We're planning a 1 month trip in SE Asia. The problem is time...
We are arriving in Bangkok 26. march and departure 22. april and want to see this:
fly to Saigon
Angkor Wat (Siem Reap)
fly to Kuala Lumpur
Koh Lipe (near Langkawi)
Koh Phi Phi
So, we obviously haven't enough time to relax at all these places. We want to visit these places (Saigon, Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat), this is the "experiencing"-part, if you get what I mean But we also need to relax on the beach, snorkeling and so on - paradise style!
I've read quite a lot about Sihanoukville (and nearby Bamboo Island), and it sounds like paradise... Probably it would be a welcoming retreat after Bangkok, Saigon and Phnom Penh. Is it worth the detour and extra days?
Then Malaysia. I've read about the Perhentian Islands. Truly looks like paradise. We can reach it by night train, but then when leaving for Langkawi-area we need a whole extra day for the bus (bus at night sounds horrible ).
I've hear Koh Lipe is a must, so this we don't want to miss. Then from here on I'm uncertain. Koh Phi Phi looks loveley, and how's the islands in the Koh Samui area? All in all it cooks down to this:
So, what should we prioritize?
- Koh Phi Phi
- Koh Samui
(Here's a quick map)
I vote that you drop Sihanoukville. I have a blog on S'ville plus many photos. Cannot compare to Phi Phi or Langkawi. You will get enough beach time in, pass on S'ville. I would also pass on Samui. No sense in hitting Samui after your time in Perhentians, Langkawi, Lipe & Phi Phi. That should save you 6 days. Use them to stay longer in one of your other locations. Good luck with the planning.
I think you're talking about 2 or 3 trips, or at least you should be talking 2 or 3 trips! Sure, you could see all those places - just hire a helicopter, and as soon as you get home, you'll forget every little detail! Why not simply break it up into countries and see one at a time? I can tell you one thing, if you're going to Saigon to "see" Vietnam, you're going to the wrong place.
I agree with daawgon that you are trying to do too much in one month. Also in April and May it is still the rainy season on the east coast of Malaysia (Perhentian islands) and they are mostly closed down at that time of year.
I would focus on one country with a small side trip of 4-5 days to another.
Thanks for reply! We've revised our plan to this:
(whole days, no travelling)
Bangkok (1,5 day)
fly to Saigon (1 day)
Phnom Penh (2 days)
Angkor Wat (Siem Reap) (1 day)
fly to Kuala Lumpur (2 days)
Perhentian Islands (4 days)
then 9 days until we have to be in Bangkok:
Koh Lipe (Langkawi)
and maybe Koh Phi Phi
So: experience Bangkok, Saigon, Phnom Penh and Angkor: 26. march - 3.april
From Kuala Lumpur and north towards Bangkok, beach: 4. april - 21. april
This is not a rigid and final plan. It's only helping us to plan when we "should" be in Kuala Lumpur to start the beach-part of our journey...
By the way, should we visit Saigon at all? I thought that we'll just see the city and take a tour to the Tunnels - is it worth the detour (we "loose" two days to this, one on the bus)? And is one full day at Angkor enough?
That would make:
Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Angkor: 26. march - 1. april/3. april (flights only on wed. and fri.)
Kuala Lumpur - then north: 1/3. april - 21. april
[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jan-2009, at 00:44 by duttzi ]
It's not worth going to Saigon for 1 day...you will be paying almost $50 on the visa for 1 day, it's an un-necessary flight and expense and you really aren't going to see a lot in 1 day. We spent 4 days in Saigon and still didn't see everything we wanted.
I would also recommend at least 3 days for Angkor, it gives you time to see all the temples and the flights might not coincide with getting you there for 1 full day.
I would still say you are trying to do to much and recommend you do Thailand and Cambodia only, otherwise you are spending so much time travelling between places it isn't going to be very relaxing.
I've spoken to a couple of friends, and they also say that going to Saigon for just a day isn't worth it...
26. march, early arrival, Bangkok, whole day here
27. march, morning in Bangkok, arrive (16.00, fly) at Phnom Penh , evening in Phnom Penh
28. march, Phnom Penh
29. march, Bus for Angkor Wat (whole day)
30. march Angkor Wat
31. march, Angkor Wat
1. april, early flight to Kuala Lumpur
. ( 18 days )
20. april, whole day, then night train to Bangkok
21. april Bangkok, then home at night.
I think this is good, only question is:
2 days in PP/1 day at Angkor,
1 day in PP/2 days in Angkor (I think this is best)?
Many thanks for all the replys
[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jan-2009, at 07:59 by duttzi ]
PP is worth one. Take a city tour that includes the Royal Palace, Tuol Sleng, Killing Fields and that is enough of PP. You need at least 2 days to tramp around the rocks of Angkor. Good luck with your trip.
i agree with everyones comments here, few notes def avoid saigon for a day- keep vietnam for another trip-its a huge country whic deserves a month alone...i spent 10days der and only seen the two main cities and halong bay-missed all d beachs in d middle due to typhoon.
i spent 7months travelling around south east asia and i actually never heard of Ko Lipe mentioned until i left-apparently its v quiet- dunno does other ppl have more info??? cos im goin bak to thailand in april & was gonna check it???
i spent a wk in sihanikville, depends on d crowd here i think-met good group and had a great laugh
ko samui definitly needs to be dropped, just read wot lonely planet says abou it, its a less developed version of phuket, cheap, tacky, loadsa hookers, not worth a stop
im very surprised ko tao hasnt been put on ur list, its one of d best islands in asia, laid back with great beahes ,restaurants, diving etc
Perenthians are worth d effort, spent 5days ere and was too short, and contrary to what was said previsouly- i went there start of may and didnt c a cloud in d sky. get the sleeper train from KL to der.
ko phi phi is a must, it has everything- party, beach, tours, diving, restaurants....its up der wit ko tao but more lively.
my last note is u only need 1 day on phnom penh, do d one day tour of everything, then off to siem reap for ankor wat...imo i think d one day trekking thru d temples was enough...but alas each to der own.
Also in April and May it is still the rainy season on the east coast of Malaysia (Perhentian islands) and they are mostly closed down at that time of year.
The rainy season brought by the north-east monsoon (generally November to March) usually ends about a month after Chinese New Year. For 2009, CNY starts on 26 January, so March weather should be pretty calm but there could be occasional showers which usually last for a couple of hours.