SE Asia Itinerary & Airlines

Old Mar 12th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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SE Asia Itinerary & Airlines

We are flying in to BKK for 15 nights. I would love some expert advice to finalize our itinerary. My hopeful destinations are Chiang Mai, Phuket, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, Hanoi, Saigon. I can certainly drop 1 or 2.

Also, Air Asia has incredible fares, but it always routes me back to Kuala Lumpur. Is this a place worth visiting? How about Langkawi?

What other airlines should I check into?

Thanks so much
kvyanez is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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langkawi is a lovely island....not a lot to do there but vedge....but well worth a stop for 3 days or so to unwind...

K/L is ok but nothing fantastic....a couple of days there and you will see all that is...

K/L is the home for air asia

with 15 days you are planning way toooooo much, imo....i would cut out all the far flung places like VN and K/L
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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With 15 nights, plan for three locations. Otherwise, you'll spend much of your vacation in transit. It takes most of a day to get from one place to another. If Air Asia is routing you through KL, take a different airline. It's not worth it to lose that much time.

Within Thailand, Thai Air is excellent. If you plan to go to either Luang Prabang or Siem Reap, Bangkok Air is your only non-stop option from Bangkok. If you fly three legs on Bangkok Air, you are eligible for their Discovery Pass, which is quaite a good deal over regular prices.

I'd say save VN for another trip - it can easily be a full two weeks all by itself.

Bangkok + either Luang Prabang or Siem Reap + a place to relax like a beach or a rural resort would be plenty for your 15 days.
Kathie is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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I would only do 3 places. Skip Vietnam for another trip and skip Phuket since it is the least interesting part of thailand. I would select Bangkok and Chiang Mai to get a sense of the country and then go to either Luang Prabang or Siem Reap depending on your interests.

KL is not a very interesting city
glorialf is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 11:47 AM
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This site is handy for looking at all budget airlines in asia.
janev is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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It depends on whether you plan to revisit this part of the world again as to what places to visit. You could spend 3 nights in each of the the five places you mentioned but excluding Vietnam. Might suggest the following

BKK 2 nights - Take Air Asia late night 20.40 flight to Chiang Mai

CM 3 nights - Take Laos Air 15.05 flight to LP

LP 3 nights - Take Laos Air 10.35 flight to SR

SR 3 nights - Take Bangkok Air 9.50 flight to Phuket (change planes in BKK)

Phuket 3 nights- Take Air Asia flight back to BKK

Bkk 1 night

The flights on Laos and Bangkok Air can be on the Bangkok Air Discovery pass which will cost $100 plus fuel charges/insurance of around $22 for each flight. If you plan to come back then limit yourself to three places or four at the most.
Scotters is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 05:47 PM
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I don't think your primary questions has been addressed. Air Asia hubs out of KL, so if you use it, you'll always have to return to KL to get to another destination. THAI Air Asia hubs out of Bangkok. Be sure you're looking at the right subsidiary.

I agree about dropping VN for later. Also, CM, LP and SR can be 'close enough' experiences that I certainly wouldn't do all three in the same trip. If you haven't seen Angkor, then do that, Bangkok and Phuket.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 09:20 PM
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I think the use of KL as the hub was maybe because kvyanez was trying to use Air Asia to get to Siem Reap. To do this you have to fly from Bangkok to KL with Air Asia, overnight and the an early morning flight to SR. To get to Phuket from SR, back to KL and then to Phuket. If you want to use Air Asia from BKK they only fly to Phnom Phen, then local flight, bus or taxi to SR (can be done all in one day)
Scotters is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2008, 05:59 PM
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Thanks everyone. Scotter's itinerary is exactly what I was looking for. I might cut out Chiang Mai. It's funny that most people think it's too much, but we did 9 cities in 24 days in Europe -- with days of driving too! I was thinking 3 nights in each place is plenty. But maybe because I am half Thai/Lao and do not feel the need to connect to anything but a bowl of pho, sticky rice, laab and maybe a little some tum mog houng.
kvyanez is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2008, 07:03 PM
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I loved Hanoi, if only for a couple of days. Feels like Blade Runner. Great people in Northern Vietnam! Luang Prabang was wonderful too. Again a couple of days. Take a long boat tour. Go to the night market. Saigon is very "big city" and very Western.
SassTraveler is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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I would not cut out chiang Mai.
glorialf is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Just a follow up to my original post. We ended up doing 3 nights Bangkok, 5 nights Luang Prabang, 3 nights Siem Reap, 3 nights Khao Lak and 3 nights Phuket (something like that) using the Discovery Pass on Thai Airways. Although 2 legs was on Lao Airlines and was abruptly cancelled from LP to SR. No reason at all - just not enough people. There were like 15 of us stuck at the airport for 4 hours with no one in sight. Finally Thai Air flew in a plane to take us to Bangkok and from there to Siem Reap.

We rented a car in Bangkok and Phuket and was able to get around no problem. We rented a taxi for the day in Siem Reap to get around Angor Wat - very cheap and reasonable. Watch out for solicitors and beggars. You even look in their direction and they will surround you.

Luang Prabang was the best - easy tuk-tuk taxi rides, cheap and quite an experience. The town itself is tiny so you can pretty much walk anywhere. We got rained on and a few locals gave us an umbrella and we tried to pay them and they refused. WOW - what hospitable people. I am Laotian and it still shocked me. Like in Corrientes, Argentina where a lot of Laotian refugees set up their own village. I told one elderly lady that I missed a home cooked meal - next thing I knew she invited me in, cooked laab and sticky rice - then we were flocked by the entire village who brought more food.

Anyway, I'm seriously getting off track. For those of you who don't make it to Southeast Asia often and have an overly ambitious itinerary like I did. It's doable even with 2 kids.
kvyanez is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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Thanks for reporting back two years after your initial post. You say you used the Discovery Pass - that's on Bangkok Air, not Thai Air. Lao Airlines has been known to cancel flights. It sounds like Bangkok Air picked up the slack and filled in for them - that's a class act.

Looking back on your trip, would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?
Kathie is offline  
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