Southeast Asia forum

Thai/Camb/Viet/Laos - Sept/Oct 2009

  • BazzRose

    Joined Travelfish
    17th May, 2009
    Posts: 11

    Hi,

    I am flying into Bangkok on 2nd September and will be looking to do a "round" trip of the above countries. The only other set date I have is that I want to be down in Phuket (or wherever is recommended) for the Full Moon Party on 23rd October. (So be there about a week or so before)

    A few questions I have, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Which way around should I do it? I'm thinking of going BKK (7days) - Siemreib (3days) - Phom Penh (3days) - Ho Chi Min and so on. (Allowing 1 day travel between places)

    2. Where do people recommend to stop off on the way, and how long in each place? Like I say I've got a fair bit of time (6/7 weeks) to get all the way around, and would like to see as much as possible.

    After the "Full Moon" I'm considering heading on down to Bali/Lombok. Would like to do this "overland" (Via Malaysia/Signapore then Sumatra/Jakarta. Has anyone done this before? Is it worth do it, or would I have more fun spending an extra few weeks in Thailand and/or flying to Sydney earlier? (Plans after SE Asia is spending another 12 months travelling around Oz & NZ)

    Any other travellers heading that way at the same time and want to meet up/tag along please say hi!

    Bazz

    shytalk1979@hotmail.co.uk

    #1 Posted: 21/5/2009 - 21:40

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  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    Bazz

    You don'y say how much time you have for the momentous journey. If you have 6 monts, then there will be heaps of suggestions. If only a short time....well!!!

    I suggest it might be better if you gave yourself a more detailed plan in relation to time. It's not that you necessarily have to follow that plan, but in the process of planning you get to learn about possible stop off places, and how long travel can take in SE Asia.

    Cheers

    #2 Posted: 22/5/2009 - 06:52

  • BazzRose

    Joined Travelfish
    17th May, 2009
    Posts: 11

    Hi Bruce

    Timescale wise, I arrive in Bangkok on 2nd Sept, and plan to fly to Sydney to start my Aus/NZ leg of my tour in early December. (Want to spend Xmas & New Year there)

    Other than that, the only other set date I have is to go to the Full Moon Party in Phuket (or, like I say, wherever anyone can recommend) for the 23rd October, as I have a couple of mates flying out for about a week or so around then.

    #3 Posted: 22/5/2009 - 23:46

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    Bazz

    In effect, your journey is to begin at BKK on 2nd September, and be at Southern Thailand for the full moon party on 23 October. That gives you 7 weeks.

    The 'traditional' route is BKK, > Chiang Mai (++), > Chiang Khong/Huay Xai, >Luang Prabang, >Viang Veng, >Vientiane, >Pakse, >Siem Reap (via Thailand), >Phnom Penh, >Saigon, >Nha Trang, >Danang/Hoi An, >Hue, Hanoi (Halong Bay, Sapa), from whence you'd fly to BKK or southern Thailand.

    This is 'explained' at:

    http://www.travelfish.org/trip_planner/thailand-indochina-tour1

    While this is 'achievable' in 7 weeks, much of your journey will be cacooned in various forms of transport. And, your hope of 1 day between places invariably isn't!!! The 'journey listed above (....tour1) requires - at the minimum - 27 actual days of travelling

    I assume you've read:

    http://www.travelfish.org/travel-planning/less-is-more

    and looked at the various 'journey' options in the bottom section of 'Before you leave' in the middle of the grey section of the Travelfish 'header'.

    Nevertheless, it's your journey (FULL STOP).

    But, for mine, I'd drop Vietnam and just 'do' Thailand, Laos & Cambodia.

    Reason?

    Much of the interesting stuff in SE Asia is off the beaten track. And, when you are on the beaten track, you're being imposed upon to spend money on all sorts of 'tours', etc. Moreover, to get to 'relate' with people who aren't out to sell you stuff - and therefore more likely to let you into the real 'world' of SE Asian life - one really needs to be away from the beaten path (or at least the well worn beaten path.

    As you've indicated you want to spend 12 months in Oz & Kiwiland, you could always take a flight to Vietnam from Oz during this journey (as a break) and 'do' Vietnam for a month.

    I'd like some feedback from you on this before making any further suggestions.

    - - - -

    As for Malaysia, yes just continue on from Sthn Thailand (there are a couple of spots near the border with Malaysia that you need to be careful about (maybe train it from Hat Yai to Butterworth (to go to Penang). The western side of Malaysia is a mix of Chinese & malay (Nonya) and offers a wonderful contrast to Thailand. KL is very upmarket (for SE Asia), and Malaka is a great destination (as are Jahore Bahru & Singapore). If you can make it to Taman Negara, you'll see a totally different side to SE Asia.

    Travelling on from Singapore to Indonesia is a well worn path. But, I think you'd be better to try Borneo (Kalimantan in Indonesia), Manado [great coral reefs] on Sulawesi, and island hop to Flores, Sumbawa, Lombok & Bali before heading to Oz. To me, Sumatra & Java are just huge Asian cities +/or support networks for cities.

    - - - -

    And, where in Oz, kiwiland are you aiming to see, etc.?

    Hope this is a bit more helpful.

    Cheers

    #4 Posted: 27/5/2009 - 12:32

  • BazzRose

    Joined Travelfish
    17th May, 2009
    Posts: 11

    Thanks for all that info Bruce.

    As expected, my mate(s) have let me down so I'll be travelling solo. What that does mean though is that I'm going to aim for the Full Moon Party at end of November instead, so I'll have an extra months grace to get around to see Vietnam then.

    #5 Posted: 29/5/2009 - 00:51

  • johub

    Joined Travelfish
    29th May, 2009
    Posts: 2

    I know this is completely unrelated but I hope you have booked accommodation or have a place to stay if you wanna be in Oz over xmas and new year. Esp if you are heading to Sydney and are planning to get there in December. Everywhere will be packed and hostels get ridiculously expensive!!!

    #6 Posted: 29/5/2009 - 18:27

  • BazzRose

    Joined Travelfish
    17th May, 2009
    Posts: 11

    Hi Johub,

    Thanks for the warning! I've had a mini change of plan - instead of heading into Sydney for Xmas I'm going to fly from Bangkok to Christchurch, and spend Xmas/New Year in New Zealand instead. Then start Oz in April 2010 for 12 months.

    Bazz

    #7 Posted: 29/5/2009 - 21:07

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    Hey, Bazz

    If you think Oz is chocka at chrissy, try kiwiland...

    Nevertheless, as you are heading into Ch-ch, there are some options. One (which I'd recommend) is to go tramping/camping along the northern areas (of the South Island). If you can get yourself to Collingwood, and also get a camping permit for around there (maybe Puponga), I suggest you'll have a chrissy to remember for a long, long time.

    Cheers

    #8 Posted: 30/5/2009 - 05:01

  • BazzRose

    Joined Travelfish
    17th May, 2009
    Posts: 11

    Cheers for that Bruce - I'm going to look into that!

    Just booked my flights - Arrive Bangkok 3rd Sept, then head out to Ch-Ch on 1st Dec. From there 4 months in NZ, flying to Cairns 2nd April next year.

    #9 Posted: 30/5/2009 - 19:16

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