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South East Asia Itinerary help??

Travel Forums Asia South East Asia Itinerary help??

1. Posted by JimStynes (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Hi everyone,
My girlfriend and I are going to south east asia as part of a round the world trip, i land into Bangkok on the 1st of December and then i fly out of Singapore to Perth, Australia some time before the end of February (RWT is bought and paid for). So far I have done a lot of reading on Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and i have made up a rough itinerary for our trip. I am stuck when i get to Thailand, Malayasia and Singapore.

Could you have a look at my itinerary so far and make any recommendations or suggestions on what you think we should maybe change and also suggestions on what we should do after we finish our PADI diving course in Ko Tao. We have got all hotels, flights booked for Bangkok and Cambodia part of the trip so that will save on the costs when we get out their but have nothing booked for vietnam as i dont really know exactly where and when i will be in the other cities and countries. We will have about £1500 each for the SEA leg of the RWT. We want to try and stay no more than 3 months in South East Asia as we need to get out to Perth by the end of February to meet friends and start working.

Thanks

1st December 2008: Arrive Bangkok from Ireland
2nd Bangkok
3rd Bangkok
4th Fly to Siem Riep / Angkor
5th Siem Riep / Angkor
6th Siem Riep / Angkor
7th Flight to Phnom Penh
8th Phnom Penh - Sihanoukville
9th Sihanoukville
10th Sihanoukville
11th Phnom Phen S21 and killing fields
12th Phnom Phen fly to HCMC
13th CU Chi tunnels – via boat
14th HCMC
15th Fly to Dalat
16th Easy rider tour of Dalat on to Nha Trang
17th Dalat
18th Dalat to Nha Trang
19th Nha Trang
20th Nha Trang
21st Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
22nd Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
23rd Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
24th Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
25th Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
26th Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
27th Hoi An
28th Hoi An - Danang
29th Danang - DMZ
30th Hue
31th Hue – Caves etc
1st January 2009 Hue
2nd Danang – then fly to Hanoi or Overnight Train
3rd Hanoi
4th Sapa
5th Sapa
6th Sapa
5th Sapa – Han long bay
7th Hanoi – Han long bay
8th Han long Bay
9th Han long bay – Hanoi
10th Fly Hanoi – Vientiane
11th Vientiane
12thVientiane
13th Fly to Luang Prabang
14th Luang Prabang
15th Luang Prabang
16th Luang Prabang
17th Fly to Chiang Mai
18th Chiang Mai – maybe a trekking trip
19th Chiang mai
20th Flight to Bangkok then onto Ko Samui
21st Bangkok then onto Ko Samui
22nd Ko Samui to Ko Tao
23rd Ko Tao – PADI Diving Course
24th Ko Tao – PADI Diving Course
25th Ko Tao – PADI Diving Course
26th Ko Tao – PADI Diving Course
27th Ko Toa - Ko Samui – to mainland
28th mainland to Ko Phi Phi
29th Ko Phi Phi
30th Ko Phi Phi
31st Krabi
1st February 2009 - Krabi
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
13th
14th
15th
16th

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 7y

Hi Jim,
This is not a bad itinerary. I personally would make a few changes based solely on the things that I liked best. I'll go through your list and tell you what I would change.

