Southeast Asia forum

SEA in April - HELP please

  • Slowtrotter

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd August, 2011
    Posts: 4

    Hi, guys!
    Next year I have month's long vacation (a big deal for me) and would be happy to build some weather- and itinerary- reasonable plan , if it possible at all this time of the year. It would be convenient to spend a week in Thailand on the beach , but I would like to see something else, too: another country(ies), another nature, temples etc., even
    if it is on the beaten track - good enough for first timer. So - some places in Laos? Cambodia? Burma? Vietnam? I feel really lost (mostly because of weather issue...).

    #1 Posted: 22/8/2011 - 18:14

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  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1949
    Total reviews: 5
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    At least 2

    Weather should be OK practically everywhere but very hot. More details here

    http://www.travelfish.org/weather_fish.php

    Itinerary suggestions? Have a look at this.

    http://www.travelfish.org/trip_planner/

    #2 Posted: 22/8/2011 - 18:19

  • Slowtrotter

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd August, 2011
    Posts: 4

    Thx, mahout. Of course I read general descriptions of weather and itineraries.
    I just hope to get more specific advice, like "this place is too hot in April" or "that place is on the hills / on the river and weather is acceptable" or "you should see this no matter the weather"...

    #3 Posted: 22/8/2011 - 18:50

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 684

    Perhaps you can tell us what you would like to do, i.e do you want to do a whistle stop tour of all the sights (e.g. Angkor, Halong Bay, Luang Prabang etc) or would you like to soak up a country for 3 weeks (recommended)

    If the latter, you could do Vietnam for 3 weeks and then a week on a beach in Thailand. Vietnam is a good intro to SE Asia. It covers most areas of interest - Sapa has culture and trekking, Hanoi is one of the best big cities in SE Asia, Halong has the natural beauty, Hoi An has food and excellent tailors, Saigon has history.

    #4 Posted: 22/8/2011 - 21:46

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    Weather should be warm and reasonably dry that time of year. Good time to come here.

    #5 Posted: 23/8/2011 - 11:44

  • Slowtrotter

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd August, 2011
    Posts: 4

    Thanks everybody. As a firsttimer everywhere except Thailand in SEA, I am a little bit worried about what I found here about Vietnam: too many "scary" stories about scams, unscrupulous agents , unfriendly people (I mean only tourist business, of course) and so on. Is it really so? Is it so different from other countries in the region? Is it really avoidable? If it is as bad as in some TF posts, it is not for me: don't mean to check my survival capabilities , just to have a nice vacation. What experts think?

    #6 Posted: 23/8/2011 - 18:26

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 771

    Given your anxieties I wouldn't go to Vietnam this time.
    As much as I love Vietnam I can understand that it is not the best introduction to SEA and I don't agree with chinarocks on that

    Consider combining Cambodia and Laos. More laid back travelling and in general easy going locals. Depending on your budget you could travel the bad parts by air.
    Come back another time for Vietnam with your partner/friend when you feel a bit more secure about travelling.

    #7 Posted: 23/8/2011 - 18:50

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1949
    Total reviews: 5
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    At least 2

    OK. You say you've read the suggested itineraries. Does anything in there grab you particularly? Also, where did you go in Thailand last time that you particularly enjoyed? Would help a lot if you did some of the work and helped people narrow things down a bit for you. What budget? How much comfort do you require? Do you want to fly everywhere or can you do trains and buses? What speed do you want to travel? Do you want to see as many cultural highlights as possible or just one or two? Do you want to go trekking, see elephants, play on ziplines in the jungle, party etc etc. Only you know these things and making people guess what you want is wasting their time.

    eg This is way too vague.

    I just hope to get more specific advice, like "this place is too hot in April" or "that place is on the hills / on the river and weather is acceptable" or "you should see this no matter the weather"...

    Get real. What would you answer if someone asked which hills and rivers had acceptable weather in April on your continent?! Would help if you mentioned which country/itinerary we have to wade through for you. Or perhaps you expect people to list every place in SE Asia and give you a personalized commentary about the probable weather there etc? What did your last slave die of???

    Also. You did mention Vietnam in the OP ... and someone went to the trouble of suggesting places and things to do there. And then you said you had ruled it out because you didn't like the sound of the scams. Couldn't you have weeded out unacceptable places BEFORE posting your question? Because there is no way I'm going to spend my free time suggesting places for you to go and then have you come back and say you'd read up on this place already and don't like the sound it.

    #8 Posted: 23/8/2011 - 22:30

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    SBE
    You're beginning to sound like Bruce...

    Whom I really like by the way. We're still in touch.

