we're looking for the right destination in SE Asia for 2.5 weeks, doesn't matter when exactly. SE Asia because we live relatively nearby at the moment.
Included in this we need about a week of resting on a beach: small scale accommodations and a few places to eat out, not highrises, lots of traffic and party. Water suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
Sightseeing part: potentially by public transport, maybe better by private driver. Not too long distances and the itinerary not too hectic. We're interested in varied landscapes (mountains, or volcanic features would be nice), old temples or other archaeological sites.
So, where does that bring us?
We've only been to Sri Lanka before.
Indonesia? Bali certainly looks too touristy, Java has lots to see, but distances seem very large and nice beaches are far away from sights.
Malaysia seems to be lacking the historical bit (yes, I know there's Georgetown and Malaka, but other than that?). We might fly to Singapore to take the train to KL during a shorter trip another time.
Thailand is an option, maybe in combination with Siam Rep, but we're worried about the situation in Bangkok, which we really want to visit.
Philippines: small beachy places, but is there more culture than Manila?
Myanmar, Vietnam: what about distances?
#1 summerfield has been a member since 9/3/2014. Posts: 5
Two possibilities jump to mind. The first would be the Cambodia and Angkor Wat option you mention above. You could hang out in Siem Reap for several days and then work your way through Phnom Penh and down to the coast, where you could either hang out at Cambodian beaches or work your way across the border for Thai beaches. Which Thai beach area we'd recommend would depend on the time of year.
The second, and perhaps better option - given what you've written above, is Indonesia. Start off in Yogyakarta and spend up to a week enjoying the city and the two large ancient temple complexes there. From Yogya you could work your way overland through Java and move quickly across Bali to Lombok. Lombok has a good volcano with treks available, and the Gili Islands could be your low-key beach getaway. If you prefer, you could even fly directly from Yogya to Lombok, visit the volcano, and finish out your trip on the Gilis.
Those are at least some ideas to get you started. Good luck.
Thai beaches r best may to oct. Cheap prices and far less people.
Check out koh chang. Can visit cambodia from there too.
Trang and krabi in southern thailand r good too and not too touristy.
Phuket and samui r touristy like bali.
#3 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Thanks for your answers.
Some interesting ideas! Thailand/Cambodia have the advantage of very short flight times and lots to see. The flight to Yogya would still take 13 hours, thanks to a long stopover in Jakarta. But the Gilis and/or Lombok do sound interesting.
If I knew Thailand would be relatively quiet then my itinerary would look something like this: go up north for the ancient cities, Angkor Wat potentially by plane, resting somewhere (Koh Chang is not really laid back anymore, is it?) and a few nights in Bangkok. I know it's still a crazy travel, but with a few nights at fixed locations it looks doable.
I'm googling around but am still uncertain. What about Vietnam (north or south) or Myanmar? At least for the latter the main sights seem to be focussed in one region. For some reason I cannot find much about Vietnam even though I've seen a docu series (on food, in case you wonder) a while ago and thought: hey, that looks really great.
#4 summerfield has been a member since 9/3/2014. Posts: 5
Koh chang is very laid back.
#6 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
17 nights isnt much. Time flies so just pick 3 to 4 places.
#7 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148