Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Southeast Asia Itinerary

Posted by robbydoc on 26/4/2017 at 11:05

Can I get a general critique of this itinerary?

This will be out first trip to Southeast Asia. We have only been to India and Japan in Asia but was have traveled a lot in Europe. It's just me and my wife. We are a energetic couple in our late 30s. Does this itinerary flow OK? Are we spending to much time anywhere. Should we go back to Bangkok at the end?We want to hike, see temples, and waterfalls. Along with the obvious first time tourist stuff.


Day 1 Leave Home

Day 2 Arrive in Bangkok (Late Night)

Day 3 Bangkok

Day 4 Bangkok

Day 5 Daytrip to Ayuttaya

Day 6 Travel to Chiang Mai

Day 7 Chiang Mai

Day 8 Chiang Mai

Day 9 Chiang Mai

Day 10 Travel to Chiang Rai

Day 11 Chiang Rai

Day 12 Travel to Border

Day 13 Boat to Pakbeng

Day 14 Boat to Luang Prabang

Day 15 Luang Prabang

Day 16 Luang Prabang

Day 17 Fly to Siem Reap

Day 18 Siem Reap

Day 19 Siem Reap

Day 20 Fly to Ho Chi Minh City

Day 21 Ho Chi Minh City

Day 22 Ho Chi Minh City

Day 23 Ho Chi Minh City

Day 24 Fly Home

#1 robbydoc has been a member since 26/4/2017. Posts: 3

Posted by exacto on 26/4/2017 at 12:17

Hi Robby,
A general critique would be that your itinerary is possible and flows okay, but I think you are trying to do too much and visit too many places in just three weeks.
On specifics, the advantage or returning to Bangkok at the end means you should be able to get a cheaper round trip airfare in/out of there, plus you can load up on shopping at the end - meaning you won't be carrying all the stuff you buy with you during your trip.
Also, for your Day 5 day trip to Ayutthaya , with a little advance planning, you can catch the overnight sleeper train directly from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai . That will mean you don't have to backtrack to Bangkok, give you a few extra hours in Ayutthaya and the chance to see the ruins lit up at night, and create the overnight sleeper train adventure no visit to Thailand should be without. I recommend getting a first class sleeper compartment for the two of you. Then you will arrive in Chiang Mai reasonably refreshed, and save a day of travel time.
Looking at your plans, I don't think you are spending enough time in the places you want to visit. For example, I can't imagine making the effort to get all the way to Luang Prabang to spend only two full days there. If it were me, at a minimum I'd leave out the Ho Chi Minh City/Vietnam portion of the trip, so I could add those days to Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, and Siem Reap instead. Even that plan will be quite a bit of travel (to/from airport, checking into hotels, customs and immigration, etc. etc. etc.) in the relatively short time you have.
If you aren't wedded to the boat to Luang Prabang idea, you could also save quite a bit of time by leaving out Chiang Rai and flying directly from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang. It is a scenic flight.
I hope that information helps. I'll be interested to see what others suggest too. Cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,753
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Posted by robbydoc on 8/8/2017 at 19:34

OK I have pushed back my trip some so I can stay an extra week. This is the what I have come up with. What do you guys think of this Itinerary? If possible I would like to avoid the flight but not sure how to string the cities together using public transportation to make this happen. I would have to take away days from somewhere to do this I think. Does anywhere deserve more time? I'm staying too long anywhere?

Day 1 Leave USA
Day 2 Arrive in Bangkok (Late Night)
Day 3 Bangkok
Day 4 Bangkok
Day 5 Daytrip to Ayuttaya
Day 6 Travel to Chiang Mai
Day 7 Chiang Mai
Day 8 Chiang Mai
Day 9 Chiang Mai
Day 10 Travel to Chiang Rai
Day 11 Chiang Rai
Day 12 Travel to Border
Day 13 Boat to Pakbeng
Day 14 Boat to Luang Prabang
Day 15 Luang Prabang
Day 16 Luang Prabang
Day 17 Luang Prabang
Day 18 Travel to Vientiane
Day 19 Vientiane
Day 20 Vientiane
Day 21 Fly to Phnom Penh
Day 22 Phnom Penh
Day 23 Phnom Penh
Day 24 Travel to Siem Reap
Day 25 Siem Reap
Day 26 Siem Reap
Day 27 Travel to Bangkok
Day 28 Bangkok
Day 29 Fly Home
Day 30 Arrive Home

#3 robbydoc has been a member since 26/4/2017. Posts: 3

Posted by FoundVagabond on 12/8/2017 at 10:19

Posted from within Vietnam.

This looks like a pretty decent plan. I agree on dropping the Vietnam portion - we are there now and have been for three weeks, which I think is the minimum amount of time you need to see the country. You won't regret the boat trip to Luang Prabang - it really is cool, as long as you are okay with boats, and the city is so chilled out and fun to hang around in. We did a similar trip to yours three years ago and I wrote a daily blog - see blog.lifeisgrand.org. The trip we are on now has been focused on Cambodia and Vietnam, but check the blog just to get an idea of how long it takes to get from place to place. Have a great time!!

#4 FoundVagabond has been a member since 25/8/2014. Posts: 10

Posted by Megaworldasia365 on 30/8/2017 at 06:43

TBH I would drop Ayuthaya and add that day to Siem Reap . Having been to both locations I can say with certainty that the historical temple sites in Siem Reap are 10 x better than Ayuthaya. The sites in Ayuthaya are small in comparison and quite spread out. You need to hire a samlor for an afternoon to go from one site to another. In Siem Reap you can purcase a 3 day ticket for USD 40 person and visit the most extensive historical temple complexes in the region: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, The Bayon, Ta Phrom, Bantaey Srey, etc... there is lots.

Trekking in Chiang Mai is very good.

Luang Prabang has one wayerfall: kuang Xi falls, but a nice setting on the Mekong and good spot to relax for a couple of days.

The bus ride down to Vientiane goes through some spectacular terrain (small mountains). Vientianne, not much to do. Most people just chill out in restaurants and cafes. No adventure activities there. Some small Buddhist temples around town.

Phnom Penh is a chaotic, dirty city. Killing fields worth a look but nothing special, just a load of skulls in a glass tower. 37 km north of PP is OUDONG TEMPLE. Worth a visit. The entire interior (walls and ceiling) is covered in paintings which depict the life story of Buddha.

For more indepth info on the above mentioned locations, check out my travel blog: megaworldasia dot com - south east asia off the beaten track

PS., my blog is info only. Not selling tours.

Safe travels.

Mega

#5 Megaworldasia365 has been a member since 26/8/2017. Posts: 19


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