An itinerary post.....again..... I know its not very original but I would like to call upon your expertise!
My girlfriend and I recently booked our flight to Bangkok departing on the 11th of january. We're planning to travel for 5 months(changeable) and visit Thailand(northern part), Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and return from Bangkok as well. Our budget, per person, is around â‚¬1000 per month from the moment we arive, which is oke right? We are not bound to a schedule or anything and trying to travel by public transport as much as possible. This is our first time backpacking through south east Asia and we are looking to enjoy the landscapes, beaches, culture (train some muay thai) and everything that comes with it. Even though I dont want to plan every step of the way, I still have a rough idea about the itinerary:
Ha Long Bay
Bamboo Island, Snake island and/or Koh Rong
(Fly back to Bangkok in order to get another 30 day visa to visit the southern part, not sure on this one)
We want to spend less time in the big cities, and spend more time at the places we really like, so this route is just a rough sketch.
I know its not very original, we are hoping to get some nice ideas and advice during the trip or one of you could name some nice spots (landscapes, beaches, villages or anything you can come up with that is worth the visit). Because I know 5 months is long enough to visit these places. So my first question is, if one of you guys/girls can add (or discourage) ANYTHING to/from this itinerary?
My second question is: Is it a strange idea to reverse this trip? Taking the weather/seasons into account during the time we travel(January till June) and also the fact that Cambodia and Vietnam will offer us the beaches and islands.
Third questions: Is Laos and especially the places I mentioned, really worth the visit? Knowing we just visited Thailand and to me it seems pretty the same... Or should we visit Myanmar or southern China instead?
I hope you guys/girls can make some time to help us out, really appriciate it!
#1 DicoR has been a member since 28/8/2014. Posts: 9
You've got plenty of time, and you've got plenty of money, so you're starting from a pretty good position!
I can't speak as to whether you should go to Laos as well as Thailand (never been to Laos myself) but I can recommend Myanmar - it's a very different experience to Thailand, as much less developed.
With respect to which direction you do your loop, I think your initial plan looks more sensible than the reverse. Assuming your timing works out as roughly:
mid Jan - North Thailand
mid Feb - Myanmar
mid Mar - Laos
early April - Vietnam
early May - Cambodia
late May - Thai islands
From a weather perspective, April is the hottest and dustiest month in Cambodia and Laos, so it seems to make sense to spend a lot of that month moving down the coast of Vietnam. By the time you get to Cambodia, the rains will hopefully be starting, bringing a little relief from the heat (and not enough rain yet to wash out roads) - although if you want to spend a lot of time on the Cambodian islands doing beaches, the weather could be a bit of an issue. But the weather will be good on the East coast of Thailand in late May/June, so you could get your beach fix in the last leg of the trip.
Hope that helps a little!