Hey everyone I'm going to be doing some backpacking through SE Asia and was wondering if I could get some help.
I have already seen Thailand so I do not need to go there unless it is in transit. Also I am not big on beaches but I do enjoy a few hours on one every now and than. I am also not overly big on huge cities and much rather get some sort of cultural/nature/outdoors experience....but in saying that I'll prob spend a day or two in the big cities to see them...
I hope to see:
How much time should I allot to each country if I have about 11 weeks to travel? Any other guidance would be great. I'm in the very early stages of planning so I'm just starting to sort through things now. My rough thinking right now is
Philippines- 1 week
Malaysia- 1 week
Indonesia- 1 week
Singapore- 2 days
Cambodia- 1.5 weeks
Vietnam- 3 weeks
Laos- 2.5 weeks
I know its all pretty vague but a big thanks for any help, tips or direction!
It acutally sounds fine Rob. It really depends on your Itinerary for each country and what you want to do there.
The only one I would wonder about is the Philippines. 1 week is kind short when you consider how the Philippines is made up, an how its travelled. Boat and plane. But then you mentioned that you are not a beach person. I would suggest in that case you head up to Sagada for the hanging coffins and then to Rice Terraces. If you can try to make it too Bohol for the chocolate hills and the Tarsiers. It might mean a flight to save on time. Manila has its place too, but not really a massive hot spot unless you are into crowded traffic jams and so on.
Having said all that I am sure there are folks who will say the same about Indonesia and Malaysia!!
But at least you have an idea about The philippines
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 16, 2008, at 3:27 AM by outcast ]
Sounds like you're talking Peninsular Malaysia only? I would think that E. Malaysia (Borneo) would be worth a week in itself. Amazing how you could be short of time with 11 weeks total! (I'm just jealous)
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 16, 2008, at 6:40 AM by Daawgon ]
haha I know...I thought 11 weeks would be plenty but nope. Barely able to squeeze everything in.
I make take a quick visit to Borneo by squeezing my trip to 11.5 weeks....wont get to see it all but will get a taste of it in case I never get to come back!
I'd say spend at least 2 weeks in the Philippines to see more of the country as we've got 7000 islands which you can visit... I guess 2 weeks also for Indonesia as they have more islands...
For the Philippines, Manila will be your main base or main port of entry and you can tour the city in a couple of days maybe.. then you can get the day tour to Corregidor.... then you can spend about 3-5 days on Palawan island.. checkout the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.. there's a Viet Village there also and a number of nature parks like a crocodile farm... north of the island is among the best dives sites in the country in the El Nido, Coron and Busuanga area...
and the rest of your days, you can check out the tarsiers and the Chocolate Hills of Bohol island or visit the preserved Spanish colonial street in Vigan, or check out the centuries old churces of the Ilocos provinces, north of Luzon.. with special note of the Paoay Church, a UNESCO site.. or you may want to experience a cultural stay in the Villa Escudero...
and of course, I agree with checking out the Banaue Rice Terraces, another UNESCO site...
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 16, 2008, at 5:19 PM by pau_p1 ]
RMB, It really depends on your travel purposes. Are you visiting each country for the sake of "visiting each country"? The other thought is, why not cut out a country or two and have more time to see fewer countries?
That said, certainly you can visit each country within a week or so. I will say that short trips may leave you wishing you had more time to visit. My suggestion would be to outline as best as you can what you would like to do in each country, trust the conventional wisdom of time needed, and tack on a day or two at the beginning and end of each country to account for travel time/regaining bearings/etc. This way you can enjoy your travels without feeling rushed.