Planning a trip to South East Asia, Oz, NZ and America hopefully going in mid October. I have family in KL, Malaysia so planning to arrange cheaper internal flights to Thailand, Brunei and Singapore. I have put aside 1 month for South East Asia - do you reckon that is enough time? Also, i have never been to Thailand before, and am going by myself - can anyone recommend a good group tour thing i can join or does anyone have any advice to totally do it alone!
All advice would be appreciated.
I would have to vote 'NO!', one month is not enough for SEA. You could visit your family in KL, hit Singapore & Brunei, fly into Thailand, hit several cities & beaches and your 30 days are gone. Many spend a month just in Thailand, others spend 3-4 weeks in VN. It is not possible to see all of SEA in 30 days. Hit Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei & Thailand this time and save Cambodia, Laos & VN for another trip. My 2 cents.
Three weeks to one month is good for Thailand, but if you want to visit a bit of Malaysia, Singapore and fly to Brunei, then I would say add another couple weeks on there if you can. Of course you could spend much longer in SEA like vegasmike6 suggested, but you haven't really implied that you intend to see ALL that Southeast Asia has to offer in this trip. So for the places you mention, one month or a bit more should cover it. However, consider that Southeast Asia appears to be the only non-Western stop you have on your trip. You may find that it's the most interesting spot you visit and one month might be too short of a trip. Consider spending two months so that you can also visit Cambodia and/or Laos.
As for a tour vs independent travel - there is no reason why traveling on your own should present any sort of a challenge whatsoever. Trains and buses are plentiful and you can get anywhere you want to go with ease. On every bus you step on, and every town you visit, you will find it full of fellow travelers going independently just like yourself. There are also countless cheap hotels filled with backpackers in every town, so finding a place to stay and others to hang out with is simple. Grab a guide book on Southeast Asia and just go on your own. It's really not a problem.
Do it on your own, take every day as it comes, stay forever!
Why don't you put Vietnam to your list? It's a safe and beautiful country. If you don't believe, just ask the forum members.
I advise u to do it alone. No tour. They are boring, restrictive and expensive.
Anyway, in a place like Thailand u will meet lots and lots of people.
There is no set time, that one should spend in SE Asia.
Just travel to as many places as u can, at a relaxed pace.
U can always go back.
I also recommend, that if u want to travel without a tour, u buy a good travel guide.
Try South East Asia Lonely Planet. In case u dont know, they are available in most bookshops around the world, at a cost of around 27 Euros.
SEA has 11 countries. Whao, hard to know how long you should. Depends.
Yeah Southeast Asia has my home country, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea.
In the Philippines alone, a month would be not enough with its 7000 island. I guess more with the 15,000 islands of Indonesia..
I'd suggest pick a main tourist spot on each of the SEA countries.. like...
Brunei - the main palace?
Cambodia - Angkor Wat
Indonesia - Bali and Jakarta
Laos - Vientianne
Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur on the peninsula and Kota Kinabalu on Borneo
Myanmar - ?
Philippines - Boracay, Puerto Princesa, and Bohol
Singapore - I think with proper planning 4 days is enough to see the whole island
Thailand - Bangkok and Phuket
Vietnam - Hanoi, Saigon, Ha Long
If I were you I would spend most of my time in SE Asia and just spend a little time in USA. SE Asia is the only place you are going too that will be totally different from your own country culture wise. Stay there as long as you can and see it all! But don't just do the well trodden Thai-Viet-Camb-Laos trip that everyone does, also visit Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia etc. Not as many tourists go here so you will find some real hidden gems along the way.
Before reviving an old thread, please take note of the posting date and the content. The original poster, ljtravel, started this thread in July 2007 and his planned travel was for October 2007. Your reply to the poster may not be applicable any longer to this "expired" thread.