Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

7 months in SE Asia :)

Posted by dagi_jagi on 24/10/2012 at 08:49

Hi all,

I need your advice. With my boyfriend we aregoing to have some kind of gap half year. Starting 5/12 from BKK.
We have somedoubts about our route. So many options to choose, each has pros and cons.Especially weather factor. Is it too cold for mountains in Decmber? (northVietnam and north Laos)?
Or in December/January it's not worth to go to Borneo/Indonsesia because of weather?

We plan to spend 3-4weeks per country. Any tips are more than welcome. Waiting for your feedback.

Option 1:

BKK - HANOI & north Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia - Saigon & South Vietnam - Philippines - Borneo/Indonesia- Malaysia - Thailand - Myanmar- BKK

Option 2:

BKK - Philippines - Saigon & South Vietnam - Cambodia - Laos - HANOI & north Vietnam - Myanmar -Thailand - Malaysia - Indonesia - Thailand

Option 3:

BKK - south Thailand - Malaysia - Borneo/Indonesia - Philippines- Saigon & South Vietnam- Cambodia - Laos - HANOI & north Vietnam -Myanmar - BKK - central & north Thailand


BKK - Philippines - Borneo/Indonesia - Malaysia - south Thailand - Myanmar - central&north Thailand -Laos - HANOI+ north Vietnam - Cambodia - Saigon & south Vietnam

#1 dagi_jagi has been a member since 24/10/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by MADMAC on 25/10/2012 at 06:33

I would go with option five. Bangkok and work my way over to up to Chiang Rai via Chiang Mai. I would make this trip slow, consuming all 30 days of your visa. Hit the highlights along the way (Kanchanaburi, Ayudhya, Suhkothai, Chiang Mai, etc). From there I would cross into Laos and explore Northern Laos - hitting the highlights there and slowly moving to Vietnam. Moving slowly across northern Vietnam hitting the highlights there, once I made it to Hanoi I would look at riding down to Saigon on Motorcycle. Before my visa ran out, I'd get across to Cambodia and hit all the highlights there. Once I'd done that, I would cross into Thailand and move North, hitting the Mekong and moving up it's western bank. Once I arrived in Nong Khai (with maybe a detour to Loei) then I would take the train down to BKK and move along the Malay Peninsula before going into Malaysia. From there I would explore Malaysia until I ran out of time and headed back to BKK.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by caseyprich on 25/10/2012 at 22:09

With such a long trip and so many locations, weather and expenses (flights vs. overland jumps, etc) get so complicated that it would be really hard to give a comprehensive recommendation on any of the permutations of your trip.

Overall - cut option 4 as it has you flying in and out of a different places and usually you'll get better airfare if you book the round-trip ticket. That way you know you'll be doing a book loop that eventually ends up back in BKK.

It is confusing because option 1 has you going to Hanoi from BKK without hitting central or northern Thailand, while those are included in option 2 - and I agree with MadMac's recommendation of a northern route through Laos to Hanoi.

You're also skipping central Vietnam and I think that Hue/DaNang/Hoi'an area of Vietnam has been my favorite thus far, so I'd reconsider that and think about how you could include at least 1 1/2 weeks in that region - maybe save cash on internal flights that way by taking overnight trains between Hanoi-Hue-HCMC.

Budget wise - think about Malaysia carefully, I found it was more expensive than most other countries in the region and while parts are enjoyable I wouldn't fasten too much of the trip there (don't know about Borneo portion) - Indonesia and Philippines are both very big and will require a lot of internal fights to bounce about - so including all that island hoping may put Myanmar off this trip.

#3 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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