Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

much needed help

Posted by nigeyb on 6/12/2011 at 08:08

Hi. Myself and 2 mates are looking to do a 3 month tour starting 31 Jan. We are all travel virgins and not on a gap year as slightly older ( 30-40!!!) we have no plans other than to fly from London to KL and then??
I have been reading on the forum and all information is Bering taken on board. Our plan was to do the norm as in Thailand,Vietnam and Cambodia but havnt got a clue what's hot and what's not. We may even think about diff places like Philippines and we even thought of ending in oz but appreciate this may be wishfull thinking.
we are 3 lads and don't mind ruffing it and also want time to chill and time to party...many thanks for your help,advice .

#1 nigeyb has been a member since 6/12/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by busylizzy on 6/12/2011 at 17:59

Not sure exactly what advice you are looking for unless you want us to plan your trip for you?? Suggest you start here to get some ideas going:

#2 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by altmtl on 6/12/2011 at 19:38

yeah I agree, I don't what to say to questions like this, despite my travel experience I'd rather people tell me where not to go instead of where I should go... (unless they're really off the beaten track) because in reality not every place is fantastic and a must see, no matter what the guidebooks say. Research is the key

#3 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by nigeyb on 7/12/2011 at 05:02

Hi guys. Thanks for your feedback we are trying to gather information all the time but we are just Tring to get peoples recomendations of places we must plan in. As we are flying into Kl we plan to work up from there to Bangkok, visiting the phi phi island & phuket on route. Then from BK would like to do Chiang Mai before heading back to do Cambodia & Vietnam... This is where we lack knowledge as the only place on our list at the mo is Phnom Penh in Vietnam!!
As you can see it seems like we gave lots of gaps to fill in on route and only 8weeks before we leave. As much as I love the idea of getting of the plane and going with the flow I think some kind of plan is needed.
Thanks again n I will be sure to check out the link.

#4 nigeyb has been a member since 6/12/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by altmtl on 7/12/2011 at 07:16

Phnom Penh is in Cambodia by the way... good luck :)

#5 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by MADMAC on 7/12/2011 at 07:32

OK, I get the feeling you guys want to just kick it. Not looking to do anything special in particular. So first, you have to parse out what's important.

1. Do you want to see the big sights like Siem Reap, Halong Bay, Luang Prabang... etc?
2. Do you want to absorb culture and get completely off the beaten path?
3. Do you want to drink and chase women?
4. Do you want to chill on the beach?

Doing number one necessitates moving around from highlight to highlight. That moving eats lots of time. It can be blended somewhat with number two if you try and you move slowly, but basically doing one impedes doing the other. If you want number three, then just get off the plane and head to Pattaya. It's made for that. Number four means heading south instead of heading north or east when you get off the plane.

So better advice can be forthcoming if you specify what you really are looking to do.

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

Posted by nigeyb on 7/12/2011 at 08:19

Hi Madmac. Many thanks any help you offer is much appreciated.
We would like to combine a little of everything while away. We plan on 3 months but can stay longer if funds allow. We would like to see the jungles in the North and waterfalls but also Ko Phi Phi is a must... Our problem is lack of knowledge as the big sites you list in point 1 are not even on our list... Please excuse our ignorance but we only decided to go last week and leave in 8!!!
We have been to Thailand before but just a 2 week vacation in Phuket...

#7 nigeyb has been a member since 6/12/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by nigeyb on 7/12/2011 at 16:16

Hi again... After much research we have come up with a plan but not sure how do able it is...
London - Kuala Lumper.
KL - Phuket -Ko Phi Phi-Koh Chang or Koh Jum
Then make way back to Phuket. How easy is it to get from Phuket - Ko Samui as we would then like to do Ko Samui-Ko Pha Ngan-Ko Tao-Chumpon then train to Bangkok then Ko Samet or Ko Chang
From here to Battambang-Siem Rep-Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville-Konpong Cham-Phnon Penh
From here we head to Ho Chi Minh-Mui Ne-Nha Trang-Hoi An-Hue-Halong Bay-Honoi...
Now im stuck as from Hanoi I would like to go across to Chang Rai or Chang Mai but is this possible? If so we would then head to Bangkok to end our tour.
All this in 3months. Planes trains and automobiles..

#8 nigeyb has been a member since 6/12/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by MADMAC on 7/12/2011 at 21:53

Hanoi to Chiang Mai? You're flying. By bus (the only alternative) you would be on the bus for days - literally. It would suck so bad I don't even want to contemplate it. As far as I know, the only way to fly is Hanoi to Bangkok, Bangkok to Chiang Mai. You could also fly to Vientiane and then just take an incredibly long and horrible bus ride (but marginally tolerable).

Also getting from Koh Chang to Battambang (or whereever in Cambodia) is going to be a lousy trip as well. Long. But doable.

Otherwise to my untrained eye it looks like a reasonable itinerary given the time you've got. Bear in mind that because you are looking at three countries in three months, learning much of any of the languages, which are radically different from Thai, is pretty much ruled out. That means in non-tourist areas communication will be more of a challenge.

Have a great trip.

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

Posted by mytigertour on 7/12/2011 at 22:34

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi. When you get to Vietnam, or before, give us a call or send an email. I'm an expat and my wife is VN. We will be happy to help you, and meet for a bia or three. Enjoy your trip!

#10 mytigertour has been a member since 7/12/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by nigeyb on 8/12/2011 at 06:19

Thanks guys madmac brilliant news.we are expecting a few bus rides to keep costs down but we may review this after the 1st one. Ha ha.
Mytigertour you have a deal. Would be great to meet up and share your stories over a beer.

#11 nigeyb has been a member since 6/12/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by MADMAC on 8/12/2011 at 08:18

Often to get from point A to point B around here, bus is your only option. Hence I favor the idea of taking small chunks of time, covering small amounts of ground at a time. Say, no more than four hours. Even that will suck. But sometimes you've got no choice because time is pressing. Were it me (and it's not - you might be different) I would stick to moving very slowly or staying in one country. Because I can't stand the bus rides. But I have taken the bus to Bangkok (it sucks more and more everytime I do it). I do it because it's cheap and we have no airport here anyway. But I hate it and if I could avoid it I would. Your trip doesn't look too bad, but I'll confess if it were me I would stick to Thailand with maybe an excursion to PP and Siem Reap.

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

Posted by nigeyb on 8/12/2011 at 08:34

Thanks again madmac you messages are a great help. I completley understand what your saying and to be hones we have no plans other to spend most time in Thailand then see a little more. This may he our only visit so be a shame not to see more of Asia. But who knows we may fall in love and not move anywhere... Ha ha. Where are you based?

#13 nigeyb has been a member since 6/12/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by MADMAC on 8/12/2011 at 10:48

I'm out in Mukdahan. You and your mates decide you want to get off the beaten path and head this way (stop in Khon Kaen first. Trust me, it's a cool city) let me know and I'll square you away concerning where to go and what to do. I know the city well, as I have lived here for four plus years.

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

Posted by inspiredbykrissi on 22/12/2011 at 08:06

The Indochina Loop would be a good start. Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos. They are all relatively cheap and small ish giving you a good experience of them all.

My suggestions for Thailand is coming up to Chiang Mai. This is a real taste of Thailand that you wont get down on the islands. Happy travels ;)

#15 inspiredbykrissi has been a member since 9/12/2011. Posts: 68
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