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samins Jul 9th, 2005 04:02 PM

Southeast Asia in Nov - Req help with Itinerary

I have been reading a lot of the discussions on travel plans within SEAsia and have picked up many good tips for planning my own trip. Hopefully some of you will read my post and comment! Any and all are welcome!

I am a thirty something who will be traveling with my parents (late 60's).

Our plans are as follows:

Oct 24 - Arrrive in Bangkok - We have reservations at the Penninsula for 4 nights. Should we arrange to have the hotel send a car or is it easy enough to arrange transportation from the ground once there.

Oct 28 - Arrive in Siem Reap - We have reservations for 4 nights at the new Hotel De La Paix (has anyone heard anything about this hotel?). We are spending more time here since this is really the whole point of the trip (my mom's dream to visit)

Nov 1 - Arrive in Luang Prabang - We chose to do this instead of Chiang Mai based on comments read on this site. However, now that the plane tix have been purchased we are having trouble finding a hotel for the three nights that we plan to be here. The Pansea and the 3 nagas are both booked....any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Nov 4 - Back to Bangkok - I have not booked here yet since it is an overnight stay. We land about 4pm and have to be back at the airport about noon for our flight to KL - should we stay near the airport? Is there anything to do out there in the evenings?

Nov 5 - Arrive in KL - have reservations at the Mandarin Oriental for 2 night. I have heard the Regent is a better bet. Any comments?

Nov 7 - Fly home

I would sincerely love to hear from any of you regarding this plan about hotel choices, things to do, must sees, etc!

Thanks so much,

laurieco Jul 9th, 2005 04:22 PM

Your plans sound good, spending a fair amount of time in each place.

In BKK, there's no need to have the hotel send a car, it will cost much more than a taxi. Just get a taxi to the hotel, all the driver's know where it is. I can't remember how much it costs but I know it's not much. Others will be able to give you a bettr idea of prices since it's been two years since I've been to BKK. The Pen is a fabulous hotel, I stay there when in BKK. It's very high tech and modern but has Thai touches. The bathrooms are wonderful. Some will disagree with me but I think the Pen's pool is gorgeous, very streamlines, like the rest of the hotel.

I don't know anything about the hotel in Siem Reap, we stayed at a fairly lousy place (the Angkor Hotel, would NOT stay there next time). The temples are magnificent though and you and your parents will not be disappointed. It was my lifelong dream as well and the temples lived up to every fantasy I had about them.

In LP, I stayed at the Villa Santi Resort, which I liked very much. Some think it's too far aout of town, it's a 10-20 minute ride but the ride is nice and the hotel is a haven. They also offer great massage service for $10/hour.

You will have to decide if it's worth going back into BKK when you return or to stay at a hotel near the airport. Since you don't need to be at the airport until noon, if it were me, I'd stay in the city so you can have a wonderful dinner out and maybe go to a night market.

I can't comment yet on KL, I'm going there myself for the first time this Sept. I'm also at the Mandarin Oriental. I hear it's fabulous. On, it's rated the best hotel in KL, and that's out of about 95 hotels.

Have fun on your trip. You're going to have a great time!

glorialf Jul 9th, 2005 04:36 PM

Looks good to me too.

hobbes Jul 9th, 2005 04:58 PM

Hi, Samins.

I do not know what Pen charges for an airport transfer. You could also book with Ratt or Julie which will prob be a midway cost option between the Pen and a normal taxi. This forum will give you their details if you search. I would book the car esp on a first trip. Whatever time you land in Bkk the heat will hit you and you will look forward to being whisked away rather than making arrangements.

I have not stayed at La Paix but I was the first on this forum to reco Shinta Mani and they are I think under the same management. Looks great. 4 days will be a comfortable pace to see things. Def do 1 night meal at Amansara which is a treat to see.

I agree with LP over Chiang Mai. Check out the Villa Santi Hotel on the main road - great location to wander the city. Lauri's Villa Santi resort reco is also good tho not in the main city. Stay in touch with Pansea as something could come up. Another boutique option is Auberge de Calao.

