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Have I planned too much? Itinerary review..

  • nish

    Joined Travelfish
    1st June, 2011
    Posts: 12

    Hi all,

    I just booked my RTW trip.

    Ive only done my Thailand / Cambodia / Vietnam plan so far. I think I might have planned too much as I arrive from India into Singapore on 15th December and leave for Australia on 15th March. Do you think I am being too ambitious with this plan:-

    Start in Singapore. Skyline from fullerton bay hotel bar on top.

    Check out Kuala Lumpur.

    Get to Thailand somehow.. then

    Krabi islands - Phi Phi. Koh Lanta. Chicken island. Koh Poda. Koh Hong. Koh Noi. Similans island. Railay. Koh Phi Phi. Phuket. Ko Samui.
    Koh Phagnan. Koh Toa. Nang Yuan.

    Make way to Bangkok

    Bangkok - couple of days. check out - blue sky bar at sofitel centara for skyline. Eat in chinatown. Nang loeng market (nakhorn sawan road)
    the side streets of khao san road. the saochingcha neighbourhood soi rumbutri across from the viengtal hotel. aw taw across from the
    expressway from chatuchak weekend market.

    Ayuthaya - elephant taxi to the ruins http://www.elephantstay.com/ - remember to check if animals are looked after.

    After this really unsure about whether to get the

    Slow boat from thailand to Laos - and go tubing in vang viene. Or overnight train from Thailand to chaing mai.

    Chiang mai - worth it? Definately check out Pai

    Is there anything worth doing in Laos?

    Over to Cambodia

    Cambodia:

    Angkor Wat.
    Siam Reap
    sambor prei kuk - really worth a visit? Doubting..
    Phnom Penh - friends restaurant there too.beng mealea
    Sihanoukville.
    . Koh tonsay. Koh Mak


    Is that the best order/route?

    Vietnam! -

    Con Dao
    Phu quoc

    What do you think? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Big thanks

    Nish

    #1 Posted: 6/9/2011 - 02:39

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  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    Three months for 3 countries (plus a day or two in Singapore and KL) is good. You make full use of your visa fees and have enough time to see stuff at a reasonable pace.

    When planning an itinerary you need to sort out the big stuff first... which order you'll visit each country, where places are on a map so you can decide the most coherent time and cost effective way to get from A to B is, what the weather will be like etc.

    Details like checking whether elephants are well treated or which restaurant/bar to visit can come later!

    It's not worth going to Laos just to go tubing in Vang Vieng IMO. You can do tubing in Pai too without having to waste 2 days sitting on a very uncomfortable and overcrowded boat, then traveling on a bus for another day, not to mention the extra cost of the Laos visa.

    Get to Thailand somehow

    Well the obvious way to get to Thailand from KL is by Air Asia.

    http://www.airasia.com/th/en/

    You can fly to Krabi , Phuket, Chiang Mai or Bangkok from KL. If you want to start with Krabi then you can fly straight there.

    You could also fly to Siem Reap from KL which you can't do cheaply from Thailand. If you did this it would save you having to go overland to Siem Reap via Poipet. Visiting Cambodia first might be more logical .... Siem Reap-> Phnom Pehn-> Sianoukville and then enter Thailand via the Ko Kong border -> Ko Mak and then do the rest of Thailand from there. No unnecessary back tracking. (But you would need a tourist visa for Thailand if you're doing a land crossing as you'll only get 15 days otherwise).

    Is there any particular reason for choosing to go to Thailand first? December 15th -January 15th is absolute peak tourist season on Thai beaches. Beaches will be at their most crowded and accommodation prices at their highest. Is there any particular reason for going to Ko Tao and Ko Phangan at the height of the rainy season there? Why do you want to go to Phi Phi twice?

    etc etc.

    #2 Posted: 6/9/2011 - 16:36

  • nish

    Joined Travelfish
    1st June, 2011
    Posts: 12

    Hello!

    Thank you for your reply.

    I put phi phi on by accident. My mistake sorry.

    Great to hear I will have enough time to do everything I want to :)

    Just looked at flights from KL to Krabi - pretty decent at £40!

