Nov 2011: Thailand, Vietnam, Laos

Old Oct 10th, 2011, 03:52 PM
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Nov 2011: Thailand, Vietnam, Laos

I am in need of any suggestions on this itinerary as far as the order of go. After much debate, these are the locations we have agreed upon visiting. Thailand: Bangkok for airport, Ko Phi Phidon, Koh Tao, Sukhothai for Loy Krathong this year, and Pattaya. Laos: Luang Prabang. Vietnam: Halong Bay and Hoi An. We are very swift travelers. Any suggestions will be met with great appreciation.
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 05:26 PM
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Have you been to this part of the world before? How much time total do you have on the ground?

Are you aware that it is likely to be rainy and rough (not the best weather for diving) at Koh Tao?

Is there a reason you want to visit Pattaya?
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 06:09 PM
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Yes, many years ago. I am concerned about Koh Tao due to the weather. I thought that after landing in Bangkok ( a friend mentioned the hotel at the airport being good??)and staying that night, we would travel to Pattaya to "exhale". I need to be in Sukhothai for Loy Krathong (full moon) - saw it while in Chiang Mai as a young person. Also, I made an error in stating Hoi An in Vietnam - really bad time. And, excluded Siem Reap in Cambodia. I will have as much time as needed but like to travel quickly as I get restless. Thank you!! Any help??
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Let me be frank with you. I consider Pattaya to have no redeeming qualities. The beaches are dirty and the town is full of sex tourists.

I'd say once you get to Bangkok settle in for a few days. There is no need to stay at the airport there is nothing in the area of interest, and airport hotels are notoriously overpriced. There is much to see and do in Bangkok.

From Bangkok you can go to Sukhothai for Loy Krathong.

You might make your way from there to Luang Prabang. Note that rooms are often in short supply during high season, so it will pay you to plan ahead.

Are you planning on flying from place to place? If so, you could benefit from Bangkok Air's Discovery Pass. Details on their website. You need to fly three legs on Bangkok Air,and they are the only airline that flies Bangkok to Sukhothai and the only airline that flies Bangkok to Luang Prabang.

Am I correct in assuming you want to go to Hanoi (rather than Hoi An) and Halong Bay?

You might want to finish up with PhiPhi - the weather is likely to be best at the end of November.

You might get restless, but consider that every time you change location you use up most/all of a day. Moving around too much can mean you spend way too much time in transit. So consider travel time as you make your plans.
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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Thank you for your excellent points.

I will take Pattaya off the list. I will also take the airport hotel off the list.

I have found no appealing lodging in Sukhothai so I think Chiang Mai instead...any concerns?

Do you have a thought on Siem Reap, Cambodia; Luang Prabang, Loas; and Halong Bay (I have excluded Hoi An due to the time of the year), from the stand point of travel from one to the next, and so on.

I thought the wisest would be starting and finishing in Bangkok (though my companions are not interested in being there for any amount of time). What order of go would you suggest?
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 07:38 PM
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Kathie,

Do you suggest:
1.Bangkok Thailand
2.Chiang Mai Thailand
3.Luang Prabang Laos
4.Halong Bay Vietnam
5.Ko Phi Phi Don Thailand
6.Bangkok Thailand
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 07:50 PM
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Kathie,

Sorry...missed Siem Reap, again (maybe an omen
Do you suggest:
1.Bangkok Thailand
2.Chiang Mai Thailand
3.Luang Prabang Laos
4.Halong Bay Vietnam
5.Siem Reap Cambodia
6.Ko Phi Phi Don Thailand
7.Bangkok Thailand
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 08:24 PM
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i would take halong bay off the list too and add the area around krabi as they have many of the same types of rock formations there...
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Old Oct 10th, 2011, 08:34 PM
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We had hoped to cruise on the Halong Ginger (only 10 cabins - sweet). Unlike the other boats it doesn't retrace its path. Goes to Soi Sim, then to Lan Ha Bay. No go?
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Old Oct 11th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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I wouldn't cross Sukhothai off my list yet. There are a number of places to stay there that look nice: http://www.sawadee.com/hotel/thai/ (look at the Heritage, for instance) It's true that transport isn't as easy as Chiang Mai, but it's a more interesting destination.

It does make sense to start and end in Bangkok.

You could make either itinerary work, but transport is a little complicated. Are you flying or are you trying to do some of this overland? Overland can be slow.

If you are going to Halong Bay, you'll have to spend some time in Hanoi.

With all the places on your list, I hope you have a month or more for this trip.
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Old Oct 11th, 2011, 02:46 PM
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Thank you for the website!! I explored any hotels in Sukhothai, Muang(I loved the look of the Heritage) but all are sold out during the full moon. I do want to ask if I am correct that the full moon will be on the 9th or 10th of November?

Sorry that I have repeatedly neglected to answer your inquiry regarding flights...yes, we plan to purchase flight pass, as per your suggestion. Will such a pass cover the afore mentioned countries?

I remeber great beauty in Vietnam. My traveling companions have requested a short trip to Halong Bay for a cruise. They have no other locations except Hoi An but due to weather I have omitted this location.

This trip is really a brief taste of what these beautiful lands have to offer attached with hopes that they will return to spend some significant time exploring on another journey.

I have found lodgings in Chiang Mai, though, I have not secured as I am most respectful of your valuable insight and wish to act upon it.

Notice the absence of the time to travel...due to not securing lodgings I am not sure that we are able to participate in the locations as listed. If I can secure such I will write back with time for each leg, etc.

As always, thank you for your valued time.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 12:48 PM
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As we are going to Hoi An in November, I am curious about the weather we may encounter that caused you to take it off the list?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 12:57 PM
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November for central VN is rainy, I took it off my list for Nov 09 as it was right in the middle of the stormy season. I am glad I did they had flooding and torrential rain, still you may be lucky.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 02:34 PM
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They have severe flooding one out of three years, and "normal" flooding the other years in November. We crossed it off of our list when we went to VN in November.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 06:16 PM
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Oh well, it's probably our only time in VN so we'll take our rain jackets and cross our fingers.
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