Here's what we plan to do, in a nutshell.
We fly to Bangkok on Saturday 15 January, then the next day to Luang Prabang in Laos. A few days there, then north on the Nam Ou, a small river, all the way to Phongsali, close to the Chinese border, and then east to Luang Nam Tha, Muang Sing and Huay Xai, where the Mekong forms the border with Myanmar and Thailand. Next to Vientienne for a few days, than south to Pakse, before we cross overland into Cambodia. Phnom Penh - Angkor Wat - Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and then down the Mekong into Vietnam for a few days in the delta and in Ho Chi Min city, also (previously) known as Saigon. From here we work our way up again, first along the coast to Nha Trang, then inland to Dalat, Buon Ma Thuot and Kon Thum until we reach the coast again in Hoi An. Further north to Danang and Hue, and then to Hanoi, where we catch a flight back to Bangkok, and on to Amsterdam.
Ten weeks sounds a lot, but we already have to make choices, cannot do it all. The initial idea to include Northern Thailand had to be dropped almost immediately, due to time pressure. Getting to Sam Nue and to the Plain of Jars in Laos will take too much time; we'll have to skip the Cambodian coast, and also an alleged little paradise called Phu Quoc island, the western most part of Vietnam. The Preah Vihear temple complex, on the Thai/Cambodian border, sounds fabulous - also getting there, quite an excercise - but will take us almost a week, probably, which we don't have spare. And for sure we won't have time for Northern Vietnam, let alone the southern part of the Chinese province of Yunnan, which has been an unfullfilled travel destination from our years in China.
So even before we have started this trip, we have already identified reasons enough to return for a second. For now we have a dense enough program. Two days to go to departure, can't wait.