Tours Excursions And Weather

Travel Forums Asia Tours Excursions And Weather

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1. Posted by philymc (Budding Member 10 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Me and my girlfriend are looking to visit asia in february of next year (2007)

We are looking to visit three countries and have set aside 6 weeks from the middle of february to go.

We wish to join a tour group for about three weeks visiting three countries and then the remainder of the six weeks we wish to relax in southern thailand island hopping and lounging around generally doing nothing beofer we travel back to the UK for our hectic life to carry on.

The countries we have in mind are as follows but i suppose we are willing to deviate from this if it takes our fancy.

Thailand
Cambodia
Vietnam
Laos
Borneo
Malaysia

These are the countries we have in mind at present, we are on a budget so cost effectiveness is a priority. But we also want to take in the full country.

Can anyone give me any advice on where to start planing our trip. Are there any tours that encompass these countries (three of them) thaty are not to hard on the wallet.
I would be greatful of any advice on this matter.

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 824 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Phillip,
From your profile it look like you were planning a big solo jaunt a couple years ago. Did you even get to go on that?
Well, assuming that you hadn't and this is your first time in Asia...

First thing I would suggest is to forget the tour. I've never actually met anyone who's been on a tour in Asia, so I can't say anything specifically negative about them, however, the benifits of travelling solo just seem to overule.
Though you may not believe it until you get there, and you may be nervous about it all, but I can assure you that Southeast Asia is very easy to travel in solo. Transportation is very easy to find - most of the time you can book a bus to your next destination from your hotel and they'll often pick you up right at your hotel. If you want a little more adventure you can book your tickets on your own at bus and train stations and even that presents little challenge. Food is easy to find. If you aren't keen on heading to local spots where everything is in a foreign language, then there are still countless options. Every single town in Southeast Asia that you will probably go to will also have thousands and thousands of travellers and therefore there are restarants to cater to them. Everything is written in English so you know what to order, and you can even get burgers and fries if that's what you are comfortable with. For accomidation, the choices are endless at every budget and comofort level.
It's all really that easy, and so if you are thinking of a tour because you are nervous about travelling in Asia, seriously, you'll be fine doing it independant.

Point #2 for going independant is money. There may be some cheap tours out there, I don't know, I can't find them. But everyone that I've been able to find online quotes prices that just seem ridiculous to me. They are all in the 30 pounds/day per person range for a week or so tour. If you were to do Southeast Asia on your own, you can safely budget 20 pounds a day for both of you together. Compare that with 60 pounds and we are taking spending three times more for a tour. If you can afford to spend 60, you will get much much more for your money if you are on your own. You can stay in nice hotels, eat and drink all you want, and take home suitcases full of souvenirs.
While you are in Asia, there are countless local tours to take - trekking, cultural village tours, jungle tours, city tours etc.. They are cheaper if booked when you arrive, and they are usually only a couple days long. This way, you don't get stuck for three weeks on an expensive tour that you may not like. In just about every town you go to, I'm sure there is some tour offered where you can be led around to see the sites if you choose. They are often excellent value.

As far as where to go in 6 weeks, I would recomend Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia. In that amound of time you can't really see much more I don't think. My first trip to the region was for 6 weeks and this is what I seen. You could start by heading up North to Chaing Mai and do some trekking and village tours. Then head back to Bangkok and into Cambodia to see Angkor for a few days. Then head South to the beaches and into Malayasia, doing a week or two tour of Malaysia. On the way back up you can stop at some different beaches for some more relaxing. Once back in Bangkok, you can fly out, or if you have time, take some side trips to Kanchanaburi and Ayathaya.
An alternative if you didn't want to go to Malayasia or Cambodia is to head into Laos via Chaing Mai, going down the Mekong to Luang Prabang and unto Vientianne before heading back to Bangkok.

Whatever way you choose, if you go independant, there are endless opportunities, and it's all very easy. Grab a Lonely Planet travel guide and it'll give you all the practicalities and what's good to see.