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itinerary

Oraison, France
Level Contributor
547 posts
128 reviews
itinerary

hello

8 days to go and we have not decided yet our itinerary in laos

we will stay about 2 weeks into laos from 20th jan till 3 or 5th february and we have already booked a slow boat cruise 20 and 21 jan from houai xai to LP

we just booked 5 nights in LP 21 till 26 jan

and then we don't know yet for central and south laos, nothing booked after LP ...

we would like to visit plain of jars ... make a short stop in vang vieng may be 3 nights in vientiane and visit boloven plateau, staying a few days 4000 islands before heading to thailand from pakse chong mek for a one week stay in thailand before flying home

any advice to organise the second part of our journey in laos would be great

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
94 posts
47 reviews
1. Re: itinerary

We did similar trip in 2009. I booked 3 nights in Vientiane at a great hotel run by a fellow Aussie. Beau Rivage Hotel - great reviews in TA; voted 6 out of 65 hotels. First thing he said when we arrived was " Why are you staying 3 nights in Vientiane. One is enough." He was right. We cancelled subsequent nights and caught an overnight sleeper bus to Pakse. there were no flights in 2009 s airport was closed. It is now open. We stayed 2 nights in Pakse. Did a day trip to Champasak temple, then a 2 day/1 night trekking tour to the Bolaven Plateau with Green Discovery - read my trip report "The Trek From Hell." It was hard but fun afterwards. From pakse we took a bus and long tailed boat to Don Khong the biggest of the 4000 Islands. Chilled out at Mr Pon's Guest House. Cheap and cheerful although he has since built an upmarket Arena Hotel. We hired bikes and cycled around the island for two days meeting locals and shopping at markets.

Laos is a beautiful country and the people warm and hospitable. We were never hassled as in Cambodia or felt threatened. People just want to make a living and get on with their lives.

We returned to Pakse and caught a bus to Ubon Ratchathani then flew back to Bangkok. Two of the best weeks traveling of our lives.

Vientiane, Laos
Level Contributor
156 posts
34 reviews
2. Re: itinerary

"" Why are you staying 3 nights in Vientiane. One is enough." He was right."

No he was not; I would spend at least two. There is a lot to do in Vientiane. I was born here and still find things to do. I wonder why he runs a hotel.

Oraison, France
Level Contributor
547 posts
128 reviews
3. Re: itinerary

thank you for your replie and your great (and funny ) report ... we will take care when we read "moderate trekking" we are not either as you said "geriatric" (in our late 50) but may be not trained enought and suitable by this venture ...

Leigh-on Sea...
Level Contributor
4,802 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: itinerary

We did a very similar trip just before Xmas

If going to the Plain of Jars I would consider flying at least one way from Vientiane, otherwise you will experience hours of winding, bumpy roads. I think the air schedules are such that they arrive and leave mid afternoon which means you could squeeze almost 2 full days sightseeing around Phonsavan , which I think is just right.

Vientiane is worth 2 full days in my opinion.

Vang Vieng is beautiful and if you j want to relax I would recommend the new Riverside View Hotel which has a lovely pool ..

In Pakse, I can recommend Somchit as a driver. I found him from recommendations on Tripadvisor .

There are smarter vehicles around ( there are no seat belts in Somchit's minivan) . He does not have his own computer so several days can pass before he has time to check his emails at an Internet cafe . His mobile is 02055635850, e-mail somchit_123@hotmail.com

Somchit and his wife (the driver) took us for a full day around Bolaven. On another day we went to Wat Phu, this was disappointing for us as we had already seem Angkor in Cambodia. Also, the climbing up to the ruins is very heavy going. He also took us down to 4000 islands, we stayed on the more developed island on Dong Kong. My husband has mobility problems and as most of the enjoyment of the region is to be had by boat, we missed out on a lot.

I think that if I had limited time and of course depending on your budget , I would visit Bolaven for the day from Pakse ,but instead of going further south I would take the short flight from Pakse to Siem Reap and visit Angkor for a few days. This would be a more expensive option as it would entail airfares and a Cambodian visa.

Vientiane
Level Contributor
6,630 posts
95 reviews
5. Re: itinerary

I agree with the above post. What about flying from Vientiane to Phonsavahn, then taking a mini bus back to Luang Prabang? I also agree that Vientiane is worth 2 full days and generally find that those who say it isn't have not seen the city at all. There are heaps of things to see.

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
94 posts
47 reviews
6. Re: itinerary

Because he makes lots of money and never has empty rooms. He doesn't mind how long you stay. He just gives an honest assessment based on his experience. We did stay two days as we caught a sleeper bus to Pakse but second afternoon we spent at international hotel lazing around swimming pool. Don't get me wrong. Vientiane was interesting but not the most inspiring city in Asia. And maybe Luang Prabang spoiled us.

7. Re: itinerary

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