Southeast Asia forum

2 months in SÊ-Asia - feedback on trip details much appreciated!

  • Seba

    Joined Travelfish
    28th April, 2009
    Posts: 54

    Hi guys,

    I'm leaving with my gf (we're both 23) to Se-Asia on the 15th of October for a big graduation trip. By reading tons on this forum and information from friends I have finally come up with a detailed route. Feed-back much appreciated:

    October:
    16-18: Bangkok
    19: fly to Surat Thani and check in at Khao Sok national park
    20-21: Khao Sok. In the evening head for Khao Lak and spend the night there
    22: early boat for a daytrip to the Similan Islands. Spend evening again in Khao Lak
    23: leave for Koh Phi Phi via Pucket
    24-25: Koh Phi Phi
    26: Krabi
    27-28: Railay
    29: fly back from Krabi to Bangkok
    30: take early train to Ayutthaya, and spend the night there
    31: Lopburi during the day, then take overnight train to Chiang Mai

    November

    1-2: Chiang Mai and surroundings (Doi Suthep, rafting, elephants,...)
    3-5: 3day/2night trekking to local villages
    6: take bus to Chiang Kong, cross border to Huay Xai , check in with Gibbon experience
    7-9: Gibbon experience (3days/2nights)
    10-11: slowboat to Luang Prabang
    12-14: Luang Prabang
    15: early bus to Vang Vieng
    16: Vang Vieng
    17: Vang Vieng, in the evening take bus to Vientiane
    18: Vientiane during day, then take overnight bus to Pakse
    19-22: Pakse (including 2day/1night motorbike trip to Bolaven plateau). On the 22nd then take bus to Ban Nakasang and then slowboat to 4000 islands
    23-25: 4000 islands
    26: all day travel from 4000 islands to Siem Reap (via Kratie and Kompong Chan)
    27-29: Angkor Wat
    30: early bus to Pnomnh Penh

    December:

    1-3: 3day/2night Mekong Delta trip to HCMC
    4: HCMC and surroundings (Chu Chi,...)
    5: evening flight to Phu Quoc
    6-9: Phu Quoc
    10: return to HCMC
    11: flight back to Bangkok
    11-14:?
    15: fly back to Brussels

    So my questions are in particular:

    1)is two days visiting Bangkok (given first day of three-day stay is jetlag recovery)?

    2)how is my trip to Southern Thailand time-wise? I am calculating too little or too much time for some things? The thing is I want to book the flight back from Krabi to BKK asap, so I need to set a date on that

    3)is it possible to travel in one day from Chiang Mai to Huay Xai and check in with the Gibbon experience so we can leave with it the next day?

    4) any suggestions for the 4 remaining days?

    5) all other comments welcome!

    thanks in advance and regards from Belgium!

    #1 Posted: 30/9/2009 - 03:40

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  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 6956
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    A couple of thoughts:
    a) I'd choose between Railay Beach and Ko Phi Phi -- wouldn't do both.
    b) Southern Laos: boat from nakasang to Don Dhet takes ten minutes. You're covering a lot of places in this bit, I'd knock one off or grab 3-4 extra days from the end of the Vn bit to pad it out a little.

    In answer to your questions:
    1) That's enough
    2) As mentioned, I'd choose between Ko Phi Phi and Railay
    3) Yes, leave Chiang Mai early and you can sleep in Huay Xai the same day.
    4) Yes, as per my comments above
    5) Generally, I'd say you're trying to see too much -- I'd suggest cutting a few places (Railay, Bolaven would be my choices) and slow down a little.

    More questions, ask away.

    #2 Posted: 30/9/2009 - 07:43

  • Seba

    Joined Travelfish
    28th April, 2009
    Posts: 54

    thanks for your feedback Somtam!

