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Southeast Asia forum

Thailand, laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali - 6 months (Jan 2014) Advice needed

Posted by lewism05 on 15/5/2013 at 14:42

Hi Everyone,
Me and my girlfriend and currently saving to go to South-east Asia for 6 months, hopefully starting in January 2014. I have done a bit of research and have previously been to Thailand for a month in 2012 with friends, so was thinking roughly £1000 per month budget each would be fine to cover food, accommodation, visas, travel etc. will have money on top for flights (To Thailand, and back to UK).
I have a few points that I was hoping you guys could advice and help with mainly Visas information, and to see of our planned route seems logical or any input to improve our travelling experience.
The idea is to do a loop starting in Bangkok, heading to Laos, across to Vietnam top to bottom and across to Cambodia, ending back in Thailand, Then head south to the Thai beaches and end up in Bali.
* Fly London - Bangkok January
* Bangkok - Few days January
* Start to head to northern Thailand aiming for Chiang Mai 2-3 weeks Jan/Feb
* Laos - Up to one month (Visa advice needed) Feb
* Vietnam - Up to one month (Visa advice needed) Feb/April
* Cambodia - up to one month (Visa advice needed) April/May
* Back to Southern Thailand - few weeks May/June
* Bali - Up to one month (Visa advice needed) June/July
I dont want to over plan, and I know that we will like some areas more than others and could spend more, or less time in one place then originally planned. Any input would be grateful. My first thought is that we will be out of Thailand and re-enter at some point possibly overland. So might be a good idea to get an extended visa? Also can you pre arrange Visas for the other counties before entry? We are also trying to avoid any rain or bad weather; this has been one of the harder tasks as the regional weather pattern in the different countries vary. Also would prefer a direct flight home to the UK on return, after a very quick look last night doesnt seem like I can get a direct flight from Bali to the UK?

Thanks everyone In advance.
Cheers Lewis

#1 lewism05 has been a member since 15/5/2013. Posts: 3
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Posted by antoniamitchell on 15/5/2013 at 15:51

Hi Lewis,

Nice to see your schedule isn't too crowded (a month per country is a pretty good schedule) and it's great that you're not over-planning things. Your budget is plentiful as well, you'll be able to splurge when you feel like it without worrying about running out of money.

With regards to visas, you WILL need to pre-arrange your Vietnamese visa, but that you'll get a 30 day visa exemption for Thailand when you first arrive by plane, and another 15 day exemption when you re-enter Thailand overland from Cambodia. If you're only expecting to spend 15 days or less in the Southern Thailand portion of the trip, you won't need to bother getting a Thai visa. If you know you'll be spending more than 15 days, you'll need a visa for that element of the trip (or face the hassle of a visa run) but you still won't need one for the 1st Thai portion.

Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia all grant visa on arrival (I believe 30 days is standard for all 3), but haven't looked into it recently - so rather than assuming my information is still correct, have a look through this site. There's plenty of detailed visa info already listed (try http://www.travelfish.org/board/topic/visabordercrossings for a start), as well as weather patterns, etc., so you should be able to find everything you need.

Have a great trip!

#2 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Location: Singapore. Posts: 476
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Posted by lewism05 on 16/5/2013 at 06:29

Thanks for your time 'antoniamitc-hell'. Just wanted to get our plans down on travelfish as visit the website regularly, and wanted to answer some questions that have been bugging me and hopefully spur other people on to go travelling. Im going to look at getting an extended Thai visa, as i think we would like to spend more than 15 days on our return to Thailand. Getting excited now. I will update this post closer to our planned leaving date.

Thanks

Lewis

#3 lewism05 has been a member since 15/5/2013. Posts: 3
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Posted by chinarocks on 16/5/2013 at 08:27

Won't add too much other than to say you could easily spend over a month in Vietnam and cut back a week or so on Cambodia and/or Laos.

Vietnam is huge and the diversity is such that you should almost break up the country into three bits when considering travelling there.

#4 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by lewism05 on 18/7/2013 at 07:10

Hi everyone. Just a quick update, as getting closer to being able to make some solid plan. Looks like January 2014 is now realistic. We may not have as much money as firsted planned, but willn't be a million miles off. The only grey area at the moment is flight information.

We like the thought of a return flight, as it will already be paid for but wont have a confirmed return date. So dont know how that will work.
The plan is to flight to Bangkok and end up in Bali, so not sure weather one-way flights would be worthwhile and cost effective. Is there such a thing as 'Open return' tickets? If anyone has any advice, please help.

Lewis

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Posted by miriam123 on 21/10/2013 at 09:21

Hi were doing a similar trip at the minute.
We booked a flight with STA travel and paid I think £40 extra to have a flexible return. You email them a few weeks before to change the date.
Hope this help s if you havnt already sorted it.

#6 miriam123 has been a member since 19/7/2013. Posts: 28
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