Southeast Asia forum

First time SEA ,My Itinerary! Constructive criticism is appreciated!

  • vivalabene

    Joined Travelfish
    15th June, 2011
    Location Germany
    Posts: 4

    Ok it´s my first time in SEA and I´ve got 15 weeks time. After reading through Travelfish for quite some time came up with this Itinerary.
    What do you think? To much for 15 weeks? To less?
    To long bus rides?( I´ll go all ways by Bus and Train except Singapore>Bali>BKK)

    BKK>Chiang Mai >Chiang Rai >Luang Prabang>Vieng Vang>Vientiane> Hanoi >Halong Bay> Nha Trang >HCMC>PP> Siem Reap>BKK>Phuket>Koh Pha Ngan>Ko Samui> Lankawi> Kuala Lumpur>Singapore>Bali>BKK

    Ok so this is 21 Locations for 105 days.So 4 days per place + 1 day of travel in between. I realise the bus ride from Hanoi to Nha Trang will take for ever. But my budget is very small and the bus is only 25$ .

    So what do you think?
    Thank you!

    #1 Posted: 16/6/2011 - 21:12

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  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Time wise it looks roughly ok. I would make a few suggestions:

    - Don't miss Sapa in Northern Vietnam, excellent place. Minority tribes, homestays, scenic trekking etc. Well worth a visit.

    - If all you want to see between Hanoi is HCMC is Nha Trang (you are skipping Hoi An , Hue, Dalat etc, which would not be eveyone's advice - I've been to Hoi An and I would highly recommend), then I would skip Nha Trang (given all the other beach resorts on your list) and fly from Hanoi to HCMC. Even on a tight budget I reckon you could probably pick up a Jetstar flight for $60-$70. This would save you so much overland travel, and all just for Nha Trang. Not worth the money or effort I don't think.

    - Kampot and Kep are well worth a few days in Southern Cambodia. Great food, interesting history and culture, not too touristy. Cheap too. Only 3 hours and $3/4 on a bus from PP.

    - Check out the Perhentian Islands as a substiute to Langkawi. And I would also try and get to Penang when you are in Malaysia, it is easily accessible from most parts of Malysia/Singapore. Was one of my favourite places in the whole of Asia.

    #2 Posted: 17/6/2011 - 15:58

  • Boomtown

    Joined Travelfish
    17th March, 2010
    Posts: 20

    i really enjoyed Phi Phi Don and not so much Phuket . Phuket is very touristy in areas. Next time ill go, phuket will be skipped. There are way better islands like phi phi.

    #3 Posted: 17/6/2011 - 18:00

  • Boomtown

    Joined Travelfish
    17th March, 2010
    Posts: 20

    i really enjoyed Phi Phi Don and not so much Phuket . Phuket is very touristy in areas. Next time ill go, phuket will be skipped. There are way better islands like phi phi.

    #4 Posted: 17/6/2011 - 18:01

  • goonistik

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2010
    Location Philippines
    Posts: 541
    Places visited:
    At least 9

    Since money is tight, I'd skip Singapore this time around. It also allows you to reallocate your time.

    In Malaysia, I suggest you spend time in Penang rather than KL. From Penang, you can take the overnight sleeper train to KL. From KL, you can get a flight to Bali.

    #5 Posted: 17/6/2011 - 19:11

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2404
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    just in terms of logistics, going to phuket before pha ngan and samui will mean a bit of backtracking. i'd either visit phuket after samui or, unless you have a special reason to visit phuket, just skip it altogether as suggested above.

    also, if i travelled all the way to bali, i'd want more than just 4 days to explore.

    otherwise, your general itinerary looks okay to me too. have fun.

    #6 Posted: 18/6/2011 - 01:51

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6338
    Total reviews: 10

    Well, we're short on info here to give good advice. A lot of people knock Phuket , but it has a lot to do. If you're into nature and culture, well it's very developed now. If you're into decent beaches AND quality nightlife, Phuket is pretty good. There's a reason tourists go there after all, and you are a tourist. Most who post on travelfish are looking at the backpacker trail, and thus gravitate to that particular breed of tourism. That's fine, but everyone doesn't fit that bill. Given your budget, I would be likely to cut Phuket, because what makes it fun makes it pricey.

    Which leads us to the next piece - I'd cut anything that requires a flight and spend more time in each spot. Reason is money. The less money spent on plane tickets and other forms of travel, the more left over for fun.

    #7 Posted: 18/6/2011 - 18:32

  • vivalabene

    Joined Travelfish
    15th June, 2011
    Location Germany
    Posts: 4

    Thank you all for your help.As you will see below I made some changes according to your suggestions.
    So we will skip Nha trang and Phuket and go to Sapa and Penang instead.
    We are still not sure wether to take the bus or a plane from Hanoi to HCMC. My friend says we should take the plane but i would like to see some other parts of Viet Nam at least from the Bus. And if the Busride gets to boring we could still hop off at some city and just have a spontanious stay for 1 or 2 days.

    #8 Posted: 27/6/2011 - 15:23

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6338
    Total reviews: 10

    That's a very loooooong, very uncomfortable bus ride. You know that, right?

    #9 Posted: 27/6/2011 - 16:05

  • hannahben

    Joined Travelfish
    24th June, 2011
    Posts: 12

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Madmac is right. That's roughly 1700km. Mainly on highway 1. Very bumpy and busy. Hoi an Is very impressive with a lovely beach and is roughly half way so u could stay there for couple days to split journey up.

    #10 Posted: 27/6/2011 - 16:53

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  • hannahben

    Joined Travelfish
    24th June, 2011
    Posts: 12

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Madmac is right. That's roughly 1700km. Mainly on highway 1. Very bumpy and busy. Hoi an Is very impressive with a lovely beach and is roughly half way so u could stay there for couple days to split journey up.

    #11 Posted: 27/6/2011 - 16:56

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