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Confused and need advise !

Aberdeenshire
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Confused and need advise !

2 years ago we did Bangkok, Siem Reap and then Khao Lak and Kata Thani on Phuket, loved Bangkok and Siem Reap, loved the Thai beaches but felt the food in Phuket was a bit touristy and the locals not as genuine as the Cambodian people ( who we loved )

So recently I have been researching Vietnam, I have spent ages working on a trip only to repeatedly read that it can be a hassly country and you can often get ripped off, which I don't fancy.

So to Plan B, im now thinking Luxury Thai Beach, possibly Koi Samui, then some time in Chiang Mia and then on to Luang Prabang, how easily could I plan this myself ? Has anyone done this ? We like to stay in 4 to 5 * hotels and are 50 odd so not young backpackers !

Thanks for any advise !

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11. Re: Confused and need advise !

I'd just take your total number of days and divide it on the ratio of 5:3:2. That is northern Thailand:Luang Prabang:beach. So if you have 20 days, 10 in Chiang Mia/Chiang Rai and surrounds, six in LP, four at the beach. But that's just a personal preference - there is so much to see and do in northern Thailand. Our upcoming trip is something like that; it's hard to juggle the days, but we keep coming back to the fact that CM needs at least a week and LP needs almost a week, so the beach part gets squeezed into a few days.

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12. Re: Confused and need advise !

Not sure where you got your info that Vietnam "...can be a hassly country and you can often get ripped off, which I don't fancy.". From my experience Vietnam is probably one of the safest places for tourists to travel in SE Asia with awesome beaches, great mountain areas, Halong Bay with its limestone islands and a World Heritage site, the Mekong Delta and the great city of Hanoi. I've been going to Vietnam since 1980 and am still enjoying the Country, people and the food every time I visit. I have never been hassled in Vietnam or have I ever run into a scam. In fact, there are probably more scams in Thailand and Cambodia than elsewhere in SE Asia. Having said that I also enjoy Luang Prabang immensely and in fact will be visiting there in about a months time. You already have some excellent advice re Northern Thailand and Laos and it is now just up to you to make your choices ...but please don't discount Vietnam as it is beautiful and certainly safe!

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13. Re: Confused and need advise !

Thanks for the reassurance regarding Vietnam, I guess it's just different people's perceptions and experiences, so many places to visit and so little time !! But for now I seem drawn to Chiangmai And Luang Prabang

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14. Re: Confused and need advise !

I'm with Dikthai, I was very upset to read what you'd been told re Vietnam. The last two years we have combined Thailand (Phuket & Chianf Mai), Cambodia & Hoi An, then last year Phuket, K/L & Hoi An, and at this minute we are in Phuket, will go from here to Chiangmai, then over to Luang Prabang (never been to Laos yet) then back to Hoi An. We can't Speak personally of any other part of Vietnam as we never seem to be able to drag ourselves away from Hoi An, but we have never met a nicer, more honest & hard working town of people anywhere. Please give them a chance in the future.

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Aberdeenshire
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15. Re: Confused and need advise !

Thank you Nette, its good to get other peoples perceptions on a new place and I most certainly will give it a go in the future, thats the great thing about Trip Advisor, getting lots of incites and views.

We absolutely loved Cambodia too and now we've decided on Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang I feel very excited ! maybe next year we will get to Hoi An !

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16. Re: Confused and need advise !

I have to stick my 2 cents worth in about Vietnam too! For this trip, Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang is great . But in future, there is so very much that is beautiful in Vietnam - 90 k's south of Hanoi is a little village called "NingBing" - it is breathtakingly beautiful and well worth a visit. Also Halong Bay cruises - it's a Heritage Site and wonderful scenery.

I travelled north to south in Vietnam in 2010, taking 17 days to go from Hanoi in the north down to Saigon in the very south end of Vietnam, and everywhere I went, the countryside was beautiful, and the Vietnamese people were lovely. I saw amazing places - fantastic ruins, wonderfully cheap and lovely places to stay, easy to get around. The only thing that really bugged me was people running after me trying to get me to buy things when I was walking through the markets, but that is the case in other countries as well.

Enjoy Chiang Mai and area, and Luang Prabang. I have spent time in Chiang Mai and loved it, and Luang Prabang is on my agenda for my next trip in 2015. From all I've read and heard about this town, it sounds lovely and charming. If you get time, try and get down to VangVieng - it's about a 6 hour drive south and spectacular scenery - good for kayaking, hiking, renting motorbikes to follow trails through the hillsides - beauitful mountains and rivers. Youtube the places you want to go to get a sense of them.

In the Chiang Mai Travel Forum, click on the JBRs on right side to review great reports of other travellers' experiences of Chiang Mai. They will give you lots of ideas of what to see and do, as will the "FAQs", also on the right side of the Chiang Mai Forum. Do the same thing in the Luang Prabang Travel Forum to get good info on what to see and do there.

Have a great trip!

P.S.: I spent 3 lovely days in Hoi An and loved it - cobblestone streets, lanterns lit up at night. I recommend staying in the old part of the town. They don't allow cars in that area so it is very quiet at night and people stroll. Wonderful little restaurants and the Vietnamese food are works of art. I used to take pictures of what I was about to eat before chowing down!

Edited: 16 June 2014, 02:46
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17. Re: Confused and need advise !

I was surrounded by Brits in Koh Samui and French in Vietnam. Restaurants semeed to cater to the French tourist. I was disappointed in Vietnam but was not hassled. I like Luang Prabang as the Lao people although very much more serious than other Asians are genuine.

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18. Re: Confused and need advise !

Vietnam is definitely worth visiting, but those who warned you to be careful are correct. There are many scams of which to be wary, eg bringing and charging for more food that you ordered in restaurants for example. It is also true that you are much more likely to get hassled in Vietnam than in Thailand, Lao or Cambodia. However this is no reason not to visit. Just take a little care.

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19. Re: Confused and need advise !

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