I have 10 days holidays that I would like to spend in south east asia. I already visited Thailand and Angkor wat in Cambodia. Now, I am thinking of Vietnam and Laos but the question is is it doable in 10 days? any other suggestions?
Thanks for your help!
#1 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
In a word, no!
For me 10 days is about right for one region of a particular country. You could see Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa in 10 days. Or Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. But not all of Vietnam or all of Laos and certainly not both of them.
As we've seen numerous times before, if you provide some interests then maybe you will get better answers.
#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Ok I see thank you.
I would like to visit a few cities, see temples and architecture but also spend a few days on the beach.. As I am flying from London, the flights are not direct and I will waste some time travelling. What do you think?
#3 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
I am doing exact same thing. I'm flying from London and only have 10 days. Since you have been to Cambodia, do you think it's possible to go there for 10 days? To see Angor Wat and Phnom Pen and any other suggested areas.
#4 larkspur20 has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 1
Have you considered Malaysia?
KL, Penang and the Perhentian Islands would meet your criteria above. Although check the weather trends for when you are going.
Have you booked your flights already? If not, you can save time given that KL is a hub and there are good flight connections within Malaysia to save you further time.
#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Ok can you tell me more about Malaysia?
No i havent booked my flights yet!
#6 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
@Viron: Yeah - if you want to include beach time then you should drop Laos from your itinerary. With 10 days you could fly into HCMC and then just take a few days to see the city and maybe head down to Can Tho for a little visit to the Mekong Delta. I'd recommend you fly round-trip from HCMC to Phu Quoc Island and you could have a few beach days there. That would easily take up 10 days, but you wouldn't see much in the way of old temples and such.
@larkspur20: 10 days should be fine if your main goal is to see Angkor Wat (Siem Reap) and tour around Phnom Penh for a few days to visit the historical sites and such around there. As part of this, I'd suggest the easiest route might be to fly into PP and then take a flight to SR. After 3-4 days there you could go to Battambang as part of an overland return to PP, spending 2 nights. This will still give you a couple days in Phnom Penh before you have to fly back.
What month are you going in?because the weather in the specific places will definately be a factor. i agree malaysia would be good for what you are looking for. I went to singapore and overnight trained it to malaysia for the perhentian islands and had a great time...was a good mix of city and beach and beach break and was doable in a short time but perhentian islands are only open in the summer months (too rough to get there on boat in the wintermonths so check on google this before you book)
Vietnam sounds a great option for you too....check weather too as the north (hanoi, sapa etc) is cold and rainy in jan and feb. Ho chi minh and mekong delta trip and then train to nah trang sounds pretty much perfect for you too in a short time.Just do lots of research and I am sure you will find something that suits you....vietnam is easy to get the train to each place so for a short amount of time either do north or south.
#8 aim88 has been a member since 27/10/2013. Posts: 6
How if Bali? Small Island, Hidden GEM! Bali is magical. As probably the most famous island in Indonesia, Bali blends spectacular mountain scenery and beautiful beaches with warm and friendly people, a vibrant culture and out of this world resorts. You can Reach all this island just in 3 or 4 days depends on your activity while you doing a travelling here.
#9 Balipandawa21 has been a member since 6/1/2014. Posts: 1
"Ok can you tell me more about Malaysia?
No i havent booked my flights yet!"
Malaysia is a moderate Muslim country but with ready access to all Western commodities, and drinking alcohol is not an issue. Take care to cover up a little more at the beach than you might in Thailand or Vietnam, but as far as I'm aware it should not be an issue. I think it is a good introduction to SE Asia and definitely ticks some of your boxes.
"Visit a few cities, see temples and architecture but also spend a few days on the beach."
KL is an okay city with good food, the Petronas Towers and a nice easy going nature. It is also a good base for getting to other parts of the region (both within and outside of Malaysia).
Penang has temples and a great mix of architecture (mosques, temples, colonial) as well as great food. It is a melting pot of cultures and I think it is one of the best places in SE Asia.
Perhentian Islands - lovely beaches and good parties at night time. Nothing like a full moon, just a few beers on the beach and some people playing guitars.
KL - 2/3 days
Fly to Penang
Penang - 3/4 days
Overnight bus to Khota Baru and ferry across to the Perhentian Islands
Perhentians - 3/4 days
Fly Khota Baru to KL and back home
You will need to be precise with your planning but I think this is doable in 10 days and is a good mix of places in a not too large country with good connections (i.e. good for your limited time).
#10 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
"How if Bali? Small Island, Hidden GEM!"
Hidden? Hidden from what? Maybe it was hidden in the 18th century, but unless you grew up on the moons of jupiter or something, Bali is not going to be some sort of hidden anything. It's a major tourist destination, in case you missed it.
Thank you all for your advices!
It will be hard to make up my mind now as I would prefer a destination where it is quite warm and sunny and it is for end of this January.
A few more questions: all these countries are safe enough for a girl travelling on her own? are visas needed? any of you living in any of these countries?
#12 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
Suprised u dont want to visit Thailand again. There is over 20 islands with accomodation on. Also plenty of temples.
