Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

3-4 week trip to Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Posted by antoinetiux on 6/4/2010 at 12:57

I am planning to take a month maximum to travel to all these places and I need suggestions for itineraries and routes! Ideally, I would like to start my trip in Bali, Indonesia and end it in Bangkok, Thailand since I am flying from Los Angeles. Would really appreciate any suggestions.

#1 antoinetiux has been a member since 6/4/2010. Posts: 8

Posted by MADMAC on 6/4/2010 at 14:47

Honestly? This is a lot of ground to cover. It would be akin to me saying I have four months and I plan to visit Canada, the US, Mexico and Cuba. That's a huge area and without some help about what your interests are and what you want to do on your vacation, it's a needle in a haystack.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


Posted by busylizzy on 6/4/2010 at 17:37

I just spent 5 months in the 4 countries that you mentioned. I agree with MadMac - you are trying to cover far too much ground in too short a time.
Your trip will be far more enjoyable and rewarding by just limiting yourself to one or two countries at the most!

The last thing you want to do is to spend one week of your four just travelling from place to place - and that is what you would end up doing.

You can still have an awesome time by focussing on a smaller area. My suggestion would be Thailand (3 weeks) and Cambodia (1 week) - or maybe two weeks each. The are close to each other, and local transport is very good. Alternatively, just spend the one month in Vietnam.

If you want help with an itinerary, you need to let us know what things interest you. There is no point in me or Madmac detailing a 4-week itinerary of the temples of Thailand and Cambodia to find out you would rather be bumming around on a beach!

Hope this is vaguely helpful!

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by humpdawg on 6/4/2010 at 19:28

+ 3 on the amount of ground you're trying to cover. I'd say just pick one. Thailand for example is a great place to start. Its easy to get about and quite diverse - massaive 24/7 sensory overload city, huge amount of beautiful beaches to suit every taste (party or chill out and everything inbetween), bags of culture, incredible food, jungles, mountains,villages, wildlife, men, women, men that look like women and much, much more.

I've been to SE Asia a few times now and the last time I went I went for just 2 weeks. This for me was a mistake because by the time I had to leave it felt like I was just settling in. I'd never again go for less than a month. If you try to squeeze all these countries into a month you will regret it. You'll be in such a rush that the whole experience will pass you by!

Take your time and relax and you will have an amazing experience.

Good luck.

#4 humpdawg has been a member since 18/5/2009. Posts: 40

Posted by antoinetiux on 7/4/2010 at 00:58

Thank for your suggestions. We do have an idea of the places we want to visit. By saying we want to visit all those countries it doesn't mean we want to visit every piece of each country. For example, in cambodia we only want to visit 2 cities- Siem Reap and Pnohm Pen. Vietnam we are planning to only go to Central Vietnam and up North- Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue, Halong Bay, and Sapa. Thailand- Bangkok, (maybe Chian Mai), Phuket and about 2 or 3 surrounded islands. Indonesia- the only reason we really want to go there is because we definitely do not want to miss Bali-unfortunately it's kind of far from everything we want to visit. I am thinking we might need to take Indonesia out. I hope this helps out in suggesting new itinieraries. I appreciate your help.

#5 antoinetiux has been a member since 6/4/2010. Posts: 8

Posted by busylizzy on 7/4/2010 at 03:15

I still think you are trying to cover too much, even taking out Bali.

I will assume you tend to fly across borders. Each time you you do this, you lose nearly day by the time you get to the airport, checkin, wait around for 2-3 hours, fly, go through immigration and make your way to your hotel. So if you play on making, say 5 flights, that's 5 days of relaxing travel time gone.

Don't underestimate the distance between cities in Vietnam. There is a good table in the travel guide section on this website (look under Suggested Itineraries, near the bottom). Hue to Hanoi is about 12 hours by memory; and another 1.5-2 hours or so to Halong Bay. It's not so bad if you take an over night bus or train I guess, but that can take its toll on you.

I would strongly suggest having a look at the Suggested Itinerary sections that I mentioned above. You will find these really useful to plotting some sort of route, and most importantly, get an idea of travel times. (To find them, go to the 'Before you Leave' box at the top of this page, and scroll down to the 'Trips....' section.)

And ask yourself this: do you want to be on the move every day, seeing as much as you can and ticking off your list, or do you want to be able to spend a few days just relaxing, taking in the atmosphere, mingling with a few locals, and getting some sort of appreciation of the country that you are in?

Seriously, I think you need to reconsider.

#6 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by MADMAC on 7/4/2010 at 09:16

This is probably about 14 days - give or take - of your 30 spent either in airports, bus terminals, airplanes, buses, taxis... almost half you vacation would be spent on the road - without including Bali.

#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by antoinetiux on 8/4/2010 at 03:14

thanks for your comments. At this moment the help that I really need is setting up an itinerary. My quesiton wasn't really if we had time to travel to all these places. Ideally, we would like to take a month but if it's necessary we will need to extend our trip. Please help me if you have a good suggestion of routes for this trip. We would like to start the trip in Thailand. I did find many itineraries but by each country individually. I didn't find any with the places that we want to cover. Most of them include Laos and we want to skip Laos as it's not in our priority for places we want to visit. I will repeat the places we would like to see:


Thailand- Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and about 2 or 3 surrounded islands.In cambodia we only want to visit 2 cities- Siem Reap and Pnohm Pen. Vietnam we are planning to only go to Central Vietnam and up North-Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue, Halong Bay, and Sapa.


The order I was thinking of doing is Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam.

Thank you!!

#8 antoinetiux has been a member since 6/4/2010. Posts: 8

Posted by MADMAC on 8/4/2010 at 12:09

Cut Vietnam and that should be about right. That's still a fair amount of travel for one month. But not too much.

#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by Kmilion on 20/7/2015 at 22:48

Antoinetiux, i hope you still have this account, because I want to make the exactly trip you were planning on this December. My case is the same, I don't have 3 or 4 months to spend over there. Did you have enough 4 weeks for your trip?, was so impossible to go to Bali?

If you have time, please tell me how was it?

Thanks a lot

#10 Kmilion has been a member since 20/7/2015. Posts: 1

Posted by savorygal on 23/7/2015 at 19:50

I'm SO curious to know if the OP really did manage to go to 4 countries in 3 weeks and if so, what they thought of the pace.

#11 savorygal has been a member since 16/7/2010. Posts: 159
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