5 Weeks in Southeast Asia
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Nov 20, 2012 9:19 AM Last Post By: willsterstyle
Nov 15, 2012 12:09 PM
5 Weeks in Southeast AsiaHello,
My husband and I; both in our early 30's; have finally found time to take a backpacking trip before we start a family.
We realize we will be cramming a lot of places into 5 weeks, and I know everyone says you can always come back, but with planning on having kids in the next year or 2, this may be the only opportunity for quite some time.
I have been reading and doing a lot of research, and I just wanted to see what experience travelers had to say about the itinerary I have come up with. We are very open with our plans, and are not set to anything but flying in and out of Bangkok, but I wanted a general idea of the route we will be taking. We arrive January 4 and depart February 6, 2013.
Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok about 1:00pm
Days 2 & 3: Bangkok
Day 4: travel to Siem Reap
Days 5-8: Siem Reap
Day 9: Travel to PP
Days 10-12: PP
Day 13: Travel to Saigon
Days 14-18: Saigon
Day 19: Fly to Krabi
Days 20-29: travel through Southern Thailand/Islands/Full Moon Party
Day 30: Travel to Bangkok
Day 30 (evening): Overnight train/bus to Chiang Mai
Days 31-34: Chiang Mai
Day 34 (evening): Overnight train/bus to Bangkok
Day 36: Leave Bangkok
Thank you for any positive feedback you can give!
Nov 15, 2012 12:32 PM
Nov 15, 2012 1:05 PM
2Sounds OK, but hopefully it's not locked in with prebooked flights and prebooked accommodation, you've got four days for Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), for some people that's not enough. For me, one and a half days was more than enough before I started to go Temple-Stir-Crazy and same again for Saigon, other's loved it, for me, after a day, I was happy to be out of there headed off to nicer places (like the rest of Vietnam)
Nov 15, 2012 1:37 PM
Nov 15, 2012 3:36 PM
Nov 15, 2012 6:33 PM
5Looks good. For me, one day for Angkor Wat was enough but totally enjoy the vibe of wandering/cycling around Siem Reap, so 2 or 3 days of "hanging around" suits me. Also concur that one day off PP might be a consideration. For S. Thailand "travel through" the islands might me something to ask more about? For me, I would base in Krabi or one other place and enjoy a few day trips and hanging out time, rather than try to "hop along" every day or two? I just spent a week in Krabi/Ao Nang with day trips to Raillay Beach for laying around - was great! Assume FMParty is KPG, so you might ask about getting over there and the logistics? Enjoy!
Nov 15, 2012 7:08 PM
6Personally, I wouldn't spend that long in Saigon. If you really want to go to southern Vietnam, consider some places on the Delta or maybe go up to Dalat for a few days. Some people will tell you Saigon is great, but I don't get it, meself.
Nov 15, 2012 8:14 PM
7When I read the headline, I was really braced for a nutso itinerary but no, it looks pretty sensible.
Two suggestions: consider leaving Bangkok a day earlier. You don't need to make any kind of reservations on the bus to SR, so you don't have to decide until you're there. Bangkok is fine, but there's no reason to give up time on the beach for time struck in traffic. If you really groove on the city, you'll have a second chance to see it on the way back.
Also, you mention both Krabi (on the Andaman) and the FMP (in the Gulf). Consider sticking to just one or the other. The Andaman side (Krabi, Phuket, Phi Phi) has it for natural beauty; the Gulf for partying. The weather should be beautiful on both side.
Nov 16, 2012 6:05 AM
Nov 16, 2012 6:48 AM
Nov 16, 2012 8:46 AM
I disagree. I took my mom to Cambodia this spring (for her 70th birthday) and she landed in Saigon, just because it was logistically easier. We spent two days in HCMC and two days in the Delta.
Turned out, it was her favorite part of the trip, she love Vietnam and all things Vietnamese, and is making plans to go back.
Moreover, since there are few direct intercontinental flights directly into Cambodia, the choices are engineering a big loop through Cambodia, Poipet to Poipet, or flying from PP back to Bangkok. Either of those would be more expensive and less fun than a Vietnamese visa ($35) and a Mekong/PP tour ($45 with hotel).
Nov 16, 2012 11:01 AM
11Thanks for all the great replies!
After speaking with my husband, we agree on removing a day from each SR and PP, and I didn't consider the Mekong, so that may be a good way to change up VN a little. My husband was quite for excited the amount of time that I alloted in Saigon. We may not spend each day there, check out the area, but sort of the general idea.
The only thing that has been booked so far, are the flights in and out of Bangkok. Everything else is flexible and "real" decisions will be made as we go. But as an over planner, I needed something to look at for route.
Again, I know there will some time where it just feels like we're constantly "travelling" but I consider that part of the experience.
As for Southern Thailand.....still determining where we want to go. We're not big drinkers (my husband doesn't drink at all) or big partiers, so the FMP is really just for the experience, but I'm not set on it.
Any suggestions for guest houses, etc....is, of course, also welcome!
Nov 20, 2012 9:19 AM
12I recently completed a 3 month long trip to Asia this past summer. I went to a few of the places you're looking at going to so I thought you might be able to get some good information off of my blog. I wrote about each day I was out there including tips & tricks I learned along the way and a detailed itinerary.
Check it out and hopefully it'll be useful to you! http://goingawesomeplaces.com/category/blogs/travel/epic-summer-2012/
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