I'm planning a trip to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam (may include Cambodia if time and budget allows).
I am only available after late April so am planning to set off in May 2010. I'll be backpacking and on a really tight budget. Will spend 3 or 4 days in a country, probably.
Qn 1: Is it really a bad time to travel to these region in May? I read that it can get very hot.
Qn 2: How safe is it for female travellers in Laos? I have read that Asian female may get some unwanted attention.
Qn 3: Anyone interested to be my travel companion? I've never done backpacking and would love to travel with someone more experienced. We won't have to stay together throughout.
Qn 4: How much should I budget for the trip? I'm fine with very basic meals and accomodation and transport so long as it's relatively clean. Should i bring along US dollars and change it into local currency when I arrived?
Would appreciate any other advices.
I travelled on my own in Laos and never had any problems as a solo female, I don't know why it should be different for an asian female. Actually, I thought Laos was one of the friendliest and easiest countries to travel in the region and I'd definitely recommend staying longer than 4 days. I travelled there for a little more than two weeks and could have easily spend more time there. My budget was $ 500 for the whole time, however this included a $ 100 dollar flight to Vietnam. Thailand and Vietnam are a little more expensive, still you can get by with $ 25 dollars a day.
Lastly, spending 3 to 4 days in each of these countries is way too short from my experience, have you thought of just visiting one country, but being able to explore it a little more? If you need any more advice on that let me know, I'm happy to help.
Don't know how recently Steff has been in the area, but I think $25. is a bit low. I would put the minimum figure for Indochina at $40. a day, and Thailand at $60. I travel Flashpacker style and usually spend about $50. a day in Vietnam. Yes, it will be a tad warm, but I'm really surprised that a Singaporean would be concerned about heat? Perhaps Singapore is 100% air-conditioned?
Hi Steff / Daawgon,
Thanks so much for the advice.
On hindsight, I really should planned for a longer period in each country.
My concern with travelling alone is that 1) I am petite and look rather young so am concern about being harrassed. But I guess Steff is right, Asian are generally very friendly and I should be getting a lot of help from strangers.
2) Singapore is a very small, cosmopolitan country. Everywhere is accessible by public transport (usually aircondidtioned too). Very shady too with lots of trees along the road sides. And when it gets really hot, a cooler place is always nearby.
I guess we are a little too comfortable in our small country.
I am concerned mainly with Thailand because I have been there in mid june before and the heat was terrible. But then I'll be spending time mostly in the north so I suppose it will be cooler.
3) Budget-wise I think I will set aside more, just in case.
Asian female travelling alone so be fine. I've seen many Japanese or Korean ladies travelling alone around Thailand and they are doing fine and enjoying it. But prepare a pepper spray just incase.