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ddunn Sep 23rd, 2007 07:36 AM

Thailand & Luang Prabang
(for Kathie & others)

In today's SF Chronicle there was a great article on Luang Prabang! We're thinking we'll add this destination onto a planned trip to Bangkok & Chiang Rai. Any suggestions on "how to incorporate/get to Laos with a Chiang Rai/Bangkok Itinerary"?
BKK/CR/Laos??/BKK. Recommendation on hotel and how many nights should we alot ? (we originally were considering some "beachtime"; however are now thinking about skipping and spending most of our time in BKK and the North. Any other destinations or suggestions regarding Laos would be appreciated. Thanks for your help, and I always enjoy reading yours and other folks posts!

Happy Sunday.

Kathie Sep 23rd, 2007 01:16 PM

Aloha from the Honolulu gtg!

LP is a favorite place of mine. We spent a week, but you can see it in 3 - 4 days. LP is really about slowing down and soaking up the atmosphere. You'll want to do a day trip, but mostly, you'll want to wander the town, visiting wats, chatting with monks, strolling through markets and having long, lingering lunches. We loved staying at La Residence Phou Vao, which is on the edge of town. Three Nagas, right in town gets good reviews.

Logistics are a bit complex. To get to LP from CR, you'll have to fly to Bangkok and switch to Bangkok Air.

I don't remember when your trip is. Hotels in LP fill up quickly, as do flights.

rhkkmk Sep 23rd, 2007 04:13 PM

yes book very early for the best hotels in LP....we also stayed at the residence, but other have liked the maison S.....also 3 naggas....

flights to LP on bkk air also fill up quickly....

you can save quite a bit of money if you get a bkk air discovery pass....pre-paid flights only available need 3 the CR flt is 2 legs and the LP flt is 2 you would be all about 30-40% i think
on the airfares....
i think they fly to CR but not sure...

skip the beach this time....LP is worth it...consider it your down time place....leisurely pace....

i would do: bkk-LP-CR-bkk (3/4--3/4--3/4--2/3 days in each place)---if you have that much time...

ddunn Sep 30th, 2007 06:54 AM

Hi All,

Thought this may be of some interest... have been making my plans for a 2008 trip to Thailand and Laos...

1.Anantara has quoted me a rate of $155++ (inclusive of breakfast).

2.Luang Say Boat ride 2 days/1 night (with overnight at Luang Say Lodge) from Huay Xia (1.5 hr from Anantara) to Luang Prabang $243.

3.La Residence Phou Vao (in LP) for $232 (inclusive of Breakfast & all taxes).

Now the fun begins, pull out my calender and begin reserving AIR ;-)

filmwill Sep 30th, 2007 10:07 AM

Also note too that if getting back to BKK to fly to LP seems like a pain, you can always fly from Chiang Mai (on Lao Air) you might be able to get a bus from CR to Chiang Mai and fly that way.

That flight, though, only happens certain days of the week, if I'm not mistaken.

Happy travels!

Kathie Sep 30th, 2007 10:24 AM

It sounds like a wonderful trip. Do let us know how you like the Luang Say boat and lodge. That's a very good rate at the Anantara. What time of year are you going?

rhkkmk Sep 30th, 2007 11:01 AM

fabulous anantara rate...

ddunn Oct 2nd, 2007 06:58 AM

Good morning all...
We'll be at the Anantara in July.
I just received the confirmation:
$155++/inclusive of Breakfast.

We've basically mapped out our entire trip: 3 nights BKK (hotel TBD)/Bangkok Airways to Luang Prabang. 4 nights at La Residence Phou Vao. LuangSay boat / overnight to Golden Triangle Area. 5 nights at Anantara. Thai Air to Bangkok. 3 nights BKK (TBD). We're still 9 months out, and already losing sleep / getting excited!

Re BKK hotels - we love the ROS(towers), but the rates on the Starwood Site are ridiculously high...$250+. I've sent an email directly to Hotel Mgr, seeing if they'll entertain a better rate for a repeat customer... we'll see? Since
we'll be in BKK twice, we're considering one stay close to the river, and the other one closer to the Center: Siam/Ploenchit, etc. as it's better for shopping and accessing Chatuchak on the Weekend. That said, for river: i'm looking at ROS/Holiday Inn Silom/Chakrabongse(C hasn't responded at all to 3 emails!). For Center-looking at Majestic Grande, Holiday Inn Bangkok, and the Amari's.

Since we're really splurging on LP: both Air and Hotel! and the Luang Say -we're thinking we'd like to economize somewhat (or is that Wat!) in BKK... would like to spend between $100 - $125. Would go up to $175 for the ROS.

