Planning a Trip:
Domestic Travel Arrangements
Before arriving in Asia, Susanne and I put together a basic itinerary for travel in and around Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Our plans had us spending time in both Thailand and Laos, plus a brief four or five day visit to either Cambodia or Vietnam. Our first choice was Cambodia, for we both wanted to visit the ruins of Angkor and Phnom Penh. Because of safety concerns, though, we agreed to plan an alternate trip to northern Vietnam, visiting Hanoi and Halong Bay. We wouldn't make the final decision as to which side trip we would take until right before our arrival in Bangkok, which meant we wouldn't buy our airline tickets within Southeast Asia until we got there.
It's usually pretty easy to get on one of the many flights scheduled across Southeast Asia, but just in case, I made contact with a Bangkok travel agency, MK Ways, in order to get the latest flight schedules. MK Ways reserved us on multiple flight options, which allowed us to make our final decision in Bangkok. Some people might prefer to have an exact itinerary far in advance, but our method worked out very well for us. I think it's also wise to keep your options open when traveling in Asia - flights are often canceled or changed, which could throw off your entire schedule. Plan enough time between stops to allow for such problems, and when these problems do occur, remember: go with the flow. It's no big deal, and there's no use getting worked up over being stranded for six hours in some strange place. It's all part of the experience.
Copyright 1999 by Andy Carvin. No content may be copied without the author's permission.