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Best way to travel round Southeast Asia?

Travel Forums Asia Best way to travel round Southeast Asia?

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1. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 2y

hello guys

i want to travel around southeast asia on part of my round the world trip.
i am going to go from china over to vietnam to hanoi and then travel down vietnam before crossing the border up to Cambodia and then to Laos then into Thailand then down to malaysia before going to Australia from Singapore.

i just wanted some advice on how to travel from country to country? should i fly? should i catch coaches/trains?
what is the budget needed for this area?
i will probably be in Vietnam for a month or so, Cambodia the same, Laos about 2 weeks then 3 months in Thailand before around a week or two in Malaysia.

Any help would be really grateful. thank you :)

also.. i will be leaving China around mid November.. is this a good time to go or not really?

i want to visit india as well. should i go from china then go back on myself?

help please

thanks :)

Tilly

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2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1946 posts) 2y

Mid Nov is very good - I'm coming myself then. For Vietnam, air travel is really the best in my opinion - VN roads are really places you want to avoid (wait till you see how they drive there!!!)

You have your choice of 4 domestic carriers in VN: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Airlines (new), Air Mekong (new) and Jetstar Pacific (not the best)

You might want an extra week in VN and steal the week from Cambodia - mucho to see/experience in VN

suggest you learn the current scams in the area (taxis are not the best, and forget about buses!)

Coffee is awesome (order a Ca Fe Sua Da - iced!)

3. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member 860 posts) 2y

No need to forget about buses as Daawgon says. He is old and seems to have lost his sense of any adventure. Ive traveled around Vietnam by bus, as have thousands of others and they are generally a good experience.

You can take a train from China into Vietnam.

For a 3 month stay in Thailand you will need to apply for a tourist visa.

For India you might want to look into Air Asia flights from Kuala Lumpur, I got a flight one time for $50

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 2y

Natalie,
Like Dodger said, Nov-March is the best time to visit SEA, at least weather wise. It is high season, so prices will be a bit higher and a bit harder to find a the room you want in your price range.

Expenses:
I see you are young and probably happier than I would be in low priced rooms. You should be able to get by on $40/day in most places. Figure $1-1.2K/month. This will not include your flights. Just room, food, tours, local transport. There are fan rooms, hostels in many of your cities for $15 or less. Eat with the locals, backpacker places and you should be under $10/day. No booze in this budget either!

Transport:
Cheapest way to get around most of the time are the buses. The open tour bus system will get you from HAN to HCMC for about $60. Or less. At least 4 companies run their buses between HAN-HCMC. As stated, the roads in VN are dangerous, many accidents. I have been lucky. From HCMC to HaNoi and back, HaNoi to HCMC another trip, and HCMC to Nha Trang and back, no accidents. Open tour is cheap, flexible. The train in VN is much safer, more expensive, must book a few days in advance. Decide what is best for you.

Visas:
My blog covers my experience using the VN visa on arrival system. It is cheaper than buying a VN visa in the UK. But only good for those flying into VN. You will need to buy your VN visa while in China. Allow a few days. They charge more for fast service. I took the bus from HCMC to Phnom Penh years ago. Many companies to choose from. Most are in the De Tham St. area of HCM. Figure $15, they will get your Cambodia visa for you. They charge $5 for this service. Or decline and do it yourself when you hit the Moc Bai border, $20. For 3 months in Thailand, you will need to buy your visa in the UK or head over to the Thai Embassy while in PP. Laos will sell you a 30 day visa at the border. You might check with the UK India Embassy before your trip on buying it there vs waiting until Malaysia.

India:
Air Asia has cheap flights from BKK & KUL. Since you are going to Malaysia, I would buy my ticket out of KUL as soon as you can pick a departure date.

I have heaps of photos in my gallery that may help with your planning. Good luck.

5. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 2y

hello everyone

thanks for the hlepful advice

so you think i should travel round in a circle essentially and then go back on myself via air to India.

when i leave india would i need to go back to singapore to catch the connecting flight to Australia?

is it quite easy to get rooms or should i book a little in advance?

also.. i will probably get the visas for everywhere before i go.

this sounds a bit stupid but can i get decent prescriptions out there?

i have asthma and am hoping to bring enough supply with me but i would like to know that i can access a chemist or something if i have to :)

thanks again guys,

Tilly

oh, and, does that £1k a month roughly include all of southeast asian countries? if i go for 3 or 4 months are we literally talking 3 or 4 grand?

x

6. Posted by Steve79 (Respected Member 327 posts) 2y

Hi Tilly

I think Mike was talking in dollars not pounds. I am from England (actually I am also from Kent!), and I would say around £600 to £700 a month in Asia, and that would be staying in private rooms, eating out every day etc.

I never booked any rooms in advance in South-East Asia, always just turned up and got a room.

Enjoy it - it really is a fantastic part of the world, I have plans to go back!

Steve

7. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 2y

Heyy Steve,

oh yeah sorry! as i was reading his post i was thinking, remember he is talking about dollars here and then i just forgot as i wrote my reply. thanks for setting me straight haha.

oh ok that sounds like a good budget then definately, especially as i am not really bothered about private rooms and eating out all the time.

whereabouts are you from in Kent?

ah cool, when are you going back out there?

i cant wait. i am not going until the end of 2014 due to the fact that i am going on a round the world trip and going places before and after..

again thanks for the helpful reply,

Tilly

8. Posted by Steve79 (Respected Member 327 posts) 2y

I am from Tonbridge, whereabouts are you from?

I am thinking of trying to get there at some point in 2014, I'd like to do a TEFL qualification and live and teach out there.

9. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member 860 posts) 2y

Quoting natalie1989

hello everyone

thanks for the hlepful advice

so you think i should travel round in a circle essentially and then go back on myself via air to India.
yup that sounds like a good way, since as we said the flights to and from India and back to SEA are pretty cheap

when i leave india would i need to go back to singapore to catch the connecting flight to Australia?
Singapore, bangkok, or K/L will work, all have good connections with India and Australia

is it quite easy to get rooms or should i book a little in advance?
If i don't know a place Im going to i will sometimes book one night, so at least I don't have to worry about it, but you will always get a better deal and find a better place if you just arrive and shop around for accommodation.

also.. i will probably get the visas for everywhere before i go.
just be aware that the Indian visa starts as soon as it is approved.

this sounds a bit stupid but can i get decent prescriptions out there?
Most of the things you need prescriptions for in the west, you can get over the counter in SEA and india and much cheaper. The pharmacists are really good and often better than any western doctor!

i have asthma and am hoping to bring enough supply with me but i would like to know that i can access a chemist or something if i have to :)

thanks again guys,

Tilly

oh, and, does that £1k a month roughly include all of southeast asian countries? if i go for 3 or 4 months are we literally talking 3 or 4 grand?x

10. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 2y

Hey Steve

im from beckenham/bromley

yeah i was looking into TEFL courses a few months ago but they are really expensive. i would love to teach english out there it would be in amazing. and india too.. although i have heard that apparently some schools will let you just teach even if u dont hae a TEFL qualification.. although obviously it will be better if you did have it probably..

Tilly

x