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Southeast Asia

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4 Weeks in SE Asia

Posted by SoCalDude on 9/3/2016 at 00:03


I'm planning on traveling to SE Asia with a few friends for roughly 4 weeks (Mid-May --> Mid-June) and wanted some advice. We are most interested in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, but understand that four countries will be too much ground to cover. What is a recommended itinerary for 4 weeks in that region, with no particular preference on country or type of experience? Also, is this sample itinerary too ambitious for our time frame? Thanks!

Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Saigon, Vietnam to Hanoi, Vietnam to Halong Bay, Vietnam to Luang Prabang, Laos to Chiang Mai, Laos to Bangkok to Home

#1 SoCalDude has been a member since 8/3/2016. Posts: 1

Posted by adrianlopez on 9/3/2016 at 02:27

If you want to save money to travel more, you can refer the itinerary: from Bangkok you can catch train to HCMC of Vietnam and travel around here and catch bus to Phnom Penh and come back your home.
Bangkok, you should visit golden temple and national park in there, don't forget enjoy special foods in there. Take a sunset cruise off Phnom Penh, eat fresh crab at coastal Kep and trek through the jungle in remite Rattanakiri. In Vietnam, you can visit Halong an enjoy luxury cruise with interesting activities like kayaking, swimming and explore imposing cave. Furthermore, getting measured up for a suit in charming Hoi an is very good, catch bus and overnight in Mekong Delta and join floating maket.
Happy travels!

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

Posted by antoniamitchell on 9/3/2016 at 10:59

TBH, I'd cut out at least 2 countries (and in a perfect world, I'd say with only 4 weeks, limit yourself to one country). Distances are long in that part of the world, and travel slow. Each of those 8 places will take at least a day to get to, meaning with 8 places in 4 weeks, you'll essentially have 2-3 days per place (not that much!).

Plus, you won't be able to get off the beaten path, as you won't have time. Most of the places you've listed are big cities, and as such, share their big-cityness in common. By this I mean, all big cities have certain things in common - crowds, traffic, shopping malls, chain stores, international restaurants, etc. Bangkok and Saigon are more alike, in many ways, than Saigon and Dalat are, for example. Or Bangkok and Prachuap Khiri Khan. So you're getting a bit of a one-note trip. Now, I like big cities (I refuse to live anywhere else). But I still like to mix up my trips into a mix of rural countryside, small and mid-sized towns, and big cities.

The itineraries page on Travelfish has some options for trips of different lengths, so you could have a look there and get some inspiration. For example, if you decided to stick to Thailand and Cambodia, you could keep Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap and PP, and add 2-4 smaller places or beach areas, ideally ones that are within half a day's travel of one of the other destinations, so reduce the amount of time in your trip lost to buses. I'm not going to make specific recommendations here, because I don't know enough about what sort of thing you enjoy. But that's what I'd do, if I were you.

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

Posted by locadotte on 24/3/2016 at 03:55

I completely agree with antoniamitchell as I've learned that the best travel is slow travel. Seeing less and experiencing more. That said I think you can manage all four countries if you only cover Vietnam from north to central (Hanoi, north to mountain town of Sapa, Halong Bay and then move south to Hue and Hoi An), one destination in Laos, one destination in Cambodia (Siem Reap to see Angkor) and finish off in southern Thailand (Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, one of the islands for some beach time). I would definitely fly into one location and out of another instead of backtracking. Have a great time!

#4 locadotte has been a member since 16/1/2015. Posts: 14

Posted by julian83 on 24/3/2016 at 14:22

I also believe that 4 weeks is a VERY tight schedule to travel through SE Asia, but I believe you have heard that enough now ;) Definitely arriving in Bangkok since here are the best flight connections. You can spend most of the time in Thailand if you prefer an easy travel (nice beaches and loads of tourists) or try another trip as follows:
From there either head out and do Cambodia and continue up to Laos (southern part at least). You can check my post on an itinerary in Cambodia here (http://apenoni.com/itinerary-cambodia/). Two weeks Cambodia and another two in Laos should be good.
Alternatively you can also do a bit more adventurous trip to Myanmar as this probably still one of the most exciting and lesser visited countries in all of SE Asia. Perhaps one week in Thailand, roughly 2,5 weeks in Myanmar and then back to chill in Thailand again.
You can write me back incase you want some more details and itinieraries if you are interested in that, can give you some recommendations.

Julian (www.apenoni.com)

#5 julian83 has been a member since 24/8/2015. Posts: 4

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