A friend and I are thinking of taking public transportation through Xishuangbanna and Laos while headed to Chiang Mai (planning on ending up in Chiang Mai on February 9). We're working on an itinerary, probably gonna leave Kunming somewhere around the 5th or 6th, but just thought I'd ask and see if anyone was planning on driving and had room for two. Thanks!
Also -- any tips on how to secure bus/train/ferry/whatever tickets for Laos once we arrive in Xishuangbanna/Jinghong? Is that something we can do ahead of time online, or just try to go to a station as soon as we get there to buy tickets a few days ahead of time? Thank you!
That's creeping up on Chinese New Year, so you might want to check early on tickets to Jinghong. From Jinghong on you can probably just buy tickets the day before at the bus station.
Yes, Chinese New Year. Expect prices in Chiang Mai to shoot up over new year, as it is now a hot destination for Chinese tourists. Make sure have access to enough cash/bank card flexibility. You can probably check hotel prices for that period already. I expect demand will be high and availability to reduce as the holiday approaches.
Thanks -- I know it'll be crazy because of Chinese New Year. I've been watching flights for a few weeks now and am trying to figure out Point A to Point B to Point C-style ideas to help me travel by bus as much as possible.
I was in Chiang Mai last February, too, so I'm familiar with the unfortunate surging of prices that happens around this time...sigh! It's just the actual buying of tickets and places to buy them that I'm not as sure about. Last year I flew right into Chiang Mai from Yinchuan (where I was teaching last year) and had very little problem. Even the flight was pretty reasonable. But coming from Kunming is a very different story this time around!