    I was planning on being in that area around Christmas and NYE as I wanted to be somewhere with nice beaches and somewhere that would have decent parties at that time so it seemed like the most logical place.

    I was unaware that Ko Tao and Ko Phangan's rainy season was then? Arrgh! I thought that was their decent time? Are the Krabi Islands ok that time of year do you know?

    Thanks

    Nish

    #3 Posted: 11/9/2011 - 02:52

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
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    #4 Posted: 11/9/2011 - 05:46

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 772

    I will chip in for Cambodia and Vietnamese islands. In general I agree with lizzy.

    Cambodia.
    I wouldn't go to Kep just for Koh Tonsay . Especially since you plan to go to Sihanoukville first and on towards Koh Mak. Just a detour for Koh Tonsay is not worth it. Check out 1 of the islands near Sihanoukville which are more unspoiled than Koh Tonsay and it saves you backtracking.

    Vietnamese islands (if that's the only part you intend to visit)
    Since you only want to do these islands I suggest you just fly in and out of Vietnam (HCMC) just to reach those islands.
    Phu Quoc can easily be reached from Kep in Cambodia, by ferry, so if you're considering dropping Con Dao you can just include Phu Quoc in your Cambodia part. And then a visit to Kep and Koh Tonsay would make sense but only if you go there (Kep, Koh Tonsay, Phu Quoc) first from PP and then move on to Sihanoukville, Koh Mak and Thailand.

    Con Dao is beautiful but it's a fly-only destination and not a social place. If you're travelling alone and don't want total seclusion you may do well to skip it. With flights it's going to be costly. Worthy, if you that's what you're looking for, but pricey.

    Hope it helps

    #5 Posted: 11/9/2011 - 12:02

  • nish

    Joined Travelfish
    1st June, 2011
    Posts: 12

    Very useful map Lizzy. Thank you! [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

    Okay!

    Ive kind of got more direction with dates and stuff now.. Do you think this is feasible?

    Start in Singapore on 14th December for a couple of days upto 17th December

    Check out Kuala Lumpur - takes me uptop 19th December.

    Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Krabi

    Krabi islands - Phi Phi. Koh Lanta. Chicken island. Koh Poda. Koh Hong. Koh Noi. Similans island. Railay. Phuket. Ko Samui.
    Koh Phagnan. Koh Toa. Nang Yuan.

    Give the islands a month which takes me upto January 20th.

    After this make way make way to Bangkok . Fly from Krabi to Bangkok?

    Bangkok - 3 days > 23rd January

    Ayuthaya - elephant taxi to the ruins- 1 day - leave 24th January

    Slow boat from Thailand to Laos - and go tubing in vang viene. Luang Probang - check out the bamboo bridge. Get a taxi to the waterfall/lagoon. Spend about a week in Laos > 1 February

    Head over to pai (how). Do a cooking class. Maybe more tubing. Only a few days. > 5th Feb.

    Head over to Cambodia (bus?):

    Angkor Wat.
    Siam Reap
    sambor prei kuk - really worth a visit? Doubting..
    Phnom Penh
    Sihanoukville.
    Koh Mak
    koh-ru
    Koh rong

    Do Cambodia in 15 days? Feasible? Takes me upto 20th Feb

    Go to Vietnam!

    Con Dao - leave
    Phu quoc
    Dalat

    Somehow get back to Singapore to catch flight to Australia on 15th March


    Guess I should have allowed more time. Was unaware of how much stuff there was to do out there. Should be action packed though [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

    #6 Posted: 15/9/2011 - 02:06

  • guava_girl

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2010
    Posts: 252

    You can fly from Surat Thani to BKK so there is no need to head back to Krabi.
    I also think you should consider visiting Battambang while in Cambodia. It is easy enough to do either before or after Siem Reap.

    #7 Posted: 15/9/2011 - 08:07

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
    Total reviews: 5
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    At least 2

    Hmm. That makes 4 countries, not three (not counting Kl and Singapore)and it doesn't look much different from the first itinerary!

    Ayuthaya - elephant taxi to the ruins- 1 day - leave 24th January

    Slow boat from Thailand to Laos - and go tubing in vang viene. Luang Probang - check out the bamboo bridge. Get a taxi to the waterfall/lagoon. Spend about a week in Laos > 1 February

    Head over to pai (how). Do a cooking class. Maybe more tubing. Only a few days. > 5th Feb.