    #9 Posted: 23/8/2011 - 22:43

  • Slowtrotter

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd August, 2011
    Posts: 4

    SBE,
    what happened to you? Seated under SEA sun without hat and got a sunstroke?
    Didn't you know that novices are allowed to ask stupid questions, and if you feel irritated you may just ignore them and not to waste your - and other's - time to give an answer, twice as stupid? So much nonsense about nothing with zero information..
    As it seems you run away to the East before finishing basic education and learning how to behave... Don't bother to reply.

    #10 Posted: 24/8/2011 - 12:44

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    Slowtrotter
    The only stupid question is the one that isn't asked. But don't be too hard on SBE, the core point of her post is correct. Perhaps she was having a bad day and didn't phrase it as politely as might have been the case otherwise. She's a bit whacked sometimes, but then, aren't we all?

    Have a great time and let us know how it goes.

    #11 Posted: 24/8/2011 - 13:19

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1949
    Total reviews: 5
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    At least 2

    And your reply still does not contain any information that would make it any easier and less time consuming for people to help you slowtrotter!

    You asked about the weather and itineraries. I answered and posted a link to the weather and itineraries. You then said that of course you'd already read that already and wanted specific advice.

    You asked about Vietnam. Someone answered. You then said you'd read posts about Vietnam and didn't like the sound of it.

    How can anyone give you specific advice when you refuse to be specific about what it is you want exactly and what it is that you haven't already found the answer to on the forum?

    But no worries, I won't bother replying any more! :-)

    #12 Posted: 24/8/2011 - 13:30

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
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    She's a bit whacked sometimes, but then, aren't we all?

    Indeed.

    In SBE's defence (not that she needs it!), we do get a lot of posters who come here without having any research, and who want someone else to plan the 'holiday of a lifetime' for them - without giving us any indication of the type of holiday they are looking for: beaches, history, trekking, food, shopping....? That's what travel agents are for!

    We often spend a fair bit of time writing lengthy replies - only to find out the either the poster has already had a change of mind (within 24 hours!?), or actually had something quite different in mind, but failed to communicate that. We are always happy to help - but we do like to feel our efforts our relevant and worthwhile. Hence we ask for a bit more input.

    I always suggest that people refer to the Itinerary Planners on this site (as per SBE's limk). I know for myself personally, they were invaluable to get a head start in formulating ideas about what /where may be of interest. It's often hard to start out researching when place names don't mean anything to you. Hence the planners are a good starting point.

    As a newbie to the forum, you may not appreciate that SBE has an extensive knowledge of the SEA area, including many off the beaten track places that you would never have heard or, or considered. Give her (and the rest of us) an idea of what you are looking for and she (and we) will be happy to oblige.

    #13 Posted: 24/8/2011 - 13:45

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2087
    Total reviews: 20
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    By the way, when planning my previous trip, I also was a bit unsure about Vietnam -for the same reasons you mention. It's no where near as bad as people make out as long as you keep your head about you. Do your research, don't book tours online without knowing anything about the company.

    The so-called scams aren't always scams - sometimes it's just a case of a hotel charging a bit more for organising a bus ticket for you. It's called commission and is considered a fair concept any where else in the world. But many travellers are very quick to label anything where they pay a bit more as a 'scam'. Having said that, I do acknowledge that the Vietnamese do make it harder sometimes - but as I said, you just have to keep your head about you, and read up on the forum for advice to avoid the worst of it.

    After a month in Vietnam, the worst 'scam' I came across was a cyclo driver who tried to renegotiate the fare at the halfway point on a round-trip. I was polite but firm and indicated that I would not consider renegotiating. If he didn't want to return me to my starting point I would happily walk or find someone else. He begrudgingly carried on - and it was sorted. It was nothing to get aggro over.

    #14 Posted: 24/8/2011 - 13:52

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6267
    Total reviews: 10

    As usual Liz, that's very well phrased.

    #15 Posted: 24/8/2011 - 16:11

  • oscarcat

    Joined Travelfish
    11th November, 2008
    Location Cambodia
    Posts: 66

    Personally I hardly ever click on links here that mention itinerary in the title or are general requests for information. I figure you can do some of the legwork yourself before asking some specific questions which I 'd be happy to help with (if I think I know something about it..). when planning my first couple of trips out here I mainly used site search, someone somewhere has almost always asked the same question before you. Personally I think the easiest introduction to SEA is Peninsular Malaysia, but I'm not sure I'd wanna spend the bulk of my trip there.

    #16 Posted: 25/8/2011 - 11:57

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1583

    "So - some places in Laos? Cambodia? Burma? Vietnam? I feel really lost (mostly because of weather issue)"

    Weather will be hot

    Laos: Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane
    Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville
    Burma: Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon
    Vietnam: Halong Bay, Hoi An, Mekong Delta

    #17 Posted: 29/8/2011 - 20:18

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