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Southeast Asia suggested stops?

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Oct 21st, 2012, 12:35 PM
  #1
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Southeast Asia suggested stops?

Hi,
I'm a college student spending this coming Spring semester abroad in Vietnam. When my program ends on May 30 I'm planning to travel around Southeast Asia for the entire month of June. Just wondering if anyone has any suggested itineraries or must-see sights and stops? I will have seen most of Vietnam so I'm looking specifically for places outside Vietnam. So far my general travel ideas include:

-Cambodia (definitely want to go there)
-Laos
-Thailand
-Burma/Myanmar? if time permits
-Alternatively, considering a visit to Kunming/Yunnan province as it is so close to Vietnam, but perhaps another time

I want to see a lot, but I also don't want to be in a rush. Are those four countries too ambitious for just one month of travel? I'm interested in cultural places, temples, ruins, any off the beaten path gems, and definitely any adventurous activities (hiking, boating, cave exploration, etc). My budget will be around $3000 (not that I intend to spend that much!). I'm not planning to live the life of luxury really, I prefer simple lodgings and means of travel but I might splurge a couple times, maybe a flight or two. Any and all thoughts welcome and appreciated!
hunterbarclay is offline  
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Oct 21st, 2012, 01:14 PM
  #2
 
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Yes, four countries is far too ambitious for a month, unless you plan to make one stop in each country, which I don't generally recommend.

Burma is a country (finally) changing rapidly. If you have any interest in it, I'd recommend you put it at the top of your list. You would be traveling during off season, so you wouldn't have the problems people are having now with accommodations all fully booked. There are some oddities about travel in Burma - the need for perfect US dollars, for instance, and the inability to use credit cards, ATMs, etc., that you need to be aware of. If you have an interest in going to Burma, I'd allocate at least two weeks to that country, though you could spend the whole month there. Take a look at some of our photos from our two trips in 2009 and 2011 at www.marlandc.com
Kathie is offline  
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Oct 21st, 2012, 09:49 PM
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You can do Thailand to Cambodia and Laos then back to Vietnam.
If you have time and like to do like backpacker , we like take bus via in each country and back by plane it's fun and good experience.
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Nov 22nd, 2012, 09:20 AM
  #4
 
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+1 for RiniRabbit's comments. I would definitely recommend Thailand as it has a good variety of things to do and obviously very close to Vietnam.

I was in Siem Reap this summer and loved Angkor Wat there and if you want to just be saying "wow" all the time.

One place that most people seem to overlook is Indonesia. Things are cheap there, there's great diving, great cultural activities and lots of other outdoor activities as well. Actually had a good time in Bali, loved Mt. Bromo and found Yogyakarta interesting with Borobudur and Prambanan.

If you want to check out my travels from this summer in Southeast Asia, check out my blog. I wrote about it in quite a bit of detail and might have some useful information for you.

http://goingawesomeplaces.com/catego...c-summer-2012/

Good luck and have fun!
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Nov 22nd, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Of the countries you have mentioned, Burma is in a period of RAPID change. I read Kathie's post but by the time you get there, some of that (bringing perfect bills, ATM's,) may have changed. I'd put 2 weeks into Burma because it won't be the same in 3 years. And I'd worry about changes to Angkor Wat. Someday they are going to stop people from the unlimited access they now have. (It's always a toss up of preserving the historical sights vs access for the people). So my top 2 would be Burma and Cambodia. Yes - Thailand is great, charming, and has a well worn path for tourists. It won't change very much in the next 3-5 years. At the moment, the Burmese people are 'untainted' by tourism and are always referred to as the 'sweetest, nicest people you will meet anywhere'. They are helpful, honest, friendly, and not pushing for the money. It is also very safe for now. And I can't imagine any place more 'offbeat' that the Burma beaches.

I guess it depends on your interests. There are plenty of places for a good time - Indonesia, Phillipines, Thailand etc.
If the toss up is 'which place can I have more fun' that is a differnt question. It that is what you want to know, ask it that way. I know a month seems like a long time, but when you are traveline in SE Asia, it isn't. It's physically larger than you think, and traveling is not as easy as Europe,USA or Australia even. You will know that after spending some time in Vietnam. And during your term there, you may have the opportunity to take some trips to the places nearby (Cambodia, Laos).

Whatever you decide, it will be a wonderful month. Enjoy.
wintersp is offline  
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Nov 22nd, 2012, 11:43 PM
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I'd recommend Myanmar and Cambodia. The former because its in a period of rapid change and I suspect it will lose some of its charm during the next decade. Kunming and Yunnan province are also interesting but not as easy as the level of English spoken is not as high as in the other countries you mentioned. However if you speak Mandarin it would be a different story.
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