    Why don't you go to Pai after Ayutthaya on the way to Laos rather coming back to Thailand to do it? Have you consulted a map yet? ;-)

    #8 Posted: 15/9/2011 - 18:08

  • JRSB

    Joined Travelfish
    15th September, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 8

    I agree with SBE. I like your itinerary up until Ayuthaya. I think it would make more sense to have Ayuthaya be a day trip for you. If you take a 3rd class train round trip its only a few dollars (US) and you can rent a scooter and enjoy the day there. You can then head back to Bangkok and take the 2nd class sleeper to Ching Mai.

    I always try to get others to take the sleeper to Chaing Mai - its a really good time.

    From Chiang Mai it is very, very easy to get to Pai . I would recommend renting a scooter, but the hills and curves up there are pretty tough. About a 4 hour drive altogether.

    If you decide Laos is worth it - you can head there by slow boat. If not, then fly to Hanoi or Siem Reap from Chiang Mai. But definitely go to Chiang Mai - it is absolutely worth it. You may even want to consider going father past Pai into Soppong or Mae Hong Son if you enjoy Northern Thailand.

    #9 Posted: 16/9/2011 - 16:52

  • nish

    Joined Travelfish
    1st June, 2011
    Posts: 12

    Mm. Cant seem to edit my previous posts?

    Took on board what everyone has said and also took the advice of a friend who has been there. Vietnam is off [img]smileys/frown.gif[/img]

    But! This is everything Ive put together. Its a little detailed. I might blow off the schedule on the first week - but I've got something in plan now. What do you all think of this?-

    Start in Singapore on the 14th December. Check out the sights. Singapore upto 17th December.

    Check out Kuala Lumpur. Quick look around for 4 nights takes me upto 22nd December.

    Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Krabi . Should be able to get this when over there from Airasia. Krabi from 22nd December

    Krabi islands - Phi Phi. Koh Lanta. Chicken island. Koh Poda. Koh Hong. Koh Noi. Similans island. Railay. Phuket. Koh Phagnan. Koh Toa. Nang Yuan.

    To get to the Similan Islands -- get to Khoa Lak by bus/minivan. About an hour from Krabi or Phuket.

    Goto KPN first then ferry to Koh Tao (Im getting there around 22nd December and spending Christmas and NYE there). Im going to be in Ko Phangnan for NYE. Do you think I should goto there first and spend Christmas and NYE there then head to the other islands?

    Would it be best to go to KPN first then ferry to Koh Tao (Im getting there around 22nd December and spending Christmas and NYE there). Im going to be in Ko Phangnan for NYE. Do you think I should goto there first and spend Christmas and NYE there then head to the other islands?

    How long do you recommend in each of the islands that are mentioned above? And what would be the best course of moving through them if I was the do KPN for the Christmas season and NYE? (Excuse my lack of knowledge on this -, looking through maps but getting kind of overloaded)

    Overnight sleeper train end of January from the Islands to Bangkok.

    Arrive in Bangkok on 1st February - spend a couple of days here.

    Spend about 3 days in Bangkok - get a day trip over to Ayuthaya. Back to Bangkok on the same day?

    4th February - From Bangkok get the overnight train to Chaing Mai - then the bus to Pai from Arcade bus station.

    Spend a few days in Pai then on 9th Feb from here back to Chiang mai and from Arcade bus station take a bus to Chiang Khong (border crossing for Laos). Stay overnight there on the Thai side, loads of cheap good guesthouses. - Easy to sort once there? Or shall I do this in advance? In the morning take the ferry (5 mins) to Huay Xai and then get Laos visa on entry. Walk to the ferry dock aand take the slow boat. This take two days and you have to overnight in Pakbeng, again loads of cheap guesthouses. - Now upto >> 12th February

    Slowboat arrives in the heart of Luang Prabang. Easy to book onward bus to Viang Vieng anwhere in LP. Tubing etc in VV then bus to Vientianne. How far is VV from LP? How long would you all recommend I spend in VV? Is it somewhere people go just for tubing?

