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Southeast Asia forum

How to start on itinerary ( 6 months + )

Posted by loijuk on 4/12/2013 at 09:18


I'm wondering how to start researching and making an itinerary. I have no idea where to go and what to see . ( I'd love a mix between nature ( big on nature) , sightseeing and nightlife). I have enough money to last me quite some time. I would love to go to Thailand , Cambodia , Vietnam , Laos , Indonesia , ( and maybe China ).

Can someone help me getting started?

( I'm sorry to ask this question , because I know you guys get these questions everyday )

Edit : I'm planning on leaving next week ( last minute desicion )

#1 loijuk has been a member since 4/12/2013. Posts: 5

Posted by chinarocks on 4/12/2013 at 11:28

You don't give yourself much time. Your lack of detail will probably be met with disdain here. China and Vietnam appear problematic as first stops given that they require pre-arranged visas. Otherwise they are probably the two best countries in the region. Your interests of nature, sightseeing and nightlife makes me think Vietnam straight away.

Plan your route in accordance with the weather patterns. Don't book a return flight and generally just go with the flow and you can't go too far wrong in Asia.

#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

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Posted by antoniamitchell on 4/12/2013 at 14:53

Well, you certainly haven't got much time to plan, so I'm going to make a couple of general suggestions:

1) Start with Thailand. Well developed infrastructure, friendly, cheap: it's an easy place to get your Asian sea-legs, as it were. You could fly into Bangkok and start there, or catch a connecting flight to somewhere like Chiang Mai or down south if Bangkok doesn't appeal to you as much. Book your first 2 nights accommodation as well, so you don't have to worry about finding a hotel when you're jetlagged.

2) Spend some time over the next week researching Thailand, getting an idea what you'd like to see and do - the thailand destination guide and itineraries here will give you some ideas, as will a guidebook (gives you something to read on that long plane trip :). But don't worry about building an exact itinerary. You'll get 30 days visa exemption on arrival, so you've got time to go where the wind blows you.

3) Spend some down time during that month (evenings, when you don't feel like going out) researching other destinations, because you may need to organise some visas in advance (sometimes they can organised online, sometimes you'll need to organise them at the embassy in Bangkok, but your research will tell you all this).

4) Chinarocks is right about the weather. You're at the perfect time of year, weather wise, to do one of the classic loops (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam), while a lot of China will be rather cold at this time of year, and would be better in the Spring.

Have fun!

#3 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 541
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Posted by loijuk on 5/12/2013 at 06:39

This is what I came up with ( raw ) , please add or scratch a few things , or change it all together if you know something better ( I'm a complete newbie when it comes to SE Asia )

Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai
Pai ?
Sop Pong ?
Chiang Dao
Chiang Rai


Huay Xai
Xieng Kok
Miang Sing
Luang Nam Tha
Muang Ngoi
Luang Prabang
Vang Vieng
Tha Khaek
Don Khong – Don Dhet – Don Khon


Ban Lung
Stung Treng
Sen Monorom
Kompong Cham
Siem Reap
Phnom Penh
Ko Kong


Ho Chi Minh City
Mui Ne
Nha Trang
Hoi An
Halong Bai

Southern Thailand

Ko Tao
Ko Pha Ngan
Surat Thani
Khao Sok
Takua Pa
Ko Phi Phi
Ko Muk
Ko Kradan


( No itinerary yet )

#4 loijuk has been a member since 4/12/2013. Posts: 5

Posted by chinarocks on 5/12/2013 at 07:52

With respect OP, that list is a little bit pointless. You have just listed out lots of places that are very popular with most tourists. For people here to suggest whether or not you should go to each place, especially with the limited info you have given us, is impossible and pointless.

Establish a few things in your head and that should be enough to get started with, the rest will look after itself once you arrive over there.

- Weather patterns;
- Visa requirements;
- Your flight to the region (i.e. where will you land - probably Bangkok as it is a good city and a good hub if you want to fly to another country straight away);
- Maybe book your first two or three nights accommodation.

Once you are there you will establish where you want to head next pretty quickly I'm sure. Talk to the locals and tourists that you meet.

#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

Posted by loijuk on 5/12/2013 at 08:29

Ok thank you.

I'll be flying into Bangkok and book a hotel for a few nights.
The only thing I need to worry about is the Vietnam visa , which I will take care at my local embassey here.
We'll see how it will go from there , I'll take that list with me so i'll always have a place to go if I don't know where to go next.

#6 loijuk has been a member since 4/12/2013. Posts: 5

Posted by chinarocks on 5/12/2013 at 08:41

Guide books have their pros and cons but you could do worse than buy one for Asia and read it on the plane over to see what countries, regions or cities might interest you.

#7 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

Posted by chinarocks on 5/12/2013 at 08:45

With six months to play with you have more time than the vast majority who visit the region. Therefore, use it wisely and travel slowly. Broadly speaking, try to spend roughly a month in each country you visit.

#8 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 5/12/2013 at 08:54

Actually for long trips you don't even need to plan except for basic visa/flights. You have plenty of time to wing it as you go. It's short trips that need to be planned because time is limited. Just take a guidebook and get some maps when you arrive.

Air Asia and Nok are good for flights and you can book cheap flights a few days ahead of time except for xmas/nye.

#9 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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Posted by loijuk on 5/12/2013 at 08:54

Yeah , I'm planning to relax all the way , I worked way too hard this year haha.
I'm gonna travel till i'm tired of it or my money runs out. I hope its more than 6 months. I have around 10,000 Euros.

On the side here : How much cash do you usually have with you ? ( since atm fees are high )
How much in dollars/euros and how much in local currency

#10 loijuk has been a member since 4/12/2013. Posts: 5

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 5/12/2013 at 09:00

I normally spend $100 a day including the room but I choose good rooms. You could get by on $50-60 a day if you aren't too fussy with rooms.

I carry $500-2000 cash around. Thailand is safe.

#11 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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