thanks for the responses.
Hmm I'm definatley leaning more towards away SE Asia now.
I'd love to see India but am happy enough to leave that for another trip.
The next problem i'll have with SEA is narrowing it down to countrys for my 12 weeks.. I guess Thailand / Mayla / Singapore/ Indoniesia would be streaching it a bit, and ive now heard so many good things about Laos...
Though my original instinct was to see China, I guess it's one of those places thats changing so quickly I'd rather not leave it to long to see. I like the idea of seeing the east coast cities then ferrying over to Japan for a couple of weeks then coming back via Qingdao, see Bejing then head out to the wilderness (eg: Gansu, Qinghai, Far West Sichuain, Guizhou)
If only Bhutan was cheaper.
Easy choice for me. My GF lives in HaNoi, my golf buddies live in Pattaya and I have friends that run a NGO in Phnom Penh. I go back to see them every year. I do want to see India, but just not this year.
Although Vietnam is tempting, I would pick East (Japan and China). I'd love to go back to Japan and would like to visit China.
I have been to Thailand already and to Japan and BOTH were lovely. I would still have to pick SEA though. Japan, whilst VERY NICE, is a bit more westernized and less traditional around the big cities (from what I saw AND from what I have heard from others). Also, it is far more expensive (think NYC, Boston, London) than SEA. I have always wanted to visit Laos and Cambodia and would love to see more of Thailand (I only did Bangkok). 3 months would give the oppurtunity to see almost all of SEA. China is SO big that I have heard you can spend well over a year there and still be experiencing new things.
I think Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore and some of Indonesia is a pretty good 3 month possibility. Remember, though Singapore is well worth a visit it won't take long on a touristy visit, maybe 3-4 days. And Indonesia is pretty huge, so if you wanted to include it it might be worth concentrating on 2 or 3 islands perhaps.
Southeast Asia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand....all my favorites