FAQ Thread for Mainland SE Asia
Replies: 91 - Last Post: Nov 11, 2013 2:00 PM Last Post By: missred
Jul 28, 2007 6:07 AM
45Now the FAQ for Vietnam appears to have been similarly de-stickied.
Jul 29, 2007 2:54 PM
Aug 5, 2007 4:31 AM
47When you're looking for something more than random, anonymous street food outlets then take a peek at ChefMoz. It's a listing of restaurants/cafes/eateries that anyone can contribute to. It's an honest, independent guide and it links to similarly reliable resources. Vietnam is well represented, particularly HCMC and Hanoi. Hoi An, Nha Trang, and Dalat also have a number of options listed with two dozen other locations looking more sparse.
Unfortunately Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are empty. Hopefully they'll get started soon. But there's Thailand
Some locations could do with more reviews.
Sep 11, 2007 4:37 PM
48(ii) ban on entry visas for senior members of the military or the security forces who formulate, implement or benefit from policies that impede Burma/Myanmar's transition to democracy, and their families;
Does anyone know if this would apply to the government people who post to soc.culture.burma? I would also like to know if this applies to senior non-military civil servants?
Sep 26, 2007 7:28 AM
Oct 29, 2007 4:32 AM
50Beware of bag snatchers in Luang Prabang and this applies to Vientiane and Pakse as well
I've been back in Luang Prabang for 3 weeks now and just want to caution people that there are indeed bag/purse snatchers now operating in Luang Prabang. A woman at the gh that I stay was riding a rented Thai LA one-speed bike along a quiet street when a man on a motobike snuck up behind her and snatched the bag that was in her front bike basket. She ended up losing quite a bit of cash and her digital camera. She was quite distraught when she arrived back at the gh. Another tourist's bag was found at the soccer field near Vat That Luang this morning.
If you're going to ride a bike then either wear your daypack or bag on your back or slung across your chest OR if you want to lay your bag in the bike basket at least get some of those small caribiners that serve as bottle openers or keychains and clip it to the mesh bike basket. That way the theives can't snatc it out of the basket so readily. But be preapred for a jolt if they do because it may throw you off balance while you're riding.
Also, it's always a good idea to lock your bike in a highly visible area.
Nov 1, 2007 6:41 AM
51Keep asking so heres a list of temples if you only have time to spend only 1 or 2 days at Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat and Temples
When you arrive finally at your GH in Siem Reap, book your Mobo/motordop motorbikedriver for early next am normally $6 per day from 6am – Sunset
Books to read on Angkor:
Dawn Rooney’s ANGKOR is best.
Don't forget If you pay $2 -$4 photocopies for her book Dawn Rooney doesn't get copyright fees.
also Ancient Angkor by Michael Freeman is Pictorial book with useful iformation on routes etc
I've only done Angkor Wat 4 times and had only one day in 1999 and august 2003.
book your Motorbike my choice for 1 or 2 persons $6 with GH when you arrive for early next morning 6am and only book through Gh as they have their reputation to keep. One year I needed to get to the GH I stayed at in 99 and motorbike taxi said i take you free to Gh and $6 for Angkor he was so unhelpful and wanted to go back to Siem Reap at 1pm also wanted to charge extra for long route. I never had problems with GH drivers. 6am head off $20 1 day ticket $40 3 days payable at kiosk.
best order to see temples: main ones are a must to see but also others in between worthy of quick peep.
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Bayon temple with faces and bas reliefs at back wall
Preah Khan wonderfully and sympathetic restoration
Ta Phrom famous romantic intermingled with jungle
Lunch back in front of Bayon Angkor Thom Area
Bayon faces in afternoon light
skip Baphuon disgusting concrete reconstruction!!!
Leper king terrace
walk back to bayon
late pm Angkor Wat again afternoon light
Bakheng sunset over cambodia
traffic rush back to siem reap for dinner
second day Bantaey Srei and revisit
Canby publications Angkor wat
help stamp out this sex trade in Cambodia
Jan 31, 2008 6:17 PM
Feb 13, 2008 4:13 AM
53Re health, few people discuss mental health issues that they may encounter while away from home. This is a Cambodian link but it might help a lot of travellers in a lot of places. The website has also set up a forum to tell people more about where to get prescriptions filled, get help etc in Cambodia. The message is, you are not without help or alone.
Apr 25, 2008 10:20 AM
54Lao visa upon arrival restrictions for some countries.
