Children of Laos, Burma & Thailand

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Thailand and Laos (and Myanmar if I can manage it)

Hello, Sawatdee kaa and Sabai dee,

My next trip will be Thailand and Laos, and this is all about the before, the trip and the after - similar to my Malaysia/Cambodia blog. I am putting together from start to finish - tickets, do's and don'ts, tours, where to stay, places to see, things to do, as well as useful extras like transport, good places to eat, what to wear, climate, tourist traps, tricks and tips and whatever else I can think of that will be useful.

If you have any tips or advice, please, feel free to leave a comment and add your bit - whatever you think may be helpful or interesting.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

1. The Beginning - Booking the Tickets

Begin at the beginning
Well now, it all started last year (2009) when Air Asia had a big sale on and I managed to get tickets from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, worked out my itinerary and went to SE Asia March this year (2010). I vowed I'd go back again if I could get cheap flights.

And I did - Air Asia had another big sale on in May this year (2010), but this time I played it a bit smarter - I decided on 21 nights overseas which was longer than the first time around and would give me greater flexibility in visiting different places. I will depart Melbourne Tuesday 8th February at 1.25AM and arrive Kuala Lumpur at 6.40AM.

I had wanted to see Chiang Mai ever since my eldest son had talked about it a few years ago and desperately tried to find a cheap ticket from KL. Unfortunately, the cheap ones were gone and the first (cheap) fare was on the 13th February - five days after arriving in Kuala Lumpur. I booked it but in hindsight, I made a mistake. I should have waited, as a friend said to me later, cheap flights don't always work out to be cheap if they don't fit in with your itinerary or plans. How right he was. I then had five days to kill before flying to Chiang Mai, so after trying different itineraries and place came up with two nights in KL, two nights in Singapore then get the train back to KL arriving around 15.10 at Sentral Station, have a look around, get another fish spa, then catch the bus to LCCT. Overnight at the airport then catch my flight the next morning. The problem with this was I wouldn't have enough time to see all the places I really wanted to see and do the things I wanted to do.

Where should I go?
I had decided I wanted to see Thailand and Laos and hoped to go back to Siem Reap (Cambodia). Asking advice on where to go and what to see in Thailand, I realised there was more I wanted to experience than just Chiang Mai and a couple of days in Bangkok as people suggested Kanchanaburi, and Ayutthaya, the Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai and I started doing some research on those places.

Asking the same question about Laos, there are many places and I realised I would have to have a rethink.

Change of Flights
Instead of flying to Chiangt Mai on the 13th, I'll be flying to Bangkok the same day I arrive in Kuala Lumpur. This was what I either should have done in the first place or waited until there were cheap flights again. As it was I "lost" the fare to Chiang Mai - Air Asia will allow you to change your flight time (for a fee) but they do not allow for a change of destination. So my cheap flights have ended up costing me a bit more that I had planned. But - at least I have learnt a very valuable lesson from this. Work things out before booking flights.

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