12 Months in SEA/Aus – Itinerary nearly done – what do you think?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Oct 4, 2012 12:12 AM Last Post By: rileymorton
Sep 30, 2012 10:26 AM
12 Months in SEA/Aus – Itinerary nearly done – what do you think?Hi all,
Planning a 1 year trip to Southeast Asia/Aus next year! 6 year old dream coming together
Spent the last few weeks reading through all the great advice in these forums.
Check out my rough itinerary below. I don't plan to stick to this religiously though it's my rough guide before I leave.
What do you think? Am I missing anywhere special? Whatabout my timings?
- We’re 2 30 yrs old.
- Budget of US$4,000 - US$6,000 a month (I expect to save in some regions tomake up for the more expensive areas like Aus/NZ).
- We’ve decided not to do India/Nepal/Tibet this time round.
- I haven’t decided if/when we should make space for Fiji, Philippines and SouthKorea
- I have a 2 month buffer at the end which allows me to move things around as Ineed too.
Thailand 4 weeks Jan 9 to Feb 6th
Laos 1-2 weeks Feb7th to Feb 18th
Vietnam 2 weeks Feb 18th to Mar 4th
Cambodia 1 week Mar4th to Mar 9th
New Zealand 4 weeks Mar 10th to Apr 7th
Aus - NSW 2 weeks Apr 7th to Apr 21st
Aus - QLD 3 weeks Apr 21st to May 12th
Aus - NT 1-2 weeks May 12 to May 21st
Aus - WT 3 weeks May 21st to Jun 11th
Indonesia 6-8 weeks Jun 11th to July 30th
Malaysia/Sing 4 weeks Jul 30th to Aug 27th
China 5 weeks Aug 27th to 1stOct
Japan 4 weeks Oct 1st to31st Oct
Buffer 7 weeks Nov 1st to Dec 22nd
Thailand - 4 weeks
Jan 9 to Feb 6th
Bangkok 3 days
Koh Chang 3 days
Kaeng Krachan Nationalpark
Koh phi phi
Koh Kho Khao
Koh Hong or "Room Island"
Chang Mai 1 week
Pai and san kamphaeng -
Laos 1-2 weeks
Feb 7th to Feb 18th
Fly in from Chang mai to Luang Prabang
LuangPrabang - 4-5 days
Vang Vieng 3 days
Vientiane - south 2 days
Vietnam 2 weeks
Feb 18th to Mar 4th
Hanoi -Fly in from Laos 3 days
Halong Bay 2 days
Hoi An 3days
Nha Trang 4 days
Saigon / Ho Chi Min 3 days
Cambodia 1 week
Mar 4th to Mar 9th
PhnomPenh 2 days
Angkor Wat - Siem Reap 3 days
Kampot/Kep 1-2 days
New Zealand - 4 weeks
Mar 10th to Apr 7th
Arrowtown - not necesity
Fiordland - amazingmountanins etc / take boat tour / HAVE TO GO
Sydney/NSW 2 weeks
Apr 7th to Apr 21st
Byron Bay hinterland
Coastal Grand Pacific Drive
Mount Warning - forrest
Queensland (QLD) 3 weeks
Apr 21st to May 12th
Moore, Norman, Hardy,Saxon, and Arlington reefs and Michaelmas and Upolu
Wet Tropics Rainforest
Lamington National Park
Coral Sea -
Lady Elliot Island /Rottnest Island /Ningaloo Reef
Northern Territory 2 weeks
May 12 to May 21st
Kakadu National Park 3-4 days
Litchfield National Park 1-2 days
West Australia 3 weeks
May 21st to Jun 11th
The Bibbulmun Track
Bunbury and Rockingham /Monkey Mia
The Northwest Cape
Indonesia 6 - 8 weeks
Jun 11th to July 30th
Bali 3 weeks
Kuta Lombok - amazing beaches /Koeta
Java 1 week
Flores / Komodo etc
Labuanbajo - great underwater
Mamasa/Tana Toraja valleys
Bunaken National Park
Lahendong and Leilem
Singapore 5 days
Jul 30th to Aug 6th
Malaysia 4 weeks
Aug 6th to Aug 27th
Pedas Hot Springs -
Taman Negara National Park
Perhentian, Redang, Tioman
Borneo - Sarawak(west) and Sabah (North) 2 weeks
Mt Kinabalu - north
Gunung Mulu National Park - Caves
The Pinnacles - limestone points
Hong Kong 1 week
Aug 27th to Sep 5th
China 4 weeks
Sep 5th to 1st Oct
Guangxi: Guilin - South west - inland & Yangshuo / Dali
Sichuan : Chengdu
Xiâ€™an, Shaanxi Province / Changan
Henan / LuÃ²yÃ¡ng -
Shanghai / Suzhou
Japan 4 weeks
Oct 1st to 31st Oct
Kanto: Tokyo / Nikko / Yokohama
Kansai/Kinki: Kyoto / Nara / Nagaya / Kumano Kodo / Osaka
Chugoku: Miyajima / Hiroshima
7 week buffer
Edited by: Steeeve
Sep 30, 2012 4:39 PM
1this is actually a very good guideline, Steve.
now throw it out the window.
i'm sure you know this, but one of the joys of extended travel is the chance to follow your nose, and decide what you want to do right now, and not necessarily 3 weeks or 3 months out. So my only caution is to think of your itinerary as a guideline, only book plane trips 2-5 weeks out, and allow yourself to stay longer in the places you like, and just be open to new experiences/ideas...
but overall, the places you are going, and the timelines look good. you'll be in NZ at the end of summer, and in Aus and it gets a bit cooler. perfect.
my $.02 on your destinations:
Thailand is a great place to start, and lots of your destinations are great. However, I'd increase my time in Laos and Cambodia, and decrease my time in Thailand/VN. you should also consider spending a couple weeks in Burma. its a very special time to be there.