I don't know the exact details [as to when this will go into effect) but I was forwarded this info by the Lao Business Forum:
"The passengers who are holding national passports can not get on board
on QV flights Lao Airlines to enter Lao PDR and will not longer obtained a visa on
arrival into Lao PDR, except those who have the official letter from
Lao government or Lao authorities concerned.
The list of the said countries include:
Bangladesh, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Rep., India, Iran, Iraq,
Lesotho, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
In case you will have visitors from countries aboved, please kindly
inform us ahead. So we can help requesting for approval from the Ministry."
So, if you're a national of the countries listed, you'll need a visa from a Lao embassy or consulate prior to arrival to Laos.
Apr 29, 2008 10:40 AM
55Exiting from Tachileik to Mae Sai
You must have a permit from MTT to cross the border from Tachileik to
Mae Sai. This is not such a big hassle. Here's the best way to do it:
Contact a Travel Agent in Yangon. For example:
Abercrombie & Kent - 2nd Floor of Strand Hotel
Thaung Htut - email@example.com
Maximilian Horsely - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - http://www.akdmc.com
Sun Far Travels and Tours - email@example.com
A&K are international, so you may be able to find an agent in your home
country. Sun Far is the biggest booking agent in Myamnar and has offices all over the country.
Tell the agent you want to book a flight from Heho to Tachileik (you can't get there by land) and exit Myanmar to Mae Sai. Tell him/her that you know you need a permit and you want to apply for one from MTT. And if you want to expand you "package" from there, you could include bookings in other places - but the ticket to Tachileik is all you really need.
You should start this process a month or so before leaving for Myanmar, but it'll probably work even if it's a few days before. I did it within the country and without an agent, but I don't recommend this.
MTT prefers to deal with a Travel Agent who is arranging a "packaged tour". If all goes well, your agent will arrange things and your permit to be waiting for you in Yangon.
MTT charged me $25 (per person) for the permit and $15 for a "guide" when I did it on my own. The guide met us at the Tachileik airport and walked us into Thailand. She also did the 13 copies of paperwork.
Some finer details:
Your agent should deal with a supervisor at MTT, not the front desk. On
my first visit to MTT in Yangon, they told me I didn't need a permit. When I went back and asked for that in writing, they referred me to a supervisor, who walked me through the permit application.
MTT will want a detailed itinerary. You should include your reason for going to Tachileik. If you are on your way to northern Thailand and Lao, for example, it makes sense that you would want to exit at Tachileik. Explain that going all the way back to Yangon is a long way out of your way.
Booking the flight to Heho on our own was "tricky". In Yangon the airlines would only sell 2-sector tickets for $155 - Yangon to Heho ($89) and Heho to Tachileik ($66). We tried 3 different agents and asked around. In Mandalay you can buy just the Heho to Tachileik sector, but we couldn't book until 4 days before departure. Ultimately we booked the flight in the back of a store in Nyuangshwe. It was a bit nerve-racking.
Also, Air Yangon flies from Heho to Mandalay (the opposite way) and then Tachileik. So flying from Mandalay to Tachileik is actually faster - and maybe cheaper.
AirMandalay and AirBagan also fly to Tachileik, but they were fully booked at the time. It was Water Festival.
In the past I have avoided Travel Agents, and have never done a "packaged tour". But if I were to do this one again, I would use an agent and design my own package - part of which would be a flight to Tachileik and a permit to exit to Mae Sai.
Jul 19, 2008 6:13 AM
56■Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival 2008■lake INLE in Myanmar
( 18 days Programme 30th Sep.～17th Oct.)
*If this festival will be held normally as the year before, programme is as below.
