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Planning a trip to South East Asia and have some questions

Travel Forums Asia Planning a trip to South East Asia and have some questions

1. Posted by Solius (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 8 Mar '13 01:09

I've recently decided to quit my job and go travelling in SEA. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on things like the best places to go, where to avoid, etc.. and just general tips on travelling as this is the first time I'll be doing something like this so I've no idea where to start planning.

A few questions I have off the top of my head:

I'm thinking I just get a one way ticket out to somewhere and then just go from hostel to hostel from there? Is that how it works?

How much money would I need to spend for about 5 or 6 months out there? I'm thinking of going to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. At the moment I have £2k saved up, and know I will need more.

When is the best time to go? I really want to go as soon as I can but have read about monsoon season. What exactly happens then and is it just isolated to certain places? I was thinking of going in June/July til late November, early December time.

Thanks!

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3490 posts) 8 Mar '13 10:31

Quoting Solius

I've recently decided to quit my job and go travelling in SEA. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on things like the best places to go, where to avoid, etc.. and just general tips on travelling as this is the first time I'll be doing something like this so I've no idea where to start planning.

Plenty of good info right here on TP. Look at the travel guides for your countries. Start reading travel blogs on SEA. E-mail the writers you like and ask them about their trip. Everyone wants to share their expertise once they are home. Get over to your library and check out the books on SEA countries. That should give you an idea on what you want to see/do, stay, transport, prices, etc.

A few questions I have off the top of my head:
I'm thinking I just get a one way ticket out to somewhere and then just go from hostel to hostel from there? Is that how it works?

I would look into an open return ticket. A one way ticket might not save as much as you think. Compare. Some countries want a R/T ticket or proof of onward travel. Talk to a travel shop about this. There are not that many hostels in SEA compared to Europe. Rooms can be cheap enough that you don't need a hostel.

How much money would I need to spend for about 5 or 6 months out there? I'm thinking of going to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. At the moment I have £2k saved up, and know I will need more.

Figure $1K USD/month minimum.

When is the best time to go? I really want to go as soon as I can but have read about monsoon season. What exactly happens then and is it just isolated to certain places? I was thinking of going in June/July til late November, early December time.

The advantage of rainy season (June-Oct) is lower prices for rooms. Not as many visitors. The downside is that rain most days can get depressing. Best weather months for most of SEA are Nov-March. But higher prices as well. You decide what is best for you.

Thanks!

3. Posted by cindyelizavaz (Budding Member, 6 posts) 11 Mar '13 18:15

Hi Solius,

I do not think you need $1K minimum per month. In my honest, that's a lot of money. If you are looking at long term travels, I would assume you would be open to homestays or Couchsurfing. These will help you loads in saving a lot of money from accommodation.

When you are in SEA, flying around is also made much easier and cheaper too. Check our Airasia.com for really cheap airfares (especially during their sale and every Friday specials. They can be as cheap as $13 to certain locations).

Best of luck.

Cindy

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1934 posts) 12 Mar '13 06:44

As far as weather is concerned, since you're going for this extended period, you'll see a little of everything since there are many climate zones involved. I would be more worried about the heat myself, but you might be different? Even in monsoon season, it doesn't rain constantly, and don't forget that with global warming, everything is more or less in a state of change. I was in Laos last November (supposed to be the dry season), but that rain was coming down pretty hard in Luang Prabang at night.

Travelfish.org is a great place to do research about SEA - research is especially important for Vietnam, in my opinion. Vietnam is quite a bit different from the other countries you plan to see - actually, it's my favorite, but not everyone agrees with me. You need to know some of the problems you might encounter as well as the high points.

One thing to remember is that Thailand and Indochina are not quite as small as they appear on those little maps, and since transport can be slow, you are taking on quite a trip here!