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3 Weeks in South East Asia: Itinerary Advice? Bali or Cambodia?

Posted by linloo89 on 23/4/2015 at 12:42

I am planning a 3.5 week trip to South East Asia in the middle of May-mid June for my siblings and I, and am in need of advice. We are looking for a vacation full of new adventures and culture (not so much for the partying scene).
Here's what I have so far:

1st day and night in Bangkok
5 days in Koa Tao or Samui
4 days in Chiang Mai area
7 days in Bali
3 final days in Bangkok
(I have set aside a travel day in between each destination)

I've been struggling on deciding between Bali and Cambodia for the last leg of the trip. I realize that it'll be more time consuming and expensive to go to Bali, but my brother has his heart set on surfing, and I haven't had any luck finding any good Thai or Cambodian surfing beaches online. I have heard from several people though, that Cambodia was one of their favorite countries, which keeps swaying me back to wanting to visit. Any suggestions or must do's for the itinerary and destinations?
Thanks! :)

#1 linloo89 has been a member since 23/4/2015. Posts: 2

Posted by MADMAC on 23/4/2015 at 13:32

Bali is a long way from Bangkok. And it appears you are doing a lot of flying here. Each leg is a long way from the next.

As for surfing, hope this helps:


#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by exacto on 23/4/2015 at 15:22

I'd go with Cambodia instead of Bali for those 7 days. As MADMAC says, it is a long way to Bali from Bangkok, and getting through the customs and immigration line at Den Pasar airport will eat up a big chunk of that time.

(Somtam should be laughing and crying at the same time over that last comment.)

Bali is great, but Cambodia is something really special too. Angkor Wat is worth the trip to Southeast Asia just by itself, and Phnom Penh and other cities are worth exploring. Cambodia has beaches. Plus, Cambodia is still in its relative infancy as a tourist destination, and you'll be able to enjoy it in a way where it hasn't been spoiled yet, as much of southern Bali already has.

By the way, there is no rule that you must stay together for the entire holiday, so why not put your brother and whoever else wants on a plane to Bali for that week and show them your pictures of Angkor Wat once you meet up again in Bangkok for those last three days. Cheers.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,840

Posted by linloo89 on 24/4/2015 at 16:59

Thanks for the advice! Is it any faster getting through the customs and immigration line in Cambodia than Bali? Also, I'm worried that since Cambodia is large, I would have to spend more time traveling than getting to settle down and appreciate the area. Is there any certain city or 2 cities you would recommend sticking to?

#4 linloo89 has been a member since 23/4/2015. Posts: 2

Posted by somtam2000 on 24/4/2015 at 23:14 admin

If you're brother is set on surfing, Bali is it. Yeah the custom lines are a drag and the new airport is a mess, but the waves make it worthwhile -- and there are no waves in Cambodia.

May June also puts you in Bali's dry season and Cambodia's wet season.

Two very different destinations, it is around a four hour flight from Bangkok to Bali, but if you book well in advance you can get cheap fares with AirAsia -- I got is once for US$120 return, thought something around the $300 mark is more typical.

Also, if you're getting a beach fix in Bali, I'd drop Ko Samui or Ko Tao from your itinerary and either spend more time in Thailand, or use that time to go to Angkor Wat and say Battambang for example.

If you're flying a lot and don't mind spending on flights, you could do something like:
Bangkok -> Chiang Mai -> Bangkok -> Siem Reap -> Kuala Lumpur -> Bali -> Bangkok


#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,090

Posted by shreyamadhu on 20/10/2015 at 06:57

The best places in Bali include Nusa Dua, Pristine Islands of Gili and Ubud. For more, check here.

#6 shreyamadhu has been a member since 20/10/2015. Posts: 3

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