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CAJ Jul 31st, 2005 07:43 AM

Three weeks in SE Asia - but where and how?
A friend of mine has the chance to go to SE Asia for three weeks in October, flying from the UK. She'll either go to Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam and it looks like she'll have to go via Bangkok. Some questions:

1. Which country of the three is the most interesting and varied?

2. If she combines two or more of these three countries, who is best to fly with and are there any cheap and direct routes between any of these countries and with which airline?

3. If she was to do two of the three countires, which would you suggest?

4. From which country is it easiest to get back to BKK for her onward flight to the UK?

5. She is a vegetarian (but who will have fish seasonings like fish sauce) - which country has the best food?

All suggestions welcome!

Thanks a lot.

CAJ Aug 1st, 2005 04:23 AM


Kathie Aug 1st, 2005 07:01 AM

I saw your post yesterday and didn't respond to it because I felt there was no was no way to respond given no specifics of what your friend wants to do/see/experience in SE Asia. All three countries are interesting and varied. If you give some info about what she's interested in, we can be helpful.

Logistcs aren't really a problem. All three have air
connections to Bangkok. And food will not be a proble either as there are vegetarian dishes available everywhere.

JoanneF Aug 1st, 2005 08:59 AM


I am the said friend! At the moment I definitely plan to go to Cambodia. There I am interested in visiting the temples, Phnom Penh, the national park and the coast. As I have 3 weeks I wondered whether I'd have time to also do a week in Vietnam or Laos. I don't want to be rushing around but want to make the most of my 3 weeks.
I also wondered how much the cost would increase if I don't fly in and out of the same country.
Also I've read that October is the last month of the monsoon season - does this affect exploration of any of these three countries more than the others?

Kathie Aug 1st, 2005 09:30 AM

Ok, that's more info. Perhaps these ideas can help.

You may well run into monsoon problems in VN. Also VN could be your whole three weeks, so I'd say save it for another trip.

You'll have to fly in and out of Bangkok. It's typically the cheapest place to fly into in SE Asia, and it has excellent air connections. There are no airlines that fly directly between Europe and either Cambodia or Laos.

It sounds like you might have three weeks of things you want to do in Cambodia. If you find you do have a few extra days, I'd recommend Luang Prabang, Laos. I spent a week there and loved every minute. It's slow paced and relaxed, and it's great to just wander around the town and soak up the atmosphere. It has at least a dozen working wats, and there are trips out of town up the river to teh Pak Ou caves, or by road to two different waterfalls or to Hmong villages.

SInce you've already decided on Cambodia for sure, I have just a couple of suggestions for preparation. I used Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor, as my guide to the temples. I loved the temples, and spent a week in Siem Reap. Dawn's book helped me make the most of my time at Angkor. The airport at Siem Reap has a fabulous collection of books on Cambodia in the departure lounge. Save some room for books you can't find anyplace else! I understand that there may now be a branch of this book store in town as well.

Interested in a preview of Siem Reap and Luang Prabang? check out our photos at

rhkkmk Aug 1st, 2005 07:30 PM

i would only warn you that 3 weeks is not a huge amount of time in SEA...its good but not huge...

bkk is the best central as kathie says and the cheapest with the most flights...B/A flies there as well as other european carriers and thai air from london...

bangkok air is the best way to get back and forth...they have a discovery pass which might be helpful to you...other than siem reap not much appears here about cambodia...

vietnam has the most to offer but not ruins like may be the most fully developed for tourism of the 3 you mention..

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