My boyfriend and I are heading to South East Asia on 21st April for 10 weeks. Fly into Singapore and out of Bangkok on 7th July so the plan is to stay in Singapore for a few days (not too long because I've heard its pretty expensive), then travel up Malaysia and into Thailand. If we have time we quite fancy Vietnam as well but not sure if it is worth it as don't want to be spreading ourselves too thin?
We're going with roughly £2000 each (will this be enough??) and are planning on staying in hostels, bungalows and some hotels as well.
I've been trying to work out places to go, places to stay, things to do and I'm driving myself crazy with all the options!!
I've been told to go to Tioman Island, Phuket, Ko Paghnan (full moon party) , Koh Samui, Kuala Lumpur (only for a few days) and Penang.
I'd so grateful if anyone could suggest good places to stay (rough prices) and must see attractions or things to do. I'm interested in historical type things but prefer nature things, beaches, some adventure sports, relaxing, eating and shopping obv (been told Bangkok is best for this?)
I'm just panicking that when we get there we're just going to be like "argh where do we go?!" We've got a hostel booked for first two nights in Singapore and then we're on our own.
Any info would be much appreciated! x
Lots to see and so little time. But 10 weeks is enough to see quite a bit, just don't try to see it all. Most of my highlights of the region are actually in Northern Vietnam, including Hanoi, Hoi An, Sapa, and Halong Bay. Angkor in Cambodia is one of the most amazing historical sites on the planet and should not to be missed if you are interested in history and temples. And of course there are the beaches. Of the ones you list I can say that I hated every minute of my time on Phuket, and didn't particularly care for Samui. But Koh Phagnan is lovely, not only for the party but also for the beaches in the north. Next door is Koh Tao which ties with Koh Lanta for my favorite island. I haven't been to Tioman so can't comment, but the Perhentians in Malaysia are beautiful. Penang is indeed a worthy stop in Malaysia especially for Kek Lok Si temple. Another place you've missed on your list is Chiang Mai which is Thailand's second tourist hotspot next to the beaches. Its great for jungle hikes, adventure sports, cooking classes, and some of the beach shopping in Thailand. Of course there are many many other places that are great and can be added to your list (I haven't even mentioned places in Laos), so I think your best bet is to invest in a guide book on the region to help you out with what to see and do. I would recommend Lonely Planet.
For money, 2000 pounds could easily last me 6-8 months in Southeast Asia. If you were to spend that much in 10 weeks your daily budget would be a little more than twice what mine was on my last trip over Christmas when I stayed in hotels that I normally could never afford and drank all day. Normally when I'm traveling for an extended period with my girlfriend I spend about 1/3 of your daily budget. So basically what I'm saying is that the two of you can go there and live like royalty and probably have money to spare.
If I were you I would purchase a few guide books and get an idea of what you want to do, then check it out on the internet. You can then plan from place to place.
I have just been to Singapore and hated it, good job we were not there long - it was like being in a city in England same shops e.g. Top shop, Gap, Dorothy Perkins etc. If I wanted that could have stayed at home.
On our trip to Vietnam I had two guide books, i read them daily to see what we should do next and we travelled from Hanoi to Saigon over three weeks. We met lots of people all doing the same thing and kept seeing the same people at different destinations.
The trip was really cheap our hotels usually cost $30 per night for two of us including breakfast, but we spoke to lots of stidents who stayed in hostels for about $7.
Internal flights were also cheap, so was coach travel, we did not use the trains as it was TET and all fully booked.
When we went to Thailand we had booked into a beach resort but found it boring we checked out and moved on to more sightseeing. We loved Chaing Mai, the handcrafts, elephant rides etc.
Have a great trip, wish I could get 10 weeks to travel!
4000 quid between is more than enough for 10 weeks in SEA.
Thank you for all your advice! It's come in really useful. Only 3 days to go!!