I am new to this site and to backpacking but I will be graduating from college in the US and will be traveling with a few friends in July. I know this is the middle of the rainy season in the area but it it the only time we can all go before starting "the real world" in August. I was just looking for input on what I have been planning. We will be going to China for about 2 weeks before flying into Bangkok. We wanted to go north from there then into Laos & Vietnam then circle back into Cambodia and southern Thailand but I am worried that the rain will ruin it. Thoughts? My backup plan would be to go form Bangkok to Cambodia (Siem Reap & PP) then to southern Thailand for more of a beach scene. From what I have read it will be dryer in that region than farther north and in Vietnam. Does anyone have any first hand knowledge on traveling from Bangkok to Siem Reap? Any help is much appreciated.
#1 aam09d has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 1
How long are you planning on spending on the Thailand/Laos/Vietnam/Cambodia bit?
In July northern Thailand and Laos will be quite wet and the going in Laos in particular may be a little slower due to road conditions (depending on where you are going). Cambodian coast likewise will be very wet -- I wouldn't recommend the islands there in July.
On the other hand the Thai islands of Ko Samui Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao enjoy good weather in July, so perhaps your beach idea is a better bet.
For info on the Bangkok to Siem Reap trip, see this story.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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My fellow American, do yourself a favor and take as much time as possible for your summer vacation trip to SE Asia. The "Real World" is highly over-rated. Assuming you finish college in early June get going, hop a flight to Bangkok and spend a couple months exploring the region. The classic circuit is doable in that amount of time - North Thailand/Laos, Hanoi-HCMC, Phnom Penh-Siem Reap OR as you say do more island time, and as Mr. Somtam says the Gulf of Thailand (Samui/Phangan/Tao) are having their best weather in July. I wouldn't worry too much about rain in the rest of the region. Sure it will happen and can slow down things in lesser developed areas but it also takes the edge off the heat and makes the countryside green and perky. I live in Chiang Mai and actually like the rainy season. Beats the hell out of March-May which can be unbearably hot. Now you just have to save money and get psyched.