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Southeast Asia forum

Itinerary for SE Asia. Am i doing too much in too little time?

Posted by ulto on 14/1/2008 at 03:16

Well First thing is that i must congratualte everybody involved in making this site one of the best travel sites out there.

Here is my itinerary below. Will be leaving 1st October and doing this travelling until about the 2nd week in December. Around 70 days or so.

Arrive Bangkok 3 days stay
Overnight train to Chiang Mai 4 days stay
Bus to Chiamg Kong 1 day stay
Slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang 2 days
Luang Prabang 2 days stay
Vang Vieng 2 days stay
Vientiane 2 days stay
Fly to Vientiane to Hanoi stay 2 days
HaLong Bay 3 days stay
Sapa 3 days
Fly/Train to Hoi An 3 days
Fly to Saigon stay 3 days
Phnom Penh 2 days stay
Sien Reap 3 days stay
Fly to Kuala Lumpur 3 days stay
Fly to Brunei 2 days stay
Ferry to Kota Kinabalu 2 days stay
Travel Sabah 7 days
Fly to Singapore stay 4 days
South thai islands 2 weeks.

So what do ye guys think.
Am i trying to do too much in too little, especially in Loas and Cambodia? Where do you reckon i should stay longer and where should i cut it down?

Thanks in advance.

#1 ulto has been a member since 14/1/2008. Posts: 6

Posted by somtam2000 on 14/1/2008 at 08:18 admin

Hi ulto,

Glad you like the site!

That's quite an itinerary. If you could squeeze a day or two more for Laos and Cambodia it wouldn't go astray - especially as you've got a two week island patch at the end -- perhaps you'll need two weeks on a beach to get over all the flights! I'd also consider having two days in sapa and three in hanoi -- but that's just cause I like Hanoi so much.

I've not been to Brunei, KK or Sabah so can't comment on the time you have there...

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,575
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Posted by Guernseystu on 14/1/2008 at 12:05

That all seems very rushed to me but then we all have different priorities and timescales. You've picked out a great intinerary though, lots of the better places in SE Asia so I'm sure that you'll have a great time.

If I could offer you one piece of advice then I would say that you should scratch off your day in Chiang Kong. Instead, you could take a night bus to Chiang Kong and pass straight through to Huay Xai. Spend your day there and soak up Lao culture, just walk around, get a feel for the place and stock up on provisions for the boat trip.

Also do you have any plans yet for the Southern Thai islands?

#3 Guernseystu has been a member since 10/7/2007. Posts: 108

Posted by ulto on 14/1/2008 at 18:34

Thanks for your speedy replys.

I suppose looking at the overall plan it seems rushed alright but before we hit the thai islands we will have 53 days travelling done, just under 2 months.

14 days in vietname seems ok.
Thailand 3 weeks, malaysia 2 weeks and singapore 4 days seem ok aswell.
I agree though that laos and cambodia seems a bit rushed. We can take a day or 2 off the end and spend an extra day here and there

If we get tired we will just have to take a day off here and there doing nothing except catch up on some sleep! No point in making a misery of the trip.

Also wouldnt short haul flights be better then 10 hour bus journeys? About 7 overall flights in the 2 and a half months. That doesnt sound too bad. I have tried to minimize these bus journeys to make the whole trip more comfortable and take night trains or flights that is anything like a long distance trip.

