Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Help please!!

Posted by meganconway on 14/8/2012 at 08:04


I'm sure this has been asked 1 million times but i just cant seem to find what i'm looking for so i would really appreciate it if some of you's would be kind enough to answer my questions!!

I am going traveling in January - fly in Bangkok and plan to travel SE Asia for around 6 months. In that time i want to see Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Indonesia (Bali in particular) I'm not sure what would be the best route to take, i have heard most people travel North to South or South to North, can anyone advise what is best?

Are there any particular places in any of the countries or Islands you would strongly recommend? Other than the common tourist places. Is there anything you would say is a "must do" or a "must see"?

If anyone done SE Asia for a similar timeframe and on a similar budget (i will have around £4000) Could you tell me your itinerary? How long you spent in each country? Things you liked and disliked? Any tours you done? Just as much info as possible and your opinion on your own experiences would be great!!

Thank you very much!!!

#1 meganconway has been a member since 14/8/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by chinarocks on 14/8/2012 at 09:26

Five countries in six months is very reasonable based on some of what is seen on the boards here.

Your route should be dictated by the weather and your interests as it is very easy to hop on a cheap Air Asia flight.

Must dos and must sees are hard to say without hearing your specific interests. Although in that amount of time you will definitely have time to get off the beaten path every so often, which you should do.

From my experience, €800 - €900 per month was loads in SE Asia - so in sterling maybe £700 - £800.

To be honest, the most important thing to do is not to rush around. Your best memories will be lazing over a bowl of noodles in a Penang back alley rather than at Angkor Wat with hundreds of clicking Japanese tourists (no offence to the Japanese).

If you give your interests then maybe people can help more.

#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 14/8/2012 at 09:43

January is rainy down in Bali, better to start in northern Thailand/Laos/Vietnam then work your way down to the beaches in March when the interior gets hot and hazy and the rainy season is still a ways off. April is the hottest month but has the "new year" water festivals in Thailand/Laos/Cambodia to cool off. Then head down the east coast of Malaysia to the Perhentians and Tioman island. Zigzag down the Malay peninsula toward Singapore then onward to Java and Bali in June. At least that follows the seasons.

Check out visa requirements for each country so you don't get severely inconvenienced. That plus a sufficient source of funds is about all you really need. Take into account that your plans may change completely as you discover the unexpected and join-up with random travellers.

#3 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,951

Posted by meganconway on 15/8/2012 at 05:08

Thanks for your replies!!

I have found this whole trip pretty difficult to plan because there are soo many places that look good and alot of mixed opinions on others, also everyone keeps telling me not to plan too much! I guess im just worried that i end up missing out on something pretty incredible. I am interested in doing all the typical things such as Angkor Wat or Tubing in Laos, Learning about the history of Vietnam and Cambodia but i'm also looking for some hidden treasures, maybe places that are less well known but definetly worth a visit. A friend of mine told me about an Island called "Money Island" just off Cambodia, no electricity.. the sea is filled with plankton so at night it glows green.. sounds amazing! So i guess places like that.. I also want to see some wildlife if possible? I know in many of these countries there are elephants you can visit and i think someone told me about an elephant island? I have never thought about doing Malaysia.. would you say it was worth seeing? I dont know anything about Java either. Thats another thing, Indonesia is made up of soo many islands, its hard to know which ones to go to! Also, is it easy enough to travel from place to place.. whether by bus or Air Asia? Thanks again.

#4 meganconway has been a member since 14/8/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by chinarocks on 15/8/2012 at 07:38

There is an ethical elephant trip you can do in Luang Prabang, Laos (somebody will probably tell me it's all a cod) that I found very good, costs a bit extra but the elephants seem very well treated etc. I have heard that the Thai equivalents are not worth going to - fake and serious mistreatment of the animals.

Malaysia, IMO, is well worth seeing. Penang is a great city if you like history (and cheap, great food as well), KL is relaxing and also good for eating options. Perhentian Islands, in the right season, are amazing - lovely beaches and cool beach parties without the sleaze.

I haven't been to Indonesia.

#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

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