I'm traveling SEA for 3 months with a friend (from end of March to the end of June). This is our planned route: arrival in Bangkok --> Southeast Thailand --> Cambodia --> South-Vietnam --> Laos all the way through (maybe crossing the border to check out Central-Vietnam) --> North-Vietnam --> South-China (Yunnan province) --> North-Myanmar all to way to the south, along the Irrawaday --> fly back to Bangkok & from Bangkok back home (Belgium)
* What places along this route are worth visiting for diving? (I'm still inexperienced but I'm taking some lessons before departure & some in Southeast Thailand).
* Transport-wise: does anyone know some trustworthy car/motorbike rental companies? Tied together with this one: which parts along my route are easy to do by car/motorcycle & which parts are better to do by public transportation/hitchhiking?
* As we decided to drop Nepal/Tibet due to possible time constraints, we would still like to see some mountainscapes; which parts are recommendable (in the Yunnan province seems our best bet?)?
* Any other cities/places along this route that you think we definitely have to visit?
* Does anyone know from & to which European city & with which airline you can cheaply & easily fly to Bangkok? We plan on booking a cheap Ryanair flight in Europe.
Any other tips are very welcome too.
#1 Brecht has been a member since 7/2/2011. Posts: 4
WAAAAAAAYY to much for me. You will spend so much time moving and a little time just being somewhere. Why? To say you went to that many? Make a list, with your estimated time in each place. It is easier to look at that way and for people to give advice.
Well, my travelmate has traveled around South-America for a couple of months and covered a large area than the proposed one without rushing too much, although this itinerary seemed a bit too ambitious for me too, so I basically agree with you.
After consulting some people, we changed our plan, dropping South-China & Myanmar to opt for 18days in Nepal, flying from Hanoi . This means we have about 70 days for the rest of our itinerary --> does this seem more realistic?
Again, this seems quite ambitious to me, but in reality we'll just go with the flow once we get there. We just gotta make sure to be in Hanoi after 70 days.
I presume it's quite easy to arrange flights on short notice when we feel we need to skip some parts.
One more question: as not to spend too much time in Thailand, we thought about flying from Bangkok directly to Trat airport (southeast of Thailand). Any interesting diving opportunities (for rookies) & nice beaches there or is it really concentrated along Koh Tao?
#3 Brecht has been a member since 7/2/2011. Posts: 4
"Does anyone know from & to which European city & with which airline you can cheaply & easily fly to Bangkok? We plan on booking a cheap Ryanair flight in Europe."
The only budget airline that comes to mind is Air Asia from London Stansted to Bangkok.
Have you already been to Thailand? Why do you want to get out so quick? Something against BKK? Cutting out the China and Myanmar helps to take it as it comes. If you feel you like a place and want to chill out longer there is less pressure to move. I would take a couple of days in Bkk and ease into the trip. Why spend the money and time going back to the airport (unless you fly right away) to fly to trat. It is easy and cheap on a government bus. 4-5 hours, not too bad. I am a big guy and had no problem with it.
There are many dive shops and websites about Koh Chang diving, just search.
Thanks again for the advice. In the meantime, our flights have been booked (arriving in BKK March 29th, Hanoi-KTM (over CAN) June 9th & KTM-BXL June 25th, which totals at about 72days in SEA.
I have nothing against BKK, but yes, I've already been to Thailand. Plan was to decondition ourselves from the western lifestyle for a week or so at a beach with good diving opportunities, preferably close to the Cambodian border as I'm quite eager to start our journey. That's why we would've taken a flight to Trat upon arrival in BKK.
But as my friend hasn't been to BKK & the buzz of a big city is indeed a nice way to ease into it, your proposition seems better. Didn't know it was just a 5-hour drive; plus seeing some beautiful landscapes passing by is nicer than the view from a plane.
Koh Chang seems perfect. Now that the flights are booked, I'm spending most of my free time reading up on what each of the countries we plan on visiting has to offer. Browsing the internet through search engines is a useful way, but asking people on a message board who've actually been there is a more time-efficient way of finding answers to my specific questions, not to mention it paints a more objective picture & it's more personal.
#6 Brecht has been a member since 7/2/2011. Posts: 4
The bus to Trat is probably from the bus station a Ekamai. You can catch the skytrain and walk a few hundred meters. When you get to Trat there will be many touts looking for customers to the ferry to go to Koh Chang. Try to do the Trat trip early so as to arrive in the afternoon. The ride to the ferry is 30 min or so? I can't remember now but search that on the web. Then a big ferry lands you on Koh Chang where you can catch a taxi (overpriced) or a pick up truck that circles around. If you get to Koh Chang late it is a pain in the ass because everyone wants to charge more. But I haven't been in a few years plus to Chang so it is busier now I assume.