Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Revised itinerary for 2.5 months SE Asia

Posted by mlr on 1/9/2009 at 20:15


Thanks to all the helpful feedback and advice on this site i have now revised our itinerary for our trip to SE Asia in November and heres what it looks like now!

The only sections that are tied are the initial couple of weeks up until the flight to Luang Prabang where car hire, etc is booked and then the end of the trip where 2 nights accommodation in Phuket and the flight back up to Bangkok are booked.

We are really just going to be using this as a rough guide once we are out there.

25th to 28th Nov - Bangkok (arriving 7am) - 3 nights - Early morning train to Kanchanaburi
28th Nov to 2nd Dec - Kanchanaburi - 4 nights - Early morning bus to Nakhon Sawan & train to Phitsanalouk
2nd Dec - Phitsanalouk (afternoon to look around) - Late afternoon bus to Sukhothai
2nd to 4th Dec - Sukhothai - 2 nights - Midday bus to Chiang Mai
4th to 8th Dec - Chiang Mai - 4 nights (with possible day trip to Golden Triangle) - Collect car hire at 9am for doing the Mae Hong Son Loop
8th to 9th Dec - Don Inthanon National Park then stay 1 night nearby, perhaps Mae Chaem - Drive onto Mae Sariang via Ob luang
9th to 10th Dec - Mae Sariang - 1 night - Drive onto Mae Hong Son via Mae Surin waterfall
10th to 11th Dec - Mae Hong Son - 1 night - Drive onto Soppong via the Tham Pla Forest Park
11th to 13th Dec - Soppong - 2 nights - Drive onto Pai
13th to 14th Dec - Pai - 1 night - Return car hire to Chiang Mai at 9 am and take afternoon flight to Luang Prabang
14th to 19th Dec - Luang Prabang - 4 nights (with possible overnight trip to Nong Khiaw) - Midday bus to Vang Vieng
19th to 22nd Dec - Vang Vieng - 3 nights - Morning bus to Vientiane
22nd to 23rd Dec - Vientiane - 1 night - Afternoon flight to Hanoi
23rd to 26th Dec - Hanoi - 3 nights - Morning departure (tour with Columbas) to Ha Long Bay
26th to 27th Dec - Ha Long Bay - 1 night - Take overnight sleeper to Hue
27th to 28th Dec - Overnight Sleeper to Hue 1 night arriving at Hue mid morning
28th to 30th Dec - Hue - 2 nights - Mid morning train to Danang (for Hoi An ) then transfer to Hoi An
30th Dec to 2nd Jan - Hoi An - 3 nights - Mid morning flights from Danang to Nha Trang
2nd to 4th Jan - Nha Trang - 2 nights - Morning bus to Dalat
4th to 7th Jan - Dalat - 3 nights - Midday flight to HCMC
7th to 10th Jan - HCMC - 3 nights (including excursion to Chu Chi tunnels) - Early morning departure for Mekong Delta
10th to 12th Jan - Mekong Delta - 2 nights on way to Phnom Penh - Arriving in Phnom Penh in evening
12th to 14th Jen - Phnom Penh - 2 nights - Midday bus to Siem Reap
14th to 19th Jan - Siem Reap - 5 nights (to explore Angkor Wat & surrounding area) - Early morning transfer & train to Bangkok
19th to 20th Jan - Bangkok - 1 night - Early morning Lomprayah bus & catamaran to Ko Tao
20th to 21st Jan - Ko tao - 1 night - Late afternoon catamaran to Ko Pha Ngan
21st to 22nd Jan - Ko Pha Ngan - 1 night - Late afternoon catamaran to Ko Samui
22nd to 24th Jan - Ko Samui - 2 nights (with possible day trip to An Thong National Park) - Early morning catamaran & transfer to Surat Thani then bus to Khao Sok National Park
24th to 26th Jan - Khao Sok National Park - 2 nights - Midday bus to Krabi
26th to 30th Jan - Krabi - 4 nights (with possible day trips to Phi Phi, Ko Lanta & Ko Muk) - early morning bus to Phang Nga town
30th to 31st Jan - Phang Nga Bay - 1 night (possibly tour with Sayan) - Mid morning bus to Phuket
31st Jan to 3rd Feb - Phuket - 3 nights (with possible day trips to Ko Surin & Ko Similian Islands) - Midday flight to Bangkok & evening flight to return to UK.

Let me know what you think?



#1 mlr has been a member since 3/5/2009. Posts: 31

Posted by BruceMoon on 2/9/2009 at 11:06


It's no secret that I have suggested you do it slower. That said, at least you've got a structure plan for yourselves.

I'm sure that by now, this plan is firmly engraved in your mind. May I suggest that once you leave Chiang Mai, you put your structure plan in the bottom of the pack, and then play it by ear (so to speak). That way, when you decide a place is worth more time - do it. And, if some place is yuk you can thus move on. That way, you won't be beholden to anything particular, rather, that you know how it could go if all evolves as you'd planned.

Also, when in Bangkok, go look at a good book store for motoring guides. There's one book about A4 sized and many pages that has maps for drivers for the whole country, and detailed maps for most cities and many towns. Once you see it, you may be able to get your rent-a-car company to ensure it's there for you when you take the car. When I drive, in Thailand I find it invaluable (I think its called Thailand Road Atlas or similar).


#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

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Posted by somtam2000 on 2/9/2009 at 11:54 admin

That's pretty action packed.

