabang with a river view. Hoi An has lots of cheap good hotels. We stayed upmarket and were disappointed. Hue has the lovely Saigon Morin Hotel-around US60 per twin room but worth the money! We've used vietnamstay for both our trips to Vietnam. They are great and charge no more than going direct to the hotel. Check www.saveflights.com for prices for BKK/Hanoi. I'd book it now- see if you can pay a deposit and balance in cash when you arrive to save credit card charges which many BKK travel agents levy. We deal with www.olavi.com and have travelled to Vietnam, Turkey & India on tickets purchased through them on the net. Never a hitch! Have lots of fun!
Lyndie is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2005, 02:50 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,753
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've heard great stuff about Sayos in LP - pull up my earlier post to see which rooms to ask for. Apparently one of their rooms (I forget which) is football field size (almost!) so sure it will sleep 3. We stayed at De Syloia in Hanoi which I liked. I checked the cheapest rate I could find on the net then wrote direct to the hotel and he gave me another $5 off that rate so $45 per night was what it worked out to. Reasonable size rooms to have a folding bed in. Tamarind Village in Chinag Mai the room I had was a bit small for 3. I booked for $41/night thru www.precisionreservations.com.
hobbes is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2005, 06:42 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks again, lyndie and hobbes and everyone...we stayed at the tamarind village upstairs room for 3 (lumpy rollaway for my daughter) and it was quite adequate...and definitely our style...
i have printed this page for future reference and appreciate all the suggestions and recommendations
divediva is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
J1821
Asia
6
Oct 7th, 2017 08:05 PM
abby97
Asia
14
May 11th, 2015 05:23 PM
pitter
Asia
4
Jan 9th, 2015 06:25 AM
divediva
Asia
9
Feb 1st, 2005 05:47 PM
CFW
Asia
27
Jan 15th, 2004 04:41 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:30 PM.