I am interested in backpacking south east asia. I will be traveling for about 2 months and I have been told that 2 months is far too much time to spend in Thailand alone.....so I need some advice.
Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam are all in the general area and I would like to spend a bit of time seeing the sights, can anybody give me some advice of things to see and do while in those countries
As well are there any safety concerns I should consider since I will be traveling alone......are these countries safe to travel, and is it easy to get access in and out (ex. visas )
Your advice is greatly appreciated
I travelled through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia for two months last year. There seems to be a well troden backpacker route through these countries which makes travelling quite easy, by this i mean that there are plenty of places offering cheap transport and there is an abundance of cheap hotels and restaurants. We started in Bangkok and travelled north to Nong Khai and then crossed the Mekong River in to Laos, from Vientiane we travelled north along highway 13. This road is not very safe, the bus driver had to bribe armed men with cigarettes to let us past!! On the way back we took a flight with Laos Aviation, these planes have no radar on board so the pilots rely on old fashioned flying techniques. Some embassies warn against flying with Laos Aviation, the plane that we got on looked like the one Buddy Holly just got off. This aside, it is an amazing country and well worth a visit. To avoid this post turning into a chapter from my travel journal i shall briefly describe the route from Laos, we travelled Vietnam from north to south and then across Cambodia, spending a few days to explore Angkor Wat (amazing!!) and then back to Bangkok, we spent a few days on the beach at Koh Samet to chill out before returning home.
There are loads of solo travellers on this route, both male and female. I would argue that this part of the world is one of the safest, although you have to take care in certain parts of Laos and Cambodia and the usual common sense rule applys to big cities such as Bangkok and Saigon. I have never been to Malaysia so i cannot comment on that country but i can say with confidence that the places i did visit were absolutely mindblowing, (especially Vietnam) and i strongly recommend travelling around this region.
It is always easier to obtain visas before you leave, i think you have to get a Laos visa in Thailand, easy done though. We travelled at a nice pace and managed to see alot in all of the countries, two months is absolutely perfect for this route and i am sure that any others out there who have travelled this region will also highly recommend it.
I hope this is usefull for you and i will do my best to answer any other questions on the subject for you.......Take it easy
i agree with Benny, this is a area worth traveling to. i read all the warnings about being safe, but once there i never had a problem. travelled through vietnam and cambodia and never had a problem. angkor wat in cambodia is a great place. there is loads to see there. phnom penh was a nice place with a bit of an edge to it. the royal palace there is also worth seeing.
vietnam was great, again lots to see. from the big cities to small beach towns you will have no problem using up your two or three months.
as for malaysia, i was just there a couple months ago. kuala lumpur is just like any other large city. they love their shopping mall, they are everywhere and they are enormous. there is the kl tower that you can go up and view the whole city (cost about $9usd). the petronas towers are also cool to see. you can go up to the 42nd floor sky bridge for free. it's first come first serve so get there early. there are lots of parks to chill out in which is always nice. and for such a large and modern city it isn't too expensive.
so don't just go to thailand, check out the whole area.
cheers and have a good trip