#4 ulto has been a member since 14/1/2008. Posts: 6

Posted by vuh on 25/1/2008 at 17:09

Hello Uto
I just came back from South East Asia after 6 months back packing and I can recommend you some tips.
First of all, I have 2 questions for you: are you quick traveler or you rather take time to wander around ?
Do you like big cities or do you prefer countryside ?
Well, it help me to give you wise advices ?
But here are my points of views about these countries:
Thailand is crowded of tourist and especially Chiang Mai which is a real tourist industry. I'd recommend to stay no longer than 2 days. Furthermore, the main point about Chiang Mai is the 3-4 days trekking but it is so touristy and about 50 USD. Skip this tourist industry and later on, when you will be in Sapa in Vietnam, the trekk is very similar and Sapa is very touristy as well but it is absolutely wonderful.
If you don't want to be ripped off, please, read my trip report about trekking in Sapa, see this link


For Laos: I love this country because it is the less touristy of all its neighbour countries and it is a awesome place with so kind people which are not yet tourist oriented mind.
I recommend to stay at least 3 days in Luang Prabang,
Vang Vieng can be skipped unless you are looking for beer,pizza and Friends soap opera.
Vientiane needs no more than 1 day, not very interesting
There was 1 place I love in Laos, it's called Muong Ngoi, about 6 hours from Luang Prabang to the north east, quite remote village but a real delight and so authentic.
You can fly from Luang Prabang to Hanoi, it is around 200 USD and it is cheaper with Laos Airlines than Vietnam Airlines. Ticket can be bought in Luang Prabang

Vietnam: 14 days are very very short to me.
Hanoi: 3 days
Halong Bay: 2 days
Sapa: 4 days but be sure to stay at surroundings of Sapa, not in the town.
Hue: not to be missed: 2days (Fly Hanoi- Hue, 1 hour)
Hoi An: very nice: 2 days (bus Hue- Hoi An: 4hours)
Saigon: 1 day is enough !!! And do not go to the Cuchi Tunnel, it is a real tourist attraction, and the interest for the war is minimal.

Cambodia:
Pnom Penh: 2 days, it is worthwhile to go to the Silk island
Siem Reap: 3 days for the Temples

Malaysia: People are so friendly in Malaysia but it is the least interesting of all the country (I'm only talking about the Peninsula).
14 days is ok.
Kuala Lumpur: no more than 2 days
Melaka is a must

Well, I would recommand to cut down 2 weeks in Thailand to have more time in Laos (amazing country) and Vietnam (to big to be visited only in 2 weeks).
But if you need more advice, feel free to ask me for me details.

Have a nice trip, South East Asia is so wonderful

#5 vuh has been a member since 1/5/2007. Posts: 24

Posted by ulto on 22/3/2008 at 03:15

I have an update of this itinerary!

We will be leaving a week early so we will have an extra week to play with, just where to spend this week!

I will re write the itnerary. Very similar but some differences.

Arrive Singapore 5 days stay
Fly to Bangkok 2 days stay
Overnight train to Chiang Mai/Lampang 6 days stay
Bus to Chiang Kong 1 day stay
Slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang 2 days
Luang Prabang 3 days stay
Vang Vieng 2 days stay
Vientiane 2 days stay
Fly to Vientiane to Hanoi stay 2 days
HaLong Bay 3 days stay
Sapa 3 days
Fly/Train to Hoi An 3 days
Fly to Saigon stay 3 days
Phnom Penh 2 days stay
Sien Reap 3 days stay
Fly to Kuala Lumpur 2 days stay
Fly to Brunei 2 days stay
Ferry to Kota Kinabalu 3 days stay
Travel Sabah 7 days
Fly to Penang and onto
South thai islands 20 days

As you can see we have 20 days left at the end of sabah if all goes to plan. I hear that the best options would be to spend an extra few days in Loas and Vietname.


Where would you recommend we stay a few extra days in Laos and Vietname?
Its easy to say spend an extra week in a country but where and what can we do?

#6 ulto has been a member since 14/1/2008. Posts: 6

Posted by ulto on 15/7/2008 at 17:18

We not thinking Laos may be extended further. We are thinking of doing the Gibbon experience and maybe the plain of jars aswell. So laos could go from 10 days do 16.
Also if things are too hectic for vietnam we will give ourselves a day more here or there.

As you can see our itinerary is flexible but it will save headaches and stress when we are on our trip

#7 ulto has been a member since 14/1/2008. Posts: 6


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