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Advice for a possible trip in Jan?

Edinburgh
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Advice for a possible trip in Jan?

Having a dilemma here so hoping for some advice. Thinking of a holiday starting mid to late Jan for about 3 weeks, could do a few days more. We've been to a few places in Thailand and Cambodia and I wanted something new although part of me also says I just need to chill out so maybe should stick with where we've been this time. Anyhow..... Have seen reasonable flights to Bangkok. My thinking at the moment is we get a flight from there on the day we arrive to Vientiane and spend 3 nights there. Fly on to Luang Prabang for maybe 6 nights, then fly onto Chiang Mai for 4 (we had our first visit there 2 years ago and enjoyed it), then fly to Phuket for 6/7 nights for some beach/pool down time and then back to Bangkok for 1 nights (or none) before our return home.

This would give us the balance of something new and something relaxing. I know I've probably been generous than most would on the days in LP and Vientiane but I do prefer to do things at a relaxed pace instead of just rushing about.

Any thoughts? Should we try to do a trip to Vang Vieng? Husband is not keen on sitting on a bus for very long, he's 6ft3 and is not a fan of being squashed up esp as he can get a bad back easily. Is there any alternative to the Phuket bit? We have been to Khao Lak a couple of times in the past and enjoyed it. I'm not too fussed where we go as long as we have heat and a decent pool or a beach. Just want to grab some down time and enjoy the heat before we return to chilly Scotland.

Thanks in advance!

4 replies to this topic
Chiang Mai
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1. Re: Advice for a possible trip in Jan?

Agree it's good to fly straight out of BKK to Laos, hopefully with a decent connection time. Also agree to take it slow each place not rush through like so many do. The number of days each place looks good although I'd go for 5/5 LP/CM. Vang Vieng is in a beautiful setting, too bad no airport so you'd be looking at 3-4 hours on the road x2 or another 5-6 hours over the pass to LP (beautiful and interesting ride, but maybe not if you're tall with bad back). Alternatives to Phuket? Many. Pick any island/beach on the west coast which tends to have clearer warm weather in January (no guarantees though). Koh Lanta is a personal favourite due to roominess and wide variety of accommodation and beaches, very explorable by scooter. Also consider Koh Chang east of Bangkok near the Cambodian border, another biggish island with some nice beaches and variety of accommodation.

Edinburgh
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2. Re: Advice for a possible trip in Jan?

Thanks for your advice. I've just booked our flights to Bangkok, added another 2 days on for good measure, so hopefully can do some proper research now.

I don't think we're going to have a good connection to Laos from when we land as we land at 1315, next flight is at 1500 and I think that'll be too tight, so looks like a long wait until evening. Unless we go to Chiang Mai first and then to Laos, that just makes it trickier to get to a beach after Laos. Decisions decisions!

Will start some real planning now, thanks again.

Cologne, Germany
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for Cologne, Laos
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3. Re: Advice for a possible trip in Jan?

I would consider part of the trip in reverse order.

Go to Chiang Mai first, and then head to the Lao Border. If you do not like long bus journeys add a stop in Chiang Ray for the night (and visit the great White Temple there). From Chaing Rai it is 2 1/2 hours to Huay Xai. From there you could take the slow boat on the mekong to Luang Prabang. I thought it is a great way to sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Stay a few days in Luang prabang, and maybe include a visit to Nong khiaw or Maung Ngoi north of LP. It would add something rural to your trip (and the scenery is just great there).

Return to LP and fly to Vientiane. From there you could fly to Bangkok, or cross into Thailand first and take the overnight train.

If you are looking for an island that is not overrun you could consider Koh Phayam. It is a great island with some great beaches. You can fly from Bangkok to Ranong (Nok Air), and then the speed boat to the island). If you do not require a 5* hotel, it is a palce you could consider.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Edinburgh
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4. Re: Advice for a possible trip in Jan?

Ha ha, that's just added a few more things to confuse me! I've been decadent and booked business class tickets to Bankok, got a fab price, my issue is that I know if we go to Chiang Mai first we will use up the luggage allowance! And then it'll be a 20kilo allowance for the rest of the trip.... Maybe I should do it reverse, beach first! You've given me lots to think about, I normally book 11 months ahead so this is last minute for me!

You don't think all those extra places you have suggested will make the trip quite rushed? Last thing I want is to feel like we are cramming it all in. If we love it, we'll be back I'm sure.

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