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Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

Lichfield
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Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

My wife & I, both in our mid 60's but also mobile (O.K. we can walk)! want to visit both Laos & Cambodia in Jan/Feb 2014 from Thailand, (we visit our son in Thailand), but I cannot for the life of me work which is the best way to do this!

Do we go from Bangkok to Cambodia & then Laos or Bangkok to Laos then Cambodia?

We have a month to do this, say 2-3 days in Bangkok, 8 days each in Laos & Cambodia & then back to Bangkok for the rest? Or are biting off more than we can chew & leave either Laos or Cambodia for another year? The only reason I'm confused is that distance say between Bangkok, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap & back to Bangkok loks so vast on the map & could prove to be prohibitive in air fares.

Any Ideas would be welcome as I seem to have a mental block on this one!

Almost forgot, we don't beaches or trekking

sydney
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1. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

Hi Ray

you could check out the Bangkok Airways Discovery pass. we used it in 2011 for our Laos/Cambodia trip. Bkk > Luang Prabang (bus LP to Phonsavan) Phonsavan > Vientiane then Vte > Siem Reap.

you might get some ideas from the blog I did of that trip …blogspot.com.au/2011/07/day-1-in-laos-luang… links to following days are on the top left side

hope this gets you started

cheers

helen

Lichfield
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2. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

Cheers Helen, loved your blog, looks like you've written our itinerary! we've got to sort out these air passes though.

Regards, Ray

Nan Province...
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3. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

I would fly from BKK to PP, stay 3 days in PP then travel over land to Siem Reap, stay there 3 days.

Then fly from SR to Luang Prabang, stay 5 days (make day trips) and travel over land to Vientiane. Stay 2 days there and then fly back to BKK or if you like train traveling (like me) then take the train back to BKK (sleeper).

Lichfield
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4. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

Thanks Ivo, also sounds good to me,

Regards, Ray

Edited: 8:34 am, July 13, 2013
Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

A suggestion if you are considering travelling between bangkok and vientanne(laos)

I tried taking the overnight a/c sleeper train from vientanne(laos) to bangkok. It is really comfortable and pretty cheap. Definitely cheaper than take flights and much more comfortable than buses. It was an experience for me, so you can consider that.

Lichfield
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6. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

thanks WeiQiangSee, we might just try that.

Regards, Ray

Leigh-on Sea...
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7. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

I like the itinery suggested by poster 3, no backtracking and including the highlights of the region.

If you enjoy good scenery, I would also add on a few days in Vang Vieng which is approx. a 3.5 hour road journey from Vientiane. Ignore all the descriptions of it being just a 'rave' town for the young backpacking group, it is that also, but beauty and tranquility can be found a little out of town. Check out the Mekong Riverview , a failry new hotel with a nice pool and fabulous scenery. We are also in our mid 60s and it suited us just fine.

california
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8. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

Ray, Sorry for jump in since I am looking for the same information. We will travel after you, so I hope to learn many good tips from you after your trip

Helen,

Your blog is very helpful . Can you please share how did you book Bangkok Airways Discovery pass. Is Discovery pass only applied for fly from Bangkok to Lao and Cambodia only?

WeiQiangSee,

Can you please share where I can look for information about the a/c sleeper train from vientanne(laos) to Bangkok or vice versa.

Thank you

Edited: 9:04 pm, July 13, 2013
sydney
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9. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

uop

re the Discovery Pass -my post on this thread may help tripadvisor.com.au/…51168112

cheers

helen

Amsterdam, The...
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10. Re: Travel from Bangkok to Laos & Cambodia

I also took the overnight train from Bangkok to (very close to) Vientiane. All information is here, including videos and photos of the different classes of compartments. seat61.com/Laos.htm#Bangkok%20to%20Vientiane

It also involves a change at the end to a shorter train ride taking you across the Friendship Bridge. It's all very straightforward once you're there and there are officials pointing you in the right direction to get your stamps. Make sure you have the needed cash at hand (US$35 when I was there, but check for the latest info) for your visa and some passport photos of yourself.

I loved the train ride, it was a bit shaky so it took me a while to get to sleep but it was a great cultural experience. In the morning I had a few hours of daylights and the beds were turned back into seats so I could enjoy the views.

However, this will bring you into Vientiane which may (or may not) complicate the rest of your schedule. In my case it caused me to backtrek the same route twice: Vientiane - Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang - (direct night bus back to) Vientiane. I would not recommend backtrekking that route as it's quite rough (as in curvy, and hot if you don't have aircon) and mountainous, especially the Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang bit.

I loved Luang Prabang and I think I spent 5 days there without getting bored. Kuang Si waterfalls nearby are also lovely.

As for Vang Vieng being a rave town, it still was when I was there in 2009, but I stayed on the quiet side, and I also read recent reports that the local government is now enforcing stricter laws and the partying has died down a bit (I read complaints by party seekers ;-) ).

Nature-wise Vang Vieng was one of the most beautiful parts I have seen of Laos, so it's really well worth a visit, especially if you take time to do some tranquil kayaking on the rivers and swimming in a cave just outside the town (good tour operators and very cheap). I loved Ban Suan bungalows right by the Song river.

From what I read in 2009 it was a bit hard to enter Laos from Cambodia, you would have to arrange your Laos visa beforehand in a city, because there was no border post. But the other way around was find. this information may be outdated... it's something to look up though in case you were thinking of crossing the border overland.

Another option a lot of people choose is: fly or take train to Chiang Mai (still in Thailand), then bus to Chiang Rai, then slow boat to Luang Prabang, that way you start in the north and travel down just once.

With one month I'd recommend at least 10 days or more in Laos, about 10 days in Cambodia, and the rest spent in Thailand before and after that. Bangkok is quite fun but very hectic and smelly (heavy smog). You may prefer to spend the last days on an island or at an elephant park (or allocating more days to Laos & Cambodia) instead of too many days in Bangkok.

My blog may give you some more info and inspiration. For example I travelled over land and stopped in central Laos (7 kilometer river through Konglor cave was nice!), and spent time in the Bolaven plateau and in Si Phan Don (4000 islands), from where you can arrange direct transport to Cambodia, probably involving various changes, but you pay one price and they make sure you get to the end... I bought such a ticket for a place in Thailand (I didn't go to Cambodia) and it involved a boat ride, minibus and two other buses but everything was arranged perfectly.

Enjoy your trip!

Cecilia

…travelpod.com/travel-blog/…tpod.html

Edited: 10:23 am, July 17, 2013