8 April 2003 - Hatyai
I think I've spent too much time in Hatyai. The original plan was to spend no more than one or two nights and then head off to Bangkok for a week. This would have left me plenty of breathing room to reach Hanoi before 25 April (a Friday), and I could to either take the Friday or the Tuesday train to Beijing.
However, because of the holiday (Chakri Day) that fell on Sunday and the resulting long weekend, it wasn't possible to get a free seat on a train out of Hat Yai until today.
This delay of two-three days has been further compounded by my need to spend time in Bangkok to check on my Vietnamese visa status, to buy a Eurail pass, a day-trip to Ayutthaya and Mr Ooi's suggestion that we visit Kanchanaburi. This means that even with my original plan for a seven-day stay in Bangkok, at least three of those days will now be occupied. The original idea of leaving Bangkok on Monday is now unrealistic if I still want to really see the city. Certainly, if I have to apply for a visa from the Vietnamese embassy, I cannot plan to leave Bangkok until about Wednesday, 16 April.
This brings me to another problem. I wanted to spend weekdays, not weekends, at Angkor, because I expect the crowds to be less.
Phnom Penh will have to be cut short, to probably only one night, instead of two now.
Furthermore, Hanoi is currently still on the WHO's affected areas list. If there are no cases reported by the end of next week, I anticipate that they will clear that area. However, if it is not clear by the time I reach Ho Chi Minh, then I may have to travel straight through to Beijing directly.
Anyway, the current itinerary is now as follows:
- 9-16 April Bangkok
- 16-20 April Siem Riep
- 20-21 April Phnom Penh
- 21-24 April Ho Chi Minh
- 24-26 April Hue
- 26-29 April Hanoi*
- 29-30 April Train between Hanoi-Beijing*
- 30 April - 10 May Beijing
* Actual itinerary dependant on WHO travel advisories. Alternative is to stay longer in Ho Chi Minh and fly to Beijing.
Labels: big trip
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