I am planning a RTW trip starting next February which would see me arriving in SE Asia around May. The following is what I have initially planned:
Arrive in Hanoi, and spend a month in the country travelling down to HCMC
Travel along the Mekong into Phnom Penh, then to Siem Riep and Battambang (in the country for two weeks)
I am unsure of how to get to Laos from Cambodia (travel into Thailand first and then head to Vientiane possibly?), but would again spend two weeks here
Spend a month in Thailand, with a route similar to the one's suggested on the Travelfish route planner
Move onto Malaysia and spend two to three weeks
Make my way down into Singapore for a week and to catch the flight home
My questions are:
1. Does this route sound sensible? The only issue I can see is how to fit in Cambodia - Laos - Thailand
2. I would be travelling in the region from May to August - what would the weather be like at this time? Would the rainy season have implications for travel?
3. Does the amount of time spent in each country seem like enough time to get a feel for the places - I have not planned out any detailed itineries for each country yet but would be grateful for any suggestions (I will also post in the relevent forums nearer the time!).
4. Can anyone see any other potential problems?
Many thanks for any responces anyone could give!
#1 Dan_ has been a member since 7/3/2008. Posts: 2
For your Cambodia to Laos connection, look into flying from Siem Reap to Pakse in southern Laos (I believe Lao Airlines flies it) -- that would save needing to trip through Thailand to get back into Laos.
It's an otherwise sensible sounding trip, but as you correctly note, it's going to be a tad wet! The rain isn't an insurmountable problem, and some things, eg Angkor, are better in wet season (jungle lusher, more birdlife etc).
One suggestion would be to reduce the time you have in Singapore and add a few days in Laos -- especially if you take the advice of flying into Pakse in the far south of Laos. Travel there can be slow and very time consuming, so with two weeks, I wouldn't try to fit too much in, but an extra week will really reap dividends.
Hope that helps
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,652
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Thanks for the reply!
Would you recommend booking the extra flight out there at the time I would need it? Spending a few extra days in Laos does sound a good idea instead of the week in Singapore.
As for the weather - Will land and river transport be badly affected? I'm assuming that it would be less busy and hostels etc will be easier to find - or is it the case that more services will close at this time? Finally, just how wet will it be! I would quite like to see some of the beaches in some good weather...
Thanks and sorry for all the questions!
#3 Dan_ has been a member since 7/3/2008. Posts: 2
Yes, there will def be fewer tourists and hostels will be easier to find. In May and June 2007, we weren't affected by the start of monsoon season in Vietnam and Cambodia.
In Vietnam, Ha Long Bay and Sapa are a must. In Cambodia, I really enjoyed visiting the smaller towns where there is great opportunity to interact with the locals. My favourite was Kompong Chhnang, a small un-touristy riverside town. The town in on the PP - Battambang bus route.
#4 rakhee2108 has been a member since 8/3/2007. Posts: 55