SE Asia 7-8 weeks


Mar 19th, 2017, 11:25 AM
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SE Asia 7-8 weeks

Hi guys!

So im 22 years F and will be traveling mostly by myself for 73 (i think) days. I fly in/out of Signapore. I am meeting a friend in Bali from June 2 - 13, but I fly in May 19. I am wondering what I should do from Singapore to work my way down to Bali and after that, is it feasible to hit parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and possibly Myanmar (via air)? I know it will be pretty rushed but I was thinking a week in each place and focusing on places I'm really interested in. But if you think certain places are better than others and should skip some, let me know!
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Mar 19th, 2017, 11:39 AM
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You don'r really "work your way down to Bali" as you will have to fly. Between Singapore and Bali, consider visiting Java or other places in Indonesia. Spend some time learning about all of these places. You can't see them all so decide what is most important to you. There are inexpensive flights out of Bali on Air Asia that allow you to connect in Kuala Lumpur to get to the other countries you list. I wouldn't spend any time in KL, just use it as a transit point. A week in each of those countries isn't really enough, though you could choose one city to visit in each country for a week. If you want to visit Myanmar, do lots of reading first as this is a place that really rewards good preparation and punishes those who haven't done their homework.

Do look at visa requirement for each country, as all have different requirements. Also look at transport. There are inexpensive flights. While you can go from one country to another overland in some cases, it is time-consuming and doesn't really save you any money in most cases.
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Mar 19th, 2017, 12:02 PM
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Thank you! Ive been looking into visas and I know Myanmar requires one ahead of time so I'll really look into that.

Good to know about KL. Thank you!!!
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Mar 19th, 2017, 05:04 PM
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You might get some helpful information on Singapore, Java, and Bali in my trip report:

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Mar 19th, 2017, 08:10 PM
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I think you have to tell us more about what kind of "places you are really interested in."

For the 2 weeks between arriving in Singapore and meeting your friend in Bali, you could spend a few days in Singapore (it's expensive) then fly to another location. If you want to visit some of the other parts of Indonesia on the way to Bali, you can easily fly from Singapore to Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi and then on to Bali.

Your choice of destination would depend on your interests and your comfort level with adventure travel. Central Java (Yogyakarta and Borobudur), East Java (Mt. Bromo area) and Lombok would have the most established tourist infrastructures.

You should note that Ramadan will begin this year on May 26. This isn't the best time to travel in the Islamic parts of Indonesia.

Alternately, you could spend a week in one of your other options (e.g. Cambodia) and fly from there to Bali. You can easily get around all of Southeast Asia on budget airlines like AirAsia. Just be aware of surcharges for changes and cancellations.

It sounds like you'll have about 3 weeks post Bali. I think you should limit yourself to 5 destinations during this time (meaning cities or places, not countries). You may have to eliminate a few from your wish list. Surface travel will eat up a lot of your time, but air is more expensive. The choice would depend on your budget.
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Mar 19th, 2017, 09:59 PM
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thanks so much. to be honest ive just been looking at the guide books and marking places that sound fun to me (great food, pretty views, rural areas, etc). thats a good idea to spend the week elsewhere.

I leave Bali June 13th and have until July 31st so about six weeks but in general would you recommend 5 destinations in 3 weeks? So I could do maybe 8-9 destinations in 6 weeks?
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Mar 19th, 2017, 11:49 PM
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8-9 destinations in 6 weeks could work, but it's a lot of travel time. I think you have to start plotting out "what if" scenarios penciling in number of full days you want in each and then adding in potential transit times.

Getting from place to place always takes longer than you might imagine what with packing, getting to the airport, flight delays etc, and you have to be conservative. Also, plan some down time and some unplanned time. Long periods of travel can be tiring. A few days to kick back on the beach can be a good break.
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Mar 20th, 2017, 12:14 AM
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One of the issues you face at that time of year is the weather anywhere north of the equator. Many places like Thailand, Cambodia and Laos will be hot and wet, most likely both. that said, prices will be lower, it will be greener and tourist sites will be less crowded.

I would take a different approach to planning your trip. Based on your guidebook research, I would select say three countries and identify places within those countries that you really want to see. Given the interests you have stated so far, and notwithstanding my comments re weather, I would suggest that Vietnam and Cambodia make a good combination. They have a huge amount to see and there is a wellworn traveller path throughout the region, which makes travel both inexpensive and easy. Overland travel is not always as time consuming as one might think once you factor in travel time to/from airports, waiting times etc. and it is rarely more expensive than flying. Sometimes the journey is at least as important as the destination. I would however avoid night buses anywhere in Asia.

Many on this forum seem to dislike Kuala Lumpur for some reason, possibly because it is not awash with obvious tourist sights. true, it is not as interesting as say Saigon, Hanoi or Bangkok but it does have some of the best, most varied and inexpensive food in Asia. Just as importantly, it is the hub for Air Asia, the largest budget carrier in th region with a terrific network and very cheap flights. All this make KL a great base from which to see other parts of Asia if travelling by plane. Take a look at the Air Asia route map @ is a great resource for budget travel in SE Asia and is very much geared towards younger and single travellers. You should find plenty of ideas for routes, accomdation and aplces worth seeing that are more off grid that's the norm.

As suggested by marmot, travelling during Ramadan in Indonesia is not the best time. I did it a couple of years back and regretted it and would not repeat the experience. This year it is from 27 May to 25 June.

Do have fun wherever you decide. It is a wonderful part of the world. Happy planning!
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