Ok, good chance we will go to Cambodia later this year.
Problem is that my girlfriend has only about 2 weeks to spend (that's why we pick Cambodia as it is not to big and 2 weeks is ok to spend some time there), but I really want to travel longer in the region before I meet here at Phnom Penh Airport.
I was thinking a lot about what I would do in about 3 weeks before that. I even was thinking about travelling overland all the way from the Netherlands but, although technically possible, I changed my mind about that.
So, what would you pick if these were the options:
1. Vietnam and maybe part of (southern) Laos
2. Southern China, down via Laos to Cambodia
3. Birma (Myanmar), than either flying or overland to Cambodia
4. Malaysia/Brunei and as well either flying or overland via Thailand to Cambodia.
Thanks and cheers!
Everyone is going to weigh in with their favorite country in SEA. I vote for VN because I like the place and my GF lives there! 3 weeks is perfect to go from HaNoi to HCMC and overland to Phnom Penh.
I have read posts by 'buzzard' and he will vote that you go to Myanmar. That seems like a decent option. Few visitors and very grateful people. He reports that yes, the gov't is s**t, but you can help the locals by just being there and spending your money with them. Something to think about.
I don't have a valuable comment so I appologise in advance
But I do agree with 'vegasmike6' post
Spending your time in Myanmar would be good for both you and the locals.
Agree with Burma - very unique, beautiful country, and the people are great. And since its so different from the rest of SEA, its like two trips in one when you head over to Cambodia.
Rangoon has its charms, it still feels like 50 years ago, still a part of British India. Getting around the local payas (especially the Shwedagon) and talking to the people there is a great experience. Then u could head up north for the ancient capital of Pagan and the royal capital of Mandalay...
Laos comes close to Burma on my favourite SEAn conutry list. Similarly beautiful, less tourists, and friendly locals. You could fly into Vientiane, then head south to the Cambodian border, nicely in 3 weeks. Or head down from Yunnan China if you have more time to spend - some lovely trekking in northern Laos...
Seriously thinking about Birma right now. Guess I am going to check some more things out.
So 5 weeks in total is not an overkill regarding cultural stuff?
Can anyone suggest some nature places to visit in those countries? I like my travels best when a combination of both culture and nature is possible, and somehow I think first Borneo and then Cambodia will give me most satisfaction with this?
But hey, if Birma and/or Cambodia can offer that as well, why not.
hmm... you're right that Burma and Cambodia aren't too big on their natural attractions... I cant think of any in Burma, but in Cambodia, the eastern provinces of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri are more wild and might offer what you are looking for... Some very nice waterfalls, dolphins, etc...
And down the coast there is Bokor National Park, really horrible roads that wind through a mountainous forest/forested mountain, but theres a nice, hauntingly beautiful hill station on top. Doesnt exactly qualify as nature per se, but a nice place to visit, especially if you plan to stay overnight where it is so quiet.
Further downt theres the Preah Sihanouk National Marine Park at Sihanoukville. Heard good reviews about this one, people seeing an abundance of wildlife like eagles, monkeys and dolphins...
Burma does have stunning beauty. Although some of it is really hard to get to. Isle lake is really pretty. The big attraction if you want to go to Burma is going to some place that is closed off to the rest of the world. Another interesting thing to do in the same trip is compare Bagan (in Burma) and Angkor in Cambodia because they are two of the most amazing temple complexes in the world. Good luck!