New Zealand is freaking awesome, and you should maximize your time there (unless you hate mountains, oceans, geology, and friendly people) i spent 6 weeks there and felt like i wanted more. in contrast, 6 weeks felt about right for Austrailia for me - and i loved it. I could have skipped Perth/Western AS though.
6-8 weeks in Indo is a good call, but 3 weeks in Bali prob too much. all the islands are so diverse (and time consuming to get around) that i'd take the extra time for all the other destinations in Indo that you mention.
Coming back from Indonesia, you might not want 4 weeks in Malaysia, because in many ways Malaysia feels like a cleaner, more developed and more expensive Indonesia.
China? meh - i can do without.
Japan is awesome and good to leave til the end because you might want to expand/shrink your time there based on how much money you have left.
Too bad about India/Nepal... since you are young and on a budget, its a good time to go there... but if there isn't any desire? hey go somewhere else.
Oct 1, 2012 4:40 AM
2Just a note on Australia - you have seriously misplaced Rottnest Island and Ningaloo Reef, which are both in Western Australia. Also, I doubt that you can do the whole Queensland itinerary in the time allotted, especially all those reefs you mention, but anyway, have fun planning - you can always cut things as time runs out.
Oct 1, 2012 5:18 PM
New Zealand--What about going to the glaciers and mountains?? Mt. Cook is awesome, and Fox and Franz Joseph are both good but at least going to one is a must. If you are into nature, you are missing some great places in the south Island.
Arrowtown is a place to stop for lunch and walk around a couple of hours.
Central Otago is nice but really only for wine tasting on the way to or from Queenstown.
Personally, I thought Queenstown was nice but we were disappointed we cut our trip to Mt. Cook short to stay longer in QT.
Vietnam--I think 2 weeks is good. Although HaLong Bay is really a 3 day trip if you take one of the tours, which I HIGHLY recommend. HaLong Bay was one of the highlights of our big trip.
We spent 3 days in Hoi An and it was plenty. If you don't do some cooking classes, it might be too much.
Nha Trang is good for 4 days if you want to relax on the beach. You may need it at that point.
Malaysia--We hated Penang but others love it. Based on people's love of Penang we pre-booked a flight in and out and ended up having to stay way too long there. Two days would be plenty in my opinion.
We liked the Cameron Highlands but it's the kind of place for 2-3 days max. (It was cool so that was like heaven for us.)
Langkawi was just so-so. I liked both the Thailand beaches and Nha Trang much better. I would not go there based on the other great beach destinations you have on your list.
Oct 2, 2012 2:54 AM
4#1 has sound advice - it's a far more reasonable go at an itinerary than most people manage. Keep a copy and have a laugh when you get home as to just how far out you were !
As a NZer who lived in WA - I do disagree though - if you were running out of time - I'd skip NSW and Qlds and head straight west - the colour of that sea is absolutely amazing and Perth is a lovely city - but try to get outback - there is nothing like it in the world (and I say that with some authority),
Central Otago is not a bad base for that part of NZ - I've lived there too and I always told people to come in Mar/Apr - quieter and very, very pretty with the autumn colours. I assume you've mixed up the order of locations within countries because the order you've listed them make no sense - if you have the choice - fly into one of Auckland or Chc out of the other one - plenty of connections to Australia and Asia.
Avoid locking yourself into an expensive RTW ticket. If you are flying across the Pacific you may well have the option of a free stop over - Fiji is pretty over-run with tourists - I like Samoa and Cook Islands are supposed to be very laid back too. Tahiti and Hawaii are other options coming from US West coast or Vancouver
Oct 2, 2012 3:58 AM
Thanks for the advice, yes i definitely plan to just use this as a guide, just to ensure i have a path, im quite sure things will change and im ready for it :)
Interesting about Laos/Cambodia - Quite a few people seem very fond of the places so ill try to make more time for them. Burma too - handt really considered it.
NZ/Aus: yeah sounds like NZ is amazing, cant wait to go, maybe ill extend there for a bit longer.
Bali: Thanks for that, will reduce.
Malaysia - thanks will keep that in mind.
thanks for your advice :)
Thanks for that ill check it out :) Regarding the reefs, you're right, to be honest i just listed everything i found though i plan to take it as it comes when i get there and see what i want to visit.
I'm not really pre-booking anything.
Nz: Thanks for that, will add them all :)
Vietnam: Will update also
Malay: Will keep in mind re penang.
Thanks for all your recommended days, will update my plan accordingly :)
Yeah i get the feeling this plan will change quite a bit as i start, looking forward to that :)
WT: I need to be in Perth for about 2 or 3 weeks as visiting family there so will definitely be going there. Got you re: outback.
NZ: Yeah i mixed up all the locations for NZ as i just wrote them down and didnt properly plan that country yet
Thanks re: RTW ticket - agreed, im coming in from Europe though plan to book most of my flights a few days before.
Oct 4, 2012 12:12 AM
6i didn't mean to be down on WA - i found Perth to be perfectly nice (go Perth Heat!), and Margaret River was a great place to spend 4 days... but its difficult/expensive to get to from Sydney/Melbourne - but now that i look at your itinerary, it makes perfect sense to go Perth to Bali - we did that flight on Air Asia because it was by far the cheapest way to get to Indo from down under. and Bali is a nice 'landing zone' for the rest of Indo.
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