I'm heading to south east asia for 4 weeks (mid jan - mid feb 2011) and need some help narrowing down places to spend the most time.
I've booked flights already, in and out of Kuala Lumpur.
I want to see as much as possible, but am well aware that 4 weeks is very little time to explore south east asia...
I'm flexible with which countries i'll visit... but its out of malaysia, thailand, vietnam, laos & cambodia... first three would probably be top priority...
I'm mainly interested in food, markets, natural landscapes (inland & coastal), with a bit of adventure.
I don't want to spend time in big city centres, not interested in party nightlife apart from a few cold beers, and will try to avoid tacky touristy areas.
Budget-wise - cheap is good but i can afford a few flights.
Basically i know i cant go everywhere, so i'm hoping my interests can point me to a few main places which contain a balance of what i'd like to experience!
Any advice & opinions on places to focus on would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance! Samantha (Australia)
#1 samwise90 has been a member since 19/10/2010. Posts: 1
Such an open-ended question is not that easy since you really have to pick your regions.
I will give you 1 suggestion and hopefully for you others will jump in with theirs. Mine is by no means the perfect one but since I am a food and market enthusiast as well this is what I would do.
I have no good recent knowledge about Malaysia or southern Thailand but I assume you could do some of that region in your first two weeks.
From there starting in Bangkok you could do in your last two weeks:
- few days North eastern Thailand around Khao Yai national Park. No need to go into the park (timewise I mean) but the scenery around there is beautiful. Also the towns are pleasant and have nice little local markets. Food is also good there (as everywhere in Thailand)
- then Siem Reap /Angkor in Cambodia for a few days for a dose of culture and admire the temples. Most restaurants in Siem Reap cater for tourists but you might have a craving for some western food by then and there's also plenty of Khmer food to be tried. Although tasty, the Cambodian food doesn't match Thai or Vietnamese food in uniqueness.
- last week start to travel down to Kep (via Phnom Penh) in 2-3 days and spend 1 relaxing day by the coast and eat some fresh crab & kampot pepper at one of the restaurants there.
- last weekdays cross the border via Ha Tien and travel through the Mekong Delta towards HCMC. Mekong Delta has some great real (floating)markets, fruit & rice farms and great river scenery.
- last day in HCMC you can try some truly great Vietnamese food and then fly out to KL
You can't see all and this will give you a taste (literally) of the region. Leave northern Thailand, Laos and rest of Vietnam for another visit. But others will disagree and might have a bettter plan.
With an itinerary like this your travel times/days are manageable and no need for a lot of flights