So, I think I'm close to deciding where to go on my 60 day trip begining 21/07/12.
First off is fly to Beijing for an 8 day China Express tour by G Aventures.
Then fly to Bangkok for a 28 day tour Roam Bangkok to Bali.
Then this is where I'm struggling. I wish to spend from 26/08/12- 29/08/12 in Bali just relaxing on the beach for a few days.
Then afterwards I wish to visit Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos from 29/08/12 and return to the UK 17/09/12. But I am unsure of how long to spend in each place and logisitically, how to travel from each Country.
I'm not even sure on what to visit in each country. I would like to visit Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Laos I'd like to visit Luang Prabang and Nam Ha. Then Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Halong Bay.
Am I missing anythign important?
Any help would be great please, I am so new to travelling like this and really need some guidance.
Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos are great choices to fill in your gap at the end. It's a big region, and you only have 20 days left, so you will definitely have to be choosy. If you go with a tour option for this section as well, you can do quiet a bit of Cambodia and Vietnam. (I briefly checked g adventures and they do have tours perfect for your time frame). If you choose to go on your own, which I recommend, you'll have to limit where you go.
Here's the highlights of the region that I enjoyed, and that are popular with most travelers.
Vang Vieng - very relaxed quiet town when I was there 9 years ago, but has since turned into a backpacker party town.
Luang Prabang - Beautiful little town full of historical temples, jungles, and waterfalls.
Angkor - For any history buff, or even just those who like old things, this is THE highlight of South-East Asia. It is a historical site equivalent in importance and graduer to the pyramids or Taj Mahal or the Roman Colosseum, and should not be missed. For the majority of travelers, it is the one and only reason that they come to Cambodia.
Phnom Penh - A nice city thats always growing and changing. It's an important stop in Cambodia because of it's historical sights related to the Khmer Rouge in the 1970's.
Sihanoukville - Not a bad beach area. I liked it because it was much quieter than many of the beaches in Thailand, but I don't think the scenery compares. You may not think it's that exciting after Bali.
Mekong Delta - Lovely area where life revolves around the river. Definitely something to see.
HCMC - Great city. Lots of energy and plenty of great sights
Dalat - Relaxed town in the mountains where you can do some hikes and biking.
Mui Ne - I've never been, but its an increasingly popular beach area with a relaxed atmosphere.
Nha Trang - Great beach resort area if you want a bit more action.
Hue - Nice city famous for it's ancient temples.
Hoi An - not to be missed in Vietnam. Lovely old historical town well preserved. It's also famous for it's tailors and has some beautiful beaches a bike ride away.
Hanoi - For me it's the highlight of Vietnam, and one of my favorite cities in the world. I personally think its a more interesting city than HCMC.
Halong Bay - Beautiful area, can't miss it
Sapa - Mountain area on the border with China. It's famous for its minority groups who live there. You can go hiking amongst the rice fields and visit minority villages. Definitely a highlight of the country, if not the whole region.
I plan to travel to Indonesia this summer (in August) to visit my friends as well, maybe exact the time you chose. So maybe we can meet in Bali and have a nice time together.
China is a good choice, but 8 days, this would be a bit too much, at least for me. From China you can fly directly to Ha Noi (Vietnam), spend about 1,5 day for each city, this would be enough. Places you should visit include Ha Noi, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat and HCM city. Sapa and Ha Long, they are places which are too beautiful to limit the time for your visit. Whenever I go there, I have to make sure that I stay at least 3 days, in your situation, it is just not suitable because you want to visit too many places at one time.
After that you can travel to Cambodia, Angkor is a must (I love this place), Phom Penh and Siem Reap. Thats all for Cambodia. I would not recommend Laos, I myself do not find any must seeing there.
After Cambodia, you travel by car to Thailand. For Thailand, I would suggest to spend about 6 days, Bangkok, Pattaya and Phu Ket. After this you can take a flight from Phu Ket to Indonesia, Bali and finish you tour there.
If you need detailed information or further help, just send me a message.
Wish you a nice holiday.
Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos are great choices....
Thanks Degolasse, great post. Helped me a lot