I've used this website considerably when trying to sketch an itinerary for my honeymoon - an 8 week epic journey around South East Asia and I was hoping to get some of your expert opinions on what i've planned... we are trying to cover as much as we can in 8 weeks from Hong Kong to Thailand to Laos then Vietnam, Cambodia and ending up in Malyasia. Of course I'm trying to cover as much ground but we need to remember i'm on holiday so don't want to make it too ridged! I've drawn up a day by day itinerary and we've had to cut out a few things like Sapa and Penang - I hope you guys can give me some feedback:
Hong Kong - stay 4 nights,
Fly from Hong Kong to Bangkok - stay 3 nights,
Fly from Bangkok- Chaing Mai - stay 3 nights,
Chaing Mai to Chaing Rai (by bus 3 hours) - stay 2 nights
Chaing Rai to Chiang Khong - stay 1 night,
Boat Border Crossing - by 2 day Boat to Luang Prabang ,
Luang Prabang -stay 4 nights,
Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng (by bus 5 hours)- stay 1 night,
Vang Vieng - Vietiane travel day by bus 4 hours- stay 2 nights,
Vietiane- Hanoi (flying) - stay 3 nights,
Hanoi 2 day trip to Halong Bay - stay 2 nights,
Hanoi to Hue (flying) -stay 2 nights
Hue to Hoi An - Train 3 hours - stay 3 nights
Hoi An To Ho Chi Minh flight from Da Nang -stay 3 nights
Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by bus 6.5 hours -stay 3 nights
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by bus or boat tbc 5 hours -stay 3 nights
Siem Reap/ Angkor to Kuala Lumpar Flight 2hrs
Kuala Lumpar -stay 3 nights
Kuala Lumpar to Krabi by flight
Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi -stay 7 nights island hopping
Koh Phi Phi to Phuket by boat - stay 1 night
Phuket to Singapore by flight
Singapore Singapore -stay 3 nights
Singapore flight Home
it looks quite ridged just now however we are trying to do alot of it via boat,train or bus.. there are a few times we've decided to take a cheap interflight to save a wee bit of time and don't fancy the overnight sleeper train. We'll be in Hanoi at Christmas and Hue/Hoi An for New Year (western NY that is).. and then planning on relaxing for 8 days around the malaysian island of Koh Lanta etc.. we're trying to avoid anywhere too party orientated and really want to soak up the atmosphere/food/cultural and lovely people.. very keen on the temples too! I'm hoping I've left enough flexibility between flights incase we find somewhere and just decided to stay a bit longer... worst case we have to rebook another flight...
any thoughts would be great :)
#1 Timetotravel12 has been a member since 29/7/2012. Posts: 19
Having a brief look at it, I would say that it's doable (more or less) but it's a heck of a lot of moving around, and you really haven't allowed anytime just to relax and to absorb what's going on around you. It look more like an opportunity to check off a lot of boxes (yep, been there, check!).
With long-term travel like that, I prefer to allow a minimum of 3-4 days in each place. One day is normally spent in transit, 1-2 days will be filled with seeing the sights, and one day for just chilling, exploring, whatever. The itinerary you have outlined will have you on the move constantly. If you're not travelling, you'll be rushing around to see the key sights. Somewhere along the way, you're just going to want some down time.
If it were me, I'd look at cutting out some of the time spent in the big cities (Hong Kong, KL, HCMC, Singapore and add those days into some of the areas that you are already visiting (don't use them to add more destinations!) just to give you a bit more time to play with.
It's good to have a day by day itinerary to keep you focussed on what your plans are esp when travelling for a limited time - but do be aware that you will probably want to tweak it as you go. If possible, I'd suggest not booking all flights within SEA until a few days before you are ready to fly (except maybe routes like Vientiane to Hanoi where the number of flights might be limited). This will give you maximum flexibility to change your plans. For example, you might decide that you are too tired to keep moving, and want to spend a few more days in Hoi An to enjoy the beach. Or you might decide to skip Vang Vieng and Vientiane, and instead, spend the time to travel up river to Nong Kiaow (for example - not sure if you can fly from LP to Hanoi so this example might not even be feasible - but you get the idea).
Of course, moving around so much and crossing so many borders will significantly increase your costs as will staying more nights in the bigger cities. Of course, this may not be an issue for you, esp for your honeymoon.
BTW - Koh Lanta is in Thailand, not Malaysia! :-)
Thanks for the feedback... and I think you're absolutely right - thats what worried me about the cities... now you've written it too my husband might actually listen to me ;) - think we might do a wee shifty and replan Vang Vieng (I wasn't sold on it anyway!) and stick to day trips/ overnights from Luang Prabang. Looking up Hanoi hotels just now as we are there over christmas - the internet is a to big!! hours have past and no further forward :) Thanks again, any tips like this are appreciated..
#3 Timetotravel12 has been a member since 29/7/2012. Posts: 19