Asia Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Advice Needed for SE Asia Trip for First-Timers!

Jump to last reply

Hi all - first of all thank you for all the great info on this forum and trip reports. A shout out to the blog from "From Home to Roam" and all the other great advice!

We are planning a trip to SE Asia for June 2013. Tickets are bought already. We land on June 22 late evening into Ho Chi Min City. We depart late evening July 9 out of Bangkok (will explain later). This gives us 16 nights, 17 days. We are coming from New York.

Background: traveling with 3 kids ages 5, 9, 11. Before you tell me they are too young, please know that they are avid travelers having gone on safari in South Africa at ages 2 & 4 years and have now been all over the continent of Africa 9 times. Also many trips all over Europe and the Caribbean. It was trekking elephants on the Namibia/Angola border last July when they told me the next big trip had to be to Asia! Also, we don't mind moving frequently -- in fact we try to pack in as much as we can!

We were going to take a group tour, hence, the arrival and departure cities. But after research, have decided against it. So we have the following three questions:

Tour Operators: looking for a tour operator to book all accomodations, transportation, tours, internal flights, and activities. I have read good things about Indochina Odyssey Tours, Exotissimo, Wide Eyed Tours, Trails of Indochina, and Easia. Can someone give me any feedback on these companies or recommend others?

Itinerary: we are thinking of the following in the order listed but are very much open to advice and have not made any firm decisions:

Ho Chi Min City - 3 nights (want to see the usual things. Should we include Meking Delta full-day trip?)

Hoi An - 3 nights (want to stay on the beach, do a 1/2 day biking tour and cooking class. And then just just casually enjoy the city)

Hanoi - 2 nights (after reading the only reason I want to come here is for a 1 night Ha Long Bay trip)

Luang Prabang - 2 nights (is this enough?)

Siem Reap - 3 nights (wow-some people say 2 nights enough and other say 4 minimum. Want to spend two days seeing the ruins and one day volunteering and touring with Ponheary Foundation -- thoughts?)

Ko Samui - 3 nights (last 3 days on the beach relaxing before departing out of Bangkok)

Hotels: woud love some hotel recommendations for the cities mentioned. We like high-end luxury large hotels or small boutique quaint hotels.

I know I am asking or a lot of advice but I have never planned a trip to a new place without help from my forum friends!

Thanks in advance.

35 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcements:
  • Forums Style Refresh
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 27, 15 at 11:33 AM
  • Introducing MeganM
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 24, 15 at 03:23 PM
View all Asia activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report Trip Report - 2 perfect days in New Delhi and driver recommendation
  2. 2 Please comment on Thailand and Cambodia Itinerary
  3. 3 Nepal - Earthquake (25 April 2015)
  4. 4 Mongolia tour or independently
  5. 5 Trip Report At the top of Macau Tower!
  6. 6 Three days in Bangkok
  7. 7 Khao Lak
  8. 8 Vietnam Itinerary- Help!
  9. 9 Kerala, India - 10 day holiday
  10. 10 Tiger Temple to lose all its tiger population soon
  11. 11 Annapurna and Myanmar Circuits in May
  12. 12 Trip Report Bangkok, here I come! Yes, again!!
  13. 13 What is Most Interesting Taipei Area for First Timers?
  14. 14 Trip Report Photos from India!
  15. 15 Japan, round two - the planning begins...
  16. 16 Trip Report Trip Report: Second Time to Japan - Sakura, Gardens and Castles
  17. 17 Yunnan: Dali, Lijiang & Shangri-la; how many days?
  18. 18 Vietnam Visa on Arrival - Help
  19. 19 Which is the best time to travel to North India?
  20. 20 Myanmar River Cruises
  21. 21 Siam Niramit show and dinner-Go or no go?
  22. 22 Leaving Thursday for Bangkok/Phuket
  23. 23 India Visa - BLS international. Lost passport FBI complaint
  24. 24 How to handle cash in Japan
  25. 25 Great Wall hike
View next 25 » Back to the top