I'm going to be doing a bit of traveling through SE Asia/Asia beginning February 2010. I will be flying in to KL thanks to some super cheap fairs through AirAsia. This puts me in a bit of a weird place itinerary wise. I am a solo female traveler and I want to see the following countries: Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, China and Japan depending on finances. I'm on a pretty tight budget, as we all are.
I was wondering if anyone else has done a similar trip and what direction you went in? What countries did you fly to/see overland, etc? What time periods would you recommend for each country, etc.
Any help/suggestions/recommendations etc would be greatly appreciated.
Also, if you're going to be in Asia anytime during Feb - May 2010 and are looking for someone to hang/travel with hit me up via PM and we can see if our itineraries are going to match or something!
Thank you in advance
Do you really intend to visit 9 countries in three months?
I suggest, if you're on a tight budget, you'll stay around Indochina with a visit to the Philippines (cheap flights with AirAsia, 21 day visa for free and a different atmosphere compared with SEA!). This will cut down your costs a lot.
I managed to visit 5 countries in 1 month, but it was a bit rushed.
I agree with Yvekes, you'd be best of sticking to Indochina and save China and Japan for another trip. China is such a huge country it would be a real shame to rush through it and not see it properly. You could easily spend a month in just China and even then not get the most out of it.
I spent 3 weeks in Japan and didn't feel that was enough. There's so much to see!
You could see a decent amount in Vietnam in about 2 weeks, but 3 weeks would allow you to go a little further afield and fit in Sapa. Laos could easily be done in 2 weeks although you might need a bit more if you wanna go further East or visit the south and Cambodia you could probably spend a week there and see the best bits.
Hope that helps!
I also agree. That is too much to do in three months. Yes, you could take brief trips through all those countries and see a whole lot of just a bit. But it would be just a taster in each country and you will be very rushed. And just as important, it was require a huge budget since you will have to take several flights.
3 months is perfect to do a good loop of Southeast Asia. A few years ago I did just that and if you are interested you can find my itinerary here. Follow the white trail to see what I did in exactly 3 month, flying in and our of KL. We saw a lot in that time, though in the end we had to rush through a bit of Thailand to get back to KL. I recommend a month in 3-4 week in both Vietnam and Thailand and the rest of the times split between the rest of the countries.
China and Japan will require a different trip. Unless you just want to hop between a couple major cities, you would need at least 3 weeks to a month to properly enjoy China. Japan needs at least 2 weeks just to see a few of the major highlights. I don't know much about the Philippines, though seeing as how it would require a flight, it would also require more money and time to include it in this trip.
Thanks so much for your advice and suggestions. Sample itinerary is also very helpful.
I guess I should probably leave Japan and China for another trip but I really, really love Japan and it's going to kill me being so close yet so far!
From KL I'm flying to the UAE, so that should be an interesting change of atmosphere.