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HELP!! No idea how or where to start SEA!

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Posted by jaymilee on 21/2/2011 at 06:22

hey guys,

I am completely and utterly confused as to how and where to start my trip in south east asia.
I have been to thailand before, stayed in bangkok for quite a while as I have family there working, but as I am slightly older now, I want to re-do bangers again and explore further.
I have no time limit as of yet, so time isn't an issue.
Obviously this is in no particular order, but these are the definate countries with just a few areas I have so far come up with:
-Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang mai, phuket (briefly as ive been a few times, koh phangan (would like to be there for new years ever full moon party).
-Cambodia: Phnom Penh.
-Laos: No idea where to start.
-Vietnam: Ho chi minh, Hanoi.
-Myanmar: ???
I would also like to do India and Nepal too.
Any tips or help or guidance would be greatly appreciated as I feel like iv been staring at maps and reading sites but still have no idea where to start.
Thankyou jaymi :)

#1 jaymilee has been a member since 14/2/2011. Location: Australia. Posts: 2
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Posted by busylizzy on 21/2/2011 at 07:08

I hope you're not planning on doing all of that in 4 weeks (like many posters here!)

I would suggest that as a starting point, you read through the suggested itineraries on this site found here:

It's a good place to start, and you can then dig down into a lower level of detail as you see things of interest to you.

#2 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by caseyprich on 21/2/2011 at 09:02

This is a lot to chew on - but one word of advice would be to look at your schedule with climate & festivals in mind - climate could give you a guideline while festivals give you some basic times that you want to be in a particular place. For example, you don't really want to visit Sapa in the wet season and it'd be a shame to find out you were 2 days late for Rocket Festival in laos because you decided to spend 2 1/2 and not just 2 weeks sitting on the beach in Thailand.

I'd also recommend looking at Indo-China and the Indian Sub-continent as two different trips/regions, and with flying into BKK I'd say plan Indo-China and then look towards the sub-continent as you start to finish up there.

An example of a well worn itinerary would be to fly into BKK, go down to the islands in the south, then fly/bus over to Siem Reap and explore Cambodia. Work your way down the Mekong to the Delta in Vietnam and get to HCMC. Overland stopping along the way from HCMC to Hanoi. Explore Northern Vietnam to the extent your visa allows, then go across the border into Northern Laos where you can go Sam Nuea, Nong Kiaow/Mung Ngoi, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane . .. from here go back into Thailand or double back up to Luang Nam Tha for more trekking and then cross into Thailand at Huay Xia and work your way over to Chiang Mai (you'll only have a 15 day visa overland). Explore Northern Thailand and then head back down to BKK to catch a flight to Myanmar/India/Nepal.

Just some thoughts

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Posted by jaymilee on 27/2/2011 at 17:53

thanks guys! I am not stupid enought to attempt all of my plans in 4 weeks! lol i am going to take as long as I need!
thankyou for ur suggestions greatly appreciated!!


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