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Southeast Asia forum

Help with 35 days itinerary in South East Asia

Posted by leopaik on 16/1/2011 at 15:55

Guys, need ur help with myitinerary to the South East Asia. Iam going tospend 35 days amongst Thailand,Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. This is my tentativeitinerary:

1. Bangkok
2. Pattaya – Koh Samet
3. Siem Reap
4. Phnom Penh(and Sihaunoukville?)
5. Ho Chi Min City
6. Mekong Delta
7. Hoi An (by plane)
8. Hanoi(by plane)
9. HaLong Bay (or/and Sapa?)
10. Hanoi
11. Luang Prabang
12. Vang vieng (and vientiane?)
13. Chiang mai
14. Bangkok

Help me to answer the following questions:
1. Should i skip some of these places? My doubts areSihaunoukville, sapa and vientianemainly.
2. missing some nice places?
3.What is the optimal time for each city?
4. What is the best way to go from bangkok to Siem Reaptaking in count cost-benefits (time and money)?
5. We are expecting to spend U$D 45 dollars per day inaverage (incluiding airfare, diving and other excursion fees). Is it enough?

Sorry, we need i fast reply since we are flying the 20th ofjan (5 days from now). Thank you for urtime!!!

#1 leopaik has been a member since 16/1/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by caseyprich on 16/1/2011 at 17:23

The first three spots will be at least a week if you want to check out Bangkok to settle into things (2/3 days) then spend some time relaxing on the beaches (3 days) before you go temple spotting (2/3 days). A good feature on getting from Bangkok to Siem Reap, though if you're already at Pattaya you'll probably want to avoid doubling back to Bangkok if possible and get direct transport to Aranyaprathet.

I've heard nice things about Ko Semet and terrible things about Pattaya, just saying. If you don't need to hit the beaches right away, you could keep them in your back pocket for the end of your trip as a reward for good schedule keeping. That way you could go directly from Bangkok to Siem Reap.

Also, many people go from PP through the Delta to HCMC - this will take a couple days but give you the opportunity to come in through places like Can Tho and then hit HCMC without again having to double back to HCMC from the delta to catch your flight forward.

I think fitting Sapa into the schedule is tight, and highly recommend that you fly from Hanoi to Luang Prabang to save time. You'll probably want to fly from LP or Vientiane to Chang Mai also - I know it gets pricey, but if you're not flying I'd maybe recommend thinking of Chang Mai as another reward for good schedule keeping and otherwise be prepared to let it go in case you decide to spend more time somewhere else.

Just some thoughts, sorry I couldn't be more concrete. However, the best advice I have is to let the schedule stay loose and be willing to dump a chunk of it if you are somewhere you really like. If someplace really appeals to you then soak it up. In many of these areas it is a plethora of day or two day trips in the region around the city that make people fall in love with the place.

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Posted by Rasheeed on 17/1/2011 at 10:13

Cut a country out I say... too fast.

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Posted by caseyprich on 17/1/2011 at 12:34

I like Rasheeed's bluntness. Without knowing what you really want to see I'd suggest cutting out Laos so you can linger longer in Vietnam and then fly directly from Hanoi to Chiang Mai.

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Posted by leopaik on 18/1/2011 at 15:04

I really appreciate ur advises guys! This is our itinerary's second version:
Bangkok (going inmediately to pattaya)
Pattaya (2 days)
Koh Samet (2 days)
Siem Reap (4 days) BY BUS
Phnom Penh (2 days)
Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Min City (4 days) BY BOAT
Hoi An (2 days) BY PLANE
Hanoi (going directly to Ha Long Bay) BY PLANE
Ha Long Bay (1 days)
Hanoi (2 days)
Luang Prabang (4 days) BY PLANE
Vang vieng ( 1 days)
Chiang mai (4 days) BY PLANE
Bangkok (2 days)

It would take 30 days without the moving time from one city to another.

We decided to bring additional money for the airfares only which we estimated to be around U$S 250. Should i modified something on my itinerary? Thank u guys again for ur help and time. [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

#5 leopaik has been a member since 16/1/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by caseyprich on 18/1/2011 at 16:00

LP is nice, but doesn't have to be four days - be prepared to give that day to another location if you like without a terrible consequence on your time spent there.

Just to recommend - an overnight home-stay/village-stay somewhere west of Chiang Mai is a great experience if you have four days there. It is especially interesting to stay with a Karen group if you are able to get a guide who can translate.

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Posted by Nokka on 18/1/2011 at 19:01

I'm sure your journey is possible, but it's so fast I think you may regret trying to do so much. Some parts are so rushed as to be almost pointless. Slow down, take some places out - come back another time if you enjoy where you've been.

I get confused when people talk in days. I prefer to think in nights - how many nights are you going to sleep somewhere. A large part of a day can be spent travelling, so number of nights always makes more sense to me. In other words, if you stay somewhere 2 nights, well you arrive the evening of day one after travelling all day possibly, stay a night, have a full day and then next morning are off again to the next place. I mean - what are you gonna see ?

Your proposed trip has lots of this kind of thing. 2 nights in Pattaya AND Ko Samet - why both ? Pick one and stay 3 nights. Arrive Hoi An one afternoon or evening. One full day and then back to the airport for early morning flight to Hanoi to pick up the Halong Bay trip (even if you make it). Mad dash to Halong, then back next day for mad rush round Hanoi. It goes are you going to do Vang Vieng in one day ? It takes all day to get there from LP. No tubing for you - just the bus trip.

My advice is take AT LEAST 5 places out of your itinerary - probably a whole country and save it for another time.

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Posted by caseyprich on 18/1/2011 at 19:23

Well, you've still got 5 days to play with off the revised schedule, but I do ultimately agree with Rasheeed and Nokka - however, I can also understand that you want to see a lot. There is a common thread here between taking a quick trip to see a lot and get a feel for what is out there and going to get a depper feel for a place. As it sounds like you really want to get a sense of what is on offer - you probably don't want to ditch an entire country, but I think the advice about not taking it too fast is advisable.

As for your budget - the flight from LP to Chiang Mai is around 160 USD via Lao Airlines, I'm not sure how much the other flights cost - but that would make 250 too low no matter.

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