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Planning a trip alone: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia etc...

Travel Forums Asia Planning a trip alone: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia etc...

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1. Posted by BMoney (Budding Member, 12 posts) 20 Nov '12 21:03

Hi everyone, I just joined these forums today to get a good head start on planning my trip coming up. I'm traveling alone and really have no idea what to expect, few limitations, and zero knowledge so far about what to see and what not to see, where & where not to go etc etc.

Here's what i have so far,
I want to spend about 30 days in Thailand, 15-20 days in Indonesia, then the rest of my 3 month trip will be spread out covering areas like Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Near the end of my trip I want to check out Australia and scuba dive the great barrier reef. I'm thinking 3 days in Cambodia, 3 days Vietnam, 4 in Laos and 5-6 in Malaysia, the rest will be in Australia. This leaves me with a few weeks in between to cover travelling time/issues and the freedom to go places i don't plan ahead for.

I'm 25 years old, currently working a labour job during the week and bartending on weekends. I live in Edmonton, AB Canada.
I'm a very active guy and i enjoy anything exciting. I want to do lots of scuba diving, snorkelling, laying on nice beaches, touring beautiful areas, i'm willing to do some hiking, and basically anything. Seeing famous temples or statues don't exactly excite me. What can you helpers tell me about things i can not afford to miss in these areas?

On my list of things to do are:
Thailand-----Tiger Temples (they were strongly recommended and i love animals), Floating Market, Stay on Khossan Road, Full moon party, Visit the beach from the movie "The Beach"
Indonesia----- i heard has some amazing dive spots so thats a must
Malaysia----- Petronas Towers, Chinatown, Batu Caves, Malaysian Grand Prix @ Circuit De Sepang (March 22-24)
Laos---- No idea, just heard it was a hell of a party there
Tokyo---- Just going to try not to get lost, maybe do some Fast & Furious street racing Lol
Cambodia---- Killing fields i heard was cool/creepy
Vietnam---- No idea i just want to see some stuff
Australia---- Scuba diving and learn to surf.

I will now begin searching the internet (these forums) for all the information i need to know about Visas and entering each country. BUT if you think of something i might not learn by reading some forum pages feel free to drop some info on that for me. thanks!

Any and all of this can change. Nothing is concrete at the moment. So if i met some cool person doing a slightly different trip maybe i would tag along for a week or so, this is a big part of the reason for this post. I'd like to meet a ton of people. I'm all ears. So please please discuss any of this how you wish and i'll be checking replies 2-3x daily.

My flights will likely be booked soon starting February 2nd 2013 i fly Edmonton-Vancouver-Tokyo (3 day lay over to check out Tokyo) - Bangkok
I will probably be coming home at the end of April or first week of May. Same flights, minus the layover in Tokyo.

Thank you all very much!!!!!!!

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Nov-2012, at 21:04 by BMoney ]

2. Posted by MarcoPolo89 (Budding Member, 80 posts) 21 Nov '12 02:59

Hey man - I land in Bangkok on hopefully the 5th of Feb and have been doing lots for research into all the places. The general idea of your rough plan is better than what a lot most people even bother to do BUT you will most likely find the time you have allocated to countries isn't enough. Especially, 3 days in Vietnam will be nowhere near enough - it has so much to offer, as the same with the rest which are short stays. I'd recommend either cutting out a couple of the countries or staying longer to see all there is to experience.
My sister went last year and loved Laos so much that she stayed twice as long as she intended. Also check out the Thai Islands, such as Ko Phi Phi and Ko Tao, as well as both Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi in Vietnam.
Ollie

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Nov-2012, at 03:02 by Olliwog44 ]

3. Posted by BMoney (Budding Member, 12 posts) 24 Nov '12 13:16

That's awesome man thank you. I'll definitely add those islands to the itinerary of things to do.

As far as the time frames go, I'm sure you're right. Problem is, I know so little about countries like Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia that I figured I'd give them a couple days just to cruise through. I know I want to see the killing fields but no idea what else so I figured I'd spend a day there and the rest I would see on my way into or out of the country. Hence, why I'm asking for more ideas :)

Again remember I said any or all of this stuff could change. Who knows, maybe I will love Indonesia so much I don't go anywhere else afterwards!

Any thoughts of places to go to or things to see in Cambodia? Laos?
I know nothing about those countries I just simply added them to my rough draft itinerary because they're all near by and I'm curious to see what they can offer.
Thanks

-Brian

4. Posted by MarcoPolo89 (Budding Member, 80 posts) 26 Nov '12 01:56

Well the main attraction in Cambodia, and arguably SE Asia, is Angkor Wat - a large area of ancient temples and remains of buildings, but as you said before, that isn't your thing. The main places people seem to go are Siem Reap (killing fields and Angkor Wat), Phnom Penh (the capital) and Sihanoukville (seaside town) so I'd recommend looking on something like wiki travel or whatever and seeing if anything interests you.
In terms of Laos, a lot of people go for the culture(which can and usually involves a lot of drinking) or the pretty amazing scenery. In Vang Vieng the popular thing to do is tubing down the Mekong River but that's become a bit dangerous so the Government has started to crackdown on it. Luang Prabang and Vientiane are worth a look into for there. Lao people are apparently some of the friendliest in the World, or so I've heard. Either way Laos and Cambodia are VERY inexpensive so wont hit your budget much.
Don't know where you're planning to go in Indonesia or Malaysia but check out Pulau Tioman and Bali - they are always in people's top 10 (in the world) most beautiful beaches.
Ollie

5. Posted by BMoney (Budding Member, 12 posts) 29 Nov '12 15:28

Ollie, you're the best.

