Hello, I am trying to plan a trip to SE Asia for this summer. My dates are not too flexible, I will need to travel from the beginning of July until the beginning of August. There has been so much information and itineraries available, I feel like I am overloaded with information! Any advice on the following would be greatly appreciated:
1. Would you advise to book RT airfare in and out of Bangkok? The things on my wish list right now are: Full Moon Party on 7/13, Phi Phi Island in Thailand, Phuket in Thailand, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, & Siem Reap in Cambodia.
2. Itinerary/Route: Any suggestions on the order of the above and any must-see's in between? I plan to use the bus as method of travel, but am open to flying since it does save a lot of time.
3. Accommodations: Any good resources for determining where to book? How far in advance should I book? I am trying to be flexible in case I decide to stay longer in cities, but have also read that one should book ahead of time for the good hostels.
4. Weather: I am reading a lot about it being the wet season when I am there. Is there a particular route I should take to avoid really bad weather? Any places I should definitely avoid? I know some parts are dry season, but am having a hard time planning because I'm not too familiar with travelling logistics in terms of most efficient route and timing.
Thanks for everyone's time!
#1 SEasia72014 has been a member since 27/4/2014. Posts: 3
After doing some more research, I am wondering if this is a doable itinerary:
7/7 Arrive in Singapore
7/10 - 7/15 Go to Ko Pha Ngan for Full Moon Party (on 7/13)
7/16 - 7/19 Bangkok
7/20 - 7/24 Siem Reap
7/25 - 7/27 Phnom Penh
7/28 - 7/30 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
7/30 - 8/3 Travel up Vietnam to Hanoi
8/3 - 8/6 Ha Long Bay
8/8 Depart from Hanoi
Any suggestions on method of travel would be greatly appreciated and also input on doability/changes to itinerary, or must-see's along the way. Thank you!
#2 SEasia72014 has been a member since 27/4/2014. Posts: 3
You're trying to cover A LOT of distance there, so it will take a lot of time and money.
SIN to Pha Ngan consists of a flight to Samui (Â£270), then a taxi to the docks, then a ferry to Pha Ngan, then a long tail or sorng tao ou to your accommodation. Expect to spend an entire day getting there.
HCMC to Hanoi is 2 days on the train, or a flight (luckily fairly cheap). You'll miss all the spots in between if you fly, but with your schedule you don't really have time to explore the spots in between anyway!
What I'm saying is: yes, you can do this route. But I'd suggest you have a good think about whether trying to hit all your "must-sees" in one trip is a good idea. You're itinerary is heavily geared towards big cities - you might find you enjoy the trip more if you give yourself more time to explore the regions / smaller towns.
As to "how" to plan this out, start with the travel section under each destination on this site. A guidebook, like LP, is also pretty good for listing ideas on how to get from place to place. Also check skyscanner.net and seat61.com for information on flight and train schedules.
You should prebook accomm for the full moon party, but don't need to prebook anywhere else.
For accomodation I've been pretty well served by Agoda. I like the map function so it is easy to search out based on where you want to stay in a specific city.
That is a lot. I'd really recommend that you cut down on what you are looking to see in one month. My usual mode of travel is to choose one country to visit for 3-4 weeks. From what you've written, I"d suggest cutting Vietnam this time and save it for a possible return trip. With those ten days you could jump up to Chiang Mai (then fly to Siem Reap from there . . .or fly from the south up to Chiang Mai and work your way down to BKK before overlanding to Siem Reap) for a couple days of hiking and exploring a region very different from the south of Thailand. You could even have more time to get further afield in Cambodia (I'd suggest going from Siem Reap to PP via Battambang or else taking a few days to go down to Kampot/Kep area).
Overall, you'll enjoy the trip more if you slow it down a little and try to get out of the major tourists spots (though what I've suggested is still firmly on the tourist trail).
Thank you so much!! I think I do need to cut down my itinerary. I bought the LP book so will do some research this weekend on a more enjoyable/relaxing route. Appreciate your time and tips!
#5 SEasia72014 has been a member since 27/4/2014. Posts: 3