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South East Asia - Clockwise or Anti-clockwise

Travel Forums Asia South East Asia - Clockwise or Anti-clockwise

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1. Posted by Carly77 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hi I am planning on traveling around south east asia for 10 weeks in February next year, but need some help planning an itinerary.

I had thought about traveling from Bangkok - cambodia - Vietnam - laos - thailand. Then yesterday I spoke to a friend who is currently traveling in the opposite direction around south east asia (clockwise) and he said most people do clockwise and the people that were traveling anti-clockwise said they wished they had traveled the other way.

Is there any reason why people choose to travel clockwise? Like is it easier to cross the borders in that direction perhaps?

Cheers

2. Posted by danalasta (Respected Member 519 posts) 7y

I have travelled both ways - clockwise and anti clockwise through the countries mentioned, and personally find the former approach more satisfying as I was able to get over with the harder part of the journey first ( Laos into Vietnam), and then breeze down to HCMC before crossing into Cambodia and over to Thailand again.

Have fun!.

3. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 7y

Quoting Carly77

Hi I am planning on traveling around south east asia for 10 weeks in February next year, but need some help planning an itinerary.

I had thought about traveling from Bangkok - cambodia - Vietnam - laos - thailand. Then yesterday I spoke to a friend who is currently traveling in the opposite direction around south east asia (clockwise) and he said most people do clockwise and the people that were traveling anti-clockwise said they wished they had traveled the other way.

Is there any reason why people choose to travel clockwise? Like is it easier to cross the borders in that direction perhaps?

Cheers

Most people do it clockwise . I done it the same as you, i had no problems . It was easy enough .
I think people do it the other way around is so they finish in Thailand which has the best beaches and more partys, its prob the most relaxed place to finish your trip .

[ Edit: Edited on 01-Oct-2009, at 03:42 by paul j ]

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

you mean Indochina, not SE Asia.......I'm feeling picky today

5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

Quoting bwiiian

you mean Indochina, not SE Asia.......I'm feeling picky today

Brian,
I did a quick check and wiki defines 'Indochina', from the French word 'indochine', as the countries that were former French colonies. VietNam, Laos, Cambodia. These 3 plus the other countries in this region: east of India, south of China become the all encompassing: Southeast Asia. Since our young Carly is also including Thailand, her use of SEA was correct.

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 7y

My boyfriend and I did it clockwise, mainly so we could do Cambodia towards the end and avoid the hottest part of the year. One reason to do it clockwise would be if you want to get the slowboat from the Thai/Lao border at Chiang Khong/Huay Xai to Luang Prabang as it's obviously more logical to do it downstream than upstream. I don't see any other reason not to do it anti-clockwise, but most people we met seemed to be doing it clockwise too.

7. Posted by Carly77 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all your advice - as for the indochina vs south east asia - potato potatoe... It's still going to be amazing lol.

I think from what i can gather is that it's more sociable going clockwise and obv the slow boat makes more sense going downstream! I've heard mixed reviews of the slow boat - some people have said avoid it at all costs and yet my mate swears it's been one of the highlights of his trip! any views? I've also been advised that if I was going to get an internal flight at all - laos to vietnam is the one to get as the bus is horrendous - is this true?

Really finding this forum useful so thanks again! :):):)

8. Posted by NomadicMe (Budding Member 10 posts) 7y

I was so tired of buses by the time I had the choice of slow boat or not, I choose the boat down stream. I did a bit of research before going, just as you are. Some of the seats on some of the boats are very hard, either buy a cushion or take something to sit on. If you end up being one of the 1st to board some of the seats are like bus seats, though it seemed to only be so on some of the boats. Buy food and drink before boarding, I was in Chang Rai and bought chicken and water for the 1st day.

Finding a place to stay in Huay Xai was easy enough done on the day. All the venders are out before the boat leaves wanting to sell you food for the trip. If you get up early enough you wil catch the monks collecting moring offerings.

Personally, I loved the slow boat, I met people from all over the world to talk to on a variety of subjects, never mind the country side was amazing!

Pics of the 8 weeks in SEA can be found on my blog, link in my profile.

Regarding Laos/Vietnam. I did the bus run from Savannaket to Hue. The boarder was a breeze and we contiunued on the same bus. You may be crossing farther up.

9. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 7y

I loved the slowboat and would definitely recommend it; I thought it was a great experience.

You are right about the internal flight from Laos to Vietnam (Vientiane to Hanoi) as the bus journey is supposed to be a nightmare. We flew that part of the journey with Vietnam Airlines which we booked a few days before in Luang Prabang, and it cost around US$100.

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

Quoting vegasmike6

Quoting bwiiian

you mean Indochina, not SE Asia.......I'm feeling picky today

Brian,
I did a quick check and wiki defines 'Indochina', from the French word 'indochine', as the countries that were former French colonies. VietNam, Laos, Cambodia. These 3 plus the other countries in this region: east of India, south of China become the all encompassing: Southeast Asia. Since our young Carly is also including Thailand, her use of SEA was correct.

I was just expecting from the title that is was about all of SEA, not just 4 countries. But like I said, I was feeling particularly picky!