Vientiane and ??

Old Apr 5th, 2017, 11:26 AM
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Eks, Bob and Karen often go to Asia via Europe. I know Finn Air is one of the airlines they use.
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Old Apr 5th, 2017, 02:36 PM
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Oh go to Myanmar if you haven't been - it's really fabulous.....
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 05:39 PM
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Time drawing closer to proposed trip to Vientiane in December. The trip has been condensed due to family wedding and other complications, so now may likely travel only to Vientiane and spend about a week there. Would it be interesting to visit Udon Thani for a day trip or overnight?

I'm having a dreadful time looking through all the flight options from JFK...some of these 2-stop flights stretch the travel time to almost 40 hours!

Just curious for those who have been often to Laos, how do you fly from east coast US? Of course would LOVE to fly Singapore, or Thai, but those have incredibly long layovers as far as I can see. This time hope to use Amex points to get business class. Qatar Airways..anyone familiar with that one?

Korean Air looks like the ICN-VTE leg is flown by the budget carrier Jin Air and If I am using all those hard-earned points, do I want to fly them? And then there are the two Chinese carriers....

Really want to have a great experience on the flights since they are so many hours long and I have convinced Asian-virgin-partner to go along.

Hi to all my Asian friends here!!
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 06:02 PM
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A week seems a bit long for Vientiane. Can you fly to Luang Prabang for part of that?

I have flown via Vancouver where I switch to Cathay Pacific.
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Old Sep 16th, 2017, 04:33 AM
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I know it seems long. But remember I have family there, (with two new nephews). I have been to LP about 12 years ago and am almost afraid to see it now, but of course anything is possiblel. Have never been to PP, so maybe that, too. The whole thing is becoming a travel sasga with the price of these flights.
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Old Sep 16th, 2017, 07:56 AM
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Ah, didn't realize about family. Yes, I revisited LP in early 2011, and was saddened. How about the Plain of Jars (I never made it there)? Or Champasak and the islands to the south?
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Old Sep 16th, 2017, 10:38 PM
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Just across the Friendship Bridge at Vientiane is the Thai border town of Nong Khai, which is an easy non-tiring day trip from Vientiane. Nong Khai sits right on the Mekong, is a pleasant place, and has a lovely promenade looking on to the river.
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Old Sep 17th, 2017, 06:03 AM
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And Udon Thani..anything of interest there?

Thursday, I will look into those..
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Old Sep 17th, 2017, 11:19 AM
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Udon Thani is a pleasant enough city, we spent a night there on a self drive road trip around Thailand. Some interesting wats, including, as I recall, a really nice one in the middle of a lake. Some good markets and excellent Issan street food.

Another thought would be to get a flight (or a long bus or car ride) to Pakse and spend a few days around Si Phan Don, the islands in the Mekong. Don Khong is nice. Very laid back, othing much goes on. Some nice walks and you can cycle around the island in an afternoon.

Also in southern Lao, Wat Phu is an unrestored precursor to Angkor Wat. The Bolaven Plateau is also very scenic, especially the coffee growing areas around Tad Lo, famed for its waterfalls.
NB it is quite a few years since I visited these places so things may have changed in terms of visitor numbers, but we rarely saw any other foreigners.
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Old Sep 19th, 2017, 09:43 AM
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Japan at that time would require a jacket or coat that you would not need in Laos. After Thanksgiving/Labor Thanksgiving Day would be past peak for fall colors in Kyoto or Tokyo (though that really isn't a good reason to not go to a city). Japan certainly fits the "non-threatening" criterion and is a great into to Asia (so good, imo, that maybe partner would say that you should have stayed in Japan).

>>some of these 2-stop flights stretch the travel time to almost 40 hours!

Likely, there is a 10-hour or longer connection somewhere on the way, overnight. A connection can be 24 hours at the same fare. You might take advantage of this to break up the trip. Narita-shi is definitely worthy, no need to make the trip into Tokyo. I don't know of another Asian airport that has a place of interest to visit that a few minutes away other than Narita Airport. I see that the connecting cities for JFK-VTE are often in China.

If you have some miles to spend then you might use them for an intra-Asia ticket. Last time I checked (UA miles), mileage requirements were fairly low and availability fairly high.

There are lots of ways to combine two tickets for the trip. One would be to buy a roundtrip JFK-TYO and then a KAL award for Tokyo to Vientiane. Or two open-jaws.
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Old Sep 19th, 2017, 09:49 AM
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I wrote that knowing that the KAL one-stops are your best route and that you are considering a more complicated trip involving another destination. But maybe the Japan comments could help (other than the wiseass remark).
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 10:41 AM
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This is a big help, thanks....I am really stressing out on the flight issue, and now thinking we will try to get a flight from JFK to BKK. Had not thought of the idea to use the AF points just for the leg from ICN to BKK.

I've got a lot of Amex points...less with Skyteam (about 160,000 with the latter)
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