So i've spent the last two days doing tons of searching on wiki travel (awesome site!! thanks) and i've come up with new inputs...

Thailand is still going to be roughly Feb 5-March 6.
Then I'll likely leave thailand by making my way back to bangkok to then grab a bus to Phnom Penh.
Once in Phnom Penh (2 days there max) i will do cooking classes, massages, and maybe check out the market then i'm off to Sihanoukville where i will be checking out the beaches, scuba diving, and relaxing for 4 days max.
Then I'll head to Vietnam just to see Mekong Delta and do some floating village/market adventures.
Then i'll bus back to Phnom Penh so i can catch a bus to SIem Reap to meet my Dad and go to Angkor Wat for a couple days. He really wants to see it and i'm making him meet me for the Malaysian GP so i'm compromising and going to Angkor Wats for him. :D
From there we will take whichever route necessary to have us in Malaysia by March 18th. We will see the Petronas towers and Chinatown there etc etc then head to Sepang to watch the Formula 1 Grand Prix March 22-24.
After that I will head to Indonesia to play out the majority of my remaining trip.
Maybe with the last 10 days i will go to australia to get some scuba diving in.

That being said, I still have to figure out what i want to see & do in Thailand and Indo.
but at least right now i've got the short stuff planned out for Cambodia/Vietnam when i will be trying to make the best of my time.

As of right now, i may cut Laos out of the trip completely. But i'll start looking up stuff about Laos now in case there is something major i'd want to see....but i doubt that will change, it seems a bit out of the way and i dont want to spend half my trip on shitty bus rides.

Thoughts?

6. Posted by BMoney (Budding Member, 12 posts) 29 Nov '12 15:31

Oh and when i go to Vietnam it will be by bus to Can Tho, then i will take a Mekong Delta tour which hopefully will only take 2 days and get me back to Phnom Penh

7. Posted by MarcoPolo89 (Budding Member, 80 posts) 29 Nov '12 16:09

That's starting to sound a lot better mate. Just wondering, have you looked into Visas yet? You can get them as you enter, for Laos and Cambodia, but in Vietnam you must get one in advance before you leave - it is also possible to get one in neighbouring countries but it can take up to a week. I believe the 3 cost around £20-£30 each so could be a hit on your budget for just a couple of days, but that's up to you!
In terms of transport - sometimes flights can be the same price as a long bus trip but only in certain occasions. I'd say have a quick look into that just incase. AirAsia can be good sometimes. Getting to Malaysia is pretty easy by train too from somewhere like Bangkok. Check this site out, i found it really helpful.
http://www.seat61.com/Map-southeast-asia-train-routes.htm
With Thailand, the North is mostly historical sights such as Ayutthaya and Sukhothai - Chiang Mai might take your fancy but that has a lot of temples and the similar things. I'd recommend, for what you're after, to focus on Southern Thailand :)
Ollie

8. Posted by BMoney (Budding Member, 12 posts) 29 Nov '12 16:41

Beatuy!

I'll check out that website and look into the visas over the next couple days. I'm booking my flights tomorrow.
I won't worry about getting visas for anywhere in advance except for Australia and Vietnam. and i don't mind paying $30 for a visa even if i'm only doing a 2 day trip there. because if i'm willing to travel to the country it would be for a reason well worth $30.

Any suggestion on how to book a tour in the mekong delta? I want to do a 2 day tour so that i'm heading back to Phnom Penh by the second days sunset. But i don't want to spend a bunch of money. the first ones i found only were $300+ per pax (which im guessing means per person they have along for the ride)

9. Posted by laurengold87 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 30 Nov '12 05:07

Hiya!

Very jealous of your trip! I did a similar one 2 years ago - thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, (all in 4 months) then over to Australia for a year.

Malaysia
Cameron Highlands for trekking and seeing tribes
Perhentian Islands for snorkelling/diving and pristine waters and beaches
Penang for amazing food

Indonesia
Gilli Islands for amazing snorkelling/diving (Gilli Trawangan for partying, Gili Air for Chilling out)
You will need a day to get there via ferry or 2 hours via speedboat. TOTALLY worth it. For the ultimate village/island experience head to Sasak Homestay on Gilli air- wonderful woman with a warm heart, staying in the heart of the island is so much better and less touristy that staying on the beach front.

Java- Climb mount Bromo. If you're adventurous and fancy a challenge that is! We climbed it 2am to catch the sunrise over the craters, WOW.

Laos - Luang Prabang is ultimate for food. Go zip lining somewhere in Laos if you can

Vietnam, i'm heading there TODAY! Didn't get there last time.

Thailand - Chiang Mai - stay at Julie's Guesthouse. really good vibe up there, moped around if you can. Get trains around Thailand they're way better than the buses.

Let me know if you need any more tips!

10. Posted by diantristyanti (Budding Member, 3 posts) 1 Dec '12 09:52

Indonesia....
- Bali Island(Temples, beaches, lake, mountain area, bars, nightlife, terrace rice fields, culture, bungee jumping, etc etc...

-Lombok Island (where Gili is located)

-Mount Bromo (Java Island)....volcano mountain famous with beautiful sunrise..

-Borobudur Temple (Java Island)

Diving, try...Bunaken in North Sulawesi...

Have Fun!
Dian ;)