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Tips for travelling overland instead of flying - thru Asia
We need to get from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap then onto Phom Penh. Had thought a flight would have been easy enough but it seems not. Some are just too $$ and others seem to be grounded at the moment ?! 3 adults and 3 adults travelling in August / September 2012.
If that all goes ok we would then use train in vietnam to go from south to north and onto Sa Pa.
So looking at train / bus overland options, what worked for you and your family? I'm sure it is doable - but all this is quite new and foreign to us. I'm sure there are tips and tricks to using these cheaper options, especially with children and whom better to ask then the vagabond family .
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Hi, We traveled from Thailand, through Cambodia and Vietnam overland and it was pretty straight forward. From Thailand we caught a bus to the border with Cambodia, crossed on foot and jumped on the taxi that was organized for us by the guesthouse in Siem Riep. That is a notoriously ripe with scams crossing, so all I can say is to be vigilant and don't believe anyone. We had no problems, but had to fend off a few attempts. Nothing horrible, but still not pleasant. Within Cambodia there are quite nice bus services. We crossed the Cambodia/Vietnam border by car with no problems. In Vietnam there are a lot of buses, so find the good companies to avoid being disappointed. For the long stretches catch the train, which is a lot more comfortable and safe. Have a great time. We loved our time in those three countries.
Hi In Thailand, particularly in Bangkok (Khao San Rd) there are many 'tourist-bus' services available to take you to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. I imagine Chiang Mai would be the same. While they can be very convenient and sometimes even cost effective, you do need to make sure you know what you are getting. Sometime, particularly when crossing countries, the service that you started with is not what you end up with once you cross the border! Once in Thailand, just ask around for recommendations. We spent a month in both Vietnam and in Cambodia, with our 2 kids, then aged 3.5 and 5yrs, and nearly 3 months in Thailand, last year. We traveled firstly from Bangkok by train to the Cambodian border, then got a taxi to Siem Reap. From Siem Reap, we traveled through Cambodia via local buses. It was fairly simple to do, although you do need to choose your bus company (which are private) carefully. We always used Capitol Tours and never had any problems--don't choose Paramount, whatever you do (many stories of broken down buses!). From southern Cambodia, we caught local buses to HCMC (vietnam) and then booked overland hop-on/hop-off buses to travel overland north to Hanoi. It was a very easy option and very cheap. See our link regarding this http://with2kidsintow.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/how-we-moved-our-family-from-point-to-b.html We didn't take the trains at all in Vietnam. If you are time-poor, flying might be a good option as it is a VERY LARGE country to cover! Our posts on our blog usually itemise our costs for things, especially travel. also, we recently did a post itemising our costs in SEA. overland travel can be very inexpensive, and in thailand and vietnam, somewhat comfortable even. http://with2kidsintow.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/so-how-much-did-our-trip-cost.html hope this helps--feel free to email me directly for more info. jess