Hi there im 23 female who plans to travel solo to SE asia for up to 3 months and needing some major advice.
Ill be comming from canada beginning of september however first things first i dont know if i shold fly directly into either bangkok or phuket to start the travels
Since im going solo Id really like to arrive somewhere ill meet people in a similar scenario, possibly find a travel buddy.. get my grounding ext.
I want to experiance it all : Cultural, relaxing (deffinatly lots of beach time), get some partying out of me so a full moon party ext.
Id really love to do thialand and dip into cambodia, laos.. possibly a little of vietnam if theres time or on a rout
I really dont want to fly everywhere either.. I keep reading posts where everyones saying fly into bangkok initally but plan to catch a flight straight out to somewhere else.. which makes no logical sence to me...
So PLEASE help me with a fantastic general/ typical travel rout that without getting on a bunch of planes ( 1or 2 is fine.. as long as its on the way to the next destination )
I dont have a flight out as Im not put on any exact time frame and not too fussed as ill be flyign back into australia so (i figured if i fly into bangkok ill fly out of phuket or vise versa)
Any advice will be MUCH appreciated! Ive tried reseasrchign but the more Im eading the more lost I feel
#1 ashley23 has been a member since 24/5/2012. Posts: 3
Thailand is a great place to start in SE Asia - it has a well-developed tourist infrastructure - and you will easily meet other travellers on the road. I think the reason a lot of first-timers fly into Bangkok and then catch a flight elsewhere is that Bangkok is a large, noisy, hectic city, so if you start there you're not exactly easing yourself into the country. I personally flew into Bangkok then caught a flight to Chiang Mai, which was a much more relaxed place to begin exploring Thailand (as well as being a nice town in it's own right).
I then worked my way down through Central Thailand (if you like history, I'd recommend visiting one of the old ruined cities like Sukhotai, Si Satchalan, or Ayutheya - all of which I've probably spelt wrong), and by the time I got to Bangkok a couple of weeks later, I felt ready to tackle it. I'm very glad I did it that way, as I think I'd have found it a struggle to cope with Bangkok when I was exhausted and jet-lagged from a long flight. Plus your first day in a new culture is always a bit disorienting.
There are lots of great overland routes in the region - I did one of the classic ones (Thailand from North to South, then down through Malaysia to Singapore, then a flight to Saigon, from where I worked my way back North through Vietnam) so I don't know anything about Laos or Cambodia, but if you do a search on Travelfish you'll probably find lots of advice on routes and travelling in those countries.
In terms of general advice and just feeling prepared and ready, I personally found Rough Guide's First Time Asia very useful. It's a good grounding in the basics, then boards like this one are terrific for those specific questions that your reading throws up.
"Id really like to arrive somewhere ill meet people in a similar scenario, possibly find a travel buddy.. get my grounding"
If you can handle the sheer mentalness of Bangkok then it is a perfect place to start as it is full of backpackers.
If you want to relax, and experience some culture (as opposed to collecting photos and passport stamps) then firstly can I say well done! Secondly I would leave it at just the three countries in three months. If you are going to have some beach time in Thailand and want to go to a full moon party, while also seeing all the rest that Thailand has to offer, then I am guessing you will need over a month (maybe 5-6 weeks). That would leave 3-4 weeks for each of Laos and Cambodia which is very good. You could throw Vietnam in too but I would say leave it for now as it is such a large and varied country that it too needs a lot of time.
You would only need to take one plane under this scenario, from somewhere in Cambodia back to your departure point.
Work your way up to Chiang Mai (after you've seen the rest of Thailand), then cross into Northern Laos and work your way slowly through Laos and eventually down to the 4000 Islands. You can then cross the border into Kratie in Cambodia and start your Cambodia adventure.
#3 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Yes, fly into Bangkok, I love that city, you may want to take in the regular couchsurfing meeting every wed. :) - 3 - 4 days is a good stay, public transit is excellent. Besides, you'll have to go back to fly out so if you don't like it don't stay at the end.
With 3 months you don't have to fly anywhere, a a big fan of trains in Thailand, especially night trains. And remember, you don't have to see all parts of every country. My last trip I spent a month in one area in Thailand, then went to Laos for a month, then stayed for another month in another area of Thailand.
There's no point of flying into phuket, personally I'd avoid going there, unless you really have your heart set on it.
You might be interested in SE ASIA 2012 - https://www.facebook.com/groups/225323967528443/