I've come up with the backbone of my trip now but I just need to finalise the details and some tips from your good selves would be much appreciated. I am allocating 1 month to Thailand, and a month to Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia Here goes:
-Arrive in Bangkok Feb 16th.
-Travel south towards Ko Toa where I would like to get a diving qualification. (around 5 days)
-Ko Phangan.(full moon party)
-Ko Phi Phi and Krabi (Is Ko Lanta worth visiting)
-Then I will travel North to see Ayutthaya (where should I stop off along the way Surat Thani?)
-Next I want to go to Chang Mai and do the elephant trekking.
Somewhere along this route I would like to spend a few days at a Muay Thai kickboxing camp to train for a few days.
Is there anywhere I should stop to see on the way to Chang Mai
I'd also like to try some cooking, and yoga. And if anyone can recommend any good Acupuncture places I'd be grateful.
-From Chang Mai I will travel back to Bangkok to get a train to Siam reap to see Angor Wat and spend a couple of days.
-From Siam Reap get a train to Phnom Penh, I'll relax here for a few days before getting a boat down the Mekong into Vietnam. Can I book this when I get to Phom Penh? Which company do you recommend
-I'd then like to work my way overland to Hanoi. I'm really stuck here. Can anyone recommend must see places. How much time should I give myself?
-I was thinking of flying from Hanoi to Langkawi via KL. Have a few days on the Island then back to KL. Otherwise I can make it to KL for the 4th April I could watch the GP on the 5th. In Malaysia I want to see the Orang-utans, do a jungle trek and see the Batu Caves. Finally I will travel to Sinagpore to spend two days sightseeing before my flight.
Obviously I don't have the plan set out to the day, is this OK Or should I plan it to the number of days in every place. What do you think
…if I had a couple of months to travel south east asia and I had a return flight arriving into Bangkok and leaving from Singapore I would go with the flow and draw a very rough plan… my plan would look a little bit like this…
Bangkok to Cambodia then cross into Vietnam south to north, cross border to laos visit the 4 thousand islands then over to luang prabang. Slow boat to the north west and then cross over to Thailand, spend a few days in the north chaing mai, rai, pi…etc night train to Bangkok for a few days then over to the west of Thailand, then fly over to the south,island hop for a few weeks then bus to the satun (southern Thailand) ferry to Malaysia – langkawai then another ferry to penang, over to the mainland and on route to kl stop over at Cameron highlands.. kl for the grand prix then bus to Singapore
There are amazing hostels in south east asia where you will meet loads of travelers, share experiences and plan your next move..
My advice is go there and live day by day
Thanks for your suggestion, its a much more efficient route than mine and takes in an extra country. This would mean my beach time would be from Mid March to the start of April instead of Mid Feb-start of March? Would this be ok?
Yeah I am sure you will be alright. The southern part of Thailand has only two seasons; wet and dry. These seasons do not run at the same time on both the east and west side of the peninsular. On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and often heavy storms from April through to October, whilst on the east coast the most rain falls between September and December.
The route melawasi gives probably makes more sense than your route. I would say though that you are trying to do too much in 2 months. I did pretty much the exact same route in 3 months and was pretty rushed at the end. To do it properly you need at least three weeks to go from the Mekong up to Hanoi in Vietnam. There is so much to see. A few places I would recommend - Nha Trang, Hue, Hoi An, Sapa and Halong, - the last three being absolute highlights of the whole region. Cambodia needs at least a week as well, which pretty much takes up your time before you even get to Malaysia.
If you want a nice relaxing and quiet beach with little to do but watching the sunset from your hammock then yes, Koh Lanta is very much worth visiting.
A couple things I just think should be pointed out as well - You can't take a train from Thailand to Siem Reap, there just isn't any. Once in Cambodia there is a very limited weekly service that is slow and inconvenient and rarely and option for travelers. It also doesn't go anywhere near Sieam Reap. So chances are, you will be taking the bus. There are also no orangutans in Malaysia unless you head deep into Borneo. You'll want to head to Indonesia for that.
Thanks for your reply.
Is it really too much to do in 2 months? Can't I just miss one or two stops along the way? I was thinking it will take me a day to travel to Siam reap using the Bangkok Siam Reap route here
Then I would spend the day seeing the Angor Wat temples then travel to Phom Penh agian by train if there is a train if not by bus.
I can see how I would be struggling because, I would only have 10 days to work my way up to Hanoi if I wanted 10 days in Malaysia and Singapore.
Although Melawasi's route is cleaner it is out of the question in terms of the time I have available. I will consider just doing Thailand Cambodia and Malayasia instead. Really wanted to see Vietnam though. My problem is I am due to get back 28th of June then I will have a tough week long assessment at the end of August to prepare for. Maybe I could pay the £50 and change extend my time in SEA by two weeks. I want to see Australia in the sun too though. I can see why people spend all year planning these things now.
I’ll say it again.. don’t plan just go with the flow
When you get there just move around and see how you get on, if you have time cover more ground if not then go back some other times
I do understand where you're coming from with that and I do intend to take things as they come and I realise the benefits of being able to change your mind and stay somewhere longer.
I live by the motto 'fail to plan, plan to fail'. If I was to just to chill out and forget planning then I'd rack up not knowing how long I am allowed to stay in Thailand for, no Visa for Vietnam and have no clue which places are most worth a visit. I at least need to know which way I will go from BKK. And as time is an issue I need to have a solid plan in order to get the most out of my time.
[ Edit: Edited on 28-Jan-2009, at 02:33 by wanderitch ]
What a shame you are going to miss out on Indonesia- the hidden gem of South East Asia.
I know but time is finite unfortunately. I didn't bother getting a visa for Vietnam. I think I will stay in Thailand for around 5 weeks (I got a 60 day visa), have a week or so in Cambodia and then fly to Malaysia. There will still be so much to see in South East Asia so hopefully I can come back at some point in my life and see Indonesia, Philippines, Loas and Vietnam.