Hey, my girlfriend and I are going backpacking in SE Asia from the 6th-29th of July. This is our first time backpacking in SE Asia so looking for some guidance.
My thoughts are:
Laos - 1 week
Cambodia - ~3 days
Thai islands - 1 week
and the remaining 5 days in Thailand and traveling (at least 2 or 3 days in Bankok if its worth it?). but this is still very flexible. We would probably only be going to Siem Reap in Cambodia, I'd love to see it but is it worth the extra travelling time? We both like trekking, sightseeing, snorkeling, and kayaking.
I don't fare well on buses so would prefer to stick to trains, planes, and only short bus journeys while still keeping it cheap.
Does this seem like a reasonable plan? If anyone has done a similar trip then a rough itinerary would be great! Also what would be the best island(s) to visit at this time of year (don't really fancy a full moon party and I know the west coast can be pretty wet).
#1 ross8 has been a member since 19/6/2012. Posts: 1
Laos has no trains. And no budget airline. Buses are slooooowwwww.. If you don't like bus travel, Laos is a tricky one.
Three weeks is not a lot of time. I would suggest you think about axing Laos, doing a flight to Siem Reap and back, and spend the rest of the time in Thailand - which isn't a lot of time anyway.
Ditto what madmac writes. In Laos your choice of surface transport is pretty much limited to bus or minivan and the roads north of Vientiane can be really hilly and bumpy. Puking is not an uncommon sight. Cambodia also has no trains worth mentioning.
Maybe take a train from Bangkok to the Cambodian border then it's just a few hours to Siem Reap in a shared taxi. If you can manage that Angkor is really worth the journey. Train travel in Thailand is slow, but in many ways more enjoyable than buses. Just look at the State Railway of Thailand train routes to the north and south.
For your beach in July weather is likely best in the lower Gulf of Thailand. Get a train to Chumphon and fast ferry to Ko Tao, or train to Surat Thani and ferry from Don Sak pier to Ko Samui or Ko Phangan. Get up north to Chiang Mai if you have time. The north is relatively cheap and I find the people to be extra friendly up here.