What is the best circuit for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and maybe China?
Question: My wife and I are looking to do backpacking in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam (maybe some of China). We will start in Bangkok. What is the best circuit to go? North through Chang Mai or South Thailand?
Are you returning back to Bangkok after you've traveled through these countries? How much time do you got?
If your base is Bangkok, start there. Work your way up through Chiang Mai, then Northern Laos, cross the border from north Laos to north Vietnam, down Vietnam, cross the border to Cambodia, travel through Cambodia and then go border crossing back into Bangkok. From here you can travel to south Thailand if you want to spend your last week on the beach! :)
But in this circuit, you miss out on Southern Laos....
If you want to see south Laos as well, I suggest you border cross from Vietnam to Laos (Pakse) instead of Cambodia. From Pakse work your way down to 4000 islands, cross the border to Cambodia in the north and then travel west towards Bangkok. Another option is to:
Start from Bangkok, backpack in Southern Thailand, return to Bangkok, border cross to Cambodia, then Vietnam via Saigon, travel towards Hanoi in the north, cross the border to China/cross the border to Laos, travel down to south Laos, cross the border near Pakse (Laos) to Eastern Thailand.Then you're back in Bangkok. In this circuit you'll miss North Thailand though.