Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fellowship Bridge it is

After a bit of reading and some surfing I have decided I will have to enter Laos at the Fellowship Bridge. It is the only land crossing that will allow me to get a Visa-on-Arrival* I do not want to go from Don Muang Airport into central Bangkok and get a visa from the Lao Embassy it will just waste a day and I don't have that many.

I will just have to forsake the train, damn I do like those sleeper trains.

My flight arrives at 12:20 on the 24th November. There is an Air Asia flight from Don Muang to Udon Thani at 16:15 for the pricely sum of 908 baht (£13) including taxes. This gets me in to Udon Thani at 17:15. then its either a 700 baht taxi or the Thai Airways "Limousine" minibus service for 100 baht to Nong Khai.

Then its ovenight at the Mutmee Guesthouse.

Now just working out a rough plan for two weeks in Laos.

I do worry that this blog has started me planning this like a military operation, but I have always enjoyed the planning aspects of a trip and the background reading. If i was going for six months I probably wouldnt bother.

* I have since discovered that you can obtain Visa-on-Arrival at

The Friendship Bridge crossing (near Vientiane, bordering Thailand)

The Vientiane International Airport (Wattay Airport)

The Luang Prabang International Airport

Pakse International Airport

Nam Kan/Noeng Haet (Xieng Khuang province, bordering Vietnam, since March 2003)

Lak Sao (Bolikhamsao Province, bordering Vietnam, since March 2003)

Lao Bao (Savannakhet Province, bordering Vietnam, since March 2003)

Thakek (Savannakhet Province, bordering Thailand, since March 2003)

Chong Mek (Champasak Province, bordering Thailand, since March 2003)

Huay Xai (Bokeo Province, since March 2003)

Boten (Luang Namtha Province, bordering Thailand, since March

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

First thoughts on itinerary

I think it is going to be Laos. I dont think I can really do both Cambodia and Laos in the timescale I have available. My first thoughts were to try and atempt both but I would spend all day every day travelling with no extended stays in any one location to relax. Ankor Wat will have to wait for another trip (again!).

Its not very original but I think I will do the usual trip of Laos and take in Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Louang Prabang combined with a two or three day slowboat trip on the Mekong. Some of this will be backpacker central I know, especially Vang Vieng but I have always been a sucker for limestone karst scenery and some of the places I have liked most (Guillin, Halong Bay and Krabi) have a similar jagged teeth geology.

The rough plan is to arrive at Don Muang and either fly diectly up to Udon Thani with Air Asia or Nok Air and then cross over the Fellowship Bridge at Nong Khai or take the overnight train up to Chaing Mai and then bus it to Chiang Kong and enter Laos at Houayxai.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The flights are booked!

Unfortunately work commitments mean I can only travel for two and a half weeks although I would love to travel round South East Asia for for longer, perhaps one day.

Purchased a return ticket to Bangkok from Manchester without much idea of where I will go? Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar? I guess with such a short time I should really come up with some basic plan of where to aim for . I do not want it to be a mad dash but leave a few days for relaxing, perhaps two or three places would be best in 18 days. Anyway I will have a think over the next day or two and come up with a plan that I will probably never keep to anyway.

I disgress, not sure I have got the best deal but flights were booked with Travelsupermarket from the UK and came in at £424. I dont think this is a bad price for late November as this is the shoulder of the high season in Soth East Asia. I didn't really hunt around much nor chose an airline just took the cheapest. Lasts years jaunt to Thailand involved a fair bit of research into best airlines/value etc using Startrax. However although Qatar has a five star rating only one leg had Video-on-Demand and that didn't work on the return leg and the service was poor


Wed 23-Nov-05 Klm Royal Dutch Airlines Flight: KL1082
Departure: Manchester Int'l - Manchester Time: 12:40 Terminal: 2
Arrival: Schiphol - Amsterdam Time: 15:10

Wed 23-Nov-05 Klm Royal Dutch Airlines Flight: KL877
Departure: Schiphol - Amsterdam Time: 19:40
Thu 24-Nov-05 Arrival: Bangkok Int'l - Bangkok Time: 12:20


Thu 08-Dec-05 Airline: Klm Royal Dutch Airlines Flight: KL878
Departure: Bangkok Int'l - Bangkok Time: 23:30 Terminal: 2
Fri 09-Dec-05 Arrival: Schiphol - Amsterdam Time: 05:35

Fri 09-Dec-05Airline: Klm Royal Dutch Airlines Flight: KL1075
Departure: Schiphol - Amsterdam Time: 09:20
Fri 09-Dec-05 Arrival: Manchester Int'l - Manchester Time: 09:40

I hope this is not my plane.

Will get immersed in the Rough Guides to Laos and Cambodia and see what comes out. Will also have a good look at Travelfish and excellent resource for planning a trip in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia