I am travelling to Australia in Feb 07 hoping to stay around 9 months and then the plan is to go to southeast Asia for about a month. I am flying into Singapore and flying out from Bangkok. I was planning to do a tour from Singapore overland to Bangkok. But after looking on several websites it seems I am missing out on loads in Southeast Asia by only going from Singapore to Bangkok.
how long roughly would you recommend to spend in Southeast Asia ? I am thinking 1 month won't be long enough now.
Can anyone recommend a route to travel which ideally starts in Bangkok and ends in Bangkok ? also it is best to do this as part of a tour or arrange by myself ? how easy is it to arrange travel around southeast Asia? I will be travelling solo (unless anyone wants to join me) and a complete travel novice, but after spending 8-9 months in Australia I hopefully will be a bit more experienced.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
I would suggest more than 1 month in SEA. You have already paid the expense of getting there, stay longer if possible. There are cheap flights from SIN-BKK, cheaper than the bus. I like Malaysia, but I would spend my time in Thailand, Cambodia & VietNam.
Decide if you want some serious beachtime or see as much as you can while there. Vote beaches and I would get on the bus. SIN up to Penang, hit the either the Perhentians or Langkawi, depending on who has the best water clarity. Then into Thailand. Up to Krabi and hit the islands, Phi Phi, Koh Jum, Koh Lanta, Railey Beach, etc. off the coast. Over to Samui and Koh Phangan, Koh Tao. Hit Pattaya for some serious nightlife and bus to BKK and out.
Now if you prefer culture and more countires, fly to BKK and go overland to Siem Reap, 3 days at Angkor, bus/boat to Phnom Penh. Bus PP to HCMC, see SaiGon, open tour to HaNoi, stopping at all the cities allowed, bus into Laos, tour around, back into Thailand at the Friendship Bridge and bus back to BKK. Or fly Air Asia HAN-BKK and out.
Chris, you can do this on your own, you do not need to pay the exense of a guided tour. SEA is prety user friendly and cheap. PM me if you have questions.
Cheers for the reply Mike.
Sounds like you have a good knowledge of touring round Southeast Asia. Like you said in your post I have paid to get to that part of the world so might as well try and see as much as possible. So looks like I will need to shorten my stay in Australia and spend at least 2 months in Southeast Asia.
hello chris /vegasmike6
done quite bit of home work as we will be self driving all the way through most of south east asia and i have to have more finer details.will keep in touch for developments
Vegas is right, SEA is very user-friendly and you can do all on your own, but i guess you should be accompanied by loneliplanet, :D
plus, there is cheap flight to and fro between hanoi and Bankok, for app 25$. But within the country i think u should travel by coach and discover on ur own.
Recommended time in Vietnam: 3-4 weeks
I am flying into Bangkok on November 8th and flying out of Singapore to Cairns on February 20th..... My travel buddies and I kind of have an idea of where we want to go, hitting the main areas of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore and we have decided to travel by trains, busses and coaches in order not to miss a lot of the Countries by flying right over them!
We have 3.5 months to do what we want to do. I don't think a month will be long enough for you to see alot though.
Keep in touch and I will keep you posted as to how the journey is going!!! I'm sure there will be a few tales to tell about our adventure! (good and bad?!?!)
We did an overland thru se asia last feb/mar. For the most part arrangements were easy, the rest was at least entertaining, but we mananged getting our own transportation and rooms without major issues - plenty of good stories though. We started from Hong Kong and trained/bussed thru southern China, then thru Vietnam via train, bussed/taxi'd thru Cambodia, bussed/trained thru Thailand, train to Malaysia, bus/train to Singapore, then back again to BKK, train to border of Laos, then bussed up to China. All this took approx 2 to 2 1/2 months.
Your route will be governed by the type of transportation available in the countries if you plan to do it all overland. Thailand has great bus and train system, Cambodia doesn't have much of anything - there is barely a road from Siem Reap to the Thai border & it's best to hire a taxi driver to do it ( about $30US), from SR to PP they do have busses. Vietnam has a pretty good train system, though it was late a lot, they also have a good bus network, but be wary of it as they make long stops at stupid tourist traps. Laos does have a bus system & it runs on time - the mountain roads are scary when wet though, but the drivers seem quite responsible. Malaysia has a great train and bus system.
One of these days I plan to write up all this info with details and such. One of these days.
A preson can spend a week, or a year in Asia.
You dont have to see absolutely everything on one trip, do u? Asia isnt going anywhere. u can always go back.
Stay as long as u can and as long as u have money for and travel at whatever pace is fun or/and interesting to u.
Dont do tours. U will generally meet more interesting people and have more interesting experiences, if u make your own plan. U will meet endless numbers of people and may even pick up a travelling companian or two.
I dont think there is a best route. If u read about someplace, which iterests u, include it on your route, or adjust your route, to accomodate it.
If u have not done much world travel yet, i would recommend that u buy a good travel book. There are safety issues u should be well informed about, before u go to the various countries.
I would recommend the lonely planet, or the on a shoe string books.
There are also other good ones. Rough guide,lets go to name a couple.
The books are pricey, but i think they are worth the money.
I have the the south east asia book on a shoestring here, so if there is any very specific information u would like, let me know and i will look it up, for u.