Asia - South-East Asia Mainland
Messages: 97,118 - Threads: 12,105
This branch covers:
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam
Here you will find links to information on health issues, visas, transportation, volunteering, weather, food, and more. Links to well-regarded resources such as Travelfish, Tales of Asia, Canby, and so on are also here.
Note: This is a FAQ/internet resources post, not an area for asking questions (nobody will answer questions here) or a place to post personal blogs, photos, etc. Please do post updates or added information that will help others find their way around the Southeast Asia mainland.
To get the latest updates to any of our guidebooks - or to add your own - visit the Guidebook Feedback branch of the Thorn Tree. See below for links to all the guides relating to mainland SE Asia.
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The purpose of this thread is to provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about traveling in Vietnam I hope that this FAQ helps newcomers and others plan their trips to Vietnam. I would like to thank all the posters who have contributed information to this thread. To make searching easier for you, please find my index of some major topics as follows:
1. Visa for Vietnam => find posts #115, 117, 111
2. Ha Long bay tours/Cat Ba => #83, 84
3. Vietnam - China border crossings => #7
4. Vietnam - Laos border crossings => #8, 50, 58
5. Vietnam - Cambodia border crossings => #96, 107
6. What to see in Vietnam? => #12
7. Taxi/bus from airport to cities => #3
8. Train in Vietnam => #76
9. The lunar new year (Tet) => #23, 80, 114
10. Bus from Hanoi to Vientiane => #79
11. Bus/train from Hanoi to Kunming => #105, 106
12. Bus/train from Hanoi to Nanning => #95, 99, 100
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Lonely Planet continues to receive disturbing reports of fatal accidents involving travellers tubing in and around Vang Vieng. There are several threads discussing this on Thorn Tree:
LAOS - VANG VIENG TUBING SCENE
as well as some newspaper coverage on the subject.
Lonely Planet advises extra care and wearing a life jacket when performing this activity, especially during the wet season when waters flow up to four times faster than normal. Travel insurance does not always cover more dangerous activities, and you won’t be covered if something happens to you while you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. more »
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2. Travel companions. If you’re looking for someone to travel with, the best place to post is in our travel companions forum.
3. Keep it travel-related. We want to remind you that this forum is a place for travellers and travel enthusiasts to share tips, information, and their experiences about Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam.
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I'm considering travel in May 2014 to Thailand, and crossing into Cambodia at the Poipet border (destination Siem Reap). Does anyone have any recent experience with visa-on-arrival procedure?
Having had the experience of crossing into Cambodia overland from Vietnam six years ago, the cheap bus service from Saigon was operated by Cambodian Nationals, who rather suspiciously (but in the end without issue) took our passports while still in Vietnam, and upon reaching the border crossing, organised our visa. We simply stood in this great room squashed in - no queue to speak of, nor any sense of order. I don't like my chances of working out what the hell the process is if I need to do it myself.
Would it be advantageous to secure a visa (for Cambodia) before I travel, from my home country (Australia) to avoid any issues? Would this streamline my entry into the country?
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Can anyone recommend any budget accommodation in Ngapli beach? In Myanmar now and want to head to beach for a few days!
I'm trying to seperate out the locations in my route into the following categories:
1. Essential and must-see.
2. Would be great to see; but skip if time restraints.
[Here is a link to my route.|https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Chiang+Khong&daddr=Huay+Xai+to:Pakbeng+to:Luang+Prabang+to:Vang+Vieng+to:Vientiane+to:Tha+Khaek+to:Savannakhet+to:Pakse+to:Champasak+to:Si+Phan+Don+to:Kratie+to:Phnom+Penh+to:Siem+Reap+to:Battambang+to:Ho+Chi+Minh+City+to:Mui+Ne+to:Nha+Trang+to:Hoi+An+to:Hue+to:Hanoi+to:Ha+Long+Bay+to:Sapa,+Vietnam&hl=en&ll=15.050906,100.656738&spn=18.951679,33.815918&sll=16.351838,104.746256&sspn=18.832189,33.815918&geocode=FQeyMwEd2Ob7BSm1ccRiJTfWMDFwc4r6xUYDAw%3BFcV_NQEdmzz8BSnpT558JiXWMDGW9Hvryol_Cw%3BFWSiLwEdnk0HBimtZ56S6U0oMTGjfgzU371P5w%3BFURoLwEdoo4WBimjGz1BPyovMTFWao5gqUmXrA%3BFVXmIAEdUEMbBikT5zvwNOwlMTE44tPUuaw1Gw%3BFREXEgEdncUdBikhe-0GhmgkMTHf7sEYhrGTHw%3BFe8... more »
Okay, Let me preface this by saying, that I have read many trips reports, posts on LP, and other forum sites. Many seem to be outdated, and as this country is changing so fast, I have a few questions.
Three of us will be traveling to Myanmar in February 2014. We are entering through Yangon and leaving through Mandalay. We are traveling from Yangon to Inle, Inle to Mandalay, Mandalay to Bagan, and back to Mandalay to fly back to BKK. We have booked our accommodations, but are not sure how we are going to get around in the country.
I have read horror stories about the trains... and the locals puking on the buses... but really do prefer things other than flying.
Specifically, we have allowed ourselves three days to get from Yangon to Inle. We do have a night booked ( could be easily changed) in Taungoo and were thinking about busing there. Then going from Taungoo ... more »
I am currently in SaPa and am looking forward to visit caves in Ta Phin area. Another area of interest is Bac Ha market.
