First- thanks in advance for your replies I love to get advice from others, and I only know one person who has been to SE asia.
I will be leaving from California in either late March or early April. I am going solo. I want to travel around SE asia and realize there is so much to offer. I only have 3 things on my "must see list" while visiting Thailand, cambodia and vietnam.
Full moon party in Thailand (either april 6th or may 6th)
Songkran Songkran (actually on my 30th 4/13/12)
What routes, towns, beaches, boat trips would you say are a "can't miss." I am extremely flexable and have a budget of around $125-$150 a day, but would probably keep it under $75 realistically it sounds like.
Little bit about me: I will be working while traveling which means I need internet access once or twice a week.( 10 days max with no access)... I love beaches, I mean love them! Will be going to a few wild parties (as you can see from my list) but this is because I am getting too old to do them latter in life and they are on my bucket list- and there is only one way to take it off the list. So I dont expect to "party" every night, but will have some wild nights out here and there and a drink on the beach or even in a dive bar/ hut in a city would be fun too. Also I am single. I do plan on going to some temples, but I feel like they will be like churches in Europe... Fantastic after you seen one, but they start to look the same after the 5th or 10th one. So looking to see some extrodinary ones. (side note- 4th trip to Europe for 8 weeks in 2011 and never went inside one church... dont feel i missed out on anything)
Cant wait to hear your suggestions/ routes!
#1 mkrystofia has been a member since 3/1/2012. Posts: 1
Internet access won't be a problem in the vast majority of places you go to. If your accomodation doesn't have it then a cafe down the road will for sure. So don't worry on that front.
You say you like beaches, parties and temples - the first thing that springs to mind here is Malaysia. In particular Penang and the Perhentian Islands would combine all three of these things - Penang for temples (esp. Kek Lok Si) and the Perhentians for beaches and parties (albeit a lot milder than the Thai variety).
While you state that Halong Bay is a must, given that two of your other must sees are in Thailand, I would suggest maybe not going to Vietnam on this trip and doing Thailand and either (i) Laos or (ii) Peninsular Malaysia/Singapore. Split your time 3 weeks Thailand, 2 weeks in Laos or PM/Singapore. Krabi could potentially replace Halong Bay, given their similarities (but also differences!).
Where are you flying into and out of? I, or somebody else, can perhaps suggest a more concrete plan if you let us know this.
I just think that you may enjoy it more if you keep it a bit more compact. Vietnam is excellent but there may be too much travelling in c.5 weeks to cover Thailand and Vietnam with any justice. Of course it is possible to fly to Hanoi and then travel to Halong Bay but I personally would rather see a country in more detail than just one spot.
#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Yeah, having been to both Krabi and Halong Bay, I gotta say Halong felt like about 5 Krabi's crammed into one spot. Same same, but different as they say incessantly.
If you're going to Cambodia, Angkor is wonder of the world for a reason. I recommend Kampot and Bodhi Villa guesthouse on the Cambodian south coast. Everyone I've sent there ended up staying longer. Very chilled out. I agree with the others, Krabi will give you the wow factor of Halong Bay, IF you've never seen Halong in person. Full Moon is really fun, just keep your head on your shoulders. Songkran is debatably best in Chiang Mai , and from Tuesday until Friday. Other places are fun (BKK, Korat, few places in Issan), but Chiang Mai is legendary.
For islands and partying mixed, try Samui and Phi Phi. Koh Tao is fun too, but not party til sunrise on the beach like the others. Lots of divers get to bed earlier so they're not hungover and puking in their regulators. Koh Lanta isn't too much of a party island, but cheap and beautiful. Also, close to Krabi so that might be a nice combo.
For your budget, if you spend $75 a day, I'd be really surprised. We keep it fairly cheap when we travel, and rarely spend more than $30 even when we eat western food. It could be done on $20/day. For $75, you'll be living borderline midrange/luxury depending on where you are.
Last suggestion, spend some time in N. Thailand. There's thousands of little towns and plenty of natural beauty. Almost makes you forget about the beaches. Almost!
#4 whardy has been a member since 14/11/2011. Posts: 66