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Thailand Trip: Include Luang Prabang, Laos?!

Thailand Trip: Include Luang Prabang, Laos?!

Jul 11th, 2005, 12:05 PM
  #1  
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Thailand Trip: Include Luang Prabang, Laos?!

I apologize if this post comes up twice but it is not coming up right now. It will pobably come up as soon as I post this!

Generally when I go to a country I spend the entire time focusing on that country rather than sneaking across the borders to visit neighboring countries.

I am in the beginning stages of planning our Thailand trip for next year and we are definitely going to work Angor Wat into our trip.

Now, due to reading another post titled "Luang Prabang or Chiang Mai?", I am so tempted to hop over to Laos to visit Luang Prabang. It sounds like the kind of place my boyfriend and I would love to hang out in for a few days.

My question is:

Can we also visit LP during this 3 week trip or save it for our next trip to Asia?

Here is a very early rough draft of what our trip may look like. I am sure it will change dramatically once I have researched it all to death.

Arrive in Bangkok - 2 nights

Fly to Siem Reap - 2 nights

Chiang Mai - 3 nights

Head to the beaches - 10 nights spread out between 3 beach areas.

Bangkok for our last 3 nights.

If all of you Asia experts could give a European traveler some advise I would greatly appreciate it!

Should we visit these places in this order? We plan on flying between destinations.

We will probably rent a car to explore the beach areas.

If we do incorporate LP what should we cut out?

We have spent so many years running around to see sights in the European countries that we were really looking forward to spending some quiet time on the beaches of Thailand.

I want to dive, snorkel and kayak as well.

Let me help you help me by giving you an idea of what we are all about.

We are 40/43 yrs old without children and we are fairly well traveled.

We love exotic places, enjoy hiking and exploring, getting to know local customs and traditions.

We prefer small hotels over luxury resorts and don't require the hotel to have a restaruant or pool.

Although we want to visit some wats we don't want to spend our trip going from one to the next.

Thank you all!





eurotraveller is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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I love Luang Prabang and plan to return there. You do have enough time to visit LP if you cut out one of your beach destinations or cut CM. I spent a week there and loved every minute (I also spent a week at Angkor, so you can tell I don't get watted out).

By the way, I understand that you want beaches, but remember that you're going to a fabulous country with incredible cultural experiences and that none of those will be at beach locations. Also, Asia travel is most rewarding when it is slow. You may want to choose fewer destinations and spend a bit more time at each place. Even the beach destinations will be better if you aren't packing and unpacking so often.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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I'd save LP for another trip and perhaps add time in northern thailand instead. I also agree with Kathie that while the beaches are gorgeous by spending so much time there you are missing out on the " exotic places, y hiking and exploring, getting to know local customs and traditions" that you say you like. You can do all of that in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai while also relaxing. So I would add time to northern thailand and reduce your beach time to 6 or 7 days and don't do more than 2 beaches.
glorialf is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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I would add Luang Prabang and cut either CM or a beach destination. You can see all of LP in 3 days, (actually, you can see it all in one day but you need more time to really explore the temples). If you're really not into exploring too may temples, then you can even do LP in 2 days and either spend 8 days doing beaches or 5-6 on beaches and 2-3 in CM. LP is beautiful and relaxing and shouldn't be missed.
laurieco is online now  
Jul 11th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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I agree with laurieco that you could possibly go to Luang Prabang and cut either CM or a beach destination. 1 or 2 beach destinations would be plenty and as others have said, this is not really where you'll find the exotic culture - but it is where you'll find many tourists.

On a side note, I'm continually surprised by the travelers on this site who go only to Luang Prabang for a few days and think they've "done" Laos.

I've read of so many fantastic places to go, especially the extended river trips up north and treks in the hilltribe areas. People also say the 4000 islands area is great for relaxing.

Are there any adventurous travelers on this board who've had a deeper experience of Laos than just a few days in LP? If so, I'd love to hear your experiences.

I'm planning a trip to Laos this summer and will report back. I know I'll love LP, but I'm starting to wonder if the whole town hasn't become quite touristy and full of travelers coming over from Thailand for a couple of days. Nothing wrong with that of course, but just an interesting aspect of travel to LP.

So, eurotraveller, I guess if all the time you can spare for Laos is a few days, that's fine. On the other hand, you could also save LP for another trip and concentrate on Thailand and Cambodia. I do hope you'll be able to see more of Cambodia than only Siem Reap and Angkor. 2 nights is pretty rushed for Siem Reap. I think.
Mealea is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Great info and so many different ideas! I must clarify that our main destination is Thailand. As much as I would like to explore some of the neighboring countries more in depth, I won't be doing it on this trip. That means I will have to return to SEA soon!

We want to spend time along the coast so we can kayak, snorkel and dive, possibly even doing a 2-3 day liveaboard, so I don't think we want to cut out much beach/coast time.

We don't plan on staying on the heavily trodden beaches so I am researching the quieter ones with nice bungalows. We really do want some down time so maybe staying on 2 beaches will be our max.

I am still not sure about trying to visit LP. It just sounds like my cup of tea. I am intrigued by a cave visit and taking the slow boat on the Mekong River. There seems to be so many conflicting opiions about Chiang Rai so maybe we should cut that out and visit LP instead?

We won't be going until next year so we have plenty of time to make up our minds and change our plans multiple times.

There are countless possibilities!

Thanks and keep the info coming!

Cheers!

Tamara
eurotraveller is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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imo, you need one more nite in siem reap or you will be too rushed and not see everything of the main temples...

two nites is sufficeint for chiang mai...

i would hold off on LP, although it is a lovely place...

your beach time sounds too aggressive...

remember that you will probably be very tired for 1-2 days after arrival...so those first 2 bkk days have to be very thin days, especially day 1...unless your in bound flight is not all that long...

travel in asia is nothing like europe...in europe we usually plan to do 5 or 6 major things per day...in asia if you do 3 you are doing well....don't underestimate the heat and humidity and what it will do to you....also asians do not move as fast as europeans...thank god...


rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 07:49 PM
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I think Laos deserves more than a few days in LP. Thus I'd stick to Thailand this trip and plan another one that enables you to spend 7-10 days in Laos. Maybe do it when you can spend a couple of weeks in Vietnam and add it on to that.
glorialf is offline  
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