In the early stages of planning my 3-4 month 2014 trip to SE Asia but i think ive made the big mistake of researching too much and listing places i want to visit...In short we go Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia/Indonesia and back home to UK.
We're having a 2 week "holiday" in India before flying to Bangkok where our trip really begins. From Bangkok, the initial plan is to travel up to Chiang Mai. From Thailand, head up into Laos where we would really like to visit Luang Prabang, Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands) and would love to see the Kong Lor Caves. However, this doesnt really fit in well with the Vietnam part of our trip where we really want to go north into Sapa and then onto Hanoi and down to the Mekong Delta - would love to see Phu Quoc Island! The other issue we have is that we would love to see some of Thailands beautiful islands such as Koh Lipe or Koh Phi Phi, but these are right down south - my brain is filled with all these places and directions
Has anyone got a good route plan to suggest? The Kong Lor caves are in the south of Laos - is it fairly easy to get to from the centre? Or can we jump across the border from Vietnam?? There's not much in Vietnam that really appeals to me to be honest, apart from the 2 places ive mentioned above - Sapa is a must i think.
My boyfriend and I are not looking for a huge party scene, i think the main thing is culture and beautiful scenic places as I'm a bit of a photographer and my partner loves trekking and climbing "big hills"!
p.s - this forum/website has been such a massive help so far
#1 SophieJae has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
Air Asia is going to be your best friend...I find their web page a bit glitchy But I have booked with them plenty.Im a big advocate of doing the Thailand Cambodia Vietnam Laos back to Thailand route counter clock wise.From Bangkok to Siem Reap to Phnom Penh to HCMC and then up the coast of Vietnam to Halong Bay.There you can fly to Luang Prabang the on to Chiang Mai .
From Chiang Mai you can take a flight to Krabi or Phuket and explore the Andaman Coast.Then fly to KL or Pinang.
From KL, Air Asia is based, so you can take lots of flights into the rest of the region cheap...I'd say fly to Yogajakarta head towards Bali,taking in Bromo on the way...make sure you give yourself some time to go to Rinjani on Lombok or maybe an excursion to Komodo. flights add up but they are pretty great rates in comparison to Europe or the Americas.
#2 DSawyer has been a member since 9/1/2013. Posts: 48
Yeah I think we will fly to a couple of the places - however we are on a budget of about Â£5k each for the whole 3-4 months so want to try and cut down on travel costs wherever possible.
I'm still not sure how we fit southern Laos in without hopping the border a couple of times. Not too bothered about the coastal side of Vietnam, quite happy to skip that and just go from the Mekong Delta region up to Hanoi and into Sapa?
Thanks for the reply
#3 SophieJae has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
When are you going?? Timing will most likely affect your decisions regarding the Andaman coast and some parts of Indonesia.
Good advice from DSawyer. Consider flying from CM to Krabi and making your way to Penang via ferry. Pick and chose which islands you want to stop at. Take a bus from Penang to KL and get to Indonesia from there.
We were thinking of doing the trip sometime between January and the end of April 2014. Alot of the places we want to visit have their wet season starting in May, so we're hoping to avoid this by going earlier during the hotter/drier months.
#5 SophieJae has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
I would budget for an addition $350 dollars, in area to area flights...I would not worry too much about your overall budget...between the two of you that amount of money is plenty.The two of you splitting the cost of accommodation helps a lot.Food is very cheap and so are buses for the most part...The islands of Thailand can get pricey, so can Bali...but it's still relative. That brings me to the monsoon season,If you head out in January or early Feb can can easily have worked your way back down to the islands of the Andaman and still beat the rainy season...I was there two years ago in mid April and weather was pretty good...there were a few rain storms but it's the tropics so it did not feel out of place...any later than that and I'd advise against it.
#6 DSawyer has been a member since 9/1/2013. Posts: 48