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traveljen Nov 16th, 2005 03:44 PM

SE Asia question
I am interested in spending a few weeks in Southeast Asia. My experience in Asia is limited to a few weeks in Thailand (one of my favorite trips) and Hong Kong.

Would appreciate ideas on where to go next. Was thinking about laos, vietnam and cambodia but have concerns about safety and health. Thank you

laurieco Nov 16th, 2005 05:23 PM

Health and safety are not issues. All three countries are safe and as for health, the same precautions that you would take in Thailand apply, i.e., no tap water, salads, ice only in 5 star hotels and good resturants (always ask if the ice is made from purified water).

What are your interests, budget? The more info you can give us, the better we can help.

traveljen Nov 16th, 2005 05:53 PM

thank you laurieco.
Interested in nature, people, sights, history, food. We are in out 30s and active. Maybe some beach if there are any nice ones. Also like romantic places. Thinking of about a 6 week trip. We have a healthy budget.

rhkkmk Nov 16th, 2005 08:00 PM

thailand and bangkok specifically make a wonderful starting and finishing point for many places in SEA...vietnam, cambodia, laos, myanmar (burma), malaysia, singapore, bali and other parts of indonesia, india even...

bkk will have a new airport sometime in the next year and it will become even more of a hub....airlines like bangkok air make travel to some of these countries very easy with their discover passes...

we base ourselves in thailand and do different parts of thailand and one or two near by countries at the same time...its easy and usually reasonable...

luang prabang, laos is a favoirite at the moment as is siem reap in cambodia (angkor wat)...both are easy to get to from bkk....yangon is also a wonderful place stuck in a time warp---1850....

get a SEA guide book and do some reading and come back here and ask us specific questions...

laurieco Nov 17th, 2005 04:35 AM

I agree with Bob about making Bangkok the starting point but if you've been there before and don't want to go back, that's of course up to you.

Vietnam is wonderful and I would suggest starting in Hanoi for a few days, maybe doing some side trips from there, Halong Bay is supposed to be beautiful (although I didn't get there myself) then going down to central VN, Hue and Hoi An should not be missed, 2-3 nights in each should be sufficient, then to Saigon. One or two nights in Saigon and a day or two exploring the Mekong Delta.

Luang Prabang, Laos is wonderful and you can easily spend 3-5 days there exploring the town and some outlying areas along the Mekong.

Angkor in Cambodia is spectacular. About 3-5 days around that area will give you enough time to see not only the main temples but minor ones as well. How much time you want to spend there will depend on how long it takes before you get "templed out." Some people can spend weeks, others have had it after a day or two. I also enjoyed Phnom Penh. You can go to the Killing Fields, which will take a half a day, and spend the other half around PP.

Bob also suggested Burma, which I second. Of all the countries I've visited in SEA, I think Burma is my favorite. Yangon is a very nice city with great pagodas, a few days here would be nice. Then you can go to Bagan, a city with over 2000 temples and Pagodas which is magnificent. For truly the most beautiful scenery you will ever see, Inle Lake is a must. This was my favorite place in Burma. It's very relaxing but you will also see a lot, taking boats to the villages that dot the stunning lake.

This should give you some things to think about. If you have any questions or want detils, just adk. We are all willing to help and put in our two cents.

BillT Nov 17th, 2005 06:15 AM

Think outside the box- try the Philippines. Largely ignored on this forum it can be a interesting experience. Very inexpensive, warm friendly people, most speak English, spanish architecture and influence.
Great beaches- Borecay and Palawan. Big City sights- Manila and interesting day trips out of Manila.

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