    So if I see it corectly, you'd suggest that I base myself for instance in Koh Phi Phi and from there on visit Krabi and Railay? Because there still wort visisting both right, but maybe not for staying overnight, is that what you mean? But so in any case the total of 5 days for Phi Phi/Krabi/Railay is good?

    and not sure either what you mean about Souther Laos? Do you mean I should stay longer in Pakse and 4000 islands? Because that's all I'm doing in Southern Laos huh :)

    #3 Posted: 30/9/2009 - 17:03

  • extremepion-
    ier

    Joined Travelfish
    30th September, 2009
    Posts: 1

    Having every single day planned to the letter is a bit much. There may be a place you’d like to stay a day or so longer, or a place you want to get out of right away: you never know. Try making your itinerary a little less constricted - it will work out to your benefit.

    #4 Posted: 1/10/2009 - 04:38

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 6956
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Seba: You're welcome.

    Re Phi Phi and railay, I meant one or the other -- yes they're both nice, but think, given your timeline, perhaps trying to fit too much in. Same goes for Southern laos, while what you're suggesting is possible, I think with a couple of extra days you'll be travelling a bit more comfortably and at a slower pace.

    As per extremepionier, with a looser plan you'll have the flexibility to alter your plans as you go along...

    #5 Posted: 1/10/2009 - 09:37

  • Seba

    Joined Travelfish
    28th April, 2009
    Posts: 54

    ok, I can stil see about how much time I'll spend in Railey/Krabi I guess. Btw I was looking to the interactive weather map of Thailand and a bit concerned about the weather in Southern Thailand in October. Apparetly, contrary to what I was beleiving before, the rain season is actually at its height at that time? So what are the chances that I'll have to endure lots of rain in Khao Sok and the islands (Silimans, Phi Phi,...)? I hope it's still worth going?

    #6 Posted: 1/10/2009 - 18:38

  • Seba

    Joined Travelfish
    28th April, 2009
    Posts: 54

    hey guys, still looking for some advice on this, as I'd like to have some tickets booked.
    I have made an alternate route, this time with Southern Thailand at the end. For the rest it is almost exactly the same (interms of places visited and time spent there, only the route changes):

    October
    16-18: Bangkok
    19: take early train to Ayutthaya, and spend the night there
    20: Lopburi during the day, then take overnight train to Chiang Mai
    21-22: Chiang Mai and surroundings (Doi Suthep, rafting, elephants,...)
    23-25: 3day/2night trekking to local villages
    26: take bus to Chiang Kong, cross border to Huay Xai , check in with Gibbon experience
    27-29: Gibbon experience (3days/2nights)
    30-31: slowboat to Luang Prabang

    November
    1-3: Luang Prabang
    4: early bus to Vang Vieng
    5: Vang Vieng
    6: Vang Vieng, in the evening take bus to Vientiane
    7: Vientiane, in the evening fly to HCMC and immediately fly to Phu Quoc
    8-11: Phu Quoc
    12: return to HCMC
    13: HCMC and surroundings (Chu Chi,...)


    December
    1: bus to Ubon Ratchathani, then train to Bangkok
    2: fly to Surat Thani and check in at Khao Sok national park
    3-4: Khao Sok
    5: leave for Khao Lak
    6: early boat for a daytrip to the Similan Islands. Spend evening again in Khao Lak
    7: leave for Koh Phi Phi (via Pucket)
    8-11: Koh Phi Phi
    12-13: Krabi /Railay (daytrip)
    14: fly back from Krabi to Bangkok
    15: fly back to Brussels

    So my big questions are:

    1) just weather-wise the itinerary above is probably much better than the one I proposed first in this thread? More specifically I would be hitting the Andaman coast at the beginning of December, whereas hitting it in somewhat more than 2 weeks would probably given me the current shitty weather (looking at the weather charts and forecasts it really doesn't look good) + some serious monsoon aftermath anyway (as according to Travelfish's interactive weather map October sees the highest average rainfall of the year on the ndaman coast)?

