Bangkok to Laos, Cambodia, South Islands of Thailand in 30 days
Question: Hi, I am thinking of spending a couple of days in Bangkok then heading to Laos (Vang Vieng) to go tubing for a few days then want to see the temples and Killing Fields of Cambodia. Then the south island of Thailand; Ko Pha Ngan then over to Phi Phi, and Phuket. I know I can only stay 30 days without a visa in Thailand but wondering about transport. I know there is either a sleeper train/bus up to Laos, but its the rest that concerns me. Will it be easy to sort transport for the rest???
I am planning on booking a flight out of Phuket before I leave home for 29 days after I land in Bangkok... Is this realistic???? Any info would be great x
How's your budget? If you want to do it the cheap way, you might consider border crossing a lot, but this takes time of course...
From Vang Vieng, you can travel through Vientiane (minibus eg), border cross to Thailand, take the bus to Nong Khai. From Nong Khai take the bus to Nakorn Ratchasima (Korat). From Korat to the border town Aranyaprathet. Cross the border to Cambodia, to the Cambodian border town Poipet. From Poipet, you can choose whatever transport you want (share taxi, bus, minibus etc) and travel to Siem Reap/Phnom Penh. This route will take at approximately 1-2 days, depending on when you leave Vientiane.
You can also take the bus through south Laos, border cross to north Cambodia, then travel to Phnom Penh by minibus to see the Killing Fields. I haven't tried this route non-stop, but I'm guessing that it takes longer than Vientiane-Thailand-Poipet (maybe 2-3 days).
It's easy to arrange transport from Cambodia to Thailand. You can sort out the transport through your guesthouse in Siem Reap/Phnom Penh, through a travel agent or even better: buy your bus tickets directly at the bus company (there's usually a commission involved if you use a travel agent or your guesthouse).
When you get to Bangkok, you can arrange the whole trip to Koh Pha Ngan through the company Lomprayah. Used Lomprayah to get to Koh Pha Ngan in April/May 2010, and was effortless. The ticket includes VIP bus to Chumphon and the ferry from Chumphon to Koh Phangan.
To get from Koh Phangan to Phi Phi, take the ferry from Phangan to Surat Thani. From there, VIP buses leave for Krabi frequently. From Krabi, take the ferry to Phi Phi. From Phi Phi, take the ferry to Phuket.
When it comes to your second question, I personally think that 29 days is too short to visit all those places, but it is doable if you like speed traveling. To save time I would use overnight buses/fly at least once.
For example you can fly from Phnom Penh to Koh Samui using Bangkok Airways. Koh Samui is located right beside Koh Phangan. Ferries ply the route between Samui and Phangan all day. Bangkok Airways website
Hope this helps!