- about three weeks in Thailand (Thai part 1)
- four days (only) in Singapore (S'pore is really hard on the budget)
- four weeks in Malaysia
- four weeks in Cambodia
- four weeks in Laos
- and finally, another ten days or so in Thailand (Thai part 2)
Some More Detail
The first Thailand part started from Suvarnabhumi airport (east of Bangkok): we fell off the plane and took a straight night bus to Nong Khai, a city in the far north east of Thailand. From there, we explored the region around the Thai bank of the Mekong (called Isaan) for about two weeks before we got back to Bangkok in time to catch our plane to Singapore. (BTW, we flew with AirAsia, the biggest budget airline in these parts, and it was a quite refreshing experience: the plane was brand-new, the crew friendly and the flight was on-time.)
After four days in Singapore (peppered with some terrifying torrential downpours) we continued overland to the town of Malacca on the Malaysian west coast and worked our way up, via Ipoh and the Cameron Highlands, until we reached Penang/Georgetown. From there we continued to Alor Star and finally hopped over to Kota Bahru on the east coast (where it was the monsoon season, so more wetness). After four days in Kuala Lumpur we flew north to Phnom Penh, again with AirAsia.
We know Cambodia well, so after a few days in PP we just trundled along to Battambang and Siem Reap, where the splendours of Angkor were waiting (always THE highlight in Cambodia). We stayed a full ten days in Siem Reap, seven of which we filled with exploring the Angkorian temples. Then we slowly worked our way eastwards, via Kompong Thom and Kompong Cham, to the mighty Mekong river. After Kratie we did a worthwhile excursion into the “wild east” of Cambodia, to the province of Rattanakiri and its capital Banlung, before finally getting to Stung Treng, also on the Mekong, and the last sizable town before the Cambodian/Laos border.
After crossing into Laos, we stayed a couple of days on Don Khong (not Don Khon), an island in the deep south, in the area known as Si Pan Don (literally “Four Thousand Islands”). Next, we went up to Champasak and the Khmer temple of Wat Phu, before taking a night bus to Vientiane (the Laotian south is very sleepy, so we thought six days were more than enough). After a few days in unhurried Vientiane we drove, via the landscapes of Vang Vieng, to Luang Prabang, the jewel in the Lao crown. From there, we floated up the Nam Ou river, first to Nong Khiaw, then to Muang Ngoi and Muang Khua. There we left the Nam Ou and returned via the town of Udomxai to the banks of the Mekong. From Pak Beng, we took a slowboat up the Mekong to Huay Xai and the Laos/Thai border.
Back in Thailand, we lingered a little in sleepy Chiang Rai, before going to Sukhothai and its historical ruins. A final few days in the hothouse called Bangkok… and that was Calamyti 2011!
The Calamyti Map
If you now want all the details, you could simply follow our actual journey, place by place and day by day, on the rather elaborate Google map done by Vero.
This map (see a small snapshot left) shows our planned as well as the real itinerary (there were a few changes along the way). While browsing the map, please note that the listings on the left hand side are in chronological order and that clicking on the relevant marker will bring up some information on each item.
$updated from: Blog.htxt Thu 22 Nov 2012 14:35:19 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$