Ta Phin: While there are many organized treks available, none of them (as far as I know) explore caves and rather focus on Tribals etc. Ta Phin is only 10 Kms. from SaPa and is easily accessible by Bike. I have arranged for a guide but I would like to have one or more companion for this trip. So, if there is anyone willing to do this trek in the month of December or January, please let me know.
Bac Ha: Again tons of tours are available, but the journey is 6 hours roundtrip and hence there is not enough time to spend in the market itself. I am planning to go to Bac Ha on Saturday itself and then hit the markets early in the day. Anyone up for this?
As for myself, I am fairly easygoing, although, according to my mom, I am also very boring :(. Bei... more »
Does anyone know of an agent who can book air bagan flights before I arrive?
Hi! The Myanmar embassy website in Canada explains all the information regarding visa application, except the cost! It just says "send CDN.00 in money order"... does anyone know roughly what the cost is these days? Trying to get organized now, and of course it is the start of the weekend so I won't be able to call the embassy until Monday. Thanks for you help!
Hi, Thanks for helping a first time Traveler to Myanmar.
I've been searching thorn tree but can't find any recent information relating to this. We arrive in Bangkok in the afternoon on Dec 19 (Thursday), and currently have a flight booked from BKK to Yangon on the afternoon on the 21st (Saturday). We had heard that there are travel agents in Bangkok who can help get same day visas to Myanmar, for a fee. We had friends do this a year ago but the travel agent they used emailed us back once but has not replied since. Is it normally possible to get same day visas like this from travel agents (on Friday, or late on Thursday for next day)? We would be grateful for any recommendations. Back up plan is to try to get the visas ourselves, or worse case scenario is to have to waste the plane ticket to Yangon (and hotel) and fly out later. This would be really rough because we would lose the mo... more »
I cannot believe but I have finished my overview of my trip to Vietnam and Siem Reap - the trip lasted for 2.5 weeks and I wished it had been longer, but again I live in Canada and we do not have as much vacation as our Europeans counterparts right?
The review is divided in 6 parts, and I hope it will help somehow those planning to go to Vietnam. I know is not perfect, and I know is long and this is why I'm not posting it here .... if you don't want to read it, then enjoy the pictures. I might add some gopro videos afterwards.
Finally it was time to catch my flight with Asiana Airlines, 26 hours later I was arriving in Montreal. If you asked me now why I went to Vietnam, I will tell you because it is a country full of e... more »
Please help me!
Last night, my Algerian friend mailed me and asked for helping her to obtain Vietnam visa, because she wants to visit Vietnam to enjoy her New Year vacation in the country. After searching information on Google, a found some useful information at http://evietnamvisa.com/ but I do not know where to start, and where should I do first to help my friend with her Vietnam visa.
n the process of planning a 7day trip during 1st week of march 2014 from bangkok to Vientiane - Luang Prabang(3Days) - Siem Reap(2days) & return to bangkok
kindly advice regarding
best air connections from BKK to VTE - LP - to SR and Return
must visit places
(single adult, keen on experiencing the local culture, meeting people, walks, nature, night life & food!), not keen on temples, monastries, historical buildings
best hotels (clean budget-3star), foodjoints/restaurants/night market
budget(i have budgeted a total of 2000 NZ$)
any other money & time saving tips and advice on airtickets, other transportation, accomodation, must do activities etc would be highly appreciated
I fly into the following airports in 2 weeks and was wondering what the current taxi rates I should expect to pay for 3 people to get to our hotel. All hotels will be in the city centre and I will be going to Hoi an from Da Nang
Da Nang to Hoi An
Ok, were originally going in August, due to job security not being the best, me and my boyfriend are going in Feb for 3-4 months (as long as the money lasts). Its our last chance to travel for a long period of time as I'm returning to uni in October and we need jobs/savings/pensions/ blah blah blah.
Anyhoo, we'll have a total of £7000. That's for everything (we'll have £9000 actually, but are leaving £2000 to come home too). So insurance/jabs/flights/travel/spending money/pre-trip gear. We don't need much, and we're hoping Jan sales will come in handy. I think after flights/jabs/insurance etc, we'll have £5000.
Its not a lot is it? Is it doable, or will we be home after a month? We're happy eating street food, apart from the odd dive (already certified) we don't want to do any expensive sightseeing (we predict having never left western civilisation, everything will be an experie... more »
I posted my application to the London Embassy from Edinburgh on 25th November 2013, received 26th November 2013. I enclosed a completed form, two passport photos with white background, Special Delivery envelope (addressed to work, not home - hope this will not be an issue) and £14 cash (as instructed at http://www.myanmarembassylondon.com/visa_section.2.html#Tourist%20Visa). I'm yet to receive any confirmation that the visa has been posted yet via Royal Mail Special Delivery Track & Trace.
I do not leave until 1st February 2014, but wanted to check how long the application times have been for others at this time - I've read anything from less than a week to six weeks processing time. The Embassy do not appear to be particularly organised when phoning or emailing. I phoned the Embassy this afternoon on 020 7148 0740 and got asked "How did you pay?", "Cash", "Don't worry, w... more »
I researched all the options (compare sites etc) and I used
which at the time had the best $/£ rate.
Order on line,they email confimation with transfer instructions then you transfer the funds by internet banking and the currency is delivered by Royal Mail Registered Post (trackable) in 48 hours.No Commission.no charges or postage costs.
Rate at the time was 1.62 $ to the £ (best in 5 years) and when delivered the notes were the NEW STYLE $100 with a few old style,but brand new $50 and $1's to make up the balance
hope this helps
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