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Final SE Asia Questions - opinions/expert advice encouraged!

Travel Forums Asia Final SE Asia Questions - opinions/expert advice encouraged!

1. Posted by jandjinnz (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


We are planning a trip to SE Asia in July. We've already sorted our destinations and the major flights we should take into/out of the area. I have even found best course of transport/cheapest in most cases I think.

(Just for an FYI, destinations as follows)
Phonm Penh
Siem Reap
Luang Prabang
Chiang Mia
Kuala Lumpur

There is one definite transport question I'm still looking to answer:
1. Best way to Kuala Lumpur to Penang? I have found flights, but somebody also mentioned there are buses - if so, approximately how much do they cost, how long would they take?

Otherwise, the last issue I'm trying to resolve is the issue of freedom to do what we feel while there. :)

Now that I've found these flights between places through various airlines (AirAsia, Lao Airlines, JetStar) is it difficult to secure them? Do I need to plan/book the entire itinerary of the trip NOW, or are flights/buses cheap enough/constant enough that I would be able to just book my entry into the area (starting in Phonm Penh, Cambodia) and my departure out (Singapore to London) about a month later?

Our hope would be to make it up a bit while there, being if we only want to spend 2 days in one place and 5 days in another it won't cost us a hassle, arm and leg to make it to the next place without pre-booking. I have the ability to plan out the entire trip, 3-4 days each place, book all the airlines now, but do I really need to do that??

That also raises the issue of accomodation and transport to/from airports. I was planning on just having some knowledge going in and sorting most of that when there, but is that okay/safe?

We would really love to have some freedom on this trip and not have everything sorted already, but we also have a budget, so want to ensure we don't totally screw ourselves over by leaving it until we are there. :)


2. Posted by ThePanda (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Are you saying that you're going to be flying from one place to another? If so it's not really worth it. You will see alot more and have a lot more freedom by using trains and local buses.

Here is a really good website for train and transport info for anywhere in the world.

I haven't been yet but i'm going in March and i plan to use trains and buses for all my journeys.

Hope that helps.

3. Posted by jandjinnz (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the link, we will do flights to alot of the destinations. I've talked with a number of other people who have been and they recommend flights in many cases as they are so cheap and quick. Though the train through Thailand/Malaysia is scenic, it's also about 2 days at a minimum, as are many of the boats. We will probably take a bus from Phonm Penh to Siem Reap in Cambodia however.

4. Posted by mayomarie (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi there, you definately should take a bus from Phonm Penh to Siem's only about 6 hrs (which is a short trip in comparison to some journey's in Asia!). However, I'm not sure where you are going after Siem Reap but the airport there is pretty small I think and so you are limited to where you can fly. We flew into Phonm Penh from Bangkok and then bussed it to Siem Reap...but when we got there we realised we needed to get back to Phonm Penh to fly to Vietnam so we had to make the same bus journey again.

Have you researched the prices of some flights? I found LaoAirlines to be very expensive (flew Hanoi-Loas-Changmai) and their planes are so small - they have a bad reputation and most governments do not allow their staff to fly with them. However we had a very pleasant experience on both of their flights and the staff were so friendly.

Bus journey's in Asia are hard to describe. I will never ever forget some of the journeys we took by boat and bus and I can only laugh looking back...however you do come up against some stress with people trying to rip you off at every chance, having no toilet break for 10 hours, people telling u a journey is 2 hours and it turns out to be 8, etc. You really just have to embrace the whole experience!!
Enjoy your trip, I took this trip last Feb/March/April and plan to travel Asia again soon as I feel there is so much more to see!
PS - Vietnam is just fabulous if you can fit it into your plans :)

5. Posted by jandjinnz (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


We are going to Luang Prabang after Siem Reap. I have found flights, seem a bit pricey though. Is there a good way to get from one to the other without taking a flight?

Also, we did look at Vietnam, but settled on Cambodia instead because we had been told about Angkor Wat. I'm not sure if we will have enough time/money to fit it in as we are hitting up quite a few places already. But, if we did, where would you suggest?

I have done quite a bit of research on flights already. I've searched out cheapest prices between places/per airline, but was trying to figure out if I needed everything booked out ahead of time, or can do some of this while travelling/adjust plans based on how much we like certain places. Any advice?

Lastly, though the flights are very cheap throughout Asia, we are half-debating taking a train trip just for the expierence. Did you do this at all?

Where did you all go on your trip?