1st December 2008: Arrive Bangkok from Ireland
2nd Bangkok
3rd Bangkok
4th Fly to Siem Riep / Angkor
5th Siem Riep / Angkor
6th Siem Riep / Angkor
7th Flight to Phnom Penh
8th Phnom Penh - Sihanoukville
9th Sihanoukville
10th Sihanoukville
11th Phnom Phen S21 and killing fields
12th Phnom Phen fly to HCMC
13th CU Chi tunnels – via boat
14th HCMC I recommend a trip to the Mekong Delta, even if for only a day. A couple nights is better
15th Fly to Dalat
16th Easy rider tour of Dalat on to Nha Trang
17th Dalat Dalat is great, but if you are deciding to cut out one place in Vietnam, this would be my choice
18th Dalat to Nha Trang
19th Nha Trang
20th Nha Trang
21st Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
22nd Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
23rd Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
24th Easy Rider tour to Hoi An I think this is a little too long for HoiAn. You need two days to kick around, one to go to MySon and one to go to the beach.
25th Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
26th Easy Rider tour to Hoi An
27th Hoi An
28th Hoi An - Danang
29th Danang - DMZ I think there is no need to stay in Danang. You can easily arrange DMZ tours from Hue
30th Hue
31th Hue – Caves etc
1st January 2009 Hue
2nd Danang – then fly to Hanoi or Overnight Train
3rd Hanoi
4th Sapa
5th Sapa
6th Sapa
5th Sapa – Han long bay
7th Hanoi – Han long bay I would spend another full day in Hanoi. It's one of my favorite cities in the world. If you are booking your Sapa and Halong trips when you arrive, you may also find you that you will spend half of that one day in Hanoi just arranging things.
8th Han long Bay
9th Han long bay – Hanoi
10th Fly Hanoi – Vientiane
11th Vientiane Too long in Vientiane. Just needs a day, and on a tight schedule it doesn't even need that. If you can fly straight to Luang Prabang it might save some time. However, I would also recommend visiting Vang Vieng which is a highlight of Laos for sure.
12thVientiane
13th Fly to Luang Prabang
14th Luang Prabang
15th Luang Prabang
16th Luang Prabang
17th Fly to Chiang Mai Some people love it, some people hate it, but for me the 2-day slowboat was one of the highlights of the country. It's uncomfortable and long yes, but it allows you to see rural life and interact with locals a bit, and just enjoy the scenery
18th Chiang Mai – maybe a trekking trip
19th Chiang mai need more time in Chaing Mai, at least 3 days if you are going to take trek. If you like Thai food I would recommend a cooking course for a day in Chaing Mai. I recommend taking a couple days to head to Pai. I would also recommend Soukathai on the way down to Bangkok
20th Flight to Bangkok then onto Ko Samui
21st Bangkok then onto Ko Samui If you are going to Samui just to get to Tao, then it would be cheaper and probably just as quick and easy to take a night bus/boat straight from Bangkok to Tao.
22nd Ko Samui to Ko Tao
23rd Ko Tao – PADI Diving Course
24th Ko Tao – PADI Diving Course
25th Ko Tao – PADI Diving Course
26th Ko Tao – PADI Diving Course
27th Ko Toa - Ko Samui – to mainland
28th mainland to Ko Phi Phi You shouldn't have to go back to Samui, but maybe Phagnan, to get back to the mainland. But maybe your ferry will stop at Samui for a bit on the way. You might be able to get from Tao to Phi Phi in one day too. If not, stay in Krabi for the night, which is every bit as good as Phi Phi anyway
29th Ko Phi Phi
30th Ko Phi Phi
31st Krabi
1st February 2009 - Krabi
I think the next two weeks will be shorter because you'll have wanted to spend more time up North. But I recommend visiting Penang, KL (breifly), and the cameron highlands if you have time, and then a day in Singapore. 7-10 days should be fine for this leg. Melaka is also nice if you have an interest in it's history

I do also have a concern about money. I'm a very very budget minded traveller, and I could make due on that money no problem. But I never fly, and a never take pre-arranged tours. I do often take short tours, such as Halong Bay, DMZ, trekking in Chaing Mai etc..but these are arranged locally and are very cheap, usually fitting into my daily budget. I think if your flights within SEA aren't already paid for, then you will struggle to survive on that much money. If you start taking tours like the Easy Rider ones, it will probably be next to impossible. Add on a PADI course in Tao and you may not be eating during your time in Asia. So I think you need to either reconsider how you are going to travel, or take a whole lot more cash.
But it's not a problem to travel cheaply. The vast majority of travelers in the region do not fly between every town they visit. I've spent several months in the region on a number of trips and I've never once taken a flight. The only flight that I might consider if I was to do it again is between Hanoi and Vientianne to avoid the 24 hour bus ride. But buses throughout the region are plentiful and incredibly cheap. Taking night buses will save time and money on accomodation. Trains in Vietnam are comfortable and easy to arrange when you arrive. There's also trains in Thailand and Malaysia but I can't report on them. I also feel that traveling by bus and train gives you a better appreciation of the land and it's people as you get to slowly take it all in. Some of the most interesting things I've seen are not at tourist attractions, but at random little villages that buses stop at along the way. While sometimes day tours are the best way to get to a particular place, as a general rule, there is no need to take organized tours in the region. Dalat and HoiAn are two places that you mention a tour. These places are both easily accessible and explorable on your own. Once there, if you do decide you want to take a tour to see something, there are lots of places to book one for very cheap.
I also think that you could use an extra week or two to do this trip. I did an almost identical trip with my girlfriend and had 3 months. It was a good amount of time, but there were a number of things that we did have to cut out. If you cut out your flights and tours to do things slower, you will need a little more time, but you should also have enough money.

3. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

Best tip of all....STOP MAKING AN ITINERARY FOR EVERY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chill out, have a beer for f****s sake. I know trips are exciting, but just look at the guide books, look on the internet, get really really excited, and enjoy yourselves, don't go there with a schedule as detailed as that as all the excitement will be taken away!!

4. Posted by JimStynes (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Thanks guys. Degolasse that was a great help especially.
I like to have things planned out to give me a rough guide of things i would like to do. This itinerary is by no means the way i will actually do the trip, i am sure i will have to cut certain parts out of my trip as i have spent to long in places which i loved.
I have another month to get as much money saved as i possibly can. I may be able to push my budget to £4000 between the 2 of us, hopefully if i watch my spending i can make this do. My girlfriend and I wouldnt drink a whole lot of alcohol so i am saving a bit this way.
Thanks again guys