Useful "pre-travel" websites

Well hi guys!

This is my first post in what could be many within this blog! Thanks for checking it out, and i hope i manage to update it with enough photographs and tales to keep you entertained!

For those of my friends who are ever interested in visiting the countries i plan to, for those of you who randomly stumble across this blog, or for those who followed my web link on the Thorn Tree Forum at Lonely Planet, i thought i’d just post a few useful website addresses on here by means of sharing information i found invaluable.

The countries i’m planning to explore are firstly Thailand, where i’ll start my tour in Bangkok in January. From there i plan to head northwards via the old capitals of Ayuthaya and Sukhothai. After visiting the mountain villages of northern Thailand, i’ll cross overland into Laos. I plan then to do the ‘northern loop’, up to Luang Nam Tha and Muang Sing, then back down to Luang Prabang. From there, i’ll head south to the capital, Vientiane before crossing back into Thailand and then re-entering Laos to explore the southern part of the country, and Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands). I plan then to do another border crossing, this time into Cambodia. In Cambodia i’ll visit the Ratanakiri province, before heading down the Mekong to Phnom Penh and taking a tour of the south. My next stop will be Siem Reap and the infamous Angkor Wat. From there i plan to fly into Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where i’ll take a tour of the Mekong Delta before following the road north to Hanoi. From Hanoi i plan to see as much of northern Vietnam as i have time left to do so, preferably including a mountain trek at Sapa or surrounds. This is my plan, however i am open to changes in that plan (as i’m sure there will be!) so i’ll be interested to see in which direction my journey actually takes me, in comparison to what i have provisionally mapped out prior to my departure!

So, back to the website addresses . . .

For visa requirements :

For advice on places to see, places to stay, and invaluable ‘need to know’ resources (researched by travellers for travellers) :

For up-to-date country information, trip preparation and information sharing facilities (written and updated by travellers) :

For everything that is Khao San Road (travellers central in Bangkok) :

For train travel :

For everything else (and i mean everything else!) you absolutely have to pay a visit to The Thorn Tree travel forum at :

I’ve booked my first few nights accommodation in Bangkok in a little hostel on a small soi off Khao San Road. It was recommended widely on The Thorn Tree forum and on the Travel Fish website. Moreover, Wanderlust magazine descibes it as “a breath of fresh air among its cramped, over-priced and dingy competitors.” I understand the guesthouse is pretty small (approximately 9 rooms) so i was advised to book in advance! They accept online bookings of up to 3 months in advance. Their website is :

Shambara Boutique Hostel

Lets hope it lives up to recommendation! Once i’ve had the chance to check it out, i’ll post a review on this website for anyone who’s interested.


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