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 Post subject: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:52 pm 
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I was hoping I'd have more luck with a new thread, jumping off of this one: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=14535
I'm going to be spending just under a month in Southeast Asia this December, primarily in Thailand. I'll be spending a few days by myself, based in Bangkok, before heading to Pattaya with a friend for a wedding, then to Udon Thani (where my travel partner's father lives) for some down time, Laos - specifically Vientiane, for a few days, and hopefully, Cambodia - Phnom Penh, Siem Reap & the Angkor temples by myself once again. I'm open to other areas, and day trip suggestions, too.
Does anyone have any advice for someone who's never traveled to these areas, let alone, traveled by themselves like this in a decade? Any recommendations? Personal tips on finding vegan-friendly food? Train travel vs. plane travel? Must-visits? Hotels vs. guesthouses vs. hostels? I don't want to travel luxuriously, but I will admit that I'm looking forward to how far the USD will stretch, and having options. I'd like to save money when possible! That, and perhaps, spending 'christmas' in Cambodia...

!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:10 pm 
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I don't really have much advice because I wasn't vegan when I went to Thailand and Cambodia. But I thought I'd mention that I'm super jealous of your trip! Cambodia is one of my favourite places I've ever been. I went over after I'd been volunteering in the Philippines for a few months- I didn't have internet access or anything over there so I couldn't really organise things, so I just booked myself onto a backpackers tour and let them take care of everything. We travelled everywhere by bus, there were a couple of long driving days but I enjoyed it. Definitely hold on to your US dollars for Cambodia, that was all I ever used. Occasionally someone would give me change for something in riel and that sucked because riel is next to worthless and no one will accept it.

Cambodia is pretty much completely fascinating. We went to the killing fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh and I completely recommend both if you think you can handle it. I've been to a few concentration camps in Germany and stuff, but Tuol Sleng is so, so far beyond anything I ever saw there. It's incredibly intense, but really powerful and I'm glad I went. The Angkor complex is amazing, of course. My only recommendation is to try to see the smaller temples really early in the morning, when they're less crowded. Ta Prohm was beautiful, but the masses of people pushing each other around and climbing all over things made it a lot less enjoyable than it could have been.

And buy a krama in Cambodia! They're the scarves that everyone wears to keep the sun off them. I still wear mine, best fifty cents I ever spent!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:06 am 
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Yes to everything Erinnerung said about Cambodia. Also, when I was in Phnom Penh, I went to a wildlife sanctuary for animals who had been mistreated and then rescued from various bad situations - there were some gorgeous elephants there. I just checked out my old travel blog, and it was called the Wild Aid Wildlife sanctuary, and tours there were run by an Australian woman called Barb, who also runs a place called the Lazy Gecko cafe in Boeng Kak, the lakeside district where most of the white tourists stay. This was at the end of 2007, so it's quite possible that neither place is still running, but worth finding out about.

I found it kinda tough to find food in Cambodia because of the ever-present shrimp paste, but I did my best. I think I wound up eating a lot of Western food, because I wasn't there long enough to learn any of the language, and I was pretty travel-fatigued at that point.

Also, Don Det and the 4000 islands in Laos were beautiful and incredibly dreamy and relaxing. Oh, and Luang Prabang had a vegetarian buffet as part of the open-air markets, on the main drag. I actually quite enjoyed Luang Prabang, it was lovely and relaxing, definitely worth a visit. (I noticed that I keep saying relaxing. I'm re-reading old blog entries, and I used that word a lot because I'd just come from China, which is beautiful and awesome, but certainly not relaxing a lot of the time).

Have heaps of fun! I'll see if I can think of any other useful suggestions.

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:11 am 
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ALSO - Pure vegetarian buffet in Vientiane. Pity that I can't remember where, and never bothered to write it down, but apparently I thought it was pretty good. I'm sure you could find it online/in a travel guide. I think we found it in the Lonely Planet.

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:53 am 
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try to get a hold of pranjal! i was going to go on a tour of SE asia and he was really helpful. also, millie and i have a bff from high school who lived all around southeast asia for over 10 years. i will ask him about it and see if he has any suggestions for you!

<3

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:14 pm 
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thank you guys! I'm also travel-stalking Bahar there, who's been exploring similar areas... : )

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Haha I was going to suggest stalking Bahar - glad you have that under control already.

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:19 pm 
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rabidchild wrote:
Haha I was going to suggest stalking Bahar - glad you have that under control already.


If timing works out, we're going to hang out in Bangkok! !!!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:47 pm 
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This will be a pretty super-awesome trip! I haven't been (yet!), but I'm really hope to go to Thailand and surrounding areas some day.

Some things I have discovered:

Awesome sounding restaurant with multiple locations (buffet/dinner party on saturdays at the Bangkok location!) and some interesting looking vegan cooking classes (the one that takes you to the market to shop for Thai spices sounds awesome): http://www.maykaidee.com/

Don't know how up to date this is, but good recommendations to look into: http://www.theveggiebus.org/bangkok.html

Man-made and natural wonders of Thailand: http://www.7thaiwonders.com/man-made-wonders

I read this blog and love their photos. They are not vegan (and show lots of non-vegan food), but they take beautiful photographs, tell good stories, have been many places, and do lots of non-touristy things: http://mrmrsglobetrot.blogspot.com/p/wh ... en_05.html

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:16 am 
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Oh Lard, I could write a book. I'm currently living in bkk (though just evacuated due to the flooding).

Uh, sorry to do this, but I don't feel like typing everything out, so check my blog for lots of food from SEA.

