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Indonesia or Vietnam / Laos?

Travel Forums Asia Indonesia or Vietnam / Laos?

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1. Posted by one_two (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

Hi,
I've never been outside Europe before but have recently decided that I want to go away by myself, I'll go for the last 3 weeks of September.
I have a brother who lives in Singapore, so I'll stay there for a couple of days but he told me there are far more interesting places in Asia.
As I have zero experience, can people please recommend to me where I should go. I've decided against Thailand, so its really between Indonesia or Vietnam / Laos / possibly Cambodia.

In some kind of order of priority, I would like to see beautiful scenery, see bits of culture/ religious shrines etc, visit interesting cities, beaches.

Where is easiest to get around? cheapest? easiest to find places to eat and sleep? is safety an issue anywhere?

Sorry for being so broad and vague but any recommendations from those with knowledge and experience would be greatly appreciated as I don't have too much time!

2. Posted by Yvekes (Respected Member 266 posts) 7y

If it's the first time outside Europe, I would say go for Indochina (Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia). These countries are so easy to visit for a first timer.
On the other hand, Indonesia will be a bit cheaper with splendid scenery (volcano's ...), but it's a bit rougher to travel around than the countries mentioned earlier.

3. Posted by jwillock (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

I'm a Canadian who is now also living in Singapore. I have traveled a fair bit around the region.
Thailand is my favorite, but I can understand you wanting to pass in Thailand.

I too recommend Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos over Indonesia.
But in 3 weeks I think it would be a stretch to see all 3 comfortably, unless you like to be on the road a fair bit.
You could easily spend 3 weeks in just Vietnam, go from South to North, stopping in the middle for some nice beaches.

Or do Laos/Cambodia

All are very easy to travel around, and you will meet many other solo travelers.

Have a great time!

4. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

Indonesia wont be cheap. If Indonesia means island hopping and going through big cities... Vietnam and Laos, better options. I only want to go to Bali, so I can say I have been there. All my friends didnt like it.

5. Posted by one_two (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

Thanks for all the opinions offered, as I need to book this pronto I'm grateful for all the quick responses.

Based on whats been said and advice from friends, I'll do Vietnam and possibly others rather than Indonesia.
I'm flying out to Singapore and will stay there for a couple of nights, which gives me about 2 and a half weeks to travel. I've found some pretty cheap flights going from Singapore to,for example Ho Chi Minh city, so that isn't a problem.
With the time I have can I please have recommendations of what I should do geographically speaking.
jwillock - You would say it would be advisable with limited time to just do Vietnam?

Should Vietnam be my priority or should I try and get any of Laos and Cambodia? I'm not bothered about ticking off destinations so if its best to just traverse Vietnam, I'll do that. Or maybe there are things on the Laos or Cambodia border worth seeing?

Also, its going to be cheaper to get a return from Singapore, so I'll eventually need to finish at an airport where I can get back to Singapore from.

Thanks again!

6. Posted by pPamela (Full Member 158 posts) 7y

Hi,
You will never know what you are missing out on by leaving out Indonesia- one incredible country, but you really do need more than 3 weeks to get a good feel. Maybe next time.

In my opinion it has so much more to offer than the rest of the other places mentioned and it would be so much cheaper than anywhere else, contrary to what one poster on this thread indicated.
Pamela

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Aug-2009, at 05:46 by pPamela ]

7. Posted by one_two (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

hi there,
I would definetely like to see Indonesia at some point but it just seems that with limited time you would have to mainly stick to the most touristy areas.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Aug-2009, at 11:16 by one_two ]

8. Posted by Aquemini (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

Quoting pPamela

Hi,
You will never know what you are missing out on by leaving out Indonesia- one incredible country, but you really do need more than 3 weeks to get a good feel. Maybe next time.

In my opinion it has so much more to offer than the rest of the other places mentioned and it would be so much cheaper than anywhere else, contrary to what one poster on this thread indicated.
Pamela

Hi Pamela

I've just finished reading a book called "Vagabonding: An Uncommon..." by Rolf Potts. He's convinced me that Indonesia is also the most expensive out of Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam. Would you say he is wrong?

His book was published a few years back now, maybe it is out of date?

Thanks
Ben

9. Posted by phicau (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

I live in Hanoi, so I can help you if you go to Hanoi. It's a nice city, a cultural centre of Vietnam and the food is great. Welcome to Vietnam.

10. Posted by tanjaradet (Budding Member 10 posts) 7y

Hi,
Vietnam is easy to travel, by night trains you can save few days. Northern Vietnam with hill tribes, Sapa and Bach Ha, Halong bay, Ha Noi, central Vietnam withbeutiful beaches....great food.
You will enjoy it a lot!

Now I need a little help, please. Am going in Sumatra and will stay a few days in Singapore on sept 26th. Any suggestion for accomodation?
txs
Tanja