I am planning a trip with my girlfriend to travel to a few spots in SE Asia Oct 10 to Nov 22. Below is a proposed itinerary that I would like to refine with your help.
Oct 10-19 Land in Bali after taking off from JFK on Oct 8 on a Qatar Air flight. I chose Qatar based on info from seatguru.com and other airline review sites. I will post my own review of their service on travelfish when I return.
We plan to stay in Ubud for 5 nights and on a surfing beach (Seminyak?) for a few nights.
Suggestions on where to stay, hiking/biking, markets to visit? Is this enough time given the length of our trip?
Oct 19-28 Fly Bali to Hanoi (via Singapore seems to be the cheapest). 4 nights in Hanoi, 2-3 days trekking/biking in Sapa area, 2-3 nights cruising in Ha Long Bay.
Is 4 nights enough time in Hanoi given our trip length? Suggestion for good hiking/biking/trekking in NW Vietnam? We are fit, and enjoy a challenging hike. Ha Long bay worth it?
Oct 28-Nov 11 Laos. This part of the trip is where I need to most help!
How should I get to Laos? Fly Hanoi to LP? Fly to Northern Thailand and travel by boat to LP and surrounding areas? What is a realistic itinerary for 13 days in Laos at this time of the year? Should I book accommodations ahead of time? Again, we would like to hike, bike, trek, seem so markets and eat any and everything.
Nov 11-19* Khao Lok and Similan Islands liveaboard.
We already booked and paid for our liveaboard with Similan Diving Safaris. The boat leave on the 15th and returns the 19th. We will be getting PADI open water certs on the boat, and are required to be in Khao Lak for some training on the 14th.
A family member is able to get us a great rate at Le Meridian Khao Lak. Is this a place worth staying? I thought it may be nice to stay here for a couple of days given the rate available, though it's not a place I would ever consider at full price as I prefer not to stay in worldwide hotel chains when abroad.
Nov 19-22** Bangkok. Have a few shirts tailored, bike around the city, and fly home on Qatar Air Nov 22 at 8:30pm. Which part of the city do you recommend staying in? Based on some research Rajawongse Clothier is one of the top tailors in any of our destinations. Suggestions for other tailors? We may spend some time getting measured on our way to Khoa Lak to get a head start on the process.
*Nov 10-13 doesn't need to be spent in Khoa Lak.
**Nov 19-21 doesn't need to be spent in Bangkok.
This is only an initial framework, so please make recommendations and critiques on any or every part of it.