Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

where next??

Posted by christay2009 on 16/10/2009 at 10:19

So far i've spent 30 days in China, 30 days in Laos and i am heading to Malaysia for about 2 weeks-ish on the 27th of this month. After that i'd say i've got about three weeks of cash left but i am unsure of where to head next??

I think Indonesia would be interesting but know nothing about it and also i am unsure how i'd deal with money there. I think i read no ATM's and at the moment i have some travellers
cheques but would need to use an ATM or bank to withdraw cash using my visa

Any thoughts would be appreciated

Thanks again

#1 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414

Posted by somtam2000 on 16/10/2009 at 12:46 admin

Hi Chris,

No shortage of ATMs here in Indo -- they're all over the shop. There's cheapie flights from both KL and Singapore to Bali, which is a good starting point if you're only here for a short time -- for eg in three weeks you could see a bit of Bali, the Gilis and Lombok.

Outside of Bali, it's very affordable, and I'll buy you a Bintang or three.

Another option would be to fly north and take a peak at Malaysian Borneo.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,436
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Posted by exacto on 16/10/2009 at 13:01

yeah, i remember ATM's being plentiful everywhere i went in indonesia too. i'd second that suggestion to fly to bali and then see where you could get to from there.

i never made it to the gili islands just off lombok (wish i had), but the rest of lombok was extra interesting and quite affordable. i explored the entire island on a hired scooter, and really enjoyed the ferry boat ride between bali and lombok.

the offer for free beer would seal the deal for me. :-)

i also had a pretty good time in jakarta, but don't know if the backpacker scene on jalan jaksa (jakarta's version of khao san road) is still active or not.

your eventual final destination might be another consideration. are you flying back to somewhere in particular from, say, bangkok, or what? are you catching a freighter down to darwin and then hitch-hiking across to sydney? where are you headed when the money runs out?

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Posted by KazAussie on 16/10/2009 at 15:09

Hi exacto,

This is a bit off topic, but do you know of any good websites to look at travel by freighter, I had heard you could do this around the australian coastline, and would really be up for that for my next trip (after SE Asia this year)

#4 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by christay2009 on 16/10/2009 at 16:27

ohhh

perhaps it was because i was reading a 9 year old edition of lonely planet! haha

Indonesia just seems abit daunting thats all...so many islands! i'm up for abit of beach action but would prefer if it was one of a few options at the destination i was at. I am not a massive beach person; i prefer to see local culture/people going about their business than sat on a beach THEN AGAIN so far for every day i've spent busy-busy i've spent another doing nothing; a beach sounds perfect for this particular activity. I say three weeks, i have the maximum 30 days that the visa allows, i have no return flight to the UK, after 7 weeks into my trip i have over 1000 dollars in travellers cheques and 2000 pound sterling in the bank. This will decrease somewhat as i'm now travelling alone in Laos [first two weeks i travelled with a guy i met in Kunming] and also i'm about to head down to Phonsovan where i will no doubt have to pay for a plain of jars tour or transport etc then a couple of nights in vientiane...

anyway, any more help on indonesia? say i had 30 days [you need a return flight booked dont you?] could i do some sort of loop from Bali that would include less tourist stops and some tourist beaches [i presume bali comes in there].

I guess, depending on budget, i'll either fly fback from Malaysia after indonesia OR ill take a flight to thailand, scoot around however many weeks my budget allows then fly back from bangkokk

thanks again

oh, also, importantly, travellnig alone...all good in indonesia?

#5 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414

Posted by thailand_asia on 16/10/2009 at 17:14

i wish you many fun on your travel tour!

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Posted by MADMAC on 16/10/2009 at 17:44

Let us know how it goes. I've heard mostly bad things about Malaysia, but it's all anecdotal.

#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by somtam2000 on 16/10/2009 at 20:21 admin

There's 17,000 give or take -- no need to fit them all in.

There is no denying bali can get pretty touristy, but for every touristed out beach there is another that is totally deserted -- how much of a draw this is depends on if you surf and how much of a beach person you are.

You can head inland, up to Ubud etc, climb a volcano or three, there's lots of "culture" on display -- the shows are quite contrived, but just walking down the road is a bit of a cultural experience...

I've not been to the Gilis nor Lombok, but talked to many who have and it is a pretty standard 3-4 week Indo trip for a lot of travellers -- p'haps others will step in with more to tell.

Otherwise, head back up to Thailand -- Andaman coast great that time of year -- too many options!

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Posted by Tilapia on 17/10/2009 at 03:17

Hi Christay2009,

Have you considered Burma? It's a short flight from Bangkok, and your money will go a considerable way. "Beach" is an option, but it is not usually the sort of thing people go there for.

