4 months in Asia

Old Oct 1st, 2023, 01:52 PM
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4 months in Asia

I am looking to spend c.120 days in Asia. I will be staying in airbnb or cheapish hotels, not looking for excursions or tours as will be doing some research and studying academic, though happy to move from city to city.

Looking at places where UK citizen can get a Visa on arrival/Visa exemption, so currently considering Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. Done Singapore a few times, so not interested in that.

How long for 2 or 3 of the countries would you suggest to cover 120 days where street food is easy and cheap and accommodation is cheapish, clean and would have good internet. How long in each and which cities and how long to stay, I would stay in one place but worried boredom might set in after a while.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 1st, 2023, 03:26 PM
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Welcome to Fodors. We moved your thread to the Asia Forum, removed several incidental tags and added country tags for Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
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Old Oct 1st, 2023, 06:31 PM
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45 days Vietnam visa exemption for UK passport holders; Three big cities (Hanoi, Danang and Saigon).
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Old Oct 1st, 2023, 08:01 PM
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I suggest you pick a place that sounds good & stay until you get bored. In that time you'll have heard suggestions from other travelers or read about a place that sounds interesting so move on. Much of my travel in Asia has been a variation on that theme & I find it works well for me. No need to make plans much in advance or change plans when something not planned sounds interesting. Keep your allotted number of tourist visitor days in mind & move accordingly. I enjoy not necessarily knowing what comes next & it sounds like you might, too.

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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 12:20 AM
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For that amount of time I think it is important to have some sort of a plan otherwise you are just in danger of drifting and not getting the most out of your trip.

Visas - As a UK citizen most countries in SE Asia do not require a visa and you will get 30 days on arrival. Vietnam has just increased this to 45 days. Overstaying your time will incur penalties so pay close attention to every stamp you get in your passport - mistakes do happen!

Weather - SE Asia has widely differing weather patterns throughout the country so when you are going can be as important as where.

Internet -
These days internet speeds in most places are very good and very reliable. I doubt you will experience too many issues. Free Wifi is widely available in even the smallest guesthouse. Clearly the usual caveats re internet security apply so I would make sure to arrange a VPN/Proxy server before leaving home. Getting a local SIM card with a decent data package would be a good idea and is very cheap and easy to arrange in each country.

Streetfood - Good food is a very subjective issue, but for me, the best food is to be found in Vietnam. Cambodia is pretty good too. Thailand used to be great and you can still find greta food but the authorities have had a major push in recent years to close down street stalls and markets and move them into the sterile mall food courts you find in places like Singapore. Malaysia, being the most multicultural country in the region, properly has the widest variety - a mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay (which can be a distinct advantage if staying for longer periods.

Costs - I would say Vietnam is the cheapest place to live in SEA both in terms of food and accommodation. Cambodia is also pretty inexpensive. Thailand has become more expensive in recent years. Malaysia is pretty much middle of the road in terms of cost.

Cities - In Vietnam we have spent extended periods in Saigon, Hanoi and Hue, all of which I think would make great bases. Lots to see in all three cities and it would be difficult to get bored.
In Cambodia , the capital Phnom Penh would be the logical choice, though the quieter riverside town of Kampot would also be a good choice.

In Malaysia, people seem to either either love or hate Kuala Lumpur. Georgetown on Penang is also a place to consider (the best street food in Malaysia)

In Thailand I would likely stick with Bangkok or Chiang Mai (the latter being the cheaper option.

Transport - if you want to mix up the countries/cities it is pretty cheap and easy to get around overland or by budget airlines. The train is a lot of fun and can save cash if you schedule journeys overnight. Great train routes throughout the length of Vietnam and also between Thailand and Malaysia .

Many of these places I covered in detail in our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com . Just click on the destination tab and then the country.

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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 03:26 AM
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Great information Crellston. Are there issues with going from say malaysia to thailand to vietnam then back to thailand and malaysia, or are these unlikley to be approved as seen as visa runs ? I have excluded Cambodia as I would need to apply in advance which I would rather not do. Also can the visa on arrival only be issued from the airports or is it available at the land borders as well. The when would be mid Oct to mid Feb.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 03:50 AM
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You are welcome maxyman.

No there're no issues crossing borders as you describe. It is very common to do that. There was a time when Thailand tightened up their requirements to try and prevent misuse of the system by expats. I have taken many extended trips in SE Asia crossing borders many times and have never had a problem apart from certain land borders where seeking bribes is considered the norm!

VOA is available at all airports and the vast majority of land borders. The only exceptions I can think of are some remote border crossings in the north of Vietnam/Laos where VOA aren't (or at least weren't available).

You don't need to apply in advance for Cambodia. EVisa is the easiest way but VOA is available at airports and land borders.

October to Feb is a pretty good time for the region. The rainy season for much of the area usually ends in November so some places will be pretty damp in October. Nice time to go as it will still be green from the rains. Avoid central Vietnam in October when flooding can be a problem.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 12:25 PM
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visa-free entry into Thailand is 30 days - you can do this seeral times if entr=ering by plane, but only twice by land.
Malaysia you get 90 days on entry.
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Old Oct 4th, 2023, 02:05 AM
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As UK citizen you don't need to apply for Vietnam visa, it will be a waste of money. People from UK will have 45 days visa free.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2023, 05:57 AM
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Sharing Thanit Apipatana'sextended 4-month sojourn throughout Asia, they had a remarkable opportunity to delve into the multifaceted tapestry of cultures, savor the delectable cuisines that each region offered, and fully immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring natural landscapes that grace this vast and diverse continent.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2023, 08:54 AM
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4 Months In Asia

A 4-month trip across Southeast Asia offers the chance to fully immerse yourself in the region's diversity of cultures, cuisines, and landscapes. With visa exemptions, overland transport, and budget accommodation, you have great flexibility to create an epic journey.

Vietnam is a fascinating country to explore for a month, especially with the newly increased 45-day visa exemption. You could settle into the contrasting cities of Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City, venturing out on side trips at your leisure. The food, history, and scenery provide endless discoveries.

Thailand is another country where you could comfortably spend a month absorbed in cultural experiences. Bangkok and Chiang Mai both make excellent bases with their temples, markets, cuisine, and extensive amenities. Thailand offers something for all interests to keep you engaged.

Malaysia's multiculturalism provides diversity and delicious fusion cuisine. Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kota Kinabalu each have their own vibe and attractions. With a month in Malaysia, you'll have time to explore islands like Langkawi as well.

You could round out your journey with a month split between Cambodia, Laos and bouncing back to Thailand, Malaysia, or Vietnam. Southeast Asia's flexibility and transport network makes it easy to travel overland and change plans when alluring new destinations call. With an open mind, your 4 months will be an epic adventure
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