    Overnight in the capital then on way to Cambodia. >> 17th February (gives me just under a month for Cambodia)

    Take tuk tuk to Friendship Bridge Minivan to Nong Kai bus station then bus to Korat. Then bus to Aranyapathet and cross over into Cambodia at Poipet. Then bus or shared taxi to Siem Reap.

    Enjoy Siem Reap and Angkor then bus to Phnom Phen (how long does this take?)

    Spend a few days in PP.

    Easy bus to Sihanoukville (how long would this take again?). Goto Otres Beach and Koh Rong Saloem Island - lazy beach.ochheuteal beach. Kampot.

    Possibly get in Koh Tonsay and Koh Mak? but see how time is.

    Back to Phnom Phen and then Jeststar to Singapore direct for 50 - 60 quid. See skyscanner. WINNER!

    #10 Posted: 4/10/2011 - 21:38

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  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    I might blow off the schedule on the first week

    Indeed.

    1. I wouldn't waste 4 nights in KL... unless you like shopping...but then you'd have to lug the shopping around with you for the rest of your trip. A night or two is enough IMO.

    2. Krabi islands - Phi Phi. Koh Lanta. Chicken island. Koh Poda. Koh Hong. Koh Noi. Similans island. Railay. Phuket . Koh Phagnan. Koh Toa. Nang Yuan.

    Good grief. How much backtracking do you want to do?! It's hard to fathom out which order you are planning to going to these places because in the next paragraph you say you want to go to KPN first.

    Logistics.

    Chicken Island Ko Poda and Koh Hong (and maybe Ko Noi... not sure where that last one is) can all be visited in a single day on a snorkeling trip out of Ao Nang (Ao Nang is the town where most tourists visiting Krabi actually stay). You won't be alone on this snorkeling trip, so don't expect deserted beaches. Even if the islands aren't inhabited a lot of tour boats go there every day.

    After your day trip you can easily go Railey which is about 10 minutes away from Ao Nang.

    From there (or Ao Nang) you can get a ferry to Phi Phi.

    From Phi Phi there are ferries to Ko Lanta .

    So it would be logical to bundle all those places together rather than jumping about all over the place at random.

    From Ko Lanta you can get a speedboat direct to Phuket if you want, or there's a slow boat via Phi Phi. Or you could go back to the mainland and take a bus or minibus to Phuket.

    Factor in one day of travelling for the Ao Nang->Phi Phi -> Lanta -> Phuket island hops. Even if the boat doesn't take all day you'll be faffing about waiting and checking in and out of hotels.

    Book your accommodation in Phi Phi because finding somewhere reasonably priced and decent on walk in will be very difficult at that time of year. You'll find a very recent update and accommodation review for Phi Phi on TF if you rummage around a bit ...there's a search box at the top of the page. (I'm pretty sure there will be Christmas and New Year parties on Phi Phi around Christmas and New Year as well BTW. )

    Similans. It's not really worth going to the Similans unless you camp at least one night there....otherwise you'll be spending most of the day sitting on a boat getting there and back rather than snorkeling but up to you. The National Park rents out tents and provides food. Boats there usually leave in the morning so you'll have to spend a night in Khao Lak .

    After Similans, back to Khao Lak and take a bus towards Surat Thani. It will be raining on KPN, Ko Tao and Nang Yuan in December and January because it's monsoon season...it's best to leave the Gulf coast till the end from a weather point of view.. Much better weather on the west coast at that time of year.

    If you really want to go to Ko Phangan and Ko Tao for Xmas and New Year then you could skip KL, fly from Singapore directly to Phuket on Tiger Airways (also a budget airline), go to the Similans before Christmas, and then head to Ko Phagnan/Ko Tao for Xmas and New Year. When you're done there, head to Krabi and do the Krabi islands bit.

    I'll leave someone else to try and sort out the rest but Ko Mak is in Thailand and Phnom Penh is in Cambodia.... why on earth do you want to go to Ko Mak, then go back into Cambodia (and pay for another visa) so you can fly out of Phnom Penh? If you go to Ko Mak then you might as well fly to Singapore from Bangkok!

    I really think you should try and look at a map!

    #11 Posted: 5/10/2011 - 03:55

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