Malaysia, I found, was a lot more expensive than, say, Thailand and Indonesia, but that was a while ago. This was particularly true for places to stay. I thought the food was amazing ... a nice change from the Thai/Lao stuff. Lots of excellent Indian food as well as the Malay and Chinese stuff. It's quite developed. Good infrastructure, sanitation, etc. If you like things a little on the rough side, you may not care for it too much.

People have been writing about how tourism is ruining Bali since the early 1800's. What Somtam says is true. Most people tend to stick in certain places, kind of like Thailand, so there are many parts of the island that are not-so-visited.

Ahhhh ... the agony of choice.

#9 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,485
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Posted by somsai on 17/10/2009 at 10:31

I just read tonight that Dreams from my Father was finally completed in one long marathon writing session while sequestered in a cottage on Sanur beach Bali. Perhaps go there, buy the book, read it and take a photo of a cottage.

#10 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 567

Posted by exacto on 17/10/2009 at 13:16

Hi Kaz,

I remember reading a fun article on the freighter travel thing a few years back, which is why I mentioned the option in the first place. But I'm afraid I don't have any specific information to share on that. Sorry.

christay,

I travelled exclusively by myself in Jakarta and surrounds, Bali, and Lombok without any difficulty. I thought Ubud on Bali was particularly worthwhile and an exceptionally good cultural experience. Bali's culture is quite different from the rest of Indonesia.

Travelling around the interior of Lombok on a scooter was interesting too. I liked the beaches on Lombok a bit better than the ones I visited on Bali, but both islands were pretty good. I'm afraid I only had a week to spend between Bali and Lombok, so I didn't do as much off-the-beaten-path stuff as I would have liked.

I think Malaysian and Indonesian food is great! I'd imagine somtam2000 could make a few suggestions on what to eat, but the food in both countries is definitely a highlight for me.

Trouble is, Tilapia made a good suggestion about heading to Burma and I liked somtam's idea about the Andaman Sea side of the Thai peninsula as well. You could even pop over to Nepal for those three weeks. So many choices. Let us know what you eventually decide to do.

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Posted by christay2009 on 17/10/2009 at 18:44

i am resisting thailand, it feels like i've already been, i know so many people who have been and have seen so many photos. I know that isn't the best reasoning...i just think i'd like to go somewhere else first. I can bare to leave thailand untill another time, another trip.

I know little about Indonesia but i like what i have seen. It looks interesting. If this helps; i like to trek by myself [not alone necessarily but not 'organised'] if i can. I find villages interesting but i find most of the small towns i've been to in Laos almost-equally as interesting. I'm not sure Bali is for me; perhaps a week in Bali followed by three weeks elsewhere. If only travelfish had an indo section! [i know, i know, one step at a time...]

In malaysia i think i am just trying to figure out what to do next, i will probably stay there at most 2 weeks. In contradiction to what i have just said about Thailand the Andaman idea appeals.

I guess i'm just going to have to fork out a load of kip and have a good websearch. I'm leaning, personally, toward Indonesia for 30 days and, if i have money left, then heading to Malaysian Borneo or to Thailand for 2 weeks. What do you think? I just need to find out more about Indonesia i think. I am worried i will get there and be surrounded by tourists and all there will be to do/see is beaches and shows!! these preconceptions have no basis other than that i know many people go to Bali for the beach, surf and scuba...

:(

#12 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414

Posted by MADMAC on 19/10/2009 at 00:34

"i am resisting thailand, it feels like i've already been, i know so many people who have been and have seen so many photos. I know that isn't the best reasoning"

If going to places that other people don't go is kind of steering your boat, then I would consider crossing into Thailand at Nong Khai and then working your way down the Mekong until you get into Ubon province. Very few tourists at all - doubt your friends have generated any photos.

#13 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/10/2009 at 07:42 admin

Yes, no shortage of tourists on Bali -- it's been a very busy season -- I can't wait for the rains to start. Baliblog is a pretty good Bali resource.

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Posted by christay2009 on 20/10/2009 at 13:25

i am heading to indonesia.

#15 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414

Posted by christay2009 on 20/4/2011 at 03:21

Many places are telling me that from October-Feb is probably the best time to go to SE Asia, that it can get oppressively hot or far too wet during the middle of the year...

...but what happens if I can only manage to get there May,June,July,August-ish? Will the monsoon season in Burma make getting around difficult? Is Southern Laos too hot to do anything?

I will admit that I don't have much of a plan at the moment other than I'll be in SE Asia around this time.

I appreciate any input and would like to hear other peoples experiences, more than needing specific advice :)

#16 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414


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