Best 3 cities in Southeast Asia

Dec 27th, 2018, 05:34 AM
  #1  
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Best 3 cities in Southeast Asia

Hi!
I am asking about the 3 most beautiful and lovely cities in the southeast of Asia.
I have 11 complete days for this travel in March 2019 without departing and returning flights.

I selected Siem reap ( 3 days), Luang Prapang ( 4 days) and Chiang Mai (4 days)
But i hesitated between Chiang mai and Mandalay +Bagan.
In the case of my itinerary,do you think that it will better to spend 5 days in Mandalay and Bagan instead of Chiang Mai? and 3 in Luang Prapang+ 3 in Siem reap ?
Thank you in advance
Riadhou
Riadhou is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 06:05 AM
  #2  
 
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I've never heard anyone describe Mandalay as "lovely," You might want to choose cities based on your interest rather than some idea of "lovely," Also visiting one city per country is nt the beat way to experience this part of the world.

All of these places are quite different from each other. I'd cut Chiang Mai, as it's an overcrowded, polluted city with terrible traffic, very unlike the other cities you have chosen.

I think you would have a better experience if you chose one country for your 11 days.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 02:08 PM
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How did you come up with these three? What are your interests?

When you say three days, is that four nights? Because that is what you need for SR. LP used to be worth four days but the last time I was there (early 2011) it had become very touristy and I wouldn't want that long. And I agree with Kathie about CM and Mandalay. I recommend picking one (or at most two) country and seeing that rather than flying all over the place.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 03:35 PM
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I would also encourage you to consider the logistics of such a trip. You will need visas for Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Also, flights into out of Myanmar make planning more complicated, as currently you can only fly into/out of Yangon and Mandalay,

Choose one or two countries and focus on those.
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Dec 27th, 2018, 06:06 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by Kathie View Post
I've never heard anyone describe Mandalay as "lovely,"
An aunt of mine spent a month in Mandalay back in the 60s, IIRC, in the home of a friend right along the Irrawaddy, and she described it as ineffably lovely. I wish I could see it that way (I know I never will), but am glad she did.
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Dec 27th, 2018, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
An aunt of mine spent a month in Mandalay back in the 60s, IIRC, in the home of a friend right along the Irrawaddy, and she described it as ineffably lovely. I wish I could see it that way (I know I never will), but am glad she did.
If it's one place I wish I'd given a wide berth to in Burma, then it'd be Mandalay. There are some pretty places for day and evening trips, but the city doesn't hold many attractions, and it's polluted with traffic fumes.
LancasterLad is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 10:06 PM
  #7  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by LancasterLad View Post
If it's one place I wish I'd given a wide berth to in Burma, then it'd be Mandalay. There are some pretty places for day and evening trips, but the city doesn't hold many attractions, and it's polluted with traffic fumes.
Did I not make it clear that I was speaking about the Mandalay of more than 50 years ago?

Last edited by kja; Dec 27th, 2018 at 10:37 PM.
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Dec 27th, 2018, 10:10 PM
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Siem Reap and Luang Prabang should be on your list. I'd skip Chiang Mai, it's Bangkok on a smaller scale and just as polluted with traffic fumes, though there is quality in the surrounding area and further afield.

For your third city, and if you want and have time for another country, then try Hanoi.
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Dec 28th, 2018, 02:50 AM
  #9  
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Thank you very much for your each reply.
i will cut Birmany because it is complicated to find an easily way to flight to and to obtain a visa.

II will maintain Siem reap (4 nights) and Luang Prapang (4 nights).
in any way I must have a stop in Thailand in the way to return to home.
Someone suggested me the cities of Lampang and Nakhon- Phanom situated in the north of Thaïland .
Lampang is easier to reach from Chian Mai ( 100 km) but Nakhon is very far and even if it situated near the border of Laos ,thetonly durectvglight to reach is from Bangkok.

Looking to these difficulties ,it seems more easier to spend the latest 3 days in Hanoi .But I can't decided about this city for the moment as it looks like any other great city .
Could any body suggested where to spend 11 days in two countries at least (except in Bangkok ) but where I can find culture curiosities , beautiful nature and landscapes , picturesque villages, old towns with authentic architecture ,a vibrant nightlife where people spend their time visiting night markets,artisanal and traditional shops,restaurants with good food , making a romantic stroll over a River,since i avoid the early sleeping cities .
​​​​​​
Riadhou is offline  
Dec 28th, 2018, 06:53 AM
  #10  
 
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Well, you could start by reading this:

https://www.cntraveler.com/story/how...try-by-country

I was going to suggest the Cambodian coast to pair with SR, but you might read this first: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/t...dia-coast.html

Hanoi has an interesting old city.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 29th, 2018, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Did I not make it clear that I was speaking about the Mandalay of more than 50 years ago?
Unfortunately, that's of little practical use to today's traveller.
LancasterLad is offline  
Dec 29th, 2018, 04:47 AM
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Riadhou View Post
Thank you very much for your each reply.
i will cut Birmany because it is complicated to find an easily way to flight to and to obtain a visa.

