... and thinking of spending a week in Myanmar, three days in Siem Reap to see Angkor, three days in Luang Prabang, four days in Hanoi and Halong Bay and the last two days in Bangkok. I am not sure when or if I will be able to come to this part of the world again so really want to see as much as possible. Do you think this is too hectic an itinerary? Any suggestions as to what I should skip, so I can add more days at other destinations? Esther
It is a lot to do in 20 days and you will end up rushing from one city to another and from one airport to the next. With a week in Myanmar, you spend less than two days in the major destinations of Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake and you will have to fly between them all! Myanmar has just opened its doors to tourism, and I am sure this tourist season will be really busy in terms of both transport and accommodation. You really need more time for Myanmar. And it's a great time to see the country, as it will change fast. More importantly, you will enjoy the travel experience a lot more than just doing some quick sightseeing at major destinations then going home.
So I would suggest you spend more time in Myanmar, then visit the Angkor Complex in Siem Reap for three days and keep your last two days to chill and shop in Bangkok before flying home.
Four days in Hanoi and Halong Bay is rather short and the time can better than spend at Inle Lake in Shan State. It is interesting to see the world heritage site of Luang Prabang, but a rural city in Myanmar paints a far more rustic mood than the developing town of Luang Prabang.
However, if you really want to include Luang Prabang, then spend 10 days in Burma, end your trip in Mandalay and take a direct flight from Mandalay to Bangkok. From Bangkok, try to get a same day connection to either Siem Reap or Luang Prabang. You cam travel directly between the two cities and stop off at the other on your way to Bangkok to catch your plane home. If you really want to squeeze Hanoi in your itinerary, Vietnam Airlines has flights connections from Luang Prabang, Siem Reap and Bangkok. Enjoy Asia!
I am travelling solo to Asia in December and arrive in Bangkok around midnight. Should I spend a day in Bangkok before going on to Myanmar or catch the morning flight to Yangon? If so, do I need to find a hotel to sleep or can I sit somewhere at the airport waiting for the flight? Appreciate your reply, Claudia
By the time you arrive, the airport rail link into the city will have stopped so you will need to get a taxi to a hotel in town. You will find one at the taxi queue, and will have need to pay Bt50 surcharge on top of the meter fare. At the taxi counter, you will be given a receipt that identifies the driver's details. Some female tourists make a point of remembering the plate number and even take a photo of the driver, sending it to a friend in case of problems.
You will also need to check from which airport your Yangon flight leaves, as from October, all AirAsia flights will move to Don Mueang Airport. If you are flying AirAsia, you will have to travel from Suvarnabhumi to Don Mueang and the best way is by taxi. If you have a connecting flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport, and don't want to travel to the town centre, you can find a hotel near the airport within 5-10 minutes drive, if the one at the airport is over your budget. Most budget hotels around the airport provide free transfer and will take you back to the airport the next morning.
Staying at the airport depends on how you feel on your arrival. If you are young and have no problem staying up all night or browsing the Internet at one of the airport's cafes, it should be fine to do so.
If you are not too much on a rush, spending a day in Bangkok before leaving is a good idea. It may even make the trip more pleasant!