Have a good day...

rhkkmk Oct 2nd, 2007 07:20 AM

i will start by saying that i do not like ROS, so expect negetive comments from me...i think you should look at the marriott resort and spa for your river hotel...easy access every 15 minutes to the taskim pier for skytrain for free using the hotel's pool area in mall attached with many conveniences....fantastic staff....decent rooms...real thai feeling where as ROS could be in ny....

majestic grande is an excellent choice for in is the bkk holiday inn...centre point has location on wireless and at least one other place in the in town areas as well and they would be under $100 probably...

you will be very pleased with your LP well spent...

tuk tuk's are usually available at the end of the drive at the pansea...

Kathie Oct 2nd, 2007 07:24 AM

Do you have some Starwood points?

There is a SPG50 rate which gives you 50% off the rack rate for a mere 1000 points per stay. Ask if that is available. Since you are 9 months out from your trip, it may be that the ROS doesn't have their rates set yet (there are almost always specials).

PS Bob doesn't like the ROS, but he didn't stay in the Towers.

ddunn Oct 2nd, 2007 09:13 AM

Kathie/Bob, Thanks for the feedback!

Kathie, unfortunately I don't have many points yet... good point! though...I will see what the mgr come back with, and will also check as it gets closer for specials. Yes, the Towers is nice, the lounge has the most beautiful vantage point on the river and a real civilized way to spend cocktail hour ;-)

Bob, yes I have been checking out the Marriott - It does look very nice and will probably end up there, if I can't get a good deal at the ROS. I agree, the hotel could be in NYC (except I prefer the view of the Chao Phraya over Times Square! ;-) I think having experience the Towers on our 1st visit; has just made it a favorite & I also like the Big Pool on the Portuguese (?) Embassy Grounds.

rhkkmk Oct 2nd, 2007 08:12 PM

i agree that the portugese pool is a very nice addition to the hotel....

ddunn Oct 3rd, 2007 05:37 AM

It's been several days and I haven't heard anything back from either the Sheraton or Chakrabongse Villas. As a back-up i've booked our pre/post BKK stays at the Majestic Grande. $100/nett inclusive of breakfast. From the website, it looks new and great!

Kathie Oct 3rd, 2007 05:53 AM

What address did you use for the Sheraton? When I called the Starwood 800 number I was given an incorrect email address.

Others have also reported problems with email to Chakrabongse Villas.

Also, check your spam filter. I find that my spam filter sometimes catches my email from Thailand.

The pool on the grounds of the Portuguese embassy is the loveliest pool area I've seen in Bangkok. I don't think it's an addition to the ROS, as it's been there since I first stayed there some 20 years ago when the hotel was new. That said, I admit that I rarely spend time at the pool - perhaps once or twice per trip.

ddunn Oct 4th, 2007 05:32 AM


Just heard back from the ROS:
8825 Baht/nett. Exec. Towers Room.
That's $285 at today's exchange. Yikes!

They also informed me that they have a new fleet of Mercedes Benz's for Aiport Transfers. $75 ea way.

rhkkmk Oct 4th, 2007 05:35 AM

you could stay at the penn for a lesser price...

Kathie Oct 4th, 2007 05:38 AM

That's a terrible price. Check back later.

ddunn Oct 4th, 2007 05:46 AM

You are both correct (and funny... I posted that message just 2 minutes ago!)

I did check with the Penn and they said, they usually run a pkg at that time at $220 nett (incl bfst) to check back with them later.

I'll stick with my Majestic Grande booking for the moment, and check back with the Riverfront Inns later in the year.

Have a good day!

caldnj Oct 6th, 2007 04:35 PM

My wife and I have been to Thailand and Laos several times, most recently in Nov/Dec 2005 and January 2002. You might find our travel journals and photos of those trips helpful. Take a look at the "Thailand & Laos" and "Indochina" sections of Our Travel Journals website: .

charps7 Oct 6th, 2007 05:31 PM

I love Luang Prabang. Heaven on earth, so peaceful and charming. If i were you i would make sure i ate at all the restaurants/cafes run by the Les 3 Nagas people. They are really divine. They include L'elephant - French, in a gorgeous deco style building. It uses freshly grown local produce and is really exceptional. Also the 3 Nagas Lao - for amazing Laotian cuisine, and then Cafe Ban Vat Sene, for great breakfasts and waching life go by! I am jealous!

crellston Oct 8th, 2007 04:15 AM

We did a very similar trip in April this year. For details see my trip report @;tid=34988056

I have also posted some photos of our travels (a work in progress!) on the following site:

If you look in the Northern Thailand and Laos albums you will find some pictures of Luang Prabang and the Anantara and surrounding district.

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