My boyfriend and I have just yesterday booked our flights for our trip in March. We are flying to bangkok, and once there we have 4 months to do as we please, and we have been thinking Thailand, Borneo, possibly Cambodia, possibly Laos...but are still open to ideas. At the end of that 4 months we fly from singapore to Cairns, and we are there for a month. We fly from Sydney to Tokyo, where we have 6 days, and then home.
So with the flights booked, but the time in between fairly blank, we would love to get any recommendations, what to avoid, places to stay, must-sees etc that you can offer for all the above places, including SE Asian countries to fill our 4 months there.
Thanks very much.
Have you made arrangements to get from Bangkok to Singapore?
Not yet, we're planning on making our way around using buses/cheap flights and just ending up there at the end of the 4 months. Very vague, which is partly the reason for the post - to see how to spend our time best and make our way between the two in that time. We have until March 2nd to plan. What would you suggest?
Thailand is an amazing country. Chiang Mai, in the far north, is one of my favourite places in the world. An excellent base to tour that part of the world. There are amazing tours available (I had the option to spend a week in the jungle literally living off the land but I didn't have time - wish I'd done it).
The hilltribes of the north are great people. You will also be near Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam if that takes your fancy. There's an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. First class is a sleeper car and is very good and not very pricey. Alternatively you can fly but the train journey is fantastic.
Isan in the east is the poorest province of Thailand but has stunning scenery.
Be sure to spend some time in Bangkok - a great city. There are hotels and hostels to suit every budget. Pat Pong, the red light district, is fantastic for bars and street market shopping. Be prepared to bargain.
From Bangkok, you can easily bus or fly to the south. Phuket is a very popular tourist destination. Spend some time in Malaysia although I can't give you too much info about the place. I spent a week on Tioman island which was . . . ok. There are plenty of people on this site who'll be able to give you tons of info about Malaysia.
You can literally bus it to Singapore across the bridge over the straits. Singapore is great - I recommend Sentosa Island which was a British stronghold during the Second World War until the Japanese overran it (bloody guns were pointing out to sea; would've thought they'd come from the north???). Take the ferry or cable car - a great day out.
I'm getting a bit jealous just writing this thread . . .
That's really very helpful, thank you. Well obviously the touristy areas are popular for a reason, so we will visit these, but we both agree that we'd like to go 'off the beaten track' a little more, so loads of what you have suggested sound just up our street. That jungle experience sounds insane but amazing, definitely one to think about. We have certainly talked about Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam as we've heard such brilliant reviews, so that train journey up to Chiang Mai sounds like it could be plan, thanks for the tip!
In the 4 months we have before flying to Cairns, how long would you say is a good amount to spend in each place? Or is it completely different for each place? We want to see a lot obviously, but don't want to skim over stuff and not get the full experience...
Leave yourselves some flexibility - four months is a long time, but I wouldn't plan too far ahead.
I just found this site - check it out.
personally i wouldnt recommend phuket, especially not patong. its a bit too touristy, reminded me a bit of costa del sol or the canaries. i left there shortly after i arrived. phuket city is nice enough and kata beach is ok but i prefer the islands on the gulf of thailand myself. i agree that chang mai is worth a visit and laos is an amazing place as is vietnam. you should definately try and fit them in!
Try Mae Salong. A small town in Nothern Thailand.
You can also visit Ayuthaya(the ancient capital), Ratchaburi(Floating Market),Kanchanaburi(Death Railway, Erawan Waterfall, River Kwaii) & also Bangkok which has lots to offer.
After that maybe you can travel by land or flight to the southern islands. FMP for Koh Phangan. And If you are in Samui, visit Hin Ta Hin Yai which is also known as Grandfather's Rock and Grandmother's Rock. Its a very amazing formation.
If you are planning to travel further down to Malaysia, try to avoid Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala province. There in politically unstable now. However, you will need to transit in Hadyai.
In Malaysia, you can try Penang Island (FOOD!!!, Kek Lok Si Temple), Kuala Lumpur (Twin Towers, KL Towers, Eyes on Malaysia, Batu Caves, Chinatown), Malacca (The Historical State with Portuguese, Chinese and Dutch architectures), East Coast (Perhentian, Redang and Tioman Islands).
You can take overnight JUngle Train to visit Taman Negara(National Park).
If you have anything to ask, just feel free to pm me.
Myself and my boyfriend have just started a trip around SEA although we are doing it in 3 months. We flew into KL and stayed a couple of days but the jet lag kind of stopped us doing much during the day. We're in Bangkok now and just loving it. We ave an idea of where we're going but haven't decided on exactl how long we'll be staying anywere, we'll just play it by ear. Below is a rough idea of what we have planned for the next three months, with a a couple of detours along the way.
Kuala Lumpur - bangkok - Kanchanaburi - Chiang Mai
Luang Prebang - Vang Vien - Vientienne
hanoi - We will be working our way south through Vietnam stopping along the way untill we get to Ho Chi Min City.
(Maybe) Phu quoc island
Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
Back to Bangkok to fly to Koh Samui - head to Koh Phangan for full moon party & then we have a month on the islands.
Back to Bangkok and fly home
Hope this helps, you'll have a ball!
Hey there - im currently travelling around South East Asia for the last 3.5momths an still going Ive done North Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thai Islands an Full Moon Party, Malaysia, Singapore and now in Indonesia so if you need any further ideas drop me an email and ill be happy to pass on any info i can