My partner and I are taking a couple months this summer to travel around SE Asia and are looking for feedback from some of you experienced travelers or locals. We'd like to strike a balance between covering a fair amount of ground and taking time to relax at some key places.
I'm looking at booking flights into/out of two different major cities to skip the travel time between the two. Some options are flying into Bangkok and out of HCMC (skipping Cambodia), flying into HCMC and out of Hanoi (skipping C. Vietnam), or doing something like fly into Bangkok and out of Siem Reap and doing a nice loop.
We'd also like to take a few days in Bagan.
We're not committed to following an itinerary but we would like to have a rough idea of the ground we'd like to cover. Here's what we're thinking:
Fly into BKK, take a day or two to hang out and adjust, see some sites
Air Asia to Yangon
~10 days taking train to Bagan, making our way back through Mandalay/Yangon
a couple more days around Bangkok with a friend
~10 days going from Bangkok, through Chiang Mai, on to Chiang Rai
1 week boat to Luang Prabang/stay in Luang Prabang
flight to Hanoi
1+ week in N. Vietnam (Hanoi/Sapa)
1 week in C. Vietnam (Hue/Dalat)
2 weeks in S. Vietnam (HCMC/Mekong Delta/Phu Quoc Island)
That should put us right around 60 days. Is Halong Bay a must? Should we make a few days for the Angkor Wat? Too much time in some places, too little in others?
#1 brand0n has been a member since 25/5/2011. Posts: 11
I think you strike a good balance and leave it open ended enough to play around a bit. Make sure to check the rainy seasons here - as if memory serves me there is a period in the summer where much of Phu Quoc battens down and the streets turn into streams. Leaving the 2 week period at the end is a nice touch as you can shave a day or two off it if you are enjoying somewhere else and still have a good amount of time for the delta.
I see 17 days from BKK to LPP departure which is very doable, and otherwise see a trip that I'd be happy to have planned myself - really like time time-frames set for regions and not individual places.
Look at the season when you'll be around and decide if Phu Quoc is not the best palce to put your feet up - if that is the case then go to Angkor instead . . . I'd note that in my experience any flight out of Cambodia is much more expensive than a flight out of BKK or HCMC - so if budget is an issue maybe stick to the HCMC outward bound or change the schedule to complete a full loop so that you are flying in and out of BKK.