First off I would like to just say I am so glad for finding this forum and THANK YOU for everyone who is kind enough to take the time and give me some advice.
So I have May 23-Aug 31st to go to south east Asia. I know this is not the best time to go however it is the only time I have. I am aware I am trying to jam ALOT into only 3 months however I do not know when I will have the time to come back and see so many places and in addition, I am quite use to travelling and do things quite quick and dont mind hopping around from one place to another(its is called travelling after all :) I am 26 years old female and I will be travelling with a friend of mine for the first 2 months. I am into beaches, cities, shopping, temples, etc. I definitely want to see some jungles etc and would love to see some real cities but having said that, I am not really into doing ALL DAY hikes etc..
IN ADDITION, I KNOW ASIA IS BEST TO GO AND JUST PLAN AS DAYS GO BY HOWEVER BECAUSE I HAVE SO MUCH I WANT TO SEE AND ALSO BECAUSE MY FRIEND IS LEAVING AFTER 2 MONTHS AND I MUST MEET MY BROTHER FOR 10 DAYS IN BORNEO, I FEEL THAT IS THIS THE BEST WAY FOR ME. =)
This is a bit rough but at the moment I am coming up witha plan for 124 days so I need to cut out 24 days somehow
3 days - Singapore
6 days -Hanoi/day trips/ Holong Bay(cat island etc)
4 days - Ninh Binh (Do I need this or should I just cut this part out)
3-4 days - Sapa (tribal hikes etc)
2-3 days -Hue
2-3 days - Hoi An
3-4 days - Nha Trang (fly to Ho Chi Minh City )
3-4 days - Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta tour
1-2 days - Phenom Penh(via boat or bus from Ho Chi Minh City)
4-5 days - Circle from Phemom Penh to Sihanoukville including surrounding cities
4-5 days - Siem Reap
3 days - Siem Reap - Battambang- Siem Reap
7 days- Bali (fly from Siem Reap to singapore to Bali)
3 days- KL (Fly to Vientiane)
3 days- Vientiane
3 days - Vang Vienh
4 days - Luang Prebang (fly to chiang Mai)
7 days- Chiang Mai/Pai (I want to do a elephant trek which I think they have here) (fly to Bangkok)
6 days Bangkok (spend days at the tiger temple/floating market and other nearby attractions)
5 days -Hua-Hin or Cha-am
7-10 days - ko phangan and samui island (would like to try to go for a full moon festival)
4 days -Phang-na
2- 3 days - Phi Phi
5 days- Langkawi
4 days - Penang/Georgetown
10-12 days Borneo (KK/ Ulu Temburong National Park/ Brunei/poring Hot Springs/Sepilok, etc)
5-6 days Hong Kong/Macau (I am departing here for Dubai)
In addition, I was also thinking of going to Perhentian islands or Pangkor islands instead of one of the others but couldnt decide which one to do.. Would the weather be better at one of these compared to thailand because of the rainy season?
At the moment I think that is 121 days so I somehow need to get rid of 21
MANY MANY MANY THANKS!!!!
#1 Lizz66 has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 9
Just some suggestions.
With Bali, the Thai coast and islands, Sihanoukville, Langkawi and maybe some Vietnamese coastal action, that's something like 5-6 weeks of 'beachtime'. Now, I love the sea but for myself for a three-month trip, that's still quite a bit, unless you're looking to do diving courses or something like that. So, an easy place to cut something out would be the 28 or so days you plan to spend from Hua Hin to Langkawi, e.g. give Phang-Nga and Phi Phi a miss or then Langkawi, or both.
Other than that: I like Bangkok a lot but others might argue 4 days would be enough. Same for Hong Kong. Three might suffice for Georgetown, or you could even skip it unless you specifically plan to fly out from Penang.
To cut 20-25 days, how about you take out 12 days of beaching it, shorten these city visits by 4 days, cut out Ninh Binh and, e.g., the Battambang sidetrip and you're there :).
With all this said, if you let them, your travel plans will probably evolve and change as you go along your trip, and that's usually a good thing. So don't try to stick to a plan too religiously!
