Thursday, May 27, 2010

change is... good!

So. A lot has changed since we started thinking about this trip. And since we booked our tickets. We had to change things around a bit as a result of the riots in Bangkok. Now we're entering through Hanoi - going south through Vietnam - going into Cambodia and up into Laos - then finishing off with northern Vietnam. Lot's of last minute preparations. Finally got our new e-tickets today. Adventuring starts in a few days!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cambodia itinerary ideas

- travel from Vietnam into Cambodia to Phnom Phen: Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, $10 boat trip on the Tonel Sap river, Killing Fields, Genocide Museum, Central Market, Russian Market, architecture tours 
- Phnom Phen to Siem Reap/Angkor Wat by bus (4-6 hours, $5-8): landmine museum, Kompong Phluk stilted village, Apsara dancing show, yoga, spas
- Angkor Wat: bike from Siem Reap, buy park pass and bike the temples
- Siem Reap to Battambeng (slow boat if conditions are safe,  costs $15 takes ~12 hours): beautiful scenery (rice paddies, river), see rice paper making 
- Battambeng to Poipet to Arranyaprathet by bus (great guide to this tricky border crossing), Arranyaprathet to Bangkok by train (5 hours)

*budget remaining time to figure out how long to spend in all of these places

Sunday, May 2, 2010

BKK Riots... updating travel plan

ok so... Bangkok is probably a no-go zone for us for safety sake.

Taking the train to Kanchanburi might not be possible from Bangkok unless things settle down. That area is not problematic now, but things can change quickly. Backup plans necessary.

Advice given during a to a response to a travelfish forum post: "if you are arriving at the new airport, it will be difficult to avoid bangkok altogether, since the airport is pretty much east of the city and kanchanaburi to the west. you could head up to ayutthaya i suppose, and from there take a bus to suphan buri and continue on to kanchanaburi. another option i imagine would be to take a taxi directly from the airport. if the cost all the way to kanchanaburi is too much for you, you could take the taxi to nakorn pathom, about 65km west of bangkok, and continue by bus or train from there. cheers."

OPTION ONE: This means taking a taxi to the station from the airport hotel, and getting on the train outside of Bangkok.
TRAIN INFO/schedule to Kanchanburi. Taxi to Nakorn Pathom and get on train there. Maybe we can even get on at earlier stations (Talingchan or Salaya, which are before Nakorn Pathom).

OPTION TWO: Going to Ayutthaya doesn't make much sense for us, since we'll be going up there on our way north and it means a lot of back and forth/backtracking.

OPTION THREE: Or... skip Kanchanburi, which I'd rather not do since I want to stay in a fun river raft guesthouse and stick my feet into the water under the bridge on the river kwai ;)

SO all the way taxi, or taxi to a less riot-ey train station. OPTION ONE wins!