Southeast Asia forum

Itinerary for SE Asia. Am i doing too much in too little time?

  • ulto

    Joined Travelfish
    14th January, 2008
    Posts: 6

    Well First thing is that i must congratualte everybody involved in making this site one of the best travel sites out there.

    Here is my itinerary below. Will be leaving 1st October and doing this travelling until about the 2nd week in December. Around 70 days or so.

    Arrive Bangkok 3 days stay
    Overnight train to Chiang Mai 4 days stay
    Bus to Chiamg Kong 1 day stay
    Slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang 2 days
    Luang Prabang 2 days stay
    Vang Vieng 2 days stay
    Vientiane 2 days stay
    Fly to Vientiane to Hanoi stay 2 days
    HaLong Bay 3 days stay
    Sapa 3 days
    Fly/Train to Hoi An 3 days
    Fly to Saigon stay 3 days
    Phnom Penh 2 days stay
    Sien Reap 3 days stay
    Fly to Kuala Lumpur 3 days stay
    Fly to Brunei 2 days stay
    Ferry to Kota Kinabalu 2 days stay
    Travel Sabah 7 days
    Fly to Singapore stay 4 days
    South thai islands 2 weeks.

    So what do ye guys think.
    Am i trying to do too much in too little, especially in Loas and Cambodia? Where do you reckon i should stay longer and where should i cut it down?

    Thanks in advance.

    #1 Posted: 14/1/2008 - 03:16

  • Advertisement

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7080
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hi ulto,

    Glad you like the site!

    That's quite an itinerary. If you could squeeze a day or two more for Laos and Cambodia it wouldn't go astray - especially as you've got a two week island patch at the end -- perhaps you'll need two weeks on a beach to get over all the flights! I'd also consider having two days in sapa and three in hanoi -- but that's just cause I like Hanoi so much.

    I've not been to Brunei, KK or Sabah so can't comment on the time you have there...

    #2 Posted: 14/1/2008 - 08:18

  • Guernseystu

    Joined Travelfish
    10th July, 2007
    Posts: 108

    That all seems very rushed to me but then we all have different priorities and timescales. You've picked out a great intinerary though, lots of the better places in SE Asia so I'm sure that you'll have a great time.

    If I could offer you one piece of advice then I would say that you should scratch off your day in Chiang Kong. Instead, you could take a night bus to Chiang Kong and pass straight through to Huay Xai. Spend your day there and soak up Lao culture, just walk around, get a feel for the place and stock up on provisions for the boat trip.

    Also do you have any plans yet for the Southern Thai islands?

    #3 Posted: 14/1/2008 - 12:05

  • ulto

    Joined Travelfish
    14th January, 2008
    Posts: 6

    Thanks for your speedy replys.

    I suppose looking at the overall plan it seems rushed alright but before we hit the thai islands we will have 53 days travelling done, just under 2 months.

    14 days in vietname seems ok.
    Thailand 3 weeks, malaysia 2 weeks and singapore 4 days seem ok aswell.
    I agree though that laos and cambodia seems a bit rushed. We can take a day or 2 off the end and spend an extra day here and there

    If we get tired we will just have to take a day off here and there doing nothing except catch up on some sleep! No point in making a misery of the trip.

    Also wouldnt short haul flights be better then 10 hour bus journeys? About 7 overall flights in the 2 and a half months. That doesnt sound too bad. I have tried to minimize these bus journeys to make the whole trip more comfortable and take night trains or flights that is anything like a long distance trip.

    #4 Posted: 14/1/2008 - 18:34

  • vuh

    Joined Travelfish
    1st May, 2007
    Posts: 24

    Hello Uto
    I just came back from South East Asia after 6 months back packing and I can recommend you some tips.
    First of all, I have 2 questions for you: are you quick traveler or you rather take time to wander around ?
    Do you like big cities or do you prefer countryside ?
    Well, it help me to give you wise advices ?
    But here are my points of views about these countries:
    Thailand is crowded of tourist and especially Chiang Mai which is a real tourist industry. I'd recommend to stay no longer than 2 days. Furthermore, the main point about Chiang Mai is the 3-4 days trekking but it is so touristy and about 50 USD. Skip this tourist industry and later on, when you will be in Sapa in Vietnam, the trekk is very similar and Sapa is very touristy as well but it is absolutely wonderful.
    If you don't want to be ripped off, please, read my trip report about trekking in Sapa, see this link


