China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore...
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Dec 16, 2012 8:33 PM Last Post By: joolz2
Dec 5, 2012 9:54 AM
Starting to plan a trip around Asia (start and end point being Singapore). Below is a very rough draft of the planned adventure, in addition to feedback on the feasibility of what I've out lined would, where missing welcome any advice on duration to spend in each destination, rough budget expectations and any other missing advice!
CHINA - 13 nights
Beijing (5 nights) overnight train to Xi'ian (4 nights) overnight train to Shanghai (2 nights) flight to LAOS
LAOS - 6 nights
Vientiane (3 nights) bus to Luang Prabang (3 nights) bus back to Vientiane bus to VIETNAM
VIETNAM - 19 nights
Hanoi (4 nights) overnight train to Hue (4 nights) train to Hoi An (4 nights) overnight train to Saigon (5 nights) bus to CAMBODIA
CAMBODIA - 8 nights
Phnom Penh (3 nights) bus to Siem Reap (5 nights) bus and train to THAILAND
THAILAND - 10 nights
Bangkok (3 nights) train to Ayutthaya (3 nights) train & bus to Sukhothai (3 nights) train back to Bangkok (1 night) train or fly to MALAYSIA
MALAYSIA - 3 nights
Kuala Lumpur (3 nights)
Dec 5, 2012 10:51 AM
1All very rushed trying to fit in 6 countries in about 2 months. If you are intent on going to each country ( each to their own but I certainly wouldn't recommend it)
Vietnam..... Does your 4 nights include a night or two at Ha Long Bay.....certainly worth at least a 2 day trip, in my view 2 nights is enough for Hue and 3 or 4 days for HCM.....might be be worth stopping in Dalat enroute to HCM to use the extra days
Dec 5, 2012 11:58 AM
2Thanks for the reply, how long would you suggest would be an appropriate amount of time in total?
I have already done southern Thailand, in addition to around Chiang Mai and Rai so it's just finishing off bits I've missed before. I know Hong Kong is missing from China but that's not so important at this stage.
Ha Long Bay would be in addition to Hanoi.
HCM would be staying with a friend, hence the perhaps longer than necessary duration there.
Have you much experience in traveling China, what are budgetary requirements there in comparison to the likes of Laos, Cambodia etc.
Dec 5, 2012 12:10 PM
Dec 6, 2012 3:22 AM
4I hope you like busses. Vientiane has very little to see and you are skipping the beautiful vang vieng so you are really just going to laos to see laung prabang.. the bus Vientiane to luang prabang took 10 hours 30 minutes last week (about 240km) then you see LP for 3 days and take the bus all the way back... another 10 hours 30 minutes... then straight away you want to take the bus to vietnam which is the 24 hour bus ride from hell. so thats almost 48 hours of bus in 5 days all to see luang prabang.... and thats just the first problem i noticed with your trip.
Dec 6, 2012 5:28 AM
Dec 6, 2012 6:53 AM
6I feel my initial research was a little hasty and have now decided to center more around the following, places denoted in brakets are optional ideas.
Laos - Vientiane, Luang Prabang, (Muang Sing, Luang Namtha), Vieng Xai, Phonsavan, Champasak & Pakse
Cambodia - Phonm Penh, (Kampong Chan, Kratie, Kampong Thom), Siem Reap, (Prasat Preah Vihear & Koh Ker)
Vietnam - Hanoi, (Sapa), Ha Long bay, Hue, Hoi An, (Muie Ne) & Saigon
Dec 6, 2012 7:15 AM
7Vientiane to Hanoi on the bus is not actually too bad. It's long, but you stay on the same bus the whole way (not like some where it's hostel-tuk tuk-bus-border- tuk tuk - bus etc). May be a pain given your limited timeframe!
As you've got so little time, you may be better off flying some of it. Air Asia are pretty cheap in and out of Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietjet are good for internal flights in Vietnam. There doesn't seem to be any cheap way of flying into or out of Laos.
Are you getting a really good deal by flying into Singapore? If you're starting in Beijing and ending in KL, why not fly into/out of there instead?
Dec 6, 2012 7:22 AM
Dec 6, 2012 7:30 AM
9Should be plenty of time then! There's only really one route through Vietnam - it's quite long and thin, so it's mostly a question of where you stop. I really enjoyed both Nha Trang and De Lat (mostly for the waterpark, watersports and canyoning), but they're not for everyone. You can get some good deals on the buses in Vietnam as well (essentially a Hanoi-Saigon ticket, hop on off with certain restrictions)
Sihanoukville in Cambodia is also quite popular. It's fun, but I found it a little like a scene from the inbetweeners movie.
Dec 6, 2012 7:45 AM
10I say this hesitantly but I think my Vietnam route is pretty set, just confirming whether to go and duration of stay in Sapa and Muie Ne. Having read up on Nha Trang & De Lat, have to be honest and say they don't sound particularly my kind of places.
Vietnam - Hanoi 4 nights, (Sapa), Ha Long bay 1 or 2 nights, Hue 4 nights, Hoi An 4 nights, (Muie Ne) & Saigon 5 nights.
Intend travel means are
Hanoi - Sapa overnight train
Sapa - Hanoi overnight train
Hanoi - Ha Long Bay train
Ha Long Bay - Hanoi train
Hanoi - Hue overnight train
Hue - Hoi An morning train
Hoi An - Saigon overnight train
Dec 6, 2012 8:49 AM
11Sapa is an overnight train trip from Hanoi which means a return to Hanoi is 2 nights spent travelling....Sapa is beautiful and worth at least 2 full days....to do this you in your current plan you would have to drop some nights off elsewhere.....still suggest that 4 nights is too much for Hue on a schedule like yours.
Dec 6, 2012 10:50 AM
Dec 6, 2012 8:01 PM
13Honestly, I would skip Laos. It is nice to see, but save it for another trip. It is a very very slow place. We had a month in SE Asia, planned to spend 5 days in Laos. It was so slow there. We ended up spending 7 days getting through and the bus rides were terrible. 80% of our time in Laos, I was just thinking about how I could spend more quality time somewhere else. I really wanted to go to the full moon party and I missed it because Laos ate up my time.
Unless you really have your heart set on it, just skip it and go back when you have more time.
Edited by: minerman
Dec 7, 2012 12:15 AM
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