My boyfriend and i are flying into thailand on sept 1st and leaving from there Dec 21st. Im just looking for any suggestions on places to go and how to do it fairly cheap most of the time. We'de like to see as much as possible throughout southeast asia in the time alotted.
#1 JessicaBenson3 has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 9
That's a lot of time - you can see a lot!
You really just need to start doing research, figure out the options, and then decide what's best for you. It all depends on what sort of people you are (young, looking to party, historically inclined, spiritually incined, beach bums, etc.). Some would say that Vang Vieng, Laos is a can't miss while others will avoid it at all cost. It really depends on you. For me, Bangkok, Angkor Wat area in Cambodia and Hoi An in Vietnam are personal favorites, but there are soooooo many places to go.
To travel cheaply, it's pretty simple... Eat street food and/or at cheap retaurants where you see the locals eating. Restaurants geared towards westerners, while easy, are often really bad and way over-priced. Stay at budget accommodation (Travelfish's accommodation listings are very helpful). You can find a decent room with private bath for US$8 to $15 pretty much anywhere, or cheaper if you don't mind shared bath. Try to do things independently - keep package tours to a miniumu. Use public transport and don't fly more than once or twice (if you do use Air Asia and/or Jetstar for cheaper prices), I personally prefer public bus in Thailand and the train in Vietnam. In Thailand there's no need to ever take a tourist bus - the public bus system is excellent and very cheap. In Vietnam the open tour bus system's not so bad. Finally, just be careful on what you spend your money on, and be aware in all situations.
we've been doing a good amount of research it all is still pretty overwhelming at this point and im just trying to get my thoughts in order. we are definitely planning on going with some idea but try to fly somewhat by the seat of our pants.
#3 JessicaBenson3 has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 9
i have been also looking forward to enjoy the beautiful islands of koh samui
#4 nehaa has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 1
If it can be of help, this ended up being our itinerary when I did a similar trip last year:
Bangkok - a couple of days, just enough to see all the must-see spots (Royal Palace & company)
Ayutthaya - again just a few days to go sigtseeing
Chiang Mai - a week, we loved the live raggae scene, the Doi Suthep temple & surrounding forests!
Pai - stayed 10 days cause we loved it so much. A former hippie hangout, we ended up doing a tai chi class & muay thai & listening to tons of live music.
Overnight boat into Laos (wish we'd stopped 3 nights at the Gibbon Experience even though it's quite pricey!)
Luang Prabang - gorgeous colonial town, amazing waterfall, stayed almost a week (unfortunately missed out on the Plain of Jars)
Vang Vieng - mad tourist playground for tubing, good fun for a few days though!
Vientiane - only stayed overnight
Airplane to Vietnam
Hanoi - stayed about 4 nights, met lots of new people at our hostel, several worthwhile museums
Halong Bay - booked a 2-night tour, this has to go on your must-do list! (Wish we'd had time for Sapa too)
Hue - only stayed a day, I've heard a lot of people really rate it
Hoi An - stayed almost a week & made it in time for the lantern festival: gorgeous town, good beach, amazing tailoring, save your shopping money for here!
Dalat - wouldn't go back to be very honest! Although we did do some great outdoor sports
Nha Trang - another tourist playground, worth a few nights if you're into it
Mui Ne - fantastic kitesurfing beach life, stayed 4 nights
HCMC - Cu Chi tunnels are fascinating, as are other museums in town, much more hectic than Hanoi if that's possible!
Overnight tour through Mekong Delta into Cambodia (wish we'd given the Mekong Delta a bit more time! And wish we'd had time for Phu Quoc but our visa was expiring)
Phnom Penh - some really touching/disturbing history, we stayed 6 nights (maybe more than necessary)
Siem Reap - Angkor Wat, need we say more? (some friends went to Sianhoukville next & really recommended it - party-ish place I suspect!)
After this I headed back to Thailand to continue a Tai Chi class up North but had originally planned to hit a couple of islands!
We had 3 months & cut out a few stops (Sapa, Phu Quoc, Southern Laos etc.) that you might have time for.
I loved this itinerary because it maximises travel & we got to see almost everything we wanted to! Hope you might be able to draw some inspiration.
Have a great time!