A few comments:
a) You'll need to leave Kanchanaburi very early to be able to get to Nakhon Sawan earlier enough to get a train that then leaves you long enough for a poke around in Phitsanulok. I'd look at overnighting in Phitsanulok.

b) Ob Luang NP is nice, but it's not earth-shattering... perhaps skip to give yourself a little more time elsewhere

c) The road to MaeSurin waterfall used to be a real shocker -- not sure if doable by car -- I'd ask when you pick up the car if they think it is doable. It is a considerable diversion.

d) Given the rest of your schedule, five nights in and around Angkor is a lot -- unless you're really into the temples, I'd cut that back to three nights max and apportion the other days out elsewhere.

e) One night on Ko Tao and one night on Ko Pha Ngan, I'd suggest picking one or two other and making it two nights on one or the other -- or better still skip both and give the extra time to Samui.

f) Four nights in Krabi , Ko Phi Phi is possible on a day trip, Ko Muk isn't (not from Krabi town anyway) and Ko Lanta is so bag I'm not sure it would really work on a day trip. There's a bunch of smaller islands quite close to Krabi -- like Ko Poda -- and beaches like Railay Beach that really suit themselves to day trips better than Lanta and Muk.

g) If you want to go to Similans, another option would be to rather do it from Phuket, head west from Phang Nga to Takua Pa/Khao Lak area and do the trip from there.

Overall it is a very very busy itinerary -- you could shave a day off here and there (eg off Kanchanaburi and Bangkok) and spread them out elsewhere as otherwise you're just going to be travelling most of the time...

Hope that helps

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by SBE on 2/9/2009 at 15:28

Take the itinerary with you (and a map) but only as a reminder of the names of places that sounded worth visiting and the logistics of getting to them.

You will almost certainly not stick to this itinerary once you get travelling. You''ll find you want to spend longer at some places and less time at others and adjust accordingly as you go along.

I bet you anything you like that you won't do the Southern Thailand bit the way you've planned. The 3 Gulf islands (plus a daytrip to An Thong National Park) in four days??? Four days is hardly enough to do just one island so you'll probably just flop down on Ko Tao ...there's plenty of things to do on Ko Tao that will fill four days. You might even feel like flopping down on Ko Tao for 10 days, but if you do then so long as you're enjoying yourself that's all that matters.

I was going to say that you might need to book accommodation at Xmas and New Year but on reflection I think it might be wiser not to because that is going to tie you in too much and you're bound to find somewhere to stay.

#4 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,053
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Posted by mattocmd on 2/9/2009 at 18:38

Gosh you have everything planned dont you?

Don't book all of that in advance! If your human, a lot of that will probably change.

How about deciding how long you will stay in each location after you get there and see it?

General observations:
-Probably wont need 5 nights in Siem Reap. How about adding Battambang? Cambodia is a lot better in my opinion out of the two major tourist destinations (Phnom Penh and Siem Reap). Surely you could then get a bus from there to Trat and skip having to go back to Bangkok.
-Also, its your trip and do whatever you want but is there really a difference between Koh Samui and Phuket? I have been to both and didn't notice a difference. Hell id skip all of those islands and go to one where the whiteys don't outnumber the Thais.
-Pai - personally I love that area and would stay for one than one night.
-Vang Vieng 3 nights is probably two much unless your in your 20s or a party animal.

Anyway im sure some will disagree with me. Just my opinion on the matter.

#5 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 366
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Posted by mlr on 2/9/2009 at 19:34

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for all the feedback!

As i said the only section we are really tied to is the first section in Thailand but after that we really just plan to have the itinerary there as a rough guide and i think it does help knowing in advanace what transport options are available, and approx times, etc. Obviously certain things will be weather dependant too so that could affect things as we go along but i am hoping that the weather will be fairly good at that time of the year!? ;-)

We will be taking a netbook with us so as we go along we can check for updates of weather,book flights, etc and also carry all our Travelfish guide books on it!!

We both quite fancy visiting Sapa when we are in Vietnam but as we will be in Hanoi area for xmas i am unsure as to how reliable transport, etc will be? Will this cause any problems?

I certainly don't think we will need as many as 5 nights in Siem Reap , i was only really following on from advice i was given in one of my previous posts!? Battambang was an idea at one point, is this a nice place to stop and would it be worth doing the boat trip up to Siem Reap from there?


#6 mlr has been a member since 3/5/2009. Posts: 31

Posted by mattocmd on 2/9/2009 at 21:34

Boat trip from Siem Reap to Battambang ....I heard it's hell, but never asked anyone on this site. Good question.

Has anyone done that boat trip. The owner of the Bus Stop (guesthouse) in Battambang told me to never do it. So long, slow and overcrowded (according to him).

About Battambang, definitely try to fit that in. I loved it there, AWESOME city of Cambodia! Offers a true taste of Khmer culture (loved eating the eggs with the chicken fetus in them). Rent a scooter and really take your time exploring the area. I highly suggest that you go there and I bet some others on this site will agree with me.

Anyway if the boat idea is a bad idea just take a bus or a shared taxi there. The "Bus Stop" is a great guesthouse which has free laundry service and the coldest 50cent drafts in town!

#7 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 366
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Posted by BruceMoon on 3/9/2009 at 06:09


We both quite fancy visiting Sapa when we are in Vietnam but as we will be in Hanoi area for xmas i am unsure as to how reliable transport, etc will be? Will this cause any problems?

On this go visit the post I made here and there's some extra at this post .

I'm glad the desire to follow a detailed plan is receding. But, good for you to have made yourself an overall schedule as a guide: it will help (especially if you don't follow it too rigidly) and provide you with a background for your ideas.

I'm not with the others re: Siem Reap and Angkor. But, when you get there, you'll make up your own mind. I wrote a bit on the topic here , look especially at the reference to Tonle Sap.


#8 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

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