Thailand, Cambodia and Laos

Mar 15th, 2015, 03:30 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 87
Thailand, Cambodia and Laos

Hi,
A few days ago I wrote about a possible trip to Vietnam. After your comments we have decided to go to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.We have 17 days exclusive of travel . We were thinking about this rough itinerary:
5 nights Bangkok
3 nights Chang Mai
3 nights Luang Prabang
3 nights Siem Reap
3 nights Ko Samai or Ko Tao
Flying home, nyc, from Bangkok late at night like 12:30am and flying from Ko Samai or Ko Tao earlier that day.
Do you all think this is doable? We will be flying between all of our destinations. Any suggestions about airlines or hotels or beaches is greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Patrissimo is offline  
Mar 15th, 2015, 05:17 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,826
Three nights is just two full days for sightseeing. That isn't enough for Siem Reap or Luang Prabang. Both need a minimum of 3 full days (4 nights). I'd suggest cutting one destination, which would allow you to spend sufficient time in the other places.

What time of year are you traveling? That may help you decide which destination to cut.
Kathie is online now  
Mar 15th, 2015, 06:31 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,366
If I recall correctly from your previous post you are travelling in August? If so, Angkor will be a lot quieter then and it will be easier to get around the temples. IMO 3 day s will be fine if you are just looking for the highlights and are not heavily into temples. Likewise, two full days in LP will provide enough time to explore the town but not enough to "soak up the laid back ambience of the place".

I prefer KT to KS as the latter is pretty much a party island these days ( although there are quiet areas). KT is great for diving.

If it were me I would leave out Cm in August and add mor eto me hl teh other locations.
crellston is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 08:21 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,366
Sorry, my spellchecker must have had a seizure! That last sentence should read - I would leave out Chiang Mai in August and add more time to your other locations.
crellston is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 08:43 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,826
I agree with crellston, it makes sense to cut CM and add a night each to Siem Reap, Luang Prabang and Koh Samui. That would be a very nice trip!
Kathie is online now  
Mar 16th, 2015, 09:13 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,934
I too agree.. one more day at Angkor and more days at the beach... imo, 3 days id good for LP..
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 10:22 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,706
I also like the recommendation that Crellston made. While your current schedule is doable, it is a lot of traveling for relatively short stays. Of all the places, CM would also be the location I would drop.

My husband and I traveled in Jan 2014 to Thailand, Laos & Cambodia, and made a similar type of trip. We did squeeze out 3 nights and would've loved 1 more night (but we were so glad we got there at all!). We liked Chiang Mai, but didn't love it, and I think the idea of some beach time would definitely be a great end to your trip.
progol is online now  
Mar 16th, 2015, 05:37 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 87
Thank you so much for your suggestions. We will be going the last 2 weeks in August and the 1st week in September. Does that affects your advice? I think that I have heard that both Ko Samui or Ko Tao have good weather than. Do you know if this is so? Are there other good beach areas for that time of the year? Are there other things to do on Ko Tau besides dive? We are planning to book our flights online before we go, do you have any suggestions about airlines or other recommendations?
Much Thanks
Patrissimo is offline  
Mar 16th, 2015, 05:56 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,826
Here is the weather info: www.weatherbase.com Koh Samui and Ko Tao are right next to each other, so have the same weather patterns. Yes, August is a good time for that area, weather-wise. Not a lot else to do on Ko Tao other than dive. Also note that you will have to take a boat from Ko Samui to Ko Tao, so that adds to your travel time. Another beach option is the Hua Hin area.

You will need to fly Bangkok Air for a number of your flights, so do look into the Discovery Pass (go to their website) as it can save you a lot of money on your itinerary. Note that you must buy the Discovery Pass before you go, it is not available in SE Asia.
Kathie is online now  
Mar 16th, 2015, 06:13 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 87
Thank you Kathie. i will do that. Will look at that weather site. I assume Phuket and that area is rainy? I guess we could do a day trip to Ko Tau if we wanted. Any hotel suggestions in Bangkok or else where? We like to stay upscale but with character.
Thank you again.
Patrissimo is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2015, 05:10 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 87
Hi,
I have boked our flights. We are leving Aug. 20 and belowis our Itinerar.
5 nights Bangkok
4 nights Luang Prabang
4 nights Seim Reap
and 4 nights beach

Can you please tell me if it is worth going to Ko Tau or should we just stay in Ko Samui?
Also, Kathie you had suggested maybe Hau Hin?
We are looking for the best weather. Any recommendations on hotels and... would be helpful. We want a pool as I love to swim.
I am trying to book discovery pass-will keep you posted.
Thank you
Patrissimo is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2015, 07:56 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,826
If you are divers, you'll likely want to go to Ko Tao; if you are not divers, it makes more sense to stay on Ko Samui. Hua Hin is another option. At Hua Hin, I love the Hyatt.

