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Taking the Scenic Route - 20 weeks of traveling SEA, Australia and Polynesia

Posted by thescenicroute on 19/11/2013 at 19:22

Hi everybody,

My fiancee and I are moving from Los Angeles back to Germany, but we're taking the scenic route by inserting about 20 weeks of traveling Southeast Asia, Australia, and Polynesia. We are going to keep track of our travels on our blog called The Scenic Route.
We have to say that the information we got on Travelfish has been instrumental in planning this trip, so thank you all for contributing. We will try to give back by documenting our trip as best as we can. Once we get back from our trip, we plan on to publish several travel videos.

Leaving on December 2nd, the rough itinerary looks like this:
Hong Kong (4 nights)
Chiang Mai (5 nights)
Chang Rai (4 nights)
Bangkok (4 nights)
Siem Reap (3 nights)
Transfer to Phuket/Khao Lak via Bangkok
Khao Lak (9 nights including 4 night dive trip)
Ko Lanta (6 nights)
Ko Lipe (4 nights)
Langkawi (5 nights)
Penang/Georgetown (5 nights)
KL (4 nights)
Melaka (2 nights)
Singapore (4 nights)
Jakarta (3 nights)
Yogyakarta (2 nights)

From there on we will travel towards Bali and Lombok, then onwards to the East Coast of Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti. We'll keep you updated on that.

Activities will include scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking and relaxing at the beach ;-)

Two more weeks to go - stay tuned!
Julia & Julian

#1 thescenicroute has been a member since 19/11/2013. Posts: 5
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 27/11/2013 at 11:42

Chang Rai (4 nights) - rather boring town. I'd skip it. Hire a car in CM and drive to Tham Lot cave at Soppong instead.

Ko Lanta (6 nights) - nice enough island but rather quiet and 6 nights is 3 too many.


Langkawi (5 nights) - Krabi is a better choice. You seem to have chosen to skip the best bits by going from Khao Lak to Lanta. Phang Nga in the middle is the most scenic part of the whole country.



KL (4 nights) - Bland business city. I wouldn't bother.

Singapore (4 nights) - It's an ok city but nothing special. 3 nights is enough.
Jakarta (3 nights) - Ugly city. Don't bother.

Bangkok (4 nights) - I'd add on 2 nights in Kanchanaburi. Nice spot out there.

"East Coast of Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti"

All expensive. Your money will go much further in Asia.

The east coast of Australia is nice but Thai beaches are better. Phang Nga is heaps better and Koh Chang area is very good as well.

$50-60 gets a really nice bungalow in Thailand but in Australia it's $150-200 plus snorkelling is $30 in Thailand versus $150 in Aust.

I'd add more time onto Thailand.

#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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Posted by tezza on 1/12/2013 at 00:26

"The east coast of Australia is nice but Thai beaches are better"
Jeez - my local beach, 300m away, is better than 90% of anything I've seen in Thailand. And my local beach is third rate compared to some in my district. Which are fifth rate compared to the real good ones like Whitehaven in the Whitsundays. Don't call it White fer nothing.

#3 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345
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Posted by tezza on 1/12/2013 at 00:52

But okay, let's stick to the Origninal Poster's wants:

um - Lanta for 6 nights is fine if you change locations. I'd do one at a popular beach, another at one of the lesser-visited southern beaches. Otherwise I'd do 3 on Lanta and 3 on one of the Trang islands (Ngai, Kradan, Muk, Libong) on the way to Lipe.

Dunno about time allocation at Penang, KL and Singapore. I'd be tempted to shave a night off each and use them for another location along the way. Leonard's Phang Nga Bayis a good one (google Mr Kean). Ditto Krabi and Phi Phi.

#4 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,345
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 2/12/2013 at 07:40

"Jeez - my local beach, 300m away, is better than 90% of anything I've seen in Thailand."

Your local beach doesn't have $30 quality bungalows, $2 meals and $7 massages now does it?

I'm not talking about comparing sand with sand.


"Lanta for 6 nights is fine if you change locations. " Whole island can be explored in 2 days.

#5 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 2/12/2013 at 07:47

"like Whitehaven in the Whitsundays."

It's overrated. Ko Hong is better. Beautiful beach and fish galore just off shore.

Being super white doesn't make a beach good if it blinds you from the glare and tours to the island are expensive. It's just sand and Aust doesn't have the karsts like Phang Nga does. Phang Nga is far more scenic for that reason.

#6 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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Posted by thescenicroute on 2/12/2013 at 13:39

Hi,

Thank you both for your suggestions. I guess it all depends on what exactly you are looking for when traveling. We'll be traveling for 20 weeks, and want to explore the different cultures, languages, food, and nature of the world. We are aware that we could get away with cheaper stays in Thailand, but spending most of the time at beautiful beaches for the least amount of money is just not what we're looking for.

Nonetheless, we appreciate your input and might change a few things around in Southern Thailand to have more time for exploring Pha Nga Bay. However, we are in that area during absolute peak season, so that has been posing some problems actually finding vacancies.

Thank you all!
Lifting off for Hong Kong in a few ;-)

Julia & Julian

#7 thescenicroute has been a member since 19/11/2013. Posts: 5
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Posted by thescenicroute on 10/12/2013 at 21:21

We're now ten days into our trip and have uploaded a couple of trip reports and pictures about our stays in Hong Kong and Chiang Mai on our blog: http://scenicrouteblog.tumblr.com

Check it out!

#8 thescenicroute has been a member since 19/11/2013. Posts: 5
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Posted by weekendgetaways on 16/12/2013 at 02:17

Very good information about travel nights and packages . thanks for shearing

#9 weekendgetaways has been a member since 16/12/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by Rishabh01 on 7/2/2014 at 04:20

Hi Dear
Your trip seems to be great. I think this was the great trip to you and your fiancee. Love to see your travelling schedule.
Keep travelling.........................

#10 Rishabh01 has been a member since 22/1/2014. Location: India. Posts: 18
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