Southeast Asia forum

74 days in SE Asia - please look at my itinery!

  • Sair83

    Joined Travelfish
    8th April, 2008
    Posts: 9

    Hi everyone.

    As my topic title reveals, I will be spending 74 days (roughly 2 1/2 months) in the region, and have put together a rough itinery. I fly into Bangkok on the 30th September and out of Singapore on the 12th December. In between these two desinations I would like to visit some of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. I've put together an itinery... please have a look and let me know what you think. All advice/suggestions will be welcomed!

    30-Sep Bangkok
    1st Oct Bangkok
    2nd Travel (early bus) to Kanchanaburi.
    3rd Travel (bus) to Ayuthaya.
    4th Ayuthaya
    5th Travel (train) to Phitsanulok. Spend day in
    Phitsanulok.
    6th Travel (bus) to Sukhothai. Spend day in
    Sukhothai then catch o/n train to Chang Mai
    7th Chang Mai
    8th Chang Mai (cooking course)
    9th Chang Mai
    10th Chang Mai
    11th Travel (bus) to Chang Khong for border
    crossing to Huay Xai. Night in Huay Xai.
    12th Slow boat to LP
    13th Slow boat to LP
    14th Luang Prabang
    15th Luang Prabang
    16th Travel (bus) LP to Vang Vieng
    17th Vang Vieng
    18th Travel (bus) to Vientiane
    19th Vientiane. o/n bus to Savannakhet
    20th Savannakhet
    21st Travel (bus) Savannakhet to Pakse
    22nd Pakse
    23rd 4 Thousand islands (organised trip with Green
    discovery, departs & ends in Pakse).
    24th 4 Thousand islands
    25th 4 Thousand islands
    26th Pakse (day trip to Wat Phu Champasak)
    27th Pakse (day trip to Tadlo, Bolaven Plateau)
    28th Fly Pakse to Siem Reap.
    29th Siem Reap
    30th Siem Reap
    31st Travel (bus) to Phnom Penh
    1st Nov Phnom Penh
    2nd Travel (bus) to Sihanoukville
    3rd Sihanoukville
    4th Travel (bus) to Phnom Penh.
    5th Travel (bus) via Bravet/Moc Bai border to Ho
    Chi Minh City.
    6th Travel (bus) to Mui Ne.
    7th Mui Ne
    8th Travel (bus) to Nha Trang
    9th Nha Trang.
    10th Nha Trang. O/n sleeper train to Hoi An
    11th Hoi An
    12th Hoi An
    13th Travel (bus) to Hue
    14th Hue
    15th Fly Hue to Hanoi
    16th Hanoi
    17th Ha Long Bay (3 day boat tour from Hanoi)
    18th Ha Long Bay
    19th Ha Long Bay
    20th Travel to Hanoi. O/n train to Lao Cai (for
    Sapa)
    21st Sapa
    22nd Sapa. O/n train to Hanoi.
    23rd Fly Hanoi to Bangkok.
    24th Bangkok. O/n train to Surat Thani and bus to
    Phuket.
    25th Phuket
    26th Phuket
    27th Travel (boat) to Ko Phi Phi
    28th Ko Phi Phi
    29th Travel (boat) to Krabi.
    30th Krabi
    1st Dec Travel (bus) to Hat Yai.
    2nd Travel (bus) via Butterworth to catch boat to
    Penang.
    3rd Penang
    4th Travel (boat) via Butterworth to catch train
    to Ipoh and bus to Tanah Rata (Cameron
    Highlands)
    5th Cameron Highlands
    6th Travel (train) to Kuala Lumpar
    7th Kuala Lumpar
    8th Travel (bus) to Melaka.
    9th Travel (bus) to Singapore.
    10th Singapore
    11th Singapore

    Sory this post is so long.... now you understand why it seems to have taken me a lifetime to plan my trip!

    Any suggestions? :-)

    #1 Posted: 16/8/2008 - 00:01

  • Advertisement

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Sair83

    I will be in North Laos at about the same time as you are in Luang Prabang. If you would like to meet we could visit some of the nice places together.