For 10 days Id just pick 1 country though.
Malaysian isnt the worst option but it aint as good as Thailand.
"Malaysian isnt the worst option but it aint as good as Thailand."
It's all about opinions and while Thailand is certainly far more popular based on numbers, I think Malaysia could be good here, given limited time and the fact that the OP has seen Thailand before. The shorter distances also mean that bus journeys and flights will eat up less time.
To do the equivalent type of trip in Thailand would entail Bangkok, Chiang Mai and a Southern island, something I don't think is really possible in 10 days (you would need more like two weeks).
#14 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Why visit CM? Thailand has temples all over the country.
Visiting Thailand once means u have seen 2% of the country.
Very easy to fly into southern Thailand. Dont even need to stay in Bkk if u dont want.
Nakhon Si Thammarat has one of the most important temples in the country.
1 hour flight to the south so not sure where u get the saving time.bit from.
I wouldn't mind to go to Thailand again as I loved it so much!But I feel like travelling to a new destination!
Apparently you have to apply for a visa to go to Vietnam and Indonesia unlike Malaysia and Philippines, is that correct?
#16 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
You certainly don't want Vietnam for end of Jan, because it's Tet then, and it would be impossible for you (unless you had prebooked everything, all transport would already have been sold out) I suggest Laos - much smaller than VN and much warmer in Jan than VN.
The OP wants to spend a few days on a beach so that rules Laos out. Probably not the best either for a 10-day trip given the relatively poor transport links in that country.
#18 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
I thought Malaysia was a particularly clever suggestion. It fit the OPs preferences, is definitely the road less travelled, and may even have cheap flights to/from London. If not Malaysia, then I'd go with Thailand for a quickie 10-day trip. Lots of good beaches, variety, food, and temples to see in that short time. Third choice would be the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It also has great beaches, ancient Mayan temples, and a few small but charming cities to visit. But it is definitely not in southeast Asia.
@Viron, did you decide yet?
No, I still haven't booked anything yet...I would not go to Thailand and I will not stay around Europe...Asia seems safer than South america to me..
So based on all your recommandations, I would drop Vietnam and Malaysia seems the best option. For Laos, can you swim in the Mekong? What do you think of Philippines?
#22 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
I think exacto was talking relatively, and is correct to say Malaysia is less travelled than most other SE Asian countries.
I'm not sure Europe is a helpful suggestion given that the OP has explicitly stated a preference for SE Asia.
#23 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
OP - wherever you decide to go make sure you check out the weather in your chosen area before you book anything as this can obviously make or break a trip, especially a short one where you don't want to be sitting around a guesthouse for too many days.
#24 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Just checked the weather in Malaysia and rain, thunderstorms, etc :(
#25 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
When are you planning on going?
#26 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
I am planning to travel in 3 to 4 weeks...
@ LeonardCohen-n1: Already been to Mexico :) also I will be travelling on my own so for a girl I am not sure it is a good idea?
#29 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
Ok thank you very much for your help!
#31 Viron has been a member since 3/1/2014. Posts: 9
Not to confuse you further, but Borneo would be even more complex logistically and in 10 days would seem like much too far afield for any kind of a relaxing trip. I haven't been and it does sound like a great place, but I'm guessing you could spend up to 3 days out of your ten just getting to and from the island. There is almost certainly no direct flight from Europe.
While even "mainland" SE Asia is a long way for just 10 days, it appears eminently more doable than Borneo in such a timeframe.
#32 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
I've kept my suggestions to Malaysia!
Leonard has been to Central America, Europe and Asia.
To be fair, London-Borneo in 10 days seems totally crazy.
#34 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Malaysia is equatorial, there is often convectional rainfall but it is only for a short time in the day and doesn't really hamper anything. I took a trip there in February two years ago for a little over a week and that was ample time to wander around KL and take a morning out to Batua Cave. Though keep in mind that China Town will be empty around Tet. KL's downtown also seemed very safe for an independent traveler. We then headed up to Langkawi for a few nights and that was good for the beaches. I've heard that (but not been myself) Penang is great for wandering the city but not a good swimming/beach spot so we gave it a pass. If I remember correctly the Perhentian Islands are more rainy in February . . Langkawi and the west coast were dry our entire stay. I'd stay stick to Peninsular Malaysia. Really in 8 days I'd suggest a couple days wandering KL, fly to Langkawi for some beach time . . . then maybe a night in Malacca when you get back to KL. That or just do KL-Malacca-Penang for the 8 full days you'll actually have.
Love the food in KL and Malaysia in general by the way, and some interesting temple sites Chinese, Hindi & Muslim. Overall I agree that for a quick visit to SE Asia this is one of the best options - that is why when my Girlfriend only had about 9 days off for Chinese New Year we chose to go there. Otherwise we went to HCMC-Phu Quoc-Can Tho as I suggested above. We pre-booked our stay on Phu Quoc during Tet along with our plane ticket to the island but everything else we just winged it and it was fine. I've been to Vietnam around Tet 3 times and save for the immediate day or two before and after it isn't all that bad.