I've only know 1 person of the many that i've talked to .. that actually had an enjoyable experience in India and wanted to go back. Then again .. she also went to Nepal.
Stay in SEA ... I would also suggest Malaysia, and Singapore (if you have the dough, bc it is pricier than the rest of the countries).
I've travelled in S.E.A for 13 months over 2 years and I would totally recommend Sumatra and the Gili Islands in Indonesia along with the whole of Laos amongst the best.
- #Indonesia: So many things to do suchas seeing Orang utans in the jungle,climbing volcanoes,crater filled lakes,treks,diving,surfing,Borododur, etc...
- #Gili Islands: TOTAL PARADISE, snorkelling with turtles and tropical fish,amazing beaches, no motorised vehicles,3 islands to choose from (some quieter than the others),AMAZING food, amazing diving and a bit of an adventure to get there too if you don't get the expensive fast boat! Don't tell anyone about this place!
- #Laos: We did the slow boat (2 nights & 3 days)from Chang mai, a fantastic journey down the Mekong with loads of other travellers. -Luang Prabang is a lovely town and the Kuang Si Waterfall is spectacular, worth a a whole days visit. - Vang Vien was great for kayaking and even better if you need to party for a night or 2 but wouldn't stay there too long!. -One of our most amazing experiences ever was the 'Kong Lor' Loop, where you hire a motorbike and do a loop of numerous villages over a few days to visit a 7.5 km cave in a long boat.Fantastic.- Then finish off after Vientiane with the 4000 islands to chill out for a while. Lots to do and loads of fun.
All these places are also great to meet people backpacking.
Lots of adventure to be had. Good luck!
Do you not want to consider visiting Sri Lanka, during your travels. Sri Lanka is a miracle by itself that just can't be described. Hope you do consider it. Cheers