Hi everyone! So iv got 6 weeks in SEA starting in BKK then flying out of singapore...here are my thoughts so far...
couple of days bangkok
couple of days surrounding cities
up to chaing mai/rai for a week
into laos for a week
then on to cambodia...i havent found a direct route from veintiane to siam reap so is via bangkok the only way? anyway angkor wat and phanom pehn...a week for this?
into southern viet nam...HCMC and surrounding for a week
fly back to BKK and take the train south to singapore with 10ish days to do some islands (ko samui/tao?) and Kuala Lumpur and finally singapore
How does this sound to people? do you think this is going to be really rushed? ie should i miss places out or spend more time in certain places? all advice is welcome!!
Thanks in advance!
From my small exposure to Vietnam, I learned that the least interesting part was the south. You can't go to Vietnam and not see Hanoi!
In regards to your itinerary, see my reply here:
As for direct routes to Vientiane from Siem Reap, you should be able to catch a flight for a reasonable cost. Try Lao Airlines.
As the saying goes, "Battles are won in the planning room." From my experience, the more time I've spent planning my trip, with quality taking precedence over quantity (time spent immersing oneself in a county versus number of countries to visit), the more relaxed and enjoyable my trips have been.
Further, when traveling in SE Asia, there is a very small minority of touts out there wanting to take advantage of you. (NOTE: Don't let paranoia sink in! Only an exceedingly small minority should be considered untrustworthy-learn the signs) The best defense lies in your clear, thoughtfully planned itinerary, giving extensive consideration to travel time and sleep arrangements. By doing so, you avoid putting yourself in a compromising situation.
A good lesson and story from one of my trips: I traveled by bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. I had made sleeping arrangements in Siem Reap before I set foot on the bus, and knew exactly where I needed to go. Once I got to Siem Reap, there was a flood of tuk tuk drivers bombarding all foreigners, holding signs for guesthouses and offering deals on hotels/Angkor Wat travel combos. They were calling us through the windows of the bus, competing with each other to get our business, and a coveted commission. Since I knew where I was going, I found one driver, told him where to go, and was out of there in minutes.
On the other hand, one poor couple had no idea where they were going or staying. Bewildered and confused, they couldn't decide what to do, and so the whole lot of 30 drivers swarmed around them, yelling out their guesthouse deals and vying for their business. The couple was trapped in the center. Peace of mind is a very good reason to prepare in advance.
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 17, 2008, at 4:13 PM by gwelty ]