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Travelling for around 4 months in south east Asia in August. Help please :)

Posted by Kingkong987 on 2/5/2016 at 15:19

Hi there,

I'm going travelling at around the end of August for 4 months and it will most likely be solo travelling. I'm a little nervous but also very excited. I'm pretty well travelled and adaptable but I've never travelled by myself.

My plan at the moment is to go to Thailand, Burma, Laos and possibly northern Vietnam too.

The type of travelling I'm looking to do is one filled with culture and experiences. I am not looking to just party and visit the well-travelled areas. I'm looking for real cultural immersion, trekking, visiting historical places, that kind of thing. I'm not looking to rush with my travelling.

In Thailand I'm starting by doing a month of training in Muay Thai nearby to Chiang Mai and then probably spending another 2 weeks or so travelling around the northern areas. I then plan to go to Burma, then Laos and possibly northern Vietnam.

I have not looked into this much at all but I just would like some basic advice and whether my plans are realistic etc...

Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated!


#1 Kingkong987 has been a member since 2/5/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by somtam2000 on 2/5/2016 at 23:49 admin

So aside from your time in northern Thailand you're allowing 2.5 months for Burma, Laos & Northern Vietnam - that is a decent spell -- now you'll just need to figure out a route.

There are plenty of overland border crossings between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam that would facilitate a decent loop -- less though to Burma (unless you wanted to go a bit south and enter say via Mae Sot. If you were to do that you could then play around a bit in Burma then leave by flight to Chiang Mai and then continue on to the Laos and Vietnam portions.

Basically there are dozens of permutations on this -- the suggested itinerary pages might be a useful starting point.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,089

Posted by Kingkong987 on 3/5/2016 at 04:52

Hi Somtam2000,

Thanks for your reply!

In terms of getting to and from Burma, what would you recommend as the best way to get to and from Thailand? Is there an overland crossing from Thailand to Mae Sot? Would you suggest the best way to get to Burma is just to get a flight rather than an overland crossing?

Also, would I need a visa to stay longer than a month in Thailand? I've read conflicting things online.

Thanks very much

#3 Kingkong987 has been a member since 2/5/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by DLuek on 3/5/2016 at 09:42 TF writer

Mae Sot is actually a Thai border town in the lower north -- was just there a couple of days ago and it's a really interesting place. Great food and very eclectic culturally, there are a lot of NGOs based around there working with the Karen refugee situation... So you'll find interesting Western volunteers, Karen/Shan/Mon/Rohingya refugees, Muslim refugees from as far away as Pakistan and of course Northern Thais and Chinese-Thais. Great food! I didn't cross into Burma but I went to the border and it seemed like a good, central place to cross overland. I'd also recommend Umphang, which is a five-hour ride south of Mae Sot in the wilds of the Thai/Burma border region (on the Thai side).

Based on what you wrote there's so much that will interest you. Some other places in Thailand (I really only know Thailand) that you might like include Mae Salong, Kamphaeng Phet (Three J Guesthouse!), Sangkhom (Buoy Guesthouse!), Nakhon Phanom, That Phanom, Khong Chiam, Ubon Ratchathani, Amphawa, Ayutthaya, Ko Libong, Ko Bulon Lae. (Just search any of these or poke around in the main Thailand destinations page if these don't link automatically.

#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,346

Posted by Kingkong987 on 3/5/2016 at 10:24

Hi DLeuk,

Thank you for your very helpful reply!

It seems like there is plenty for me to think about! How long do you think it would take to do a decent tour of some of these places? Are we talking over a month? I know it's a bit ambiguous, but some kind of rough idea would be great!

I ask because I'm trying to figure out how to work around it all with my timescale.

Thanks again

#5 Kingkong987 has been a member since 2/5/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by Robprrtt on 3/5/2016 at 22:02

You will spend each place one month. In Vietnam, you can refer an itinerary: Hanoi city tour – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay – HueDa NangHoi An – Saigon – Mekong Delta – Saigon. You can join trekking and sightseeings tour in NInh BInh and culture tour and hictorical tours as well in Hue. Mekong Delta is amazing places for homestay and join floating market in early morning.

#6 Robprrtt has been a member since 28/3/2016. Posts: 17

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