Me and my girlfriend are moving to Australia in January 2014 but thought we would travel SE Asia before hand and the idea at the moment is as follows:
1 -Fly to Ho Chi Minh (We have friends to stay with for a few days in Ho Chi Minh when we first arrive and when we return for the flight out)
2 - Take 8 weeks travelling across to Cambodia, up through Laos to Hanoi (We have friends to stay with for the time we are in Hanoi) and then motorbike tour to Ho Chi Minh
3 - Fly to Indonesia or Borneo for 2 weeks before flying to Australia
Do people think this trip sounds too rushed and what sort of budget should we put away, I was hoping about $2,400 each excluding flights.
Any help is much appreciated.
#1 deltas1982 has been a member since 9/10/2013. Posts: 2
8 weeks(plus more for HCM?) for Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam is doable but will have to pick and choose. An idea, after spending time in maybe 2 weeks Cambodia entering via Ha Tien(Kampot, Kep, Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap, Kratie, bus to border) then 2 weeks in Laos(4000 islands, Pakse, Thakek, Konglor, Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang) then do yourself a favour and fly to Hanoi(or torture yourself and take bus) and spend 4 weeks working down to HCM.
Alternatively you could spend an extra week in Cambodia/Laos(or use that for your time in HCM if it is supposed to be included in 8 weeks) and only travel down as far as Danang/Hoi An in Vietnam then fly from Danang to HCM. Not a whole lot in between and makes for some long days/nights travelling.
As for cost, depends on you. Are you willing to sleep in cheap accommodation without ac, hot water etc or do you need all the amenities? Probably will spend between $15-30 on average for decent hotel but Cambodia and Laos can be much cheaper if you want to rough it. Are you willing to eat cheap or want good quality meals? Can eat as cheap as $1-2 a meal but $5 will get you a nice meal and can treat yourself with $10. Eating cheap can get by on $5-10 a day each, $10-20 would be eating very well. How many tours, sights etc do you plan on seeing? Tours/activities often range from $10-40+ each per day depending on what you are doing, lets say average $10-20 each. Travel costs around $5 for short bus rides(~4 hours), $10-15 for longer rides and $20-30 for overnight. On average probably only $5 per day on travel. Planes are more expensive but sometimes worth it. And the big one, how much drinking/partying. Drinks are cheaper in SEA but still add up quickly. If willing to buy at convenience store and enjoy at guesthouse then can be dirt cheap($1.25-2 for 630 ml beer) but in restaurant/bar can pay over double that and cocktails are more expensive($3-5).
So depending on how you guys travel can spend anywhere from $60-150+ a day. $80-100 is likely a comfortable target. For 10 weeks that would be $5600-7000. Even at only $60 a day you are looking at 4200 but to stay on that budget you will have to make some sacrifices.
The biggest thing about your budget is your proposed motorbike tour. That sounds expensive, but I don't know the details on it.
Thankyou for your reply as it is really very helpful, we will be landing in HCMC on the 30th of Jan and then flying out of there 8 weeks after that to Borneo for 2 weeks.
I think we may have to cut our tour in Vietnam/Laos/Camobodia down to 7 weeks so we can fit the advised budget and maybe just do a 3 day motorbike trip in North Vietnam when we are in Hanoi and then take your advice on how to get down to HCMC for our outward flight?
We have not really planned on what tours we want to take yet to be honest, we just know we want to see the orangutans in Borneo or Indonesia, possibly Indonesia as I have heard it is cheaper to travel around.
Any other advice is much appreciated and thankyou again.
#3 deltas1982 has been a member since 9/10/2013. Posts: 2
Dong Hoi to Paradise Cave and Hue to Danang are nice motorcycle rides for an idea of a couple day trips.
Cutting it down to 7 weeks is going to make things quite rushed. I would just try and figure out a way to make some extra cash, shouldn't be that bad and would make the trip much more comfortable.