I am going to SE Asia for a medical mission trip in southern Vietnam then staying for 3 weeks in December/January. I am a young medical student who want to see all the nature, unique things, party, and some historical sites (probably in that order). I dont mind cheap accommodations/lodging/food but I dont have much time so I will probably fly from place to place. beside that I guess I am a backpacker. I was going to try to squeeze in the following. please adjust the time or add or subtract activities.
- Hanoi/Ho Long Bay, Vietnam - 3 days - the bay and Song Sot Cave
- Vang Vieng - 2 days - tubing/party
- maybe Luang Prabeng or Vientiane on the way to Vang Vieng - 1-2 days -
hiking/nature, maybe elephants, what else?
- Angkor Wat - 2 days - see the temples
- Chieng Mai - 2-3 days - elephants, tigers, maybe hiking, anything else???
- Bangkok - 2-3 days - What are the best activities?
- Koi Phangah - 3-4 days - Full Moon Party
- Phuket (plus islands) - 3-4 days - kayak, boat tours, some hiking, scuba/snorkel
- Kuala Lumpur - 1/2 day (layover in transit) - see Petronas Towers
- Hong Kong - 2 days - walk around, go up mountain, not sure
- Singapore (maybe) -1-2 days - no clue???
I am open to all suggestions...Thanks!!!
#1 chapeakee has been a member since 28/8/2012. Posts: 7
My first suggestion is that you take a deep breath, and seriously consider what you are proposing here. I would argue if it is even humanly possible (without suffering a mental breakdown) to see 7 countries and 12 places in 21 days. Don't do what you suggest above, please don't.
My suggestion would be to spend three weeks in Vietnam, but I'm guessing you won't listen to me.
#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
well I already am spending three weeks in Vietnam during the missions trip...we will do some local trips there as well but mostly in the south and central part of vietnam...Second I know how it seems an I do appreciate the advice, but being a USA medical student means a few things 1) I never get time off and I may never get enough time off again to be able to come back and do the other things...and I do mean that...I may not have another extended vacation for 30 years 2) being in medicine in the US means I am used to a fast pace
That all being said I dont have to do everything on the list and I can exclude a few things from it...if I did what would be the highlights from it? or other highlights to add?
#3 chapeakee has been a member since 28/8/2012. Posts: 7
A fast pace is one thing but this is something entirely different. The expense, the constant moving, the complete lack of any relaxation time where you might be able to strike up an understanding with the locals will be major drawbacks.
Apologies, I missed the piece on Vietnam - well if that's the case, then perhaps as a compromise you could spend your three weeks in a combination of Cambodia and Laos. Still not ideal but, depending on how you approach it, you may be able to relax and absorb stuff properly.
I am aware that it must be tough to face the prospect of no major holidays for such a long period of time, however I don't think the solution is what you are prosposing. I say this because you will need a holiday after your planned itinerary. IMO, a holiday is not about ticking as many boxes as possible - it is about seeing stuff at a relaxed pace and the more you see the better but not at the expense of relaxation, people watching, chilling with a few beers, and lying on your bum in a guest house.
#4 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
More specifically, why are you going to KL, Singapore, and HK all for two days each? It is a lot of moving, expense and air miles for not much payback.
#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
those places were more for logistical reasons. For example my flight back to the states leaves via Hong Kong...instead of just seeing the airport during the connection I was going to arrive a day earlier and walk around the city and see a couple highlights. There is no extra expense except for the hotel because I already had to book the flight that way anyway...same thing for Kuala Lumpur the cheapest way to go from phuket to Siem Reap would be to go through Kuala Lumpur but the flight arrives at KLin the evening and has a 16h layover or longer...during that time I was going to see the pertonas towers...or I could stay extra if there was something worth my limited time. Singapore will probably be taken out unless my friend is there during the winter.
#6 chapeakee has been a member since 28/8/2012. Posts: 7