    In general your trip looks pretty good - i am jealous - but I would suggest that you could spend some days in the more northern area of laos - there are some wonderful things to see. Let me know if you would like to see my itinery - it is only for 35 days but mostly focussed in North Laos.

    I am travelling alone - and its always nice to meet someone to look out for.

    Doug

    #2 Posted: 16/8/2008 - 05:39

  • marianwarren

    Joined Travelfish
    12th March, 2006
    Posts: 270
    Total reviews: 13

    Hi Sair83

    Personally I think you are trying to cover too much distance. I would decide what are your must sees and maybe consider flying a few sectors to give you more time on the ground. I think from your itinerary your holiday will be spent mostly inside buses - these are all long countries - roughly 1000 kms, that's a lot of land travel which is very time consuming. You won't get the feel of a country from the inside of a bus or train.

    In 11 weeks I spent 11 days in Chiang Mai; a week in Luang Prabang; 4 days on Don Khon - 4 thousand islands;5 days in PP; 5 days HCMC; Siem Reap 5 days; 4 days Ko Lipe; 10 days in Georgetown, Penang - all mainly by bus or boat. I think you need a rough skeleton with lots of flexibility - then if you find somewhere you really like you can spend more time there - if you find somewhere less interesting then move on to the next place on the agenda.

    If you follow your itinerary I think you will be exhausted and need a holiday when you return home - remember less is more. If you don't get to see everything you want this time round it gives you an excuse to go back again.

    Just my thoughts

    Travel well

    Marian

    #3 Posted: 17/8/2008 - 16:07

  • Sair83

    Joined Travelfish
    8th April, 2008
    Posts: 9

    Thanks Marian and Doug!

    Doug - meeting in Northern Laos sounds great. I too am a lone traveller (and have never been to SE Asia before), so some company would be great! I'd also love to see a copy of your itinery... how can I contact you?

    Marian - I understand what you're saying, and I thought about that myself, but being tired is not really a massive problem, as this is the first part of a round-the-wprld trip for me. After Singapore I fly to Hong Kong for 1 week, then down to Australia (Perth) where I will have a few weeks to relax whilst waiting for my tax number to come through (enabling me to work there). So in a way, I will have a holiday to get over my trip. Also, my schedule is not necessarily rigid. If, as you suggest, I feel that I am spending too much time on buses and not enough time on the ground then I can always adapt it. The only parts that will be in place are my flight legs in/out of particular countries.

    Any other thoughts?

    #4 Posted: 18/8/2008 - 17:30

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7046
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hi Sair83,

    Wow, I'm exhausted after just reading that plan!

    A few suggestions/pointers:

    a) I'd allow an extra night in Kanchanaburi or skip it entirely.
    b) Sukhothai has no train station, so you'll need to bus it from there to Chiang Mai
    c) I'd overnight in Chiang Khong rather than Huay Xai -- no reason,, just like it more
    d) If you want to break the Vientiane to Pakse trip at one place, the better option is Tha Khaek so you can do the trip to Kong Lor Cave -- but you'll need to give an extra day to Tha Khaek to be able to do so
    e) Given your schedule, if you're not up for a triple heart bypass by the time you reach Pakse, I'd suggest skipping the day-trip to Tad Lo and Bolaven and instead get a good book, go sit by the river, drink cold beers and eat BBQ fish -- it;s good -- really... thank me later ;-)
    f) Unless you really need the beach hit, I'd skip Sihanoukville, add an extra day to Phnom Penh and give the other to Tha Khaek.
    g) You've got one night in Saigon... I've give it at least two...
    h) It's a common thing that people try to see too much in Vietnam -- I think you need to drop a destination or add two days.
    i) Back in bangkok, I'd fly to Phuket rather than bus and train combo -- it will be far faster, and not cost much more.
    j) I'd skip Penang - just no time
    k) Give an extra night to KL of Melaka

    The plan you have looks good on paper, but once you're on the road -- especially in laos and Vietnam, things never go as planned. I'd look into Bangkok Airway's Discovery Airpass and also check out AirAsia for cheap airfares to save you time without costing too much.

    Be sure to look at the suggested itinerary section for pointers on how long it takes to get around the place.

    Have fun planning!

