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Travel in Burma & Burma,VietnamCambodia& Laos

Travel in Burma & Burma,VietnamCambodia& Laos

Old Oct 21st, 2004, 08:52 PM
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Travel in Burma & Burma,VietnamCambodia& Laos

We have planned approximately 18 days in Burma and have about 18 days left for Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Does anyone have suggestions about how we should plan our time,since we will be seeing sooo many temples? Is 18 days too much for Myanmar?What must we see and where are guides needed? Any recommendations for guides? Need to book guides now or can we wait until we get to our destination? Hotels and restaurant suggesstions? Thanks for letting us pick yur brain. This is all very confusing!
knitcrazy is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 12:10 AM
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knitcrazy, of those countries I've only visited Vietnam, and there I'd suggest waiting until you arrive and checking one or two travel agencies. If you run a search on this board think there are some threads that mention a couple of popular ones. See what's available in the way of side trips, eg the Mekong ex Ho Chi Minh City. You can book onto air conditioned mini-buses between the major cities. I wouldn't think that a car and personal guide would be necessary in most popular places, but a knowledgeable guide could presumably enhance your experience - other posters might want to comment on that.

Please tell us what cities you plan to visit, your preferred budget level (budget/middle/expensive) and you should get plenty of hotel and restaurant suggestions. Again, run a search here, as there's been quite a few past discussions. It sounds as thoiugh you won't have much more than a week to see Vietnam, so don't try to do too much. My favourite cities were Hanoi and Hoi An. Certanly can't speak about Myanmar, but my gut reaction is less Myanmar, more Vietnam.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 11:33 AM
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Be careful you don't get templed out in a few days- my wife would get that way after a couple of days of temple viewing!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 12:30 PM
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Knitcrazy.
We travelled to those areas last year.18 days in Burma is about 8 too many.When I say days I mean full days, not counting late arrivas. 4 days in Yangon, 3 days in Bagan and one day on the river would probably be plenty. We booked at the Sofitel and it was nicely located, albeit expensive. We like to be able to have a hotel upon arrival in a new city. You can always check out if you don't like it.Wait till you get there before hiring guides or buying plane tickets to Bagan. The bus ride to Bagan can be long. You may want to fly to Mandalay, nothing much there, and take a boat to Bagan. Is the gov't still requiring you to buy $200.00 of useless Myamar currency?
Didn't go to Laos but we spent 4 days in Siem Reap including a day at Tonlee Sap lake and felt we weren't rushed.
In Nam we spent 4 days in Saigon with a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels and to the crazy Ca Dai Disney like temple for a 12 o'clock mass. 2 days in Hue, maybe 3. 4 days in Hanoi with an overnight at Halong Bay and a trip on the bay. In Hanoi we stayed at the DeSyloia Hotel. Wonderful b'fast and a great restaurant. The arranged for our trip to Halong Bay.
In Saigon we stayed in the downtown area by the river. Lots of great places to eat. Enjoyed a French dinner at the Rex Hotel where they used to have the 5 o'clock follies if you remember the Nam war. Also a drink at the Continental where Greene wrote the Quiet American. Pretty shabby now.
You'll love it
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 12:32 PM
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Begin by deciding what it is you want to see and do in each of those countries (visit wats, shop in local markets, get massages on the beach...) Next, arrange you itinerary so you alternate activities. So, after visiting the temples at Angkor, choose a more relaxing destination.

As far as Burma is concerned, did you know there has been a coup there in the last week? The new general who has taken over after the "retirement" of the previous general is implicated in the adbuction of Ang San Sui Kyi and the murder of a number in her entourage last May (03). You may want to read some about the situation before deciding where/whether to go.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 12:54 PM
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I don't know when you are traveling, but It has been announced by the Prime Ministers Office that Vientiane province (Laos) will be closed for tourists from 22. of November to 1. of December. Police will check guesthouses to make sure that everybody are out. nothing has been said about how they are to prevent tourists from travelling to Vientiane from other provinces, but they are probably going to stop people at the bus stations. Lao Airlines will not be allowed to operate flights during this period. This is because the ASEAN is meeting there and they are concerned about security.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 05:01 PM
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YEs, i think u could cut Burma shorter by a few days. I assume the country and what u will see there is of interest hence so many days but I agree that Vietnam warrants a few more days. Cambodia i.e. Siem reap is primarily temples so you may want to schedule that after a break eg Burma, Laos, Siem Reap, Vietnam or even skip that altogether this year if u think u will be "templed out". Else I would say 4 days in Siem reap allows u to see things at a lesiurely pace. I would skip Vientiane and spend 3-4 days in Luang Prabang - if you want to do something different check out an eco resort near LP called The Boathouse. Divide the rest of your time between Burma and Vietnam. In Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Sapa, Danang, Nha Trang are places u could look at.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2004, 03:51 PM
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I'd substitute Hoi An for Da Nang, but otherwise hobbes' Vietnam itinerary looks good. Opinions vary on Ho Chi Minh City (like most people I prefer Hanoi), but if nothing else it's the jumpoff point for interesting side trips to the Mekong, Cu Chi tunnels, Cao Dai temple etc.
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