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Vietnam forum

Solo Female traveling in Feb/March: Itinerary and advice

Posted by smillertime78 on 18/9/2010 at 20:19

Hello, all!

I am a 31 year-old female backpacking solo throughout SE Asia beginning Feb and ending...??? I will be coming from India/Nepal/Bhutan, where I will have spent Dec/Jan backpacking with a friend. Although I have traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia for work (the latter primarily in Hong Kong, Korea, and Tokyo), these trips are obviously not indicative of what I expect in SE Asia (which is why I'm going!)

I am very flexible on my itinerary, but plan to fly into Bankok from Mumbai in early Feb and out of Kuala Lumpur into Sydney in early April (or earlier/later depending on how long I want to stay in Asia).

Basically, I want to see a bit of everything but NOT be exhausted :) I would love any advice on a general itinerary; the only places I know (think) I would like to visit are the following:

Bangkok
Phuket
Ko Samut and/or Ko Pha Ngan (full moon party?)
Siem Reap/Angkor Wat
**Where else in Cambodia?
Bali (Lombok Island/Ubud/Gili Air): possibly for 2-3 weeks? reaaal relaxation!!
Laos...where??
Vietman...Ho Chi Min?

Keep in mind I a) would like to meet other backpackers, b) will be doing this on a budget, c) want to see a mix of beaches and historical areas, but do not want to spend toooo much time in extremely busy cities/areas, c) am a solo female traveler who does not speak any of the Asian languages!! :)

Other thing to keep in mind: weather. I would like some warmth (beaches, etc)...hopefully this is an okay time to travel for that!

Thank you so much for your help and advice! Can't wait to get started!

Sarah :)

#1 smillertime78 has been a member since 18/9/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by daawgon on 19/9/2010 at 08:21

Those 7 country buttons at the top of this page are there for a reason. I think you need to read and study their contents before you ask such an extended question as you have.

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,093


Posted by smillertime78 on 19/9/2010 at 12:54

Hi, Daawgon,

Yes, I understand my inquiry is broad, and I have actually read each of the country's pages on this site already :) So if my question is too encompassing then I certainly understand and there is no need for your reply; however, I am hoping those that have some insight could give further information based on personal experience. I am really open to anything, and am thus hoping to open the dialog with anyone that can offer advice. If not...then don't bother to respond!

I appreciate any helpful inquiries from anyone that is willing to offer--and thank in advance!

Best,
Sarah

#3 smillertime78 has been a member since 18/9/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by kong on 25/9/2010 at 19:35

well, i try to give some answers.

Phuket
>I was never there, but from what I read it's not primarly backpackers that go there, but package tourists and sex tourists (though of course you will also find backpackers there, since the island is rather big). I imagine it to be very touristy.

Ko Samut and/or Ko Pha Ngan (full moon party?)
>I didn't go to the islands, but I'd also look into Ko Chang or Ko Samui.

Siem Reap/Angkor Wat
>Definitely. There are also similar places in Thailand worthwhile to see (Sukothai, Ayutthaya,...).

**Where else in Cambodia?
>Phnom Penh for 2-3 days. You will find many backpackers at the guesthouses on the lake, and might visit the national museums/palace.

who does not speak any of the Asian languages!! :)
> you might consider taking a language course, or some other courses somewhere on the way (maybe check http://www.chiangmaichimes.com/courses-classes/schools-courses-in-chiang-mai.html ).

#4 kong has been a member since 25/9/2010. Posts: 1

Posted by Drifter1dc on 3/12/2010 at 20:12

Loads of other backpackers in Viet Nam and Camby so no worry there. English is fine most places unless you get off the beaten path. Beaches in VN to visit, Mui Ne and Nha Trang, Vung Tau and Phu Quoc. Thailand was not my cup of tea but Phnom Phen was ok. Prefer VN to others but have not been to Lao yet, maybe next year.

#5 Drifter1dc has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: United States. Posts: 12
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Posted by MiaBritton on 5/12/2010 at 18:00

Thailand:
Ko Phangan is great for backpackers and a very cool place to hang out and meet people whether there's a full moon party or not. Accom there is cheap as well. If you're on the island and looking for an area to have a few quiet days head to Haad Salad in the north :)

We went to Ko Samui, Phangan and Tao and i'd skip Samui. Over priced and a little boring!

Spend at least 3 days in Siem Reap...you need a full day at Angkor Wat (get your driver to take you out for sunrise, back to the hotel for a rest in the middle of the day, and back to finish the temples in the afternoon!). Phnom Penn needs a couple of days as well. I've heard good things about Battambang but have yet to make it there so let me know if you do :)

The Gili islands are beautiful, relaxed and like Thai islands but on a smaller scale. Try get out of Kuta/Legian when you're in Bali- There's a scenic route from Ubud through Bedugul that leads you around the coast. If you're after beaches, Amed and Candidasa are beautiful, have a wide range of accom and both easy to get to!

What dates are you planning to be in Bali and Vietnam?

#6 MiaBritton has been a member since 25/11/2009. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 17
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Posted by abc on 25/12/2010 at 23:53

Posted from within Vietnam.

You will be fine in Vietnam and much cheaper than Thailand.Weather will be good.Nha Trang is good for beach and islands.You will find many other backpackers there doing the same as you.Good rooms from $8,dorms cheaper.
In HCMC stay in district 1 to meet fellow travellers,easy to book buses/trains a day before you travel up the country.End your stay with a junk on Halong bay.Enjoy.

