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Tentative itinerary for SE Asia - what changes would you recommend?

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Apr 25th, 2013, 02:36 PM
  #1
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Tentative itinerary for SE Asia - what changes would you recommend?

I thought I had my 3 week (20 nites) itinerary done, but now I'm considering the 2-day boat trip to Luang Prabang, and go back and forth about it. I'm inclined toward doing it but wonder 1) will we get too bored and 2) will we sacrifice something I don't want to miss. I'm not as worried about being too bored as I am about missing something special. The one place I think I'd like to spend more time in is Chiang Rai, but I don't yet have a strong sense of the place.

My first itinerary draft was:
Bkk-5 nites
Chiang Mai - 4 nites
Chiang Rai - 3 nites
Luang Prabang - r nites
Siem Reap - 4 nites

But if we take the boat ride, I think it will be this:
BKK-5 nites
Chiang Mai 4 nites
Chiang Rai -2 nights (touring with a guide on that full day and perhaps the next, traveling from CR to CK)
Chiang Khong - 1 night
Pak Bang (stop over) 2 full days on Mekong River, with several site stops
Luang Prabang-3 nites
Siem Reap -4 nites

At the moment, I'm inclined to doing the cruise, though could go either way. I'm very interested in the Chiang Rai area, though, and wonder if we're going to regret not spending more time here( yes, I know you can't see or do everything). I'm certainly planning to get a guide (hoping that Jermsak will be free).

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks everyone for your help! It's greatly appreciated!

Paule
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Apr 25th, 2013, 02:43 PM
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I think you need another night in LP. I'd cut a night from CM to do this.

The CM/CR dilemma is difficult. We stayed 5 nights at the Anatara at the Golden Triangle many years ago and it was just wonderful. We loved the hotel, loved exploring the area. (Of course, now the price is just ridiculous - we paid about US$120 a night right after it opened.) I've never been charmed by CM, not in the late 1980s, not in more recent years. Many people love it, though. But it doesn't have the charm of LP.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 02:44 PM
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This will be in January 2014, probably leaving around Jan. 18. I''m planning to,fly Korean Air, which will allow me to fly into BKK and fly out of Siem Reap.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 02:54 PM
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I've been reading your comments about CM, Kathie, and I very much appreciate your perspective. My husband and I both feel that 4 days in CM is a minimum, though, especially since we will probably spend some or most of a day in one of the elephant camps in the area.

I guess it comes down to deciding whether or not to do the cruise. Or do I "take" a day from Bangkok?

It ain't easy! It's not "perfect" no matter what I do!
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Apr 25th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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You are right - there is no perfect. You have to find the right compromises for you.

Since you must have 4 nights in CM, I'd cut CR completely (next trip) and add time to LP.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 03:53 PM
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Thanks, Kathie, for your suggestions. I really do want to go to CR - I only added LP after reading so much about it here. My initial plan was Bangkok, northern Thailand & Siem Reap. I've kept SR to 4 days solely because of your recommendations.

I'm really torn. I'm inclined to either take 1 day from BKK or forget the cruise, and strangely enough, the idea of the cruise is growing on me. Or leaving the 2nd itinerary the way it is, imperfect though it feels right now.
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