II will maintain Siem reap (4 nights) and Luang Prapang (4 nights).
in any way I must have a stop in Thailand in the way to return to home.
Someone suggested me the cities of Lampang and Nakhon- Phanom situated in the north of Thaïland .
Lampang is easier to reach from Chian Mai ( 100 km) but Nakhon is very far and even if it situated near the border of Laos ,thetonly durectvglight to reach is from Bangkok.

Looking to these difficulties ,it seems more easier to spend the latest 3 days in Hanoi .But I can't decided about this city for the moment as it looks like any other great city .
Could any body suggested where to spend 11 days in two countries at least (except in Bangkok ) but where I can find culture curiosities , beautiful nature and landscapes , picturesque villages, old towns with authentic architecture ,a vibrant nightlife where people spend their time visiting night markets,artisanal and traditional shops,restaurants with good food , making a romantic stroll over a River,since i avoid the early sleeping cities .
​​​​​​
Luang Prabang pretty much meets your final Paragraph criteria, so do certain parts of Bangkok [eg. Banglamphu] with a trip up the Chao Phraya River added on.
LancasterLad is offline  
Dec 29th, 2018, 09:23 AM
  #13  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by LancasterLad View Post
Unfortunately, that's of little practical use to today's traveller.
It was a response to Kathie, LancasterLad. I never suggested that it would be of "practical use to today's traveller."
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Dec 29th, 2018, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
It was a response to Kathie, LancasterLad. I never suggested that it would be of "practical use to today's traveller."
Don't really see your issue.....I merely made a comment.

It's an open forum.....I wasn't being personal, YOU are better than that, just get over it.
LancasterLad is offline  
Dec 29th, 2018, 11:32 AM
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Firstly, what do you define as “best” ? A subjective term which means different things to each of us. For me, my top three cities would be Hanoi, Saigon and Phnom Penh, but my tastes are no doubt very different from your own. Having said that, they all offer

Another issue is that the best of what SE Asia has to offer is not to be found in the cities but in the small villages and the countryside. You suggest in one of your posts above that you seek beutiful nature, landscapes, vibrant nightlife etc.etc. - clearly you are not going to find all of these in the.same place, but you will find them in the same country.

Luang Prabang is very pretty but was vastly over touristed 10 years ago, I would hate to think what it is like now. Siem Reap would not even qualify in my top 500 cities in the world. It exists purely to service needs of the hordes of tourists visting Angkor Wat. If you are ok with these issues, as many people are then fine.

If not then 11 days is not much time for three cities let alone three countries. I would concentrate on one country only and be selective on which locations in that country would satisfy your wish list.

Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam would all provide what you seek in abundance, but yours is too wide a question to be answered in anything but the vaguest of terms which probably won’t be much help. Being mor specific will help others to provide more pertinent suggestions.

One thing I would say however, is forget about Lampang and Nakhon Phanom. There is little reason to spend any of your 11 days in either.

PS - what does "i avoid the early sleeping cities" actually mean?
crellston is offline  
Dec 30th, 2018, 05:28 AM
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Hanoi would be a good choice as a 3rd destination. Definitely different than either LP and SR, but IMO also considerably different than Bangkok or Chiang Mai as well. But then Hanoi is easily my favourite big city in SE Asia, having a strong mix of colonial and modern. (also being very walkable and green)

I agree with Thursdays about more days in Siem Reap than Luang Prabang. Both are pretty heavily touristed, but for me, the temples and ruins offered greater interest over more days than the temples in LP. (which are lovely too, but also similar after a day or two)
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Dec 30th, 2018, 11:28 PM
  #17  
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Best 3 cities in Southeast Asia

Thank you for you reply.
1)-if it was you ,how did you programming this trip during 11 days in those 3 cities.i will arrive first to LP on 18th march at 18:00 .
My departure from Hanoi will be on 29 march.
But it is possible to arrive first to Hanoi or to Siem reap.
2)-Do you think that Hoi An could be a good alternative to Hanoi even if Hoi an is a village not a great city as Hanoi?
3-Is there others curiosities to discover in both SR and LP other than the temples?
Thank you in advance
Riadhou is offline  
Dec 30th, 2018, 11:47 PM
  #18  
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Hi again
i asked for Hoi an as an alternative to Hoin an especially for the weather ,as it seems that Hoi an could be warmer in March than Hanoi ,but also for what the majority of the opinions in the forum about Hoi An as a lovely and very beautiful little town !
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Dec 31st, 2018, 12:57 AM
  #19  
 
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It'd be easier if you laid out clearly your current proposed itinerary.

Hoi An is very pleasant during the day, easy to navigate on foot, and also ideal on a rented push bike. By night Hoi An is fabulous, as soon as all the lanterns come on, and the vibe increases a few notches.
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Dec 31st, 2018, 06:35 AM
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But Hoi An is even more overrun with tourists than LP.
thursdaysd is offline  

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