    2) the only thing i'm concerned about is the difference in crowding. I'd be hitting Krabi and Koh Phi Phi the 2nd week of December. Will this be "too much" too handle, or will it still be ok (maybe the real peak starts the week after, so more from mid- to end of December)?? In any case I could already book the plane tickets and guesthouses there because I have to be back in Bangkok on the 15th for my return flight to Europe, so in that sense I know almost exactly at what time I will be where in Southern Thailand.

    3) given the trade-off above, what would you suggest? I can't decide because I lack the experiences some of you had there, so I'm really looking on some advice on this to help me cut this decision once and forever :)

    much appreciated, thanks in advance!

    #7 Posted: 2/10/2009 - 05:55

  • Seba

    Joined Travelfish
    28th April, 2009
    Posts: 54

    oops, some part missing of the route, here it is again:

    October
    16-18: Bangkok
    19: take early train to Ayutthaya, and spend the night there
    20: Lopburi during the day, then take overnight train to Chiang Mai
    21-22: Chiang Mai and surroundings (Doi Suthep, rafting, elephants,...)
    23-25: 3day/2night trekking to local villages
    26: take bus to Chiang Kong, cross border to Huay Xai , check in with Gibbon experience
    27-29: Gibbon experience (3days/2nights)
    30-31: slowboat to Luang Prabang

    November
    1-3: Luang Prabang
    4: early bus to Vang Vieng
    5: Vang Vieng
    6: Vang Vieng, in the evening take bus to Vientiane
    7: Vientiane, in the evening fly to HCMC and immediately fly to Phu Quoc
    8-11: Phu Quoc
    12: return to HCMC
    13: HCMC and surroundings (Chu Chi,...)
    14-16: 3day/2night Mekong Delta trip to Pnomn Penh
    17: Pnomnh Penh, in the evening bus to Siem Reap
    18-20: Angkor Wat
    21: all day travel from Siem Reap (via Kompong Chan and Kratie) to 4000 islands
    22-25: 4000 islands
    26: slowboat to Ban Nakasang, then bus to Pakse
    27-30: Pakse (including 3day/2night motorbike trip to Bolaven plateau)

    December
    1: bus to Ubon Ratchathani, then train to Bangkok
    2: fly to Surat Thani and check in at Khao Sok national park
    3-4: Khao Sok
    5: leave for Khao Lak
    6: early boat for a daytrip to the Similan Islands. Spend evening again in Khao Lak
    7: leave for Koh Phi Phi (via Pucket)
    8-11: Koh Phi Phi
    12-13: Krabi /Railay (daytrip)
    14: fly back from Krabi to Bangkok
    15: fly back to Brussels

    #8 Posted: 2/10/2009 - 06:00

  • Seba

    Joined Travelfish
    28th April, 2009
    Posts: 54

    so the questions remain:

    So my big questions are:

    1) just weather-wise the itinerary above is probably much better than the one I proposed first in this thread? More specifically I would be hitting the Andaman coast at the beginning of December, whereas hitting it in somewhat more than 2 weeks would probably given me the current shitty weather (looking at the weather charts and forecasts it really doesn't look good) + some serious monsoon aftermath anyway (as according to Travelfish's interactive weather map October sees the highest average rainfall of the year on the ndaman coast)?

    2) the only thing i'm concerned about is the difference in crowding. I'd be hitting Krabi and Koh Phi Phi the 2nd week of December. Will this be "too much" too handle, or will it still be ok (maybe the real peak starts the week after, so more from mid- to end of December)?? In any case I could already book the plane tickets and guesthouses there because I have to be back in Bangkok on the 15th for my return flight to Europe, so in that sense I know almost exactly at what time I will be where in Southern Thailand.

    3) given the trade-off above, what would you suggest? I can't decide because I lack the experiences some of you had there, so I'm really looking on some advice on this to help me cut this decision once and forever :)

    much appreciated, thanks in advance!

    #9 Posted: 2/10/2009 - 06:01

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