Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

best route to take??

Posted by geppetto2012 on 24/5/2013 at 14:23

Hi, me and my girlfriend are visiting family and friends in Australia in November for about a month then we plan to venture off on our own to travel around Asia for 2 - 3 months (depending on money) come the beginning of December.

Neither of us have done anything like this before so we're complete utter novices when it comes to this backpacking lark. We're looking for some advice on what route to try and take and what are the must see destinations!

We've heard Thailand is one of the most popular starting points then sort of working round Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam from there. But as we're starting from Australia we don't know if that's best in this instance. Perhaps we could travel up from Australia towards Thailand via Indonesia or / and Malaysia?

We would really like to see a bit of China as well but don't know if this is feasible and if so how to incorporate it in to our plans.

Could anyone impart some of their wonderful knowledge upon us to help us plan our travels wisely?

Our budget should be around £2000 - £2500 each.

#1 geppetto2012 has been a member since 24/5/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by Captain_Bob on 25/5/2013 at 00:28

Start by looking at flight costs from Australia. Crossing by boat to Indo is a dream held by many but it's not easy or cheap. You could fly into Jakarta, Bali, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Saigon, etc. but Bangkok usually has the best selection of prices/airlines. The classic loop from there is up to Chiang Mai , through northern Laos, hop over to Hanoi and down through Vietnam to HCMC (Saigon), over to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, then via Bangkok again down to the beaches. If you want to do some China time get your visa at the consulate in Chiang Mai and go from northern Laos into Yunnan province to Jinghong, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, etc. It's a great back door way to see southern China. You could then work your way into northern Vietnam just make sure you have visas in advance. Budget-wise £2000-2500 each is enough for about 3-4 months if you stay in cheap guesthouses, eat local-style, keep happy hour to a minimum, etc. watch your daily expenses carefully.

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,871


Posted by Geer1 on 25/5/2013 at 01:49

2000-2500 pounds should be good for around 3 months but not if it is meant to include flights and other overhead expenses(health insurance, visas etc). If you can travel fairly cheap 30 dollars a day is possible, maybe even a bit less. If you want to live it up a bit looking at probably 40-50 depending on your habits(need a nice hotel, partying, eat fancy food etc).

As Bob stated starting out in Bangkok is probably best due to prices etc, a round trip ticket will be cheaper as well. Can head north then over to Laos, up to China, down Vietnam, through Cambodia and back to Bangkok. Should consume most of your bank roll so make sure you budget carefully.

#3 Geer1 has been a member since 14/9/2012. Posts: 540
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Posted by geppetto2012 on 25/5/2013 at 04:33

Thanks for the advice. That sounds like a good route for us to base our plans on. I know the weather is gonna be pretty good when we arrive in Thailand, if we take that route starting November will we have any difficulty with the weather when we go in to south China or north Vietnam? Will we miss the best weather for Cambodia also?

#4 geppetto2012 has been a member since 24/5/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by Geer1 on 25/5/2013 at 11:08

North Vietnam will be cool and likely overcast with the odd drizzle. China looks like it will be cool, not sure about overcast etc. Not much you can do about that though based on when you are leaving. It will be fine just know it could get a little chilly depending on location.

Cambodia will be ok, the later you get there the hotter it will be but no matter when you go you are going to sweat walking up and down temples.

You could do the opposite and go Cambodia then up the coast of Vietnam, through China and back via Laos and northern Thailand. Might make weather slightly better but not by a whole lot really.

#5 Geer1 has been a member since 14/9/2012. Posts: 540
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