Hey! Me and a friend will be travelling around vietnam cambodia and thailand in july and august of this year. Just wanted some advice from anyone who has done it at this time as I know its the rainy season and im wondering if that effects travel plans much? Planning ten days in vietnam ten in cambodia and two weeks in thailand, any advice on where to go in this time frame and what to do would be greatly appreciated also what is a realistic budget? I know se asia is super cheap but i also know people who have ended up spending thousands and i dont want this to happen to me! thank you! Una
I travelled at the beginning of the rainy season in SE Asia and it didn't affect our plans at all. It will generally rain for short, heavy bursts rather than all day, and in some ways it's a good time to go because there are less people and prices tend to be lower. I think it can sometimes cause rough seas though which could disrupt boats to islands in Cambodia and Thailand, but I'm not sure of the extent of this.
I think your time frame is realistic; I'd possibly suggest less time in Cambodia and more in one of the others though. Ten days in Vietnam might feel a little rushed as there is lots to see and with 10 days you might have to miss some of the highlights out.
It's a few years since I've travelled in SE Asia so I probably can't comment too accurately on budgets, but I doubt you will spend thousands in your time frame. VegasMike is usually a good person to advise on budgets .
I have to agree with Bex. I would spend 7 days max in Cam. and add the days to VN. 2 weeks in Tland will just fly by as well. You will want to come back when you have more time.
You don't tell us what arrival city, but will guess BKK. I will suggest a few days sightseeing in BKK, then either up north to Chiang Mai for culture & trekking or head south for beach time. Depends on the weather and your interests. The beach is not much fun if it raining everyday. Check once in BKK and then decide. I would not book anything until you are there. Rooms, transport will not be a problem in June/July. One of the advantages of off season.
Give us your arrival/departure dates & city and I will suggest an itinerary/budget. Good luck with your planning.
Thanks so much for your replies! Im actuslly starting in saigon on the 11th of july then leaving bangkok on the 14th of august. Will definetly consider more time in vietnam now. I shoukd have about 4000 nz dollars to spend but am hoping to arrive back in ireland with at least a few hundred as need to set up a life there again! Im also not overly keen on spending loads of time in the cities obviously im planning on experiencing them but im more interested in getting out and seeing the countryside and doing some trekking ect and of course I want to spend alot of time on the beach because I just love the beach and ive heard some of the best ones are in se asia!
Here is what I suggest. After spending 2-3 days in HCMC for sightseeing, (tunnels, Delta, city,) I would fly Jet Star to HAN. Several days in HaNoi sightseeing, then work your back to HCMC via open tour bus or train. Bus is cheaper, convenient, easy to use. Train travel is certainly safer than the roads in VN, but you do have to plan ahead more. You will need to book your train seat, compartment several days in advance. Compare a few route like HaNoi to Hue and Hoi An to Nha Trang overnight berth and you will have a better idea of how you want to travel while in VN. I would hit DaLat before arriving back in HCMC. Cool, geen, pretty. My blog covers one of my trips to DaLat. Another day or 2 in HCMC, then I would take the bus over to Phnom Penh. My blog details my experience.
Once in PP, you can choose to get some beach time in Sihanoukville or head up to Siem Reap for a few days trudging around the rocks at Angkor. Now you have a decision to make. One long day via road to BKK, or BKK AIr. If you book ahead, you can fly this route for around $80. That would be my recommendation. You will have to plan out your trip to the day to book your BKK Air flight beforehand however. Or wing it and go overland to BKK. Read about your options here. I would go overland for the adventure of it. The roads in Cam. are OK now and you can be in your BKK hotel/GH that evening.
You should now have about 15 days left for Tland. You now have to decide if you want mostly beach time down south or get in some culture & trekking up in Chiang Mai. You can fly Air Asia down to southern beaches or use the overnight buses. Tland basically has 2 bus systems. The travels shops will book you on the private buses that travel between major tourist stops. Easy, convenient, but I suggest that you use the bus system that the Thai people use. You will have to get yourself over to the bus station is each city, but that is what I recommend. There have been many reports of theft on the private buses. Esp. the long overnight buses from BKK to CM or BKK to Surat Thani on your way to Koh Samui. Gov't buses have much less theft. The overnight bus saves you one night accommodation and you get in early morn. Perfect time to locate a room. A word about accomm. I would not book anything until you get there. June & July are low season and you should have no problem finding a room in your price range in every place you plan on visiting. Top of this page has a 'accommodation' button. Click on that, Choose your country, then city. Highest rated places listed first. Slide the price option to cheap to see what is out there on your dates. I would write down 3-4 for each city you want to visit. Talk to your fellow travelers as you go along as well. They may have some good recommendations for cities you will visit during your SEA adventure. I always keep a notebook with me as I travel. I write down what I did that day, who I met, what I spent. Get the e-mail address of those you want to stay in touch with and their choices for rooms, food, transport, etc.
Now your budget. Most every place you will visit will have rooms around the $20 range. For 2 of you, a guest house, small hotel might be cheaper than a hostel. Hostels charge by the bed, a GH by the room. Food can be very cheap in SEA if you eat where the locals do. My blog talks about 'eating street' while in SEA. Pick something like stir fry that they cook in front of you. I had many decent meals for around $1. This was years ago, but I doubt prices have gone up too much since. Hard to beat a $1 meal.
Got to go, but send me a PM if you have questions. Good luck with your planning.
[ Edit: Edited on 06-May-2014, at 16:53 by vegasmike6 ]