    #5 Posted: 18/8/2008 - 19:13

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi

    You can contact me at my email address
    luangprabang at live dot com dot au

    obviously replace the 'at' with '@' and the 'dot' with '.'.

    I would strongly suggest more time in north laos - you may never want to leave after you see luang prabang - and that is only the start of the joys of northern laos.

    I started travelling in SE Asia in 1987 and I am still excited about every trip. I decided that i should learn some languages to enhance my love of the region - so i studied Thai ant universtity for 4 years and at some colleges in Bangkok. I am learning Lao now too - so I am keen to travel and use those skills as much as possible.

    Keep in touch - even if we only have time for a beer somewhere - its fun to meet up.

    Doug

    #6 Posted: 19/8/2008 - 01:22

  • Sair83

    Joined Travelfish
    8th April, 2008
    Posts: 9

    Thanks everybody.

    Somtam2000 - I've change my itinery as per your instructions. However, I'm not sure what to do about Vietnam.

    I can't really add anymore days, unless I get rid of Kanchanaburi in Thailand.

    So - in your opinion, would it be best to remove kanchanaburi from my itinery and add the extra 2 days in Vietnam, or get rid of one destination in Vietnam?

    If the former, where should I add the 2 days, and if the latter, which destination do you suggest I cut out?

    #7 Posted: 27/8/2008 - 22:24

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7046
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hi Sair83,

    I'd cut Mui Ne as you're getting a beach-fix in the Thailand section of your trip.

    #8 Posted: 28/8/2008 - 16:49

  • Sair83

    Joined Travelfish
    8th April, 2008
    Posts: 9

    And add the extra two nights in where?

    1 in Hanoi, 1 in HCMC?

    #9 Posted: 28/8/2008 - 21:27

  • idreamofdur-
    ian

    TF writer
    Click here to learn more about idreamofdurian
    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    I found Mui Ne to be much nicer than Nha Trang . They're not that far apart, so it's easy enough to pack up and head on early to Nha Trang if you don't like it.

    #10 Posted: 6/9/2008 - 00:11

  • Advertisement

  • idreamofdur-
    ian

    TF writer
    Click here to learn more about idreamofdurian
    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    Let me add.. I'd give another day to KL - what a cool city!

    #11 Posted: 6/9/2008 - 00:12

  • Bronita

    Joined Travelfish
    14th August, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Wow! Your trip is very similar to mine, only I arrive in BKK on the 3rd, and (say if we were travelling together) we'd split after Phnom Penh. I think I think I might be travelling a bit slower than you, and I only have 63 days, that's why I had to cut out Vietnam (this time).

    I don't have advice to offer, as I haven't been there yet, except that I think you itinerary looks good, and I hope you have a great time! I'd offer to meet up, but as you're going so fast, I think we'd miss each other every time. I'll be chasing you around SEAsia!

    Have fun :)

    #12 Posted: 8/9/2008 - 10:28

  • queanbeyan

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 28

    Hi Bronita

    I arrrive in bkk on 5 october and leave for luang prabang on 8 october - when will you be in luang prabang? I will leave Luang Prabang on 12 for the northern part of my adventure - and return on 29 October ready to return to ChiangMai on 31.

    Let me know if you are interested in catching up for a beer Lao or some food.

    Doug

    #13 Posted: 8/9/2008 - 13:24

  • Sair83

    Joined Travelfish
    8th April, 2008
    Posts: 9

    Hi Bronita!
    My itinery is not set in stone (except for my flight from Pakse to Siem Reap) so we may just bump into each other along the way! I'd love to have somebody to travel with, so if you would like to try and meet up I'm sure it could be arranged(at least up until the Phnom Penh section anyway).
    Leave me a messgae on here if you fancy it, or even as Doug says, meeting up for a beer.

    #14 Posted: 8/9/2008 - 16:21

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
going south east asia in 20 days need itinery help ... By morse96 on 11 Dec 2011 6 2588 18 Dec 2011
Itinery help for SE Asia ... By peejglynn on 2 Mar 2011 1 2106 7 Mar 2011
suggested itinery for 4 days at Siem reap with kids? ... By idit on 21 Jul 2013 1 1462 26 Jul 2013