I'm planning on going to South East Asia for about 7 weeks in total and here is my rough plan for those 6 weeks and I was wondering could any give me any advice on it?
Fly into Bangkok and spend about 3-4 days before going to Siem Reap and spending the rest of my first week there.
The go to Phnom Penh and spending 4 weeks there doing volunteer work.
Then I'm planning on spending about 2 weeks in Laos before going back to Bangkok to get the plane home, not quite sure how to do these two weeks at all really, any advice on this in particular?
I'm not a huge fan of Bangkok so for me, 3-4 days there would be a lot but that's just my opinion. You could venture out of Bangkok to Kanchanaburi (Bridge over the River Kwai and Wat Pha Luangta Bua) or other places that are day trips out of Bangkok. As for Cambodia, I'd say you need at least three full days to see the temples at Siem Reap. If you're lucky enough to have extra time and the season is right (which, in 7 weeks it will be as it is dry season), you could visit some of the further away temples outside Siem Reap (Kbal Spean and Banteay Samre in addition to the must-see Banteay Srei, although the latter is often part of the normal circuits.)
Where are you living/working in Phnom Penh? I'd try to have a place to stay lined up before you arrive, if only just for the first week so you don't have to wander around or end up paying too much. There are plenty of cheap guesthouses, although if you're looking for something a little more upscale the options are slim for mid-range accomodation. If you're interested in that I could name a couple good options. If you have time (on weekends off from work, etc...), travel outside Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville or, if you have 3-4 days, Mondulkiri. If a friend or colleague invites you outside the city to his/her province, definitely take them up on the offer!
Laos is a beautiful, beautiful country. I don't know the southern part that well but you could easily spend some time in the northern half. You could fly from Phnom Penh to Vientiane, spend a day or two there, and then hop on a bus to Vang Vieng, where you could definitely spend some time (google it and you'll see!) From there you can take a bus to Luang Prabang and spend a few days there. That said, if you have two weeks in Laos you should definitely see the southern half. I'm not sure about travel details for that but I've heard the bus from Cambodia is (was) brutal.
Sorry I've written a book here, I'm a bit SE Asia obsessed... Any reason you're cutting out Vietnam or just don't have the time?
Thanks for that, cutting out Vietnam just because I don't really have the time to do it and wouldn't want to rush through it.
Any idea how much this would cost roughly, would £1000 be more than enough?
Any more thoughts on this? Also would £1000 be enough?
Sounds good to me- Vietnam could definitely be a whole trip in itself and certainly shouldn't be rushed through. As far as money is concerned, it really depends how you plan to live, eat, and travel. You can find decent backpacker accomodation for around $10-15 USD a night in all of those places- and this is actually a pretty conservative estimate- you could probably work out cheaper per night accomodation depending on your level of comfort (aircon, hot water, etc...) and how long you stay. I could recommend a few places in Cambodia if you need one. If you plan to stay in a certain place for an extended period of time, definitely try to arrange some sort of extended stay discount.
The amount of money you spend on meals/drinking also varies. You could eat on well under $10 a day if you eat local food and don't drink. A more reasonable estimate? Probably around $10 USD a day. Drink a lot? You'll see your cost of living jump quite a bit.
Transportation also adds up. If you plan to fly between countries, you have to figure that in. Also, you need to account for Visa costs (get these in-country) and misc travel expenses (tuk tuk/moto rides.)
Cheapest you could probably do a 6-week trip (cheapest accomodation, cheap eats)?
Figure around $10 a night for cheap, basic accomodation = about $400
Meals = another $400-$450
Then add in Visa costs, flights, and misc costs (Angkor park fees in Cambodia, etc...)
I would bet you could definitely do it all for £1000 - you just have to keep track of how much you've spent. Figure also that Bangkok will be more expensive than Cambodia (with the exception of Angkor) and both will be more than Laos.