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After much research we FINALLY have our 6 month SEA itinerary... did we get it right?

Posted by mizdaphne on 26/7/2017 at 19:46

Hi everyone!

Thanks for all the incredible info on this site/forums, I have been soaking it up over the past few months! We (couple in our 30s) are planning a 6 month trip to SEA (+NZ) and have been hard at work researching destinations. I think we finally have a solid itinerary, but just wanted to run it by you expert travelfishers...

Could you let me know if you see any big no-no's in terms of timing, route, weather or anything else? It's more flying than I had originally thought but since these regional flights are quite affordable, I don't think that's too much of an issue... We have scoped out top things we want to see in each country but want to leave that very flexible. I was planning on buying these shorter flights on the go but not sure if prices dramatically change as the dates get closer? Oh and just for context, we are looking to connect with nature and people/culture (in that order), zero partying, and take it slow to really get to know a place (I know you can always go slower, but hopefully this timing isn't too rushed!).
Thanks in advance for any tips or feedback!

Arrive Bangkok - mid Jan -2 days
North Thailand - mid Jan to early Feb - 2 weeks
South Thailand - Early to mid Feb - 2 weeks
fly Phuket to Manila
Philippines - mid Feb to early march - 3 weeks
fly Manila to Siem Reap
Cambodia - march - 3 weeks
Cross border by land (Phnom Penh to Ho chi minh by bus or phnom penh to chau doc by boat)
Vietnam - april - 1 month
fly Hanoi to Denpasar
Indonesia - may -1 month
fly medan to penang
Malaysia - june - 3 weeks
fly from sandakan OR kota kinabalu to auckland
New Zealand North Island - end june to early july - 2 weeks

#1 mizdaphne has been a member since 26/7/2017. Posts: 2

Posted by SBE on 27/7/2017 at 03:42

Flights do get more expensive the later you book, particularly on Air Asia, but I don't think you should lock yourself into all your flights now, especially for short hops later on in the itinerary like Medan to Penang. Indonesia is HUGE and you may not even get to Sumatra (you'd need to fly there as well if you're starting in Bali). It might turn out to be cheaper and more convenient to fly directly to Borneo from wherever you end up at the end of your month in Indo.

Another possible glitch I noticed is that you're planning to go to the Philippines around Chinese New Year. It's hard to find anywhere in SE Asia that doesn't get overrun by hordes of Chinese tourists at this time of year. Flights will be expensive and so will accommodation. If I were you I'd try and get there before the holiday starts and then hunker down for a week in a location that's very time consuming to get to from an airport.

#2 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by mizdaphne on 27/7/2017 at 08:25

Thanks for the reply and feedback SEB!

I will keep that in mind for Indonesia.

I just looked up chinese new year and it seems it starts January 28 2017 and goes 23 days. Is that right? If so, we'll be in Thailand then but will be sure to take your advice and try to hide away then :)

Thanks again!

#3 mizdaphne has been a member since 26/7/2017. Posts: 2

Posted by antoniamitchell on 27/7/2017 at 09:50

The CNY/Tet public holiday is 16-17 February 2018, and that's a public holiday across quite a lot of countries in Asia. Some countries (like HK) get a 3rd day off (Monday 19th). China gets a whole week off, so Thursday 15th is also a public holiday, as well as the first three days of the following week (19-21 February).

So as you'd assume, a lot of people will be taking advantage of the time off to travel, so popular destinations will be busy at that time, and high demand will mean flights either sell out early or get expensive.

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

Posted by SBE on 27/7/2017 at 12:11

Yeah, I'm afraid Chinese New Year 2017 has come and gone already! :) The start date depends on the Chinese lunar calendar so it's different every year.

#5 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

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