Cambodia
A few quick updates re: Cambodia (where I lived for 5 months). The riel is widely accepted. It's interchangeable with the dollar these days, so don't worry about that. Also Boeng Kak is no longer with us (except for one or two guesthouses hanging on). The govnt is filling in the lake a I type this.

Def. eat at Kn'yay in PP. Def try bananas covered in sticky rice, wrapped in banana leaves, then grilled. Also, try Cambodian sweets! Most are vegan. (look for big metal bowls filled with gloopy sticky rice/beans/fruits) My fav sweet is a sticky rice (mochi-like) ball stuffed with yellow mung beans, swimming in a sweet ginger syrup, topped with coconut cream and sesame seeds.

Key phrase: aht nyam saat (no eat meat).

Laos
There are a few great veg buffets in Vientiane. Def check them out. LP prob lists them. Happycow might also.

In Luang Prabang there are one or two veg buffets in the night market. Worth checking out. Cheap too. Also in Luang prabang: grab a baguette sandwich. Yes all the tourist are doing it, but damn, they're good. Get it with peanut butter(essential, even though she'll look at you like you're crazy) black pepper tofu, cucumber, onions, lettuce, sauced with soy sauce and chili, and topped with salt and pepper. Best lunch ever.

Thailand
Too much to say! Feel free to PM me or call me when you touch down.

Key phrase: dee chahn kin jae ka (I eat a vegan diet). Or try: nee jae mai ka? (is this vegan?) Or keep it simple and say: kin jae (eat vegan)

In bkk there are tons of vegan/veg restaurants. Take your pick. happycow has recs. I do too, but it depends where you're staying.

Thai sweets are mostly vegan, so eat up! I love som tum (papaya salad) and som tum ponlamai (spicy fruit salad) and you can get them both made to order on the street. just request them jae.

tempted to write a book, but feel free to ask more specific qs. I can give you my thai number if you want, too.

Enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:48 pm 
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thank you guys so much!!

I can't believe I leave in a month, and then get to travel for an entire month!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Hope you have an awesome trip, let us know how it goes. This is my next dream travel location.

I love your blog sarahcaroline!


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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:10 pm 
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leaving in LESS THAN A WEEK!

I'm almost thinking about beginning to pack my Vijita-approved backpack (http://www.rei.com/product/795049/rei-v ... pecial-buy), grabbing a couple of cocktail dresses for my wedding, making travel notes, and wondering what the hell to wear for 3 plane rides totaling 20 hours....

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:09 pm 
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Hi there. I visist Udon Thani occasionally for family. There are three veg (Jay restaurants there, all mentioned on Happy Cow. Very friendly people and yummy food. The place i go, sually is open until 10 pm or so.Its the first listing on the Happy Cow Udon Thani page. ;-)
Bring telephone number of these places and tuk tuk driver should have no problem finding these places.


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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Hi there. I visist Udon Thani occasionally for family. There are three veg (Jay restaurants there, all mentioned on Happy Cow. Very friendly people and yummy food. The place i go, sually is open until 10 pm or so.Its the first listing on the Happy Cow Udon Thani page. ;-)
Bring telephone number of these places and tuk tuk driver should have no problem finding these places.


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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:25 pm 
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jdfunks wrote:
leaving in LESS THAN A WEEK!

I'm almost thinking about beginning to pack my Vijita-approved backpack (http://www.rei.com/product/795049/rei-v ... pecial-buy), grabbing a couple of cocktail dresses for my wedding, making travel notes, and wondering what the hell to wear for 3 plane rides totaling 20 hours....

Wear ugly comfy clothes on the plane! You'll be comfortable and hopefully no one will try to talk to you.

Also, email your BFF at least 20 times a day or she'll worry.

And make sure Huxley and Zelda are okay with this trip, otherwise, cancel everything. (that advice came from Buhbah)


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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:50 pm 
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vijita wrote:
jdfunks wrote:
leaving in LESS THAN A WEEK!

I'm almost thinking about beginning to pack my Vijita-approved backpack (http://www.rei.com/product/795049/rei-v ... pecial-buy), grabbing a couple of cocktail dresses for my wedding, making travel notes, and wondering what the hell to wear for 3 plane rides totaling 20 hours....

Wear ugly comfy clothes on the plane! You'll be comfortable and hopefully no one will try to talk to you.

Also, email your BFF at least 20 times a day or she'll worry.

And make sure Huxley and Zelda are okay with this trip, otherwise, cancel everything. (that advice came from Buhbah)



I miss you already! I'm gonna wear a sweatpants skirt and my new fuzzy shoes. Huxley doesn't seem to care, but Zelda may be sitting in my backpack.

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:26 pm 
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I just booked my travel from Vientiane to Siem Reap. It's getting real!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:18 pm 
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I'm in Bangkok! Oh, man.

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:36 pm 
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<3!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Woo!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:23 am 
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Yesterday, I ran into Bahar ON THE STREET IN BANGKOK.

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:29 pm 
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jdfunks wrote:
Yesterday, I ran into Bahar ON THE STREET IN BANGKOK.

Serious ran into? Unplanned? The PPK is amazing.

Bring me back a young coconut peeler! Oh wait.


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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:45 pm 
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Did you also see Alan something something? And have ice cream?

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 Post subject: Re: 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:49 am 
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No, but close enough! Nothing compares to our 48 hours, however.
It was fascinating: Bahar and Michael were at the final 2 days of their trip and I was at the first 2 days of mine. I think I almost convinced them to visit the NW if a certain panda cub is there.

Photographic evidence, on the Bangkok subway (on my randomly updated tumblr for travel stuffs): http://poopostcards.tumblr.com/post/141 ... s-smirking

Currently in Pattaya, then heading to Udon Thani, then Vientiane !

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