I am planning a trip to SE asia in March. I first plan on going to Vietnam for about 2 weeks. Afterwards, I want to see Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore (possibly Cambodia). I will have 4 friends flying to meet me who really want to see Thailand and as much else as they can. They will only be here for 1 month. I will be here longer- not too many time restraints- about 1 1/2-2 months. I would appreciate any help with paths to take to optimize our time and tips on the best countries to fly into and out of. Thanks for any help!!!!
#1 Karlap has been a member since 5/10/2009. Posts: 12
As a first step in planning have a look at the "Before you leave" section at the top of the travel fish site. There are a number of itineraries there, they all start with the word trips, things like Trips: Four Countries etc...
Make a rough plan, then cut out half the stuff ... doesn't seem to matter how much time you have it is never enough.
Also for extended trips, plan a five day chill out break at least every three to four weeks... if chill out for you is a few days by the beach do that, or it might be in the mountains doing nothing, or indeed it might just be spending that little bit more on accommodation and just chilling out at the hostel or guest house rather than rushing around seeing the sites.
I found when I travel for long periods in a hit, the chill out time spent in hostels can be great, just talking to other travellers and planning the next few weeks of your trip.
Hope this helps.
#2 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221
If you are here for 6 weeks, and you plan to visit six countries, that's one country a week. Are you Japanese by chance?
Six weeks isn't enough time to even get a good feel for one country. Six? Also, you're covering a pretty big piece of ground, which means if you only went to two disparate destinations in each country, plus travel time from country to country, you will be eating up a good portion of your trip on the road.
I would suggest you narrow it down to Vietnam and one other. Start with things you enjoy doing, and allow that to shape which country is the other. You can also use those preferences to help you decide where in said country you want to go.
For example, if beaches and nightlife are your primary interest, then you can scratch Laos right from the start.
On the other hand, maybe you are into rural SEA settings and want to to the packbacker kind of thing - then Laos might well be on the top of your list.
And so forth and so on. Flying all over the place and racing off from one destination to the next is going to be expensive and time consuming. If you were, on the other hand, to start out in, say Bangkok, fly to Phuket, and then slowly work your way from destination to destination up the Peninsula, you wouldn't be traveling so often or so far - costs would be kept down, time in transit would be minimal, and you could focus on areas of specific interest.
If you are more interested in historical sites, then perhaps starting at Kanchanaburi and working your way across central Thailand (Sukhothai, Ayyutaya, Buriram) and into Cambodia (Angkor Wat) might be just the ticket for you.
Anyway, I would focus where I was going around my interests, minimize long distance travel, and not try to hit as many countries as possible.