#7 abc has been a member since 21/6/2010. Posts: 24
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Posted by kierantravelmonkey on 1/1/2011 at 12:13

Hey Sarah,

Wow. Sounds like you are doing an amazing trip! I am hoping to travel from Saigon to Hanoi by myself but have no time limit on anything from around mid Feb. I'm 32 from London and looking to chill out and have a good time in Vietnam (seeing as much as possible) before meeting a friend in Hong Kong. Very new to me but give me a shout if you are around as would be good to have someone friendly on the journey :)

Hope you have a great time.

Kieran.

#8 kierantravelmonkey has been a member since 31/12/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 8

Posted by smillertime78 on 7/1/2011 at 19:43

Hi, Kieran! Nice to meet you! Would love to meet up...I'm really on no agenda myself and am always looking for good travel companions. Actually most excited about Vietnam based on what I've been reading/hearing (especially beaches...yeaaaah), so it would be great to plan something! Right now it looks like I'll be in Vietnam mid-Feb (maybe around the 15 or so), starting in Hanoi. Let's definitely meet up! After a verrrry cold trip in India (where I am now), I'm looking forward to some sun :)

Chat soon!
S

#9 smillertime78 has been a member since 18/9/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by kierantravelmonkey on 28/1/2011 at 01:42

Hi Sarah,

Sorry late reply! I've finally got myself together and will be in Bangkok on 23rd Feb. Gonna spend a few days there. Was thinking of heading up to Chiang Mai via a few other cool places but may do that after Vietnam. I will be starting from Sagion so completely opposite ends of the country :) Will spend a good few days in Saigon before heading to Dalat, Nha Trang or Quy Nhon for some beachyness then Hue and Hoi An before Hanoi. Am looking forward to Hoi An as everyone has said that it is amazing! Who knows we could meet up half way or something? Hope India was cool (sorry about the pun! :)

Cheers,
Kieran.

#10 kierantravelmonkey has been a member since 31/12/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 8

Posted by sarahb80 on 29/1/2011 at 09:55

Hi guys, i have just seen your posts, i am a solo traveller doing vietnam i arrive March 19th 2011 unfortunately i only have just over three weeks to see the best of the country on my holiday. anyone else arriving in hanoi around that time... i hear the weather in the north isnt too clever. i am from Manchester UK and looking to make friends whilst travelling!!! let me know if anyone is around and wants to meet up!! xx

#11 sarahb80 has been a member since 29/1/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by travellingsarah on 29/1/2011 at 10:21 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

I don't want to put a damper on it but Hanoi won't be hot and sunny on the 15th February unless you're really lucky (we're still shivering in coats, hats and gloves)! So keep hold of your jumpers. However, it will be warmer in the bottom half of the country. And really don't worry about the language - it's nice to learn a few phrases, as that's appreciated, but you can pick them up from a guidebook or just by asking other travelers, aside from that you'll be able to get around with English. Enjoy your trip!

#12 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
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Posted by smillertime78 on 29/1/2011 at 12:18

Yeah...I'm a little sad Hanoi won't be as warm as I hoped; I unfortunately dumped a lot of my warmer clothing once we headed south in India (after carrying them through Nepal and Bhutan I think I got a little too eager). I suppose I'll pick up some cheap stuff in BKK before i leave...thanks for the advice!!

#13 smillertime78 has been a member since 18/9/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by capsaab on 1/2/2011 at 16:39

Hi Sarah,Iam in Koh Samui from 25th feb to 7th march,2011.Iam from India,43M,can expore places together.You could stay with me.

#14 capsaab has been a member since 25/1/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by yanyhn on 3/2/2011 at 23:21

Posted from within Vietnam.

hi, pls be informed that the weather in Hanoi became warmer and now it's wonderful to travel.

Good luck
Yany

#15 yanyhn has been a member since 3/2/2011. Posts: 8

Posted by melissa89 on 4/2/2011 at 00:21

hey! I am also travelling on my own, I am 21 and I'm flying into Bangkok on the 16th of Feb. 
I have a tour organised for the first 9 days in the north islands of thailand and then I have nothing else planned but I want to do the south islands, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and laos.

Maybe we could meet up and share tips of where to go.

Melissa 

#16 melissa89 has been a member since 4/2/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by melissa89 on 4/2/2011 at 00:22

hey! I am also travelling on my own, I am 21 and I'm flying into Bangkok on the 16th of Feb. 
I have a tour organised for the first 9 days in the north islands of thailand and then I have nothing else planned but I want to do the south islands, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and laos.

Maybe we could meet up and share tips of where to go.

Melissa 

#17 melissa89 has been a member since 4/2/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by emily01 on 14/2/2011 at 17:42

Hi! I'm 24 f flying into Hanoi on 27/2 and would be keen to meet any travellers interested in seeing Sapa, Ha Long, or heading south. I have no itinerary, just going to wing it...

#18 emily01 has been a member since 13/2/2011. Posts: 14

Posted by jack_view_cm on 22/2/2011 at 16:07

Hi I'm in chiangmai for few month and can share tips for you

#19 jack_view_cm has been a member since 22/2/2011. Location: Thailand. Posts: 2


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