myself and my friend are going for 2 months during the summer and although we do want to go to the 4 countries we don't want to be rushing around so all recommendations are much appreciated. we're both 21 and on a budget if that helps.
please and thanks.:)
Need more detail here. Are you and your friend men or women? What do you enjoy? What do you dislike? What do you want to get out of the trip? Do you want to "see" a lot, or "experience" a lot?
#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
we're both girls and we'd like to see and experience as much as possible without feeling too rushed. we do want to do the normal things people are age generally do such as the full moon party and tubing and that kind of thing but we also want to experience what the countries are really like. we're both quite sporty so we'd like to go trekking or scuba diving or anything fun like that. not much we don't like really. hope this helps.
Generally speaking, experiencing takes longer than seeing. You can go and see the Jim Thompson house, get the tour, and be out of there in under an hour. On the other hand, the "Gibbon Experience" is going to take some time.
At 21, I would assume that parties, islands and beaches would be the order of the day, with a few of the other major sites thrown in.
Personally, I believe that to get a good handle on one of these countries takes about six months - which is three times more than you have. I would try and narrow it down to what you want to do specifically.
Bangkok is large, and has plenty to see and plenty to do. It's cheap if you stay in guest houses and avoid eating western food or going to pricey sit down restaraunts. You can take a look at this site for the things to see in BKK, but I particularly like the area around the Chao Praya river.
I haven't been to Kanchanaburi because it's on the opposite side of Thailand from where I live. But I have never heard a bad review of the place. Everyone I know recommends it.
Ayudaha would seem to be a logical stop for you.
In Cambodia so would Angkor Wat and, perhaps, Sihanoukville .
As for Islands and parties, that's easy to find here as well.
From a geograghical standpoint, it sounds like going from Thailand into Laos via Vientiane would be logical. A trip to Luang Prabang and then on to VV would make sense. From there head back to Vientiane. A stop at Tha Khek and then another at Savanakhet would make sense. Then further south to Pazse and the Mekong Islands and into Cambodia. Hit Siem Reap and then decide if it's off to Sihanoukville or not. Then cross into Vietnam, and from Saigon you can work your way up the coast to Hanoi . Lots of info here on where to go (Hue gets good marks by most). Once in Hanoi you can make the obligatory trip to Halong bay and then eventually back to BKK (assuming your flight out if from there).
Check the site here for the places along the route I mapped out and I suspect they will satisfy most of your desires.
#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
If you are going to Ankor Wat there is not much reason to hit Sukohthai or Ayutthya. Unless you really like temples, that is.
When in Ankor Wat do consider visiting Beng Melea. It's far but well worth it.
#7 Jeffreyjho has been a member since 15/3/2010. Posts: 2
A general itinerary that is always a hit:
BKK to the islands - then north to Chiang Mia - head across the border to Laos at Huay Xia - take the slow boat downt o Luang Prabang - go south a bit to Vang Vieng (Tubing and party).
From here you can head back up through Sam Neau (possibly stopping at Nong Kiaow) to get into Northern Vietnam and seeing Sapa, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. Head down Vietnam at the pace you want/need to at this point, or just fly down to HCMC - see the Mekong Delta for a few days and then head up the river to PP -- head up to Siam Reap and Angkor Wat -- pass back into Thailand to fly out of Bangkok.
Start with the usual Ko Samui, Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan Islands in Thailand and if you somehow have time at the end of the trip you can hit up Ko Chang and the Eastern Islands when you get back into Thailand.
It'll feel rushed, but you'll see a lot. You'd probably want to fly from Hanoi to HCMC and save central Vietnam (and Southern Laos) for another trip - though I hear the area is splendid.
i meant to add - you'll certainly take a slice of time on buses to get from Vang Vieng back up through Sam Neau to Hanoi -- so, it might be better to head down to Vientiane from Vang Vieng and catch a flight to Hanoi.
So you'd see Thailand (BKK/Islands/Chiang Mia - area in north), Laos (Luang Prabang, VV, and Vientiane), Vietnam (North & Delta), Cambodia (PP to Siam Reap).
The problem there is you have two flights on a budget, but there would be a lot less rushing around and time spent in buses.
Perhaps best to do the Vientiane - Hanoi flight and Then work your way from Hanoi down to HCMC if you're only going to do one flight during the trip.