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help with my SEA itinerary planning

Travel Forums Asia help with my SEA itinerary planning

1. Posted by tamara1973 (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y

I've been reading a lot about SEA travel and I've come up with a list of places I'd like to see in the 1 month I will be travelling back home from Australia next year. However, not knowing a lot about Asia, I'm a bit confused about how to plan my itinerary, especially transportation wise. Since I'll only have 1 month to do all those places and not wanting to be on a plane/train/bus the whole time, I'd like some advice from people who've done this tour. Here is my list.
I'd be flying from either Perth or Darwin to :
1.Bali (indonesia)
2. Singapore
3. Kuala lumpur (malaysia)
4.Phuket/Koh phi phi ...Bangkok/Kanchanaburi(train) Thailand
5. Ho chi minh city (Saigon)Vietnam/ HaLong Bay
6.Hong Kong/Shanghai/Beijing/Shanhaiguan(great wall) (china)
I'm interested in seeing the main attractions in each place, especially nature and cultural areas.

I'd like to fly to St-Peterburg at the end and stay there a couple of days, then fly to Brussels to see a friend a few days and last to Italy for a couple of weeks to see another friend.

What do you think of my itinerary? Is there any place you'd replace or skip. How do you suggest I go from one place to another not to waste time in transport but also to enjoy the scenery?(ex.train rides?)
Also, do you know any good/cheap hostel or guesthouse in any of those places and how about things to see and do? I know it's a lot of questions but any advice will help.
Thank you!!

2. Posted by LaurenLolz (Respected Member 226 posts) 5y

You itin. seems fine ... if it were me, I would spend more time in Japan and less time in China. You should really look into Nikko (and also if you can travel there now that most of the crisis in Japan is minimal to tourism) it's about an hour north or Tokyo and is well known for its lush surroundings and natural hot springs. Also Yokohama (1.5 hours south of Tokyo) has an amazing Chinatown, and the world renowned Ramen Museum .. yes, you eat ramen there. Kamakura (2 hours south of Tokyo) is a really awesome old town with tons of temples you can visit .. and great ceramics and pottery. If you are up to it .. you can go to Kawaguchiko or Fujiyoshiuda and hike up Mt. Fuji!! It's well worth it. Also Kyoto, Nara, Ise are awesome for temples and a more authentic Japan .. other than say Anime and cosplay cafes, like you will find in the Ahkihabra district of Tokyo. Also, side note, Tokyo is the worlds largest city. And Osaka and Kobe are also fun big little cities. This is all located in central Honshu, so pretty easy to get here or there. If trains are running, also look into Keisai Valley in the Nangano perfecture. That is really old, quaint towns along the Nakasendo route (connecting old capital of Kyoto with Tokyo.

Also you can reach the Great Wall from Bejing.

I know you can fly cheaply from Indo to Singapore. From singapore you can take busses and trains, and ferries, to Malaysia (I suggest Langkawi or at least Penang beaches), and Thailand. I am unsure of any land travel between Thailand and China. But if you could get to Hong Kong you can get flights to Japan. There is also a ferry from Shanghai to Fukuoka in Japan, but is FAR from Tokyo, at least 8 hours on the bullet train.

You can find cheap places to stay by googling hostels. But most importantly .. I think you are cramming to much into this itinerary to do in a month. Bali/Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand is sufficient for 4 weeks, 30 days, 1 month .. however you look at it. OR HK/China/Japan in month, but you will find quickly that rail/bus are quite slow, and this WHOLE itinerary will be more towards 3 months, and if you are rushing around... 4-6 months will allow you the most time to proceed at your leisure.

3. Posted by tamara1973 (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y

WOW! Lauren! Thank you so much for this reply! So much information! I will keep all of this in mind and will think about what you suggest. I wish I had more time to visit everything but I will have to pick and chose I guess.

4. Posted by ankitjha (Budding Member 17 posts) 5y

The places you have given are good and awsome. You can go there and enjoy with full energy.
Regarding the stay you will easily get the hostels facility anywhere near beach areas or else near adventurous places.

So it will be a nice and adventurous stay for you.
Hope you will enjoy your stay!!!:)

Ankit Jha

5. Posted by LaurenLolz (Respected Member 226 posts) 5y

Quoting tamara1973

WOW! Lauren! Thank you so much for this reply! So much information! I will keep all of this in mind and will think about what you suggest. I wish I had more time to visit everything but I will have to pick and chose I guess.

HAHA!! :) I hope it all works out for you. It does really suck when you plan such a cool holiday and then realize uh oh! I dunno maybe you could do it in a month, but then I don't think anyone should rush through the destination of their choice. I just recently nixed Malaysia all together because I really wanted to go to Indonesia, and I didn't have the extra few days or so. Good luck to you!

6. Posted by Jerry71 (Inactive 2 posts) 5y

I also think it is a bit much for one month. Don't forget you also need some time to enjoy the places where you go. It's no fun to just go make a picture and move on and discover at the end of your trip that you spent half the time in transport vehicles. I live in Thailand, so know the area pretty good. First of all check the website of Air Asia, they sometimes have really good offers between many of the destinations you want to visit.

I guess you want to see Phuket to go to the beach. I would recommend going to Krabi and especially Rai Leh beach. Absolutely the best beach in Thailand. As you mentioned you wanted to go to Koh Phi Phi, Rai Leh is just 1,5 hour from Phi Phi. There are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Krabi.

In Bangkok I would skip Kanchanaburi, unless you have some special interest in the WW2 history of the bridge, then it is very interesting. As a sight it is not very special. In stead I would try to fit in Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It's a short flight or 6 hours land crossing from Bangkok to Siem Reap the city of Angkor.