Bkk second time stay in the city. Airport hotels in Bkk are not that good. I would reco the Four Seasons which is gorgeous, has good restaurants and is a diff exp from the river side (Pen)

lovetotravel1 Jul 9th, 2005 05:10 PM

how are you getting from siem reap to luang prabang?

glorialf Jul 9th, 2005 06:34 PM

I also think that since you are traveling with your parents and it is a first time and it will be HOT and HUMID, I would book the car in advance. Yes it will be more expensive but worth the money. And it won't be a fortune. I think the Oriental charges $40 so the Penn will be that or less. And the car will be gorgeous, they'll give you water and wet towels and will let the hotel know when you are about to get there so all your reservation stuff will be ready. At least that's what happens at the Oriental and I assume the Penn does the same. It may not be necessary for you but it might be well worth the money for your parents.

I would go back into Bangkok on your last night since the airport hotels aren't all that nice and it will be a nice way to finish your trip to have a great dinner -- I'd skip the night market.

Are you flying Malaysian Air? If so you're in for a real treal especially if you're in business or first class. One of the best flights I've ever taken!

rhkkmk Jul 9th, 2005 06:51 PM

i think you have made excellent choices, especially nixxing CM....

villa santi resort would be my choice #2...the grand hotel might be choice #3...i would ask to get on the pansea waiting is fabulous...i just stayed there last month for 4 days...

LP will provide you a lovely rest after angkor...

a new hotel in SR should be matter where it is...make sure you hire and guide and a need the a/c car, esp. your parents...i am in their age group so i noria is a good place to eat in SR...

bkk transportation....on your initial arrival i would get AAc limo/taxi to transport will be 800 B one way plus 60 B tolls....see my trip report for their address...coming off a long flight is no time to look for if you have very much luggage it will not fit into the taxi trunk---mostly toyota corollas...small fact i would do a round trip and they will give you at least a 10% discount...

secondly i would have the penn come for will be a large benz...very comfortable but expensive---over $40....

you will love the is simply fabulous...they have great restaurants...the river boats are fun as well...easy access to the skytrain--5 minute ride...

for the sole nite back in bkk, i would book at the jw marriott as it is in a good location and has good restaurants and has easy access the next morning to the toll road for the return to the airport....this way you can have a very nice meal at nite and a good nites sleep in a decent bed...the 4 seasons is another alternative in the same area as is the conrad or the sheraton grande or the westin....i would not stay at the airport....

you are going at a good time of the year btw...

win Jul 10th, 2005 05:21 AM


Mandarin Oriental is far more superior than Regent as far as service and ambience is concerned. It is just next to the twin tower with a major shopping complex there. Regent is in the central shopping area with a few shopping complexes (low/mid and high end shopping), food etc.

samins Jul 10th, 2005 09:53 AM

I just wanted to thank everyone for the great responses. I think that we will go ahead and prebook transfers in BKK based on your advice. I am also going to look into those hotel suggestions for that extra night in BKK.

Love to Travel - we looked into the Bangkok Air Discovery Pass and are using it to fly from BKK to REP on Oct 28, from REP to BKK and then BKK to LPQ on Nov 1 (we have about an hour layover in BKK), and then LPQ back to BKK on Nov 4. We did have to purchase 4 segment and I think it ended up being about $370 pp.

Thanks again!

samins Jul 10th, 2005 09:58 AM

Oh and also, to Glorialf...yes we are flying Malaysian Air - we were lucky enough to use skymiles to get first class tix, and so that pretty much dictated our schedule on the international legs.


glorialf Jul 10th, 2005 10:19 AM

Samins-- I also did first class with ff miles on Malaysian last year (great deal) and the flight was fabulous even with the very indirect route. Arrived and had virtually no jet lag. Definitely the best flight I've ever taken -- incredible food, service and comfort.

RClark6369 Jul 10th, 2005 06:06 PM

Please treat your parents to a hotel transfer using the Rolls Royce from the Penninsula. We done this 2 years ago and its a great way to begin your visit to such a magical city. The driver will be waiting on you at the arrival halls in the airport. The driver will have cold drinks and towels but above all when in your life would you ever be driven from the airport in a ROLLS ROYCE !!! I think the cost was around $60 one way when we did it.

Lyndie Jul 10th, 2005 07:13 PM

samins-The Sala Prabang Hotel is opposite the Mekong River in Luang Prabang. It is a lovely hotel in a fabulous location and they have a cottage for rent for family groups. Walk to everything instead of having to get into one of those awful grubby tuk tuks.

kakijalan Jul 13th, 2005 07:45 AM

Personally I prefer Mandarin Oriental in KL... and it's convenient to the subway.
btw.. both are near shopping areas...

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