/ Good trekking cambodia/vietnam/laos??

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bryn keating - on 24 Oct 2012
Hi, i'm heading over to S/East Asia in 2013 and want to get a load of hiking in. Any recommendations, advice and general tips would be great. 1st time to Asia so everything welcome.

Ava Adore - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to bryn keating:

Cambodia - Angkhor Wat at sunrise is pretty fabulous but it's the thing that all tourists want to do. Ta Prohm and Kbal Spean need checking out too
sargy - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to bryn keating:

Fantastic trekking in Northern Vietnam in and around Sa Pa. You can trek village to village and stay with the minority hill tribes in their homes, or even rent a moped and explore further afield. Can't really recommend the Central Highlands. Haven't been to the other countries- have heard great stuff about Laos.
sargy - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to bryn keating:

PS road safety is pretty shocking- avoid night buses if possible- the night trains are great. Flying in-country is pretty cheap too.
Cheese Monkey - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to bryn keating: I enjoyed Fansipan in Vietnam, but the minority villages around Sapa were proper tourist traps. Had much more fun exploring the villages on the way to Dien Bien Phu from Sapa - beautiful. Hiked/scrambled over the top of Kong Lo cave in Laos, the morning after a crazy party in a tiny village in the jungle. That was one of the highlights in 13 months over Asia. Did a fair bit of cycling around Nong Khiaw too, that was beautiful. If you're in Chiang Mai try to hook up with the local ex-pat hiking group if you want to avoid the crowds. Cycling and trekking up the Mekong around Stung Treng in Cambodia was really really good, amazing people, try the local sweet rice. The Cameron Highlands were a welcome relief from the heat in Peninsular Malaysia, beautiful forests and tea plantations. Over in Borneo Niah NP was fun with beautiful forest and the lodges were really peaceful. Bako NP had beautiful forest, Probiscus monkeys, beaches and places to stay. Well nice. The more adventurous you are the more you will be rewarded
bryn keating - on 25 Oct 2012
Thanks so much for this advice, your giving some wonderful ideas, and ones that don't come in a guide book! I wanna go nuts in the jungle and have a mad adventure! Wish I didn't have to wait 9 months!
Cheese Monkey - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to bryn keating: If you have plenty of cash and want a proper jungle adventure cross inner Indonesian Borneo by boat and trekking. I didn't do it but it sounds properly awesome, that hardly any people do.
Gav M - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to bryn keating:

Was in Cambodia 10 years ago when the north of the country had just opened up. Met a couple in Ban Lung who had been on an authentic jungle trek with local guides. So authentic that they got dysentry and even the guides were suffering. I tried half-heartedly to arrange a similar trip myself but couldn't track down the guides, I suspect they were lying low.

Ban Lung was probably the best place I visited in all my travels but it has no doubt become over-run with backspackers and gone all Vang Vieng by now.
Andy S - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to bryn keating: I've been to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos during the summer months. Thailand is the hardest to get off the beaten track, heavily 'touristified', but it can be done.

Cambodia it's quite easy to get off the beaten track, Laos is even easier. In my experience, the less touristy the country was, the more enjoyable it was. Laos was easily my favourite country out of the three. It's the least developed and it's got good trekking too. I think in terms of the scenery, it's all very similar in all three countries, so personally I'd go for the country that is the best aside from the trekking i.e. Laos.

The only thing I'd recommend Thailand for is scuba diving on the islands and/or west coast and going to Chiang Mai, hiring good motorbikes from Tony's Big Bikes and doing a roadtrip.
SlightlyFuzzy on 27 Oct 2012 - whois?
In reply to bryn keating:

Ditto the above - I've been to Thailand, Cam & Laos several times and it's beautiful country. With, in the majority, lovely, welcoming people. Not been to Vietnam yet, but there are established treks (Ho Chi Minh for example). You'll find 'adventure sports' operators in most areas who could probably arrange stuff for you, or point you in the right direction.

Local knowledge might be a good option in some areas - don't want to come across as the health and safety police, but it's worth bearing in mind that Laos is the most bombed country on the planet and there are still millions of tonnes of unexploded ordenance from the vietnam war knocking about... I personally wouldn't go thrashing about in the jungle within 200 miles of the Lao/Vietnam border!

Do your research before you go, you'll have a fantastic time.


Barney - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Cheese Monkey: I'll be heading to Chiang Mai in November - quick question could you recommend a good guide/trekking company? My friend and I are looking for a hard 3 day trek staying in guest houses if possible.
Cheese Monkey - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to Barney: The only guided trek I did was Fansipan in Vietnam
Andy S - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Barney: mate I'd forget trying to get recommendations - you'll just be rocking up in a guesthouse somewhere in the old town and using whatever company the guesthouse has advertised or one very nearby.

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