Southeast Asia forum

HELP! Need advice on discovering SE Asia in 4/5 Months. :)

  • snookipaige

    Joined Travelfish
    4th June, 2013
    Posts: 1

    Hey there!

    I'm a young woman who plans to backpack solo around SE Asia leaving in October 2014. After reading up countless articles on Google, I have made a very ''loose'' plan.

    4 month Itinerary:
    London > Thailand (Bangkok)
    Thailand - Bankok, Khao Sok - Ko Phangan (2 weeks)
    Laos - Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng & Vientiane (2 weeks)
    Vietnam - Hanoi, Dong Ha, Hue, Hoi An, Nha, Trang & Dalat. (3-4 weeks)
    Cambodia - Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville & Siem Reap (2 weeks)
    Thailand - Koh Chang, Koh Tao, Chian Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi & Phi Phi (5-6 weeks)
    Maylasia - Langkawi (1-2 week)
    Thailand (Bankok) > London

    The very first week I arrive in Thailand I plan to do a tour with TruTravels and stay on an extra week to enjoy the Full Moon Party in Ko Phangan.

    With regards to my itinerary am I trying to cram in too much? Do I need to cut some places out or give myself an extra month?

    I've budgeted myself to £1000 a month for Food, Accommodation, Drinks, Travel and Miscellaneous items. I'll be eating, sleeping and drinking cheap! I'm not afraid of bugs, rats or dirt and I have absolutely no fear in eating street food! I want to soak up as much culture as possible on my trip, I do not intend to spend my trip sedated with Thai Buckets. Although one or two may be enjoyed!

    Things I'd love to experience are: Elephant Trekking, Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai), Jungle trekking, Full Moon Party, Fairytale Bungalows in Ko Phangan.

    Is there anything else I simply have to do whilst I'm out there?!

    Sorry for the rather long post, I just have so many questions and I cant quiet seem to find a simple answer anywhere!

    Hope you guys can help. :)

    #1 Posted: 4/6/2013 - 09:05

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  • amnicoll

    Joined Travelfish
    10th January, 2005
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 263
    Total reviews: 6

    have a look at some guide books there is so much you are potentailly missing if you want to see and experience SE Asia. One beach resort is very much like another. Stop in Thailand for 30 days when you arrive to take advantage of visa exemption

    #2 Posted: 5/6/2013 - 06:27

  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1234
    Total reviews: 53
    Places visited:
    At least 48

    Langkawi is a nice place to relax, but it isn't cheap and it isn't cultural; I honestly think the beaches and scene on Thai islands are better - it is a good place to go if you are traveling as couple and is pretty well developed. Unless you absolutely must see Malaysia I'd say to spread the 1-2 weeks around the other countries so you can extend your stay in spots. I

    f you want to see Malaysia, then make sure to visit KL for a couple of nights as well and consider where you'll be staying in Langkawi carefully. Many of the nicer places to stay are more suitable for couples. We really liked staying at Mutiara Burau Bay . . . but you don't want to stay there if traveling single. Sunset Beach Resort (http://www.sungroup-langkawi.com/sunset/) would be my number one option for a few nights stay on the main strip, it may look a little south, but honestly the small beach around there is way less crowded with touts and folks.

    #3 Posted: 5/6/2013 - 19:32

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    I would advise against going to the Full Moon Party alone. There have been some suspect things happen there to women alone.

    #4 Posted: 5/6/2013 - 20:38

  • fillda

    Joined Travelfish
    31st July, 2013
    Posts: 2

    I'm going to SE Asia in October 2014 aswell, and as MADMAC said I would not go to the full moon party alone.
    Whilst in Siem Reap - are you planning on going to Angkor? Heard a lot of great things about that place. Also Four Thousand Islands in Laos is recommended.

    #5 Posted: 31/7/2013 - 05:26

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    "I want to soak up as much culture as possible on my trip"

    "Things I'd love to experience are: Elephant Trekking, Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai), Jungle trekking, Full Moon Party, Fairytale Bungalows in Ko Phangan."

    You say you want culture then list a series of mega touristy stuff and mainstream tourist destinations.

    "Sorry for the rather long post, I just have so many questions and I cant quiet seem to find a simple answer anywhere!"

    The simple answer is get off the tourist trail and experience the real Thailand or SEA away from the crap.

    #6 Posted: 31/7/2013 - 09:32

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    Leonard, I think we've established very few people really want to do that. What you and I consider an interesting place to go, the main stream doesn't. They want to go where people speak English, where they can read the menus, where there are cool photo ops - that's the reality.

    #7 Posted: 31/7/2013 - 11:38

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    That's fine but it seems odd they talk about culture when all they want is easy to access touristy stuff. Do they think the average Thai rides an elephant to work and back? It would be like me saying I want to visit the US and dress up as a cowboy to ride a horse.

    #8 Posted: 31/7/2013 - 11:53

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    Basically people who are not coming here to chase hookers or lie on the beach think of themselves as cultural tourists.

    #9 Posted: 31/7/2013 - 12:23

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    Thailand - Koh Chang, Koh Tao, Chian Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi & Phi Phi (5-6 weeks)
    Maylasia - Langkawi (1-2 week)
    Thailand (Bankok) > London

    You'll have to get a 2 month tourist visa for the 5-6 weeks in Thailand anyway. It doesn't make sense to go all the way to Malaysia just to sit on yet other very touristy beach for 1-2 weeks before your flight home from Bangkok. Better to save yourself time, money and hassle and to spend the last 7-8 weeks in Thailand.

    #10 Posted: 1/8/2013 - 06:29

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  • nomadicate

    Joined Travelfish
    25th June, 2013
    Posts: 14

    I agree with SBE above.

    Plus, Malaysia is a lot more expensive than all those other South East Asia countries, and not necessarily as beautiful when it comes to beaches, in my opinion..

    I would check out Indonesia if I was you instead of Malaysia if you wanted something different to Thailand for the last 2 weeks. I would avoid Bali (but good to experience it one time) and head more to Java. Or Sumatra for nice beaches :)

    Sean.

    #11 Posted: 5/8/2013 - 12:41

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