I agree about the not sticking to plans too religiously - whilst I appreciate you want to have a reasonable plan but really, try to just pinpoint some key milestones e.g. country by country, and then relax a bit about the bits in between. We hated having any kind of fixed arrangement on our trip e.g. a flight - it was the only thing that stressed us!
That said, a couple of suggestions:
In Vietnam, if you want to go to Ninh Binh , you only really need a day or two and I'd suggest you do it en route to Hue i.e. after Sapa. You can get the train or bus there and then pick up the overnight train or bus to Hue from Ninh Binh (but if you get the train, book from Hanoi ). We skipped Ninh Binh on our visit here last year but have been since we moved to Hanoi - it's a lovely place to cycle around and we're glad we went.
Personally, I like Hue but I think a day is enough: so if you get the overnight train or bus you could wander round to the local sights on Day 1, do a 1/2 day trip the next morning and probably make the afternoon bus to Hoi An.
Time in Siem Reap - depends on how long you want to spend looking at temples! We spent 2 days at the temples and then hired a bike one day and that was enough, but if you want to go to the lake,spend more time in town or think you'll need 3 days around the temples, your 4-5 days is probably right.
I think you could cut a day or two out of Vientiene - it's a pleasant city but nothing really to see / do apart from temples, and you'll be seeing a lot of them!
I like both Bangkok and Hong Kong but you could cut a couple of days out of each and still see the sights and experience the place. And finally Georgetown - I agree with Lother, you could cut it out altogether or at least cut it down if you're passing through anyway. I didn't think that much of it to be honest (I'm sure people will disagree with me there!), the only thing that made it worth it for me was Little India!
Hope that helps.
Many thanks for your help! So I have come up with the new itinerary ..
1) MAY 23 Fly into Singapore
2) May 24-Singapore
3) May 25 - Singapore
4) May 26th- Fly from Singapore to Hanoi 59 dollas US tiger
5) May 27th Hanoi
6) May 28th Holong Bay
7) May 29th Holong Bay
8) May 30 - Holong Bay night train to Sapa
9) May 31st Sapa
10) June 1st Sapa
11) June 2nd Sapa night train to Hanoi
12) June 3rd Hanoi
13) June 4th Hanoi fly to Hue or take train to Hue over night
14) June 5th Hue
15) June 6th Hue to Hoi An
16) June 7th Hoi An
17) June 8th Hoi An
18) June 9th Fly from Hoi An (Denang)morning to Ho Chi Minh City
19) June 10th Ho Chi Minh City
20) June 11th Mekong Delta
21) June 12th Mekong Delta to Phnom Penh
22) June 13th Phnom Penh
23) June 14th Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville
24) June 15th Around Sihanoukville
25) June 16th Around Sihanoukville
26) June 17th Around Sihanoukville
27) June 18th Around Sihanoukville
28) June 19th Phnom Penh to Battambang -5-7 hours but $50 for a private cab 4 hours
29) June 20th Battambang
30) June 21st Battambang to Siem Reap (via boat all day excursion)
31) June 22nd Siem Reap
32) June 26th Siem Reap
33) June 27th Siem Reap
34) June 28th Siem Reap
35) June 29th Siem Reap Fly to KL– Bali
36) June 30th Bali
37) July 1st Bali
38) July 2nd Bali
39) July 3rd Bali
40) July 4th Bali
41) July 5th Bali to Singapore – Krabi (phang – na)
42) July 6th Phang – na
43) July 7th Phang –na
44) July 8th Phang-na
45) July 9th Phang-na to Phi Phi
46) July 10th Phi Phi
47) July 11th Phi Phi to ko phangan and samui island
48) July 12th ko phangan and samui island
49) July 13th ko phangan and samui island
50) July 14th ko phangan and samui island
51) July 15th ko phangan and samui island
52) July 16th ko phangan and samui island
53) July 17th ko phangan and samui island
54) July 18 ko phangan and samui island
55) July 19th(half moon) ko phangan and samui island
56) July 20th Hua hin or Cha-am to ko phangan and samui island (would like to try to go for a full moon festival)
57) July 21th Hua hin or Cha-am
58) July 22st Hua hin or Cha-am
59) July 23nd Hua hin or Cha-am
60) July 24th Hua hin or Cha-am
61) July 25th Bangkok
62) July 26th July -Bangkok
63) July 27th Bangkok
64) July 28th -July Bangkok
65) July 29th Bangkok fly to Chiang Mai
66) July 30th Chiang Mai
67) July 31st Chiang Mai
68) Aug 1st Pai
69) August 2nd Pai(Maybe fly one way depending on how carsick I get)
70) Aug 3rd Pai
71) Aug 4th Chiang Mai
72) Aug 5th Chiang Mai fly to Luang Prebang
73) Aug 6th Luang Prebang
74) Aug 7th Luang Prebang
75) Aug 8th Luang Prebang to Vang Vienh
76) Aug 9th Vang Vienh
77) Aug 10th Vang Vienh to Vientiane
78) Aug 11th Vientiane
79) Aug 12th Vientiane fly to KL to Borneo
80) Aug 13th KL
81) Aug 14th KL
82) Aug 15h ??
