QUOTE(cider @ Jan 3 2009, 03:18 AM)
Thanks Scott and Susie
I've now booked for 3 weeks so we can now slow up in some places, go north in Laos or further down the Mekong before returning to BKK.............wherever we happen to drift at time.
Any suggested "must dos"? I think Lou would like to Elephant trek in Chang Mai area. Are they all tourist traps or some fairly reasonable?
Am I right in thinking that my 15 day Thai visa is effectively renewed when I cross from Laos on my return? Does it cost anything?
Yayy!! Three weeks! I'd totally agree with Scott. While a trip down the Mekong is defineitly worth it, I would definitely spend some time up in northern Laos, especially if you like to get off the track well traveled. I think it's more traveled than when we were there back some years now but I know you'll find some very authentic experiences and some truly beautiful people.
Laos: You shouldn't have to arrange your Laos visa in advance. You can get a 30 day visa at the Huay Xai border, depending on where you're from. Where are you from?
Ahhh, I forgot about this! It's just been too long since we've been
Well Scott's got you sorted out for you visa then
Must-sees and dos? Well, like I said up there, go up into northern Laos. That's a top spot for me. There is a definite busy loop but if you guys do like to get off the beaten path, it's easy to wander and find some incredible places and faces. Just wander. You'll be pleasantly surprised. I'd have to say Laos for me, though incredibly beautiful was far more about the people for me. You do end up seeing alot of striking scenery during your travels throughout the country, heading here or there. It just seems to be everywhere
I've never been to the Elephant Park Project in Luang Prabang but it might be worth checking out. Getting up close and personal with the elephants is an insanely awesome experience, well
above and beyond only riding them. I've done some volunteer work with elephants in Thailand over a few years and have to say it's one of the best experiences of my life
The EPP offers a chance to together support the locals and the elephants. I've heard it is great but can't vouch for it myself. Have to say this is the kind of thing you want to be doing over their, not supporting BS touristy rides that just exploit elephants, not help them. (OK, done ranting