Hello, Travelfish community!
I have loved getting familiar with this site. It is such an amazing resource and has truly been a help to me as I wade through the overwhelming amount of opinions and knowledge on SE Asia that are available on the web.
My fiance and I will be getting married in June and plan to head to SE Asia for an extended honeymoon. Our first week is going to be at a really nice resort in Phuket, so we will have a week at the beach to relax and have the traditional honeymoon. From there, we want to take a month or so to do the rest of Thailand, Laos, Vitenam, and Cambodia.
I have got my itinerary loosely hammered down and would like some help putting some meat on the skeleton. I loosely followed the "Four Country" guide on travelfish, but instead of snaking up through Thailand, down through Laos and Cambodia, then back up through Vietnam, I think we are going to make more of a circle.
I think it will look something like this:
Days 1-7: Phuket
Overnight train to Bangkok
Days 8-12: Bangkok and surrounding area, train to Phitsanulok
Day 13: Sukothai ruins and train to Chiang Mai
Days 14-Day 20: CHiang Mai, Chiang Rai and surrounding area, maybe Mae Hong Son loop
Day 21: Chiang Khong
Day 22-23: slow boat to Luang Prabang
Days 24-26: Luang Prabang
Days 27-29: Vientiane
Flight from Vientiane to Hanoi
Days 30-32: Hanoi
Day 33: Ha Long Bay
Days 34-35: Hue
Day 36-37: Nha Trang
Days 38-40: HCMC
Days 41: Phnom Penh
Days 42-43: Siem Reap
Day 44: Bangkok and flight home
Here's a map of what I'm thinking:
Honeymoon in SE Asia
(you'll have to zoom out)
It's quite a doozy, and I have some mixed feelings. Here's what I need help with:
1) Am I crazy? Am I trying to do too much?
2) Will there be opportunities for my new wife and I to "get familiar" with each other in these guest houses, or are these places absolutely the most unromantic places on the planet?
3) If I want to extend the trip five or six days, how would you recommend I spend it? Same itinerary, but more time budgeted for miscellaneous stuff? Any key sights I'm missing?
4) Am I missing out on a lot by leaving out the middle of the circle? Should I hit Southern Laos/Northern Cambodia over some of the places I've chosen?
5) We are going into this "loosely planned." I am not planning on making a lot of reservations ahead of time, as June is the low season. Is this madness? I'm so used to having a perfect itinerary ahead of time with every hotel booked in advance.
I truly appreciate anyone who made it through this post. I am very uneasy about this, as I've never traveled to Asia before, never been on a honeymoon before, and really don't know what to expect. A little encouragement and/or constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.
#1 tylerhlewis has been a member since 25/4/2012. Posts: 4
Hi Tyler - I've only had a very quick skim through your post during a quick coffee break at work, so can't spend long commenting at the moment. My first thought was that you may want to consider moving Phuket to the end of the trip - only from the perspective that it's nice to wrap up a busy trip with some relaxing time at the end before heading home. (This may not work if you're actually flying into Phuket from somewhere rather than via BKK).
I'll endeavour to come back later to digest the rest and comment...
I appreciate the reply. Unfortunately, the Phuket week is the ONLY week of our trip that we have already booked and it is nonrefundable. Hahaha. We thought it would be nice to have a traditional beachy honeymoon before starting the less luxurious part of our vacation. We may try to spend a good amount of time at the beaches in Vietnam before wrapping up our trip.
Our other choice would be to snake through, going N,S,N, ending up in northern Vietnam and spending a few days at the beaches up there. Thoughts?
Again, I truly appreciate the reply.
#3 tylerhlewis has been a member since 25/4/2012. Posts: 4
Hi there Tyler and congratulations!
Couple of points.
1. There is no train from Phuket to Bangkok. Your public transport options are a long overnight bus ride or flying back to Bangkok. Seeing as it's your honeymoon I'd suggest the latter! There are budget airlines that do that route so it shouldn't be too expensive ... check out Nok Air and Air Asia.
2. There is more than one type of slowboat to get to Luang Prabang and you didn't specify which one you were thinking of using. Again, as it's your honeymoon I'd suggest splashing out a bit rather than taking the usual cheaper but very overcrowded and uncomfortable "cattle boat" version which involves an overnight stop in a grotty rat infested guesthouse in Pak Beng. Maybe you're already aware of this but just in case you weren't, the Nagi of Mekong slowboat would be a much more romantic option!
Thanks for the reply and thanks for the advice.
Sorry I wasn't clear. We are actually taking a bus from Phuket to Surat Thani , then taking the overnight train from Surat Thani to Bangkok.
Thank you so much for the suggestion of the nicer boat! I had no idea there was another option, and this looks like something we would definitely like to do.
#5 tylerhlewis has been a member since 25/4/2012. Posts: 4