For hotel options on Ko Samui, take a look at www.sawasdee.com which is a local Thai booking site. Read the fine print before booking, as some places require pre-payment, some do not.
Kathie is online now  
Mar 26th, 2015, 12:23 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 87
Still trying to finalize our trip. Some questions: Do you know if the Laos airline sight is legit.I have read that you cannot book on Laos airlines "on line" that it is a fake. Does that seem right?
Also, we have 4 nights in Siem Reap. We are not big on ruins-3 days seems way to mush for us. What are other things to do? Can we go to Battambang from Siem Reap? or should we cut a day off and add something else?
Also, we are from NYC will 4 days in Bangkok be too much for us? We are planning a day in Ayutthaya. What do think about that? We could cut off a day from the beach, a day from SR and a day from BKK and go to Hanoi as well..
I appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you.
Patrissimo is offline  
Mar 26th, 2015, 12:52 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,826
There is a fake Lao Air site - it has a hyphen in the middle of the name. Don't use that website. I do believe you can book online now.

If you aren't big on ruins, why are you going to Ayutthaya? The temples at Angkor are MUCH more impressive. Have you looked at the Dawn Rooney book I recommended? That will help you decide how much time to spend in Siem Reap. There are other things to do in Siem Reap - maybe take a look at www.theplf.org and spend a day volunteering with school kids. There is also the silk-weaving worksop and Artisans d'Angkor, of example.

You already have quite a busy trip. Cutting a day from each of several places to add in Hanoi is a truly bad idea. You'll end up spending way too much time in transit. Fewer stops means more time in each place and more time overall doing/seeing/experiencing what you came for rather than just going from airport to airport.
Kathie is online now  
Mar 26th, 2015, 12:54 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,826
PS I'm not sure why you think that 4 days in Bangkok will be too much for you because you are from NYC. Bangkok is an amazing city with lots to see and do. Being from NYC will be an advantage as you likely won't feel overwhelmed by the big city.
Kathie is online now  
Mar 26th, 2015, 01:42 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 87
Thank you. Yes, I am going to look into the volunteering. I think that sounds fantastic. We were going to go to the ruins outside of Bangkok to get a taste being outside of the city. Any other recommendations? Also, should we stay in Siem Reap or Angor Wat? Will go to buy the book tomorrow.
Thank you so much
Patrissimo is offline  
Mar 26th, 2015, 01:50 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,826
Angkor Wat is right next to Siem Reap. Stay in town, where you can walk to restaurants and shops. That is better, IMO, than staying on the road that leads to Angkor. There actually are no hotels inside the archaeological zone.

With a mere 4 days in Bangkok, I'd be inclined to spend all of it in the city. A lovely place right outie Bangkok is the Prasart Museum. It's an indoor/outdoor private museum and you must make reservation in advance. (I believe you can do so online now.) It has gorgeous arts and crafts from more than a millennia of Thai history. You will need a driver who knows how to get there - your hotel can help you with that.
Kathie is online now  
Mar 26th, 2015, 04:20 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,959
You can get to Battambang by road from Siem Reap. But the round trip is too long for a day trip.

Ayutthaya is an easy day trip from Bangkok, but if you're going to Angkor then there isn't much point. Although if went by train to Ayutthaya it's a great Thai experience, and a good way of getting close to local people.
LancasterLad is offline  
Mar 27th, 2015, 03:40 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 597
Your trip sounds fantastic.

We did a similar trip from New York two summers ago, except we were in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. I added Laos because of this forum and so glad I did! I was also convinced to do 4 nights, and again, so glad I did! I'm not huge into temples, but the temples of Angkor are no ordinary temples and we were blown away, children and all. We also had 4 nights and spent 2 full days at the temples and 1 full day volunteering at Ponleary with a visit to the Landmine museum and one small nearby temple, which was perfect. The Ponleary day was very special. We spent our evenings wondering around Pub Street and eating some really good meals. We had time for the pool after returning from the temples as it was so hot. You will not be disappointed with 4 nights. I left my heart in Cambodia which was unexpected!

I think the forum members gave you really good advice. Enjoy!
Lolazahra is offline  
Mar 27th, 2015, 07:05 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 87
Thank you Lolazahra, I have read your posts and that is what got me thinking about Hanoi. Would love your E mail to contact you if possible.
I am going with my 30 year old daughter, who is not keen on the volunteer piece. Without that day would you have been able to fill your time with something other than temples?
Patrissimo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:37 PM.