Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Must see Places

Posted by jnliten on 14/8/2010 at 01:55

Hello all,
Just wanted to say that this site is amazing with all the helpful information and people. I was planning a trip to SE asia and stumbled on here.
Been just lurking and reading the different topics and its been pretty helpful for my upcoming trip. I only decided I wanted to do this trip two weeks ago, so I have nothing set in stone yet besides the countries I'm planning to visit and the basic route I'll be taking. I’m planning to land in Bangkok then head north and crossing over and spending a month in northern Laos, then Vietnam from Hanoi to HCMC , then a month in Cambodia then back Bangkok.
So I was hoping for advice and suggestions on what are the must see places, breathtaking scenary, temples, ruins, beaches, festivals. I’m planning to go in November and spending a month in each country and hopefully make it to HCMC in time for Tet.
Thanks in advance.

#1 jnliten has been a member since 11/8/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by eastwest on 14/8/2010 at 12:42

Normally I'd say to check this website better or give some more information so we can help better. But I'll give it a try and it would be interesting to see what other people list.

breathtaking scenery
- Kao Yai national park (north-eastern Thailand)
- Sapa (Vietnam)
- Mai Chau (Vietnam)
- Halong Bay (Vietnam)
- Krabi (southern Thailand)
- Phnom Kulen & Preah Vihear (Cambodia)
- Boat-trip Hua Xai to Luang Prabang (Thailand-Laos)

- Royal palace (Bangkok, Thailand)
- Royal palace (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
- Wat Sisaket (Vientiane, Laos)
- Angkor (Cambodia)
- Summer palaces (Hue, Vietnam)
- chinese pagodas (HCMC, Vietnam)

Historical buildings/towns
- Luang Prabang (Laos)
- Old Quarter Hanoi (Vietnam)
- Hoi An (Vietnam)
- Chiang Mai (Thailand)

Off the beaten track
- deep in Mekong delta (Vietnam)
- Dien Bien Phu (Vietnam)
- Kep/Kampot (Cambodia)
- Con Dao islands (Vietnam)
- 1000 islands (Laos)

I'm not beach person

#2 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by MADMAC on 14/8/2010 at 16:32

Can't miss scenery:

Soi Cowboy (Bangkok)
Nana Plaza (Bangkok)
Patpong (Bangkok


Wat Arun
Wat Phra Khao
That Phanom (reportedly the oldest Chedi in Thailand and very well maintained temple, this site gets very few western tourists but a lot of Thai tourists)

Historical Towns:

Nhakon Phanom (visit the Ho Chi Minh house and the old Air America airfield).
Chiang Mai's old walled city

Off the beaten track: Just about all of Issan.

#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by jnliten on 17/8/2010 at 00:53

Sweet! Thanks for the list, theres so many places to see and things to do. Just doesn't seem like theres enough time! But it should be fun trying to do all these things.

Its going to be my first time travelling so I'm probably underestimating how tiring the travelling will be, but I'm hoping to see all the major sites and most of the must see places that have been suggested.

#4 jnliten has been a member since 11/8/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by eastwest on 17/8/2010 at 09:31

Good luck then.

You'll have a great time. Try to mix it up a little and stay away from the backpacker ghettos and be a little more original. But as a first time traveller it might be good for you to visit some of these backpacker areas to meet up with other backpackers and get the latest info.
And there is off course nothing wrong with the occasional party but my notion is that most backpackers tend to do exactly the same thing and only meet each other and only locals when ordering food/room/drinks/transport.
A big trip like that should/could be so much more than that.

Happy travels

#5 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by MADMAC on 17/8/2010 at 11:49

If you really want an adventure, then take the bus to Ubon, from there take a bus to Khemerat and work you way up the Mekong on the Thai side. You won't see hardly any westerners, the people won't speak much English, and you'll have a really interesting (and safe) experience.

#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by jnliten on 17/8/2010 at 22:25

eastwest: Yeah I was hoping to not do the typical stuff, but to be honest I'm not sure what to expect during this trip. This is the most exciting thing I've ever done, so I really want to make it memorable and do things I wouldn't normally do.

MADMAC: That sounds really cool, I'm not sure if I could handle such an adventure for my first time travelling. But then again I am looking to step out of my comfort zone and try new things on this trip so I should consider it.

I am super excited about this trip, but I'm not even remotely ready to go lol. I'm trying really hard not to plan out what to do and where to go, cause I usually over plan things and I'm trying to wing it this time with only must see places makred down.

#7 jnliten has been a member since 11/8/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by MADMAC on 17/8/2010 at 23:50

Well, I hope you have a good time, whatever you do. Let me know how it worked out.

#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by eastwest on 19/8/2010 at 14:15

It's a good thing you start in Thailand since it is also the easiest to travel. The only danger being that there are far too many backpackers in certain areas.
I never go to Khao San Road but instead opt to stay in Silom district. It's the business district but has a pleasant untouristic atmosphere, plenty of restaurants, good street food, mostly midrange hotels but even a few cheap options and great access to everything with sky train. Downside for you is that you're unlikely to find many other backpackers.
Perhaps others have other suggestions. It was the heart of the red shirt protest so you might want to look at the situation before you go.

As Madmac pointed out the northeast of Thailand is beautiful with very friendly people. Certainly not dangerous and well worth a visit. Perhaps on the way back to Bangkok when you're more used to the travel experience.

And there is no shame in doing things that everybody else does. Even if you're too uncertain to go and do the unusual. Just don't pretend to be "the great traveller" as most others pretend to be.
In the must-see places you will meet plenty of people.

Have a great time.

#9 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

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