Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

3 weeks, malaysia/viet/thailand...please help me start!

Posted by slowtyper on 21/7/2013 at 10:15

I will be in asia for vacation Aug 22 to Sep 23. 1 week will be spent in Seoul, then my girl and I have three weeks to travel.

I prefer to stay in one area and just soak it up. My girlfriend prefers to see many wonderful things and different places, so we will have to compromise and do a bit of each. Luckily however,we both are not into big cities or tourist attractions that are very "touristy". Not really into lazing around on the beach. FOOD is a major facet of the trip. I'm a professional cook and love SE asian food and want to soak up as much as I can. No need for nightclubs.

I have family in Malaysia and will definitely spend a week in malaysia. Family is in Penang and Ipoh, and want to see brunei....what is a good place to go there? recommended to take a tour or just go and explore??

So after all that, we have two weeks left. (feels so short already). I was thinking a week in Thailand and a week in Vietnam...but more specific than that, I'm at a loss. Everyone I ask recommends different places, and there are so many!

I just discovered this forum and will be digging in deep in the next few weeks. Any help to get started would be appreciated!

Additional questions:
What is the recommended way to find hotels (book online? Just go and look?) We don't want to stay in shared hostels, but we also don't need luxurious western style hotels. Something in between would be fine, we like the privacy and comfort of a hotel room but don't mind the charms of a local place. I have to keep budget in mind, however I don't mind spending a bit more for short haul flights to save time to maximize the experience.

I've used airbnb and been very happy with it in North America. Anyone have experience with something like this in asia?

Thanks so much and sorry for posting what I'm sure has been posted a million times. I hope I've narrowed down our preferences a bit to make it easier.

#1 slowtyper has been a member since 21/7/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by daawgon on 21/7/2013 at 12:18

My opinion - just too much moving around. Since Vietnam is so different and somewhat difficult, I would leave it for another trip. I think Airbnb is fine for Bangkok, but I don't know about the rest of Thailand. I booked my hotels with Agoda recently, and the service was excellent. You pay up front with Agoda (use if you prefer to pay later).

I think you would like Luang Prabang in Laos, but it's next to impossible to find great places in SEA that are not touristy.

If you get to LP, don't miss that wonderful swimming hole at Kwang Si - pictured here

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,152
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Posted by antoniamitchell on 21/7/2013 at 13:22

Hi there,

I'd agree with Daawgon, that it would make more sense to cut back on the number of countries.

However I personally find the food in Vietnam (especially Northern Vietnam) to be better than the food in Thailand, but Thailand might make more sense in terms of your itinerary - where can you fly in from Seoul or out when it's time to go home again, and what gives you a practical route without too much wasted time in airports or bus stations? As you've got limited time, it makes sense to minimise time spent in transit.

Malaysian food is fantastic, and Penang is one of the foodiest places in Malaysia, so ensure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy it. Brunei is a long way from Penang and Ipoh, however, so I'd suggest you save it for another trip when you've got more time to explore non-peninsular Malaysia / Borneo.

Have fun!

#3 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 541
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Posted by slowtyper on 21/7/2013 at 13:54

Thanks for the replies! It's difficult to save things for another trip because taking a month off work was already a very difficult thing for me. It's unlikely I'll be able to do anything like this for a long time! Hmm I'll have to do more reading up soon!

#4 slowtyper has been a member since 21/7/2013. Posts: 2

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