We are planning a trip through SEA - mostly Thailand (peninsula and mainland), northern laos, and a bit of cambodia (Angkor Wat and such). We have about a 2 month window and are flexible-ish on dates. We would like to trave May-June, however, we have been reading a bunch about the weather and we would like to structure our trip so we can try an avoid at least some of the rain.
Any suggestions for traveling in SEA during monsoons, or suggestions on which direction to go to avoid some of the worst rain? I have been reading the information under the weather section, but it is hard to piece together the trip.
Our rough idea is Bangkok up to Chiang Mai, dip into northern Laos for a week, down Northeastern Thailand to Cambodia for about a week, around the coast to the peninsula, then down to the bottom of thailand. With 2 months we'd do a lot of stopping along the way, we are not in a rush.
We can do the trip reversed or mix it up or avoid areas completely - we would rather have a good time somewhere we didn't expect to be than stuck inside in the pouring rain. We are 20-something and have backpacked Europe a few times and are looking for something different. We are all about hostels, cheap hotels, cheap eats, and great company. We like cities and towns but we also love wilderness and "off the beaten track" locations.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
I think you're going to get rain no matter how you boil that loop down so see little point in reversing it. Most of the islands, especially Cambodian south coast and Ko Chang will be pretty wet. That said, wet season isn't so much all day torrential rain as much as some torrential rain for some of the day on some days -- in between could be brilliant sunshine.
I think best just to forget about the weather and figure out what you want to see -- weather be damned!
With that in mind, here's some stories that should be of help with the planning side of things.
Stops between Bangkok & ChiangMai
Southern Thai towns to lose time in
Your route is a fairly common one so you'll certainly meet others along the way.
More questions? ask away :)
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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Ok great - thank you! I was hoping that was the answer.. :)
Do you think that what we are trying to do is doable in 2 months? We don't want to be rushing, but we are also a bit ADD and enjoy keeping the trip moving.
Also, do you have an recommendations for gear/must have items we wouldn't think of for traveling in SEA? We have backpacked in Europe, but hostels are generally clean, laundromats are pretty plentiful, and toilitries we are used to were accessible. I'm worried we might forget something key that we really wished we had!
We want to be able to explore the jungle (not serious trekking, but
definitely day hiking).
I think 2 months is fine for that trip - and you shouldn't have trouble finding anything you need along the way.
Maybe have a stock of antacid and Ibuprofen and if you're planning on a day hike you'll want something better than a pair of sandals - but you can get away with a pair of sneakers easily. I can't think of anything I ever couldn't find that I needed while traveling in SEA.