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Flying from place to place in Asia - here's our plan with questions

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I am going to book our flights to get us from country to country during our Southeast Asia trip in July and August today or very soon. After looking at potential flight paths, times, prices and airlines to the point of insanity, here is what we've decided on and I would appreciate people's thoughts. The only thing booked so far is our long haul flight to Bangkok and home form Singapore.

NYC to BKK arrive July 9th around 10:00 AM

- Bangkok July 9th - July 12th
3 nights

BKK to Siem Reap July 12th
$75 each Airasia or
$125 each other airline

- Siem Reap July 12th - 16th
4 nights

Siem Reap to Bangkok July 16th
$70 Air asia
$200 Vietnam Air

- Bangkok July 16th - 17th
1 night layover

Bangkok to Mandalay July 17th
$60 each Airasia or
$175 each Thai Air

Will use Myanmar travel agent

- Mandalay July 17th - 18th
1 night
really just want to see the ancient capitals especially Saigang

Mandalay to Bagan July 18th
Is boat too slow because we would love to take the boat from Mandalay to Bagan?

- Bagan 18th - 22nd
4 nights

Bagan to Inle Lake July 22nd

- Inle Lake 22nd - 26th
4 nights

Inle Lake Yangon July 26th

- Yangon July 26th - 28th

Yangon to Hanoi July 28th
Direct on Vietnam on Vietnam Air $275 each or
Yangon to Bangkok to Hanoi $130 each Airasia

Hanoi July 28th - August 4th
7 nights

Can we do a night in Sapa or it takes longer to travel?
Night on Halong Bay?

Hanoi to Bali August 4th
$333 Singapore Air most direct, about 7 hours

Bali, August 4th - 12th
8 nights

Bali to Singapore August 12th
1 night layover
$100 each

12:45 Singapore to NYC August 13th

We are obviously taking a lot of flights. We are flying to maximize our time, but want to be smart about our money. We will spend some extra money to have more time in the places we want to be. We have discussed eliminating a destination, but we can't choose a place to eliminate without one of us becoming very sad.

1. First of all, if we use Airasia for most of our short flights, it will save us a good deal of money (about $1000 total). What are some things we should be mindful of if we go with Airasia for most of our flights? I know the cancellation policy is tough. We are only bringing carry-ons, less than 40 pounds and we'll make sure they fit the proper dimensions. We've used budget airlines in Europe but never in Asia. Any red flags we're not thinking of?

2. A little explanation about our choices:

- Getting to Bali from Cambodia, Myanmar or Vietnam is our most difficult flight to choose. From my research, getting there from Siem Reap or Myanmar is expensive and time consuming with multiple stops. We could have chosen a layover in Bangkok for a very early budget flight (not appealing) or a layover in Singapore, but the option we like the most is the Hanoi to Bali on Singapore Air. It is the most direct, about 8 hours during the day, with a departure time we like and a price I thought was decent ($333).

- With Hanoi as our stop before Bali, we had to choose between Siem Reap or Myanmar for the stop before Hanoi. It seems like either choice works. A person on these forums alerted me to a direct flight that Vietnam Airlines does between Yangon and Hanoi for about $275 and Siem Reap to Hanoi is about the same $220. Airasia doesn't fly between Siem Reap and Hanoi. We could use Airasia to go Yangon to Bangkok to Hanoi for about $130 so we choose Myanmar as our stop before Hanoi, but I would like to choose the direct flight Yangon to Hanoi if I can save some money elsewhere.

- Getting from Myanmar to Siem Reap or Siem Reap to Myanmar seems to have no easy route so the best thing I am finding requires us to do a layover in Bangkok. If we do this we can find a budget flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok, stay a night, then take a budget flight from Bangkok to Mandalay the next day. I am considering splitting our time in Bangkok, two nights at the beginning (July 9th - 11th) and two nights here in the middle (July 15th - 17th) so that we're not on and off the plane in one night on the 16th, but I like having those three nights at the beginning so we can get acclimated to the heat and get rid of any jetlag without having to move to another spot right away.

- We looked into taking a early morning flight from Bali to Singapore on the 13th so we could catch our return flight home without staying in Singapore at all, but at the slightest delay I would stress about missing our long haul flight from Singapore so I want to fly to Singapore on the 12th. If we can get there early, I would love to explore a site or two in Singapore.

3. We are anticipating using a Myanmar agent to help us plan our Myanmar domestic flights, travel and rooms. We've contacted Santa Maria and Golden Travel already. Any other suggestions people have used and liked?

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on Airasia, Myanmar travel agents and any misconceptions you can find in my conclusions.
Sean

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