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Traveling to South East Asia for a Month for the first time, need tips!

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My friend and I are traveling to SEA for the first time in January. We plan on traveling for about a month, we want to see/do as much as possible while we are there. Also, I like VARIETY, I get bored seeing the same type of places or doing the same things (ex. just sight seeing temples). We are in our 20s and happy to have a mix of things, having said that I do not want to miss out on the culture/landmarks by just going on outdoor adventures everywhere I go. I am also sure I will be tired of traveling and want some time in the beautiful beaches of Thailand. I have done a lot of research and come up with the following itinerary.

Please let me know if: A. It is realistic???? B. It is a good pace for travel C. Any thoughts on places that are NOT worth going D. if you think this is a good variety E. any other advice you may have.

Thank you all so much in advance!


Day One: Arrive in Bangkok in the afternoon
D2: Bangkok
D3: go by bus to Siem Reap
D4: Siem Reap
D5: Siem Reap, return to Bangkok via bus
D6: Fly to Chiang Mai
D7: Chiang Mai
D8: Chiang Mai
D9: Fly to Luang Prabang
D10: Luang Prabang
D11: Luang Prabang
D12: Fly to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) **
D13: Cu Chi tunnels
D14: Danang
D15: Hoi An
D16: Hanoi
D17: Halong Bay
D18: Hanoi
D19:Fly to Penang
D20 Penang
D21: Penang/Kuala Lumpur (depending how much I like Penang)
D22: Bus to Kuala Lumpur
D23: Fly to Krabi
D24: beaches of Krabi
D25: beaches of Krabi
D26: beaches of Krabi
D27: beaches of Krabi
D28: beaches of Krabi (full moon party)
D29: Go via ferry to Phuket
D30: Phuket
D31: Phuket
D32:go via ferry to beaches of Koh Samui
D33: beaches of Koh Samui
D34: beaches of Koh Samui
D35: Fly to Bangkok
D36 Bangkok
D37: Leave Bangkok, end of trip.

**One more note, my time in Vietnam will be on a guided tour, the slots are from Day 12-Day 18, which has also given some rigidity to my travel.

Aslo should I cut Krabi time for Langkawi (in Malaysia) or Singapore?? And fly to Siem Reap instead of taking the bus??

Thanks again!

  • Report Abuse

    My first piece of advice is to slow down and enjoy these wonderful places.

    With your current schedule, you have just one day at Angkor. That might be fine for someone who had no interest in the temples, but if you have any interest at all, you'll want more time. Get a copy off Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples so you can prepare a bit. It will help you to decide how much time to spend there. It takes three full days to see just the major temples. By going overland, you spend a whole day each way just getting there and back. Flying is a more efficient use of your time, though the flights are expensive. You can cut down on expense by using the bangkok Air Discovery Pass. If you are intent on going overland, read all about it at I t will alert you to all the various scams associated with overland travel to Siem Reap.

    It might make more sense to fly between Siem Reap and Luang Prabang, though I believe the flight isn't daily, then on to HCMC.

    Your time in VN will be mostly drive-by sightings of things, you never have enough time to explore a place. Is your group tour to VN locked in? Can you cancel it and go on your own?

    Penang (Georgetown) is much more interesting than KL. Spend a couple of days there and skip KL. Fly from Penang back to Bangkok, then onward to Krabi.

    Your beach time is a bit odd - three different areas. You can't take a ferry from Phuket to Koh Samui - it's in the Gulf of Thailand. There may be a ferry from Krabi to Phuket, but most people go by road. A third of your time in SE Asia is at the beach. Is that what you want? Be forewarned that the beach areas are international beach resort areas, you'll get little sense of the culture. If you like variety, all of the time at the beach will be a bore. I would not cut Krabi for Langkawi. Singapore would be something different from the other places you a visiting: a huge modern, clean city. Singapore is a pretty expensive destination, though.

    If it were me (and it isn't) I'd bag the tour in VN and choose two areas of VN to explore - probably Hanoi and environs and Hoi An/ Hue/Danag. I'd choose one beach area, and spend some time there (like you have with Krabi) and cut the other beaches to be able to see more of SE Asia.

  • Report Abuse

    OMG---i'm dizzy..

    imo, pick one beach need at least 2-3 days at siem reap... more time in hanoi..more time in hoi an..

    bus to SR, are you crazy??

    penang requires a couple of days

    seems to me the majority of your time is spent moving from one place to another--think about it..

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