83) Aug 16th ??
84) Aug 17th KL to Borneo
85) Aug 18th Borneo
86) Aug 19th Borneo
87) Aug 20th Borneo
88) Aug 21th Borneo
89) Aug 22st Borneo
90) Aug 23nd Borneo
91) Aug 24rd Borneo
92) Aug 25th Borneo
93) Aug 26th Borneo
94) Aug 27th Borneo
95) Aug 28th Borneo to hong kong 60 dollar air asia 3pm flight
96) Aug 29th Hong Kong/Macau
97) Aug 30th Hong Kong/Macau
98) Aug 31th Hong Kong/Macau
99) Sept1st Hong Kong/Macau Fly To Dubai at midnight
I HAVE AN EXTRA 2 DAYS THAT I NEED TO DECIDE WHERE TO PLUG THEM. ANY CITIES I AM MISSING OR SHOULD I USE THEM FOR A BOAT TRIP NORTH FROM LUANG PREBANG?
MANY MANY THANKS!!
#4 Lizz66 has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 9
I'd keep the 2 days unscheduled. You won't be booking all your travel in advance (I hope) anyway, so it gives you a chance to overstay somewhere if you like it. But the boat trip north from LP is worth it!
Thanks Sarah! I have to book some of the flights so just trying to organise which leg of journey I should give the extra days to. Does my first part of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bali seem ok? Would love to get those flights out of the way as they are already going up in price.
In addition, is KL worth seeing for 2 days or better to not leave the airport and just catch the next flight?
Also is Singapore with 2.5 days enough time?
Last but not least, if I am doing the Battamberg boat ride in cambodia, is the one in Laos worth it? Is one better than the other or should I do both?
#6 Lizz66 has been a member since 12/4/2010. Posts: 9
No harm in booking your flight to Hanoi as you don't need more than a few days in Singapore.
Then you've got about a month in Vietnam and Cambodia. To be honest, it's difficult to offer specific advice because I don't know you and what you want / like to do. We spent 5 weeks in Vietnam but only 10 days in Cambodia (would have been less but we had an accident which meant staying in Phnom Penh for a week - far too long!) with the intention of returning one day. But 6 years ago I did the route you're planning in Vietnam in about 2.5 weeks. If you book your flight and then overstay in Vietnam you could cut down some of your time in Cambodia without losing too much - in my opinion of course! Not sure about boat trip from Battambang I'm afraid so can't offer a comparison.
KL's OK - it's got some points of interest, but nothing absolutely amazing, unless you like tall buildings!
You've obviously put a lot of thought into your itinerary so just go with what you feel. Sorry - not too helpful! We planned 4 months and spent 7 months so who am I to ask about planning!
Something to think about is weather in July on Western Thai Islands, I've heard it can be quite bad.
That's all I have to contribute as I haven't even been on my trip yet, but weather at that time certainly has helped with our planning on West/East Thai.
Doing similar to you around the same time so maybe we'll cross paths. Whatever happens - I'm sure you'll have a great time!
#8 emma066 has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 60