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Southeast Asia

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First trip to SE Asia, where to go?

Posted by choduk on 3/8/2017 at 13:09


Me and my friend are planning to go to SE Asia for a month in November. This is our first real 'adventurous' backpacking style holiday. We're looking to move around a bit but not too much as we also want to be able to enjoy and take in the individual places we visit. Between Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia we're not sure where to go, or where to start! We want to soak up the culture and explore, but also fit in some time for lying on the beach and partying...

What country (countries) would you recommend for a first trip to SE Asia that would fulfil all the above criteria and would be doable in a month?

Sorry for the very open ended question, any help or advice on where to research much appreciated!

#1 choduk has been a member since 3/8/2017. Posts: 1

Posted by exacto on 3/8/2017 at 21:43

Thailand. It is relatively easy for first-time independent travelers due to its solid infrastructure. Thailand has good beaches, great food, and serious variety. Flying in and out of Bangkok usually gets you good prices on flights. I'd avoid the most touristy spots like Chiang Mai and Phuket, but that still leaves lots of great options where you'll find a good mix of authentic Thai style and genuine holiday comfort. Have a look at the Itineraries section to get some ideas of where to go. Stick to the one country for your month. Passport holders from most western countries get a 30-day visa exemption on arrival in Thailand. Ta.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,833

Posted by DLuek on 4/8/2017 at 20:27 TF writer

I agree. Except that, if you don't want to keep the whole trip to one country, I wouldn't rule out one side trip from Thailand, just to get a taste of somewhere else. For example, 4-7 days to Angkor, Luang Prabang, Penang, or even Yangon or Hanoi or Singapore -- nowadays they can all be reached by relatively cheap flights from Bangkok with Air Asia and the like.

Otherwise you could do a lot worse than to spend the whole month in Thailand. November is shoulder season on the Andaman (west) coast and is a pretty good time to hit those islands -- and there are a bunch to choose from. It's also a good time to travel anywhere in the country except for the lower Gulf coast (Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao, etc.), where it's the thick of their rainy season.

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

Posted by Megaworldasia365 on 30/8/2017 at 07:39

TBH 30 days isn't enough time to do the 5 countries on your list. Drop Indonesia as its the odd man out and november is the rainy season there.

Okay, so you want a good mix of things to see, beaches, and partying? No problems.

Fly into Ho Chi Minh city. Stay at the backpackers area there for a couple of days, meet people and get info. Nearest beach and partying scene to HCMC is Mui Ne (approx 300 km north from HCMC).

After that, back to HCMC and catch a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Best historical temples in the region - Angkor wat etc. Stay 3 days then take bus up to Laos and check out 4000 Islands on the Mekong.

After that take bus up to Pakse . Hire a motor bike and go up to the Bolaven Plateau. Excellent waterfalls.

From Pakse take the bus to Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. From Ubon catch a flight to Bangkok. Spend a couple of nights at khao Sarn road partying with other like minded travelers.

From Bangkok take the train from Hualumphong station down to Surat Thani . Then the ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Phangnan. Beach and full moon party.

After koh Phangan go to koh samui and catch flight back to Bangkok.

Fly home.

For more indepth info on the above mentioned locations, check out my travel blog: megaworldasia dot com

Note: my blog is info only, not selling tours.

Safe travels


#4 Megaworldasia365 has been a member since 26/8/2017. Posts: 25

Posted by MarkSeaton on 30/8/2017 at 20:55

That's not a bad itinerary at all, Mega. :)

#5 MarkSeaton has been a member since 15/8/2017. Posts: 13

Posted by Megaworldasia365 on 31/8/2017 at 00:26

Thanks Mark.

With the exception of Mui Ne it all flows in one direction.

To speed things up going to koh phangan he could jump off the train in Chumporn instead of Surat Thani. The Lompraya fast ferry leaves the chumporn jetty approx 1 pm each day. It goes to koh phangnan via koh tao.



#6 Megaworldasia365 has been a member since 26/8/2017. Posts: 25

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