    For Laos: I love this country because it is the less touristy of all its neighbour countries and it is a awesome place with so kind people which are not yet tourist oriented mind.
    I recommend to stay at least 3 days in Luang Prabang,
    Vang Vieng can be skipped unless you are looking for beer,pizza and Friends soap opera.
    Vientiane needs no more than 1 day, not very interesting
    There was 1 place I love in Laos, it's called Muong Ngoi, about 6 hours from Luang Prabang to the north east, quite remote village but a real delight and so authentic.
    You can fly from Luang Prabang to Hanoi, it is around 200 USD and it is cheaper with Laos Airlines than Vietnam Airlines. Ticket can be bought in Luang Prabang

    Vietnam: 14 days are very very short to me.
    Hanoi: 3 days
    Halong Bay: 2 days
    Sapa: 4 days but be sure to stay at surroundings of Sapa, not in the town.
    Hue: not to be missed: 2days (Fly Hanoi- Hue, 1 hour)
    Hoi An: very nice: 2 days (bus Hue- Hoi An: 4hours)
    Saigon: 1 day is enough !!! And do not go to the Cuchi Tunnel, it is a real tourist attraction, and the interest for the war is minimal.

    Cambodia:
    Pnom Penh: 2 days, it is worthwhile to go to the Silk island
    Siem Reap: 3 days for the Temples

    Malaysia: People are so friendly in Malaysia but it is the least interesting of all the country (I'm only talking about the Peninsula).
    14 days is ok.
    Kuala Lumpur: no more than 2 days
    Melaka is a must

    Well, I would recommand to cut down 2 weeks in Thailand to have more time in Laos (amazing country) and Vietnam (to big to be visited only in 2 weeks).
    But if you need more advice, feel free to ask me for me details.

    Have a nice trip, South East Asia is so wonderful

    #5 Posted: 25/1/2008 - 17:09

  • ulto

    Joined Travelfish
    14th January, 2008
    Posts: 6

    I have an update of this itinerary!

    We will be leaving a week early so we will have an extra week to play with, just where to spend this week!

    I will re write the itnerary. Very similar but some differences.

    Arrive Singapore 5 days stay
    Fly to Bangkok 2 days stay
    Overnight train to Chiang Mai/Lampang 6 days stay
    Bus to Chiang Kong 1 day stay
    Slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang 2 days
    Luang Prabang 3 days stay
    Vang Vieng 2 days stay
    Vientiane 2 days stay
    Fly to Vientiane to Hanoi stay 2 days
    HaLong Bay 3 days stay
    Sapa 3 days
    Fly/Train to Hoi An 3 days
    Fly to Saigon stay 3 days
    Phnom Penh 2 days stay
    Sien Reap 3 days stay
    Fly to Kuala Lumpur 2 days stay
    Fly to Brunei 2 days stay
    Ferry to Kota Kinabalu 3 days stay
    Travel Sabah 7 days
    Fly to Penang and onto
    South thai islands 20 days

    As you can see we have 20 days left at the end of sabah if all goes to plan. I hear that the best options would be to spend an extra few days in Loas and Vietname.


    Where would you recommend we stay a few extra days in Laos and Vietname?
    Its easy to say spend an extra week in a country but where and what can we do?

    #6 Posted: 22/3/2008 - 03:15

  • ulto

    Joined Travelfish
    14th January, 2008
    Posts: 6

    We not thinking Laos may be extended further. We are thinking of doing the Gibbon experience and maybe the plain of jars aswell. So laos could go from 10 days do 16.
    Also if things are too hectic for vietnam we will give ourselves a day more here or there.

    As you can see our itinerary is flexible but it will save headaches and stress when we are on our trip

    #7 Posted: 15/7/2008 - 17:18

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
SE Asia - 8 Week Itinerary (First Time Visitor) ... By travelingalpaca on 3 Apr 2013 1 1544 3 Apr 2013
First time in South East Asia, itinerary for 3 weeks! Any advice greatly appreciated! ... By Pixa2012 on 14 Jan 2012 7 16087 12 Feb 2012