Sr./ Date / From / Departure time / To / Remark
1 / 30-Sep-08 Phaung Daw Oo 04:00 AM ( Opening ceremony)
2 / 30-Sep-08 Phaung Daw Oo 07:00 AM / Khay Paw Khon ( 1 night stop)
3 / 01-Oct-08 Khay Paw Khon 08:30 AM / Indein ( Lunch)
4 / 01-Oct-08 Indein 14:30 PM / Heya Ywama ( 2 nights stop)
5 / 02-Oct-08 Heya Ywama
6 / 03-Oct-08 Heya Ywama 07:00 AM / Nga Phe Kyaung ( 1 night stop)
7 / 04-Oct-08 Nga Phe Kyaung 07:00 AM / Khay Sar ( 1 night stop)
8 / 05-Oct-08 Khay Sar 07:00 AM / Pwe Sar ( Lunch)
9 / 05-Oct-08 Pwe Sar 13:00 PM / Lin Kin ( 1 night stop)
10 / 06-Oct-08 Lin Kin 07:00 AM / Nyaung Shwe ( 3 nights stop)
11/ 07-Oct-08 Nyaung Shwe
12 / 08-Oct-08 Nyaung Shwe
13 / 09-Oct-08 Nyaung Shwe 07:00 AM / Nam Thea ( Lunch)
14 / 09-Oct-08 Nam Thea 13:00 PM / Mine Thawk ( 1 night stop)
15 / 10-Oct-08 Mine Thawk 07:00 AM / Tha Lie Oo ( 1 night stop)
16 / 11-Oct-08 Tha Lie Oo 07:00 AM / Kay Lar ( Lunch)
17 / 11-Oct-08 Kay Lar 14:30 PM / Za Yat Kyee ( 1 night stop)
18 / 12-Oct-08 Za Yat Kyee 07:00 AM / Pha Ya Pawk ( Lunch)
19 / 12-Oct-08 Pha Ya Pawk 14:30 PM / Nam Pan ( 1 night stop)
20 / 13-Oct-08 Nam Pan 07:00 AM / Ma Kyee Sape ( Lunch)
21 / 13-Oct-08 Ma Kyee Sape 14:00 PM / Khine Kham ( 1 night stop)
22 / 14-Oct-08 Khine Kham 07:00 AM / Mine Phyoe ( 1 night stop)
23 / 15-Oct-08 Mine Phyoe 07:00 AM / Nyaung Taw ( 1 night stop)
24 / 16-Oct-08 Nyaung Taw 07:00 AM / Impawkhon ( Lunch)
25 / 16-Oct-08 Impawkhon 14:30 PM / Ye Tha ( 1 night stop)
26 / 17-Oct-06 Ye Tha 08:00 AM / Phaung Daw Oo
• Best sightseeing: 06-Oct-08 Lin Kin to Nyaung Shwe 07:00 a.m.
• Boat race: 06-Oct-08 Nyaung Shwe 10:00 a.m.
• Longest distance procession: 14-Oct-08 Khine Kham to Mine Phyoe 07:00 a.m.
• Boat race: 17-Oct-08 Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda 10:00 a.m.
●Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival ↓
●INLE lake ↓
(URL is too long but good photos)
*( "INLE lake" consists of 2 big lakes - North & South connected with a long & narrow water path each other.
North-INLE is very popular and South- INLE was controlled by local government for long time and limited foreigners entering into the area , but now opened for foreigners and worth to visit---we foreigners can visit only by chartered boat at a froating hotel. From Nyaung Shwe to South-INLE it takes about 2 hours by boat for one way, and it's scenery, ruins, pagodas, villages & people are all amazingly wonderful and beautiful with untouched nature !
Edited by: jp_geckozy
Aug 28, 2008 5:41 AM
Oct 14, 2008 1:36 PM
58Overland through Myanmar / Burma :
Before asking if it's possible, try reading through the answers in these umpteen-thousand previous threads asking the same question. You should find a consensus in the answers there.
Some basic country-specific searches (re-sort results by date for the latest posts):
--India/Bangladesh: no, unless you're very well-funded & very patient for special permits
--China: yes, 1-way into Myanmar w/hired driver/guide
--Thailand - Mae Sai/Tachilek: yes, w/notable onward travel & visa entry/exit restrictions, must fly internally
--Thailand - Ranong/Kawthoung: yes, w/notable onward travel & visa entry/exit restrictions, must fly internally
Nov 5, 2008 10:36 PM
59Cambodian Visa and Entry via South
I crossed over from Trat Nov 08. Just to say two things.
One, I went on an afternoon on a sunday. Leaving Trat the salmor drivers wanted 800 just to go to the bus station from the night market! I argued, and it ended 600b just me, or 40 but I have to wait for others to fill the vehicle. I waited for about an hour and ended up walking (about half an hour on foot).
At the border itself, everyone was asked and paid for, 1200B for the visa. I offered twenty US and had my passport thrown back at me. I sat and let the group go off so there was just me left. I asked again for a twenty dollar visa and they said 1000B. I said no but they took my passport anyway.
When the visa was done, I offered the twenty and they just took it. All done, no tip nothing.
So, the message is, if you want to pay twenty, let everyone else go as they won't back down in front of other people paying 1100B, but they will when it's just you.
Luang PrabangBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$78.50 per night
Luang PrabangBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$394.99 per night
Luang PrabangBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$120.00 per night