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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia forum

3 weeks in March, where should I go?

Posted by hayleyspelman on 5/2/2016 at 05:59

I really want to do a solo-trip somewhere in South East Asia and March is the only time I can go. I have some hesitations though. Safety is a big concern of mine. Is it safe to travel this region at this time or are there places that should be avoided / safer places recommended? Also, I've read March is when farmers start burning back. Is traveling south east asia still worth it? Some background information: I'm a 20-something year old woman who has lots of travel experience (and solo experience in Europe) but this will be my first time traveling this part of the world. Any expert advice from people who live in the region is much appreciated! Thank you for your thoughts in advance!

#1 hayleyspelman has been a member since 2/2/2016. Posts: 2

Posted by antoniamitchell on 6/2/2016 at 01:21


Don't worry about personal safety - as long as you practice common sense (same as you would at home), you'll be perfectly safe.

Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and central and northern Thailand will be very warm (hot season) and potentially smokey. But that doesn't mean you can't travel there or that you'll spend your holiday gasping from the pollution (although if you suffer from bad asthma, it certainly won't be the ideal time to visit). You'll need to perhaps walk a little slower than you would when it was cooler, don't rush about as much, take more breaks (not really a bad thing - chilling with a cold beverage and watching the world go by is a lovely SE Asian experience).

And there are other areas in SE Asia that are on different weather patterns. Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia get their smokey season in the autumn, for example. I think it's rainy season in Indo in March, but even that shouldn't stop you from travelling (yes, you will get wet some times, but you'll also have fewer crowds, cheaper accommodation, and dramatic skies in your photographs). Malaysia is pretty wet year round, so when you visit doesn't actually make much of a difference. And apparently (I've never been), early Spring weather is great in the Philippines (although I believe public transport gets very busy around Easter, which is late March this year, so that could impact your trip).

So what I'm trying to say is: you've got loads of options, and nothing is "not worth it" so pick what country appeals to you, and go have an amazing time.

#2 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 569

Posted by hayleyspelman on 13/2/2016 at 21:36

antoniamitchell, thank you so much for your thoughts and advice! I appreciate it!

#3 hayleyspelman has been a member since 2/2/2016. Posts: 2

Posted by Captain_Bob on 14/2/2016 at 08:59

"I've read March is when farmers start burning back"

It starts more like December after the seasonal harvest but usually doesn't build up and get noticeable until around... now (mid-Feb). Already the hills are fading from view here in northern Thailand and similar reports in Laos and north Vietnam. It usually gets worse in March and lingers until planting season rains (mid April or May). Doesn't necessarily make travel here unpleasant, but scenery is a bit subdued and it's generally hot too. Meanwhile it's a good time to hit the beaches with sea breezes and cleaner air. Both sides of the Thai/Malay peninsula usually have good weather then as well.

#4 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,957

Posted by Thomas922 on 15/2/2016 at 02:06

3 weeks is a good amount of time to get newly acquainted with the area. Fly into Bangkok. Spend a couple of days or three getting relaxed and familiar with the city and a few cool sites. Just a few...don't do too much. Head south to the islands if you wish and do beach time. Decide if you want the Andaman side or the gulf side first. Don't do both...you have other things to see. Remember that Angkor Wat in Siem Reap Cambodia is a short flight away or you can do it over land. If you have funds and time just fly. If Thailnd/Cambodia isn't you then you can continue south by train through Malaysia and finish in Singapore for a few days. Fly home from there or back to Bangkok. Laos is also available but don't try too much in 3 weeks or you will be hot and rushed.

#5 Thomas922 has been a member since 1/7/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 352

Posted by adrianlopez on 17/2/2016 at 03:01

Southest Asia is wonderful and peaceful place on the world, so i sure that this is the safest place to travel. Furthermore, local people is friendly and helpful, so don't worry about that. About travelling, Vietnam, i think you should fly to Ho Chi Minh city and catch bus to Vung Tau bus, then visit Mekong Delta and homestay in there to explore culture and real life of Mekong people. From here you can travel to Laos by bus or boat all right saving more money for you.

#6 adrianlopez has been a member since 27/1/2016. Posts: 55

Posted by BobLoblaw on 17/2/2016 at 10:42

I will also be traveling through SEA in March, 1-22, mostly through Vietnam on a motorbike and depending on time trying to hit Cambodia and Laos. I fly into HCMC and then am flying to Hanoi to buy the bike. I plan on staying mostly coastal, possibly hitting the highland for day (or two) trip. If you are interested in discussing/comparing itineraries feel free to pm me.????

#7 BobLoblaw has been a member since 17/2/2016. Location: United States. Posts: 1

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