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1. Posted by heatherlang88 (Budding Member 16 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hello everyone :)
Im just looking for abit of advice.
My friend and I want to do a trip to Vietnam Cambodia and the Phillipines. We don’t know how long for as we are going to see how much money we can save, however how long would be surfice to spend in each place ?
We want to be away for Christmas and new year, where would be the best place to be around this time ? Would the full moon party in Thailand be the best option ? We want to be around lots of backpackers for Xmas !
Has anyone done done this itintery before ? What’s the best route ? Any other places worth the visit, we are open to anything realy!
Any tips and advice would be much appreciated !

Heather :)

2. Posted by UliS (Respected Member 104 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

For the full moon party in Ko Phangan you should make the booking for your accomodation right now (weather can be quite wet at this time).
Lots of backpackers for Xmas you will find also in Bangkok, Krabi and Ho Chi Minh.
If you don`t want a fixed return flight, Norwegian, Eurowings and Scoot have reasonable oneway tickets to Bangkok, Krabi and Singapore (Scoot), Cebupacific from Dubai to Manila. All of them with limited luggage and food only if you pay. They might also ask for a ticket out (for instance Bangkok to Phnom Penh or Singapore to Manila with AirAsia, Scoot, Cebupacific or other lowcost airlines, train or bus tickets are not sufficient). Changing of return tickets is with most airlines quite expensive, and sometimes not possible (particulare if you haven't bought it directly from the airline). Forked tickets (flying to Bangkok, returning from Manila for instance) is possible with some airlines (Turkish for instance).
How long depends on your interests.

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2098 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

How long do you think you will be overseas in total? In excess of a month? You can't just show up in some of these countries and hang around a long as you want without proper documentation. Usually you can't work on the side legally, although some "European women" do rent their bodies to Asian - Southeast Asian tourists for spending money when desperate. But they tell friends and relatives they were waiting tables in bars! (Working in a beer gives the worker about 400-600 baht a day, not enough for decent hotel room and food.)

Some countries on your list requires a flight out of the country within 30 days if you intend to enter free. This is called Proof Of Onward Travel. POOT. Thailand and the Philippines have asked for POOT from me. The enforcement can be at the departure airport.
https://thailand971.wordpress.com/

Christmas and New Years holiday period is high season for some of these places. This means higher hotel room prices and with more bookings, in particular Thailand. For the Philippines the Christmas season has religious significance with many overseas Filipino workers returning home for the holidays. More tourists and overseas workers needing hotel rooms.

Looking at a map Philippines requires a flight. This is an added expense. If you fly on one way flights to Thailand - or the first country you think of - that flight could end up more expensive than using round trip flights to a major capital city and using cheaper connecting flights to get you back for the flight home. For any flight you come up with do the math and compare a round trip flight with a known airline vs some cheap offers. (I do not mix airline companies. Same airline from my country to Asia and return. If something goes wrong with their flights they take care of you and not leave you high and dry in some midway country!)

Suggestion. Have a definite amount of time in mind. (Maybe skip the Philippines for another time.) With a definite amount of time you could book (for example) round trip to Bangkok. From Thailand you could visit Cambodia and Vietnam. Then return to Thailand for the flight back home.

Only you know how much time you have available or more important - how much money you have to begin with! You can always return again to this part of the world when you have more money.

You have to look at your savings and see how much per day you have left after paying for your flights. There are some tourists visiting who stay in crappy places to save money. They also eat from dodgy places because the food is cheap. Some tourists, after looking at some old movies, think they can live out in the bushes for free.

If you mean this Christmas season get hot on booking flights and researching hotel rooms. But look into the visa requirements for each country you intend to visit. Different countries means different visa requirements. Look into this!

4. Posted by dinhoecotour (Budding Member 35 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Fly into Cambodia- Vietnam- fly out of Philippine!
Do some research on Travelfish for which places at each country appeal to you.

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 451 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

You can have fun in any country in South East Asia over Christmas.
There will be backpackers in all the major cities and most of the smaller ones as it's high season.
So it comes down to cost and personal preference.
If you want a beach based Xmas break then any of the Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian and Philippine Islands can be fun, but the mainland (as much as Luzon can be considered a mainland) of all of those plus Cambodia and Vietnam have some awesome beaches.
I'd suggest Philippines and Indonesia could be more difficult to travel in for females but I also know a few that haven't had any issues in either country, but did in Cambodia... So there's a certain amount of luck involved .
Thailand is the easiest country In the region for travellers, however as it's high season then, you should research your accommodation there now. There are loads of hostels and cheap guest houses but the ones on the lively 'preferred' areas can be rammed over xmas. If you aren't fussy on location then it is less of a problem.
Malaysia has some great places but again accommodation can become a problem in a few places. I've a few expat friends in Singapore that always spend Xmas on a Malaysian Island, and they aren't the only ones. So a similar problem to Thailand but on a smaller less busy scale.
I can't comment on Cambodia at that time (haven't been there then myself and don't know anyone well that has).
A mate had a great Xmas in NhaTrang and there's always a backpacking community in Saigon & Hanoi.
IMO you could easily spend a busy month (or more) in any one of the countries mentioned (maybe a bit less in Cambodia unless you're a beach fan).

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Oct-2018, at 04:58 by Andrew Mack ]

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2098 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

It comes down to money and time available.

Looking at your profile shows that you have been to Ko Samui, Thailand, Vietnam and Bali before. So you should have a better idea of what to expect than just a first time newbie.

With a lot of money you can do more! You will find lots of other tourists around no matter where you head for. But for some places you will be paying more for hotels and guest houses than previous visits during low season.

(When it is cold in North America and Europe you get more tourists heading for warm countries.)

Up to you.

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