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6 months to travel in SEA, worth including China?

nurseandrea

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  • Added on: January 3rd, 2013
The boyfriend and I are planning a 6 month trip to SEA, budgeting approx 7000$..we'll be coming home when the money runs out. Obviously, we'll do the whole Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia circuit, but we'd also like to fit in Malaysia and the Philippines. We'd be flying into Thailand(flights are the cheapest) and I'm trying to figure out where to go from there, and where to fly out of.

Should we include Indonesia? China? Myanmar?
What would be your recommendations on route? I hear that from Cambodia to Vietnam by boat is the way to go, any other suggestions?
How about off the well trodden trail?
Last but not least, any couchsurfing experiences in any of these countries? It's a way of traveling we're eager to explore.

Thanks very much for your help!

busman7

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  • Added on: January 4th, 2013
Definitely include Myanmar as it's great + cheap, there are also cheap flights on Cebu Pacific to Manilla from BKK.

I'd do the Philippines, Myanmar then the northern Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia circuit followed by southern Thailand/Malaysia, fly out of Kuala Lumpur.

If time/money permit then check out Indonesia.

Have fun. :)
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coll

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  • Added on: January 4th, 2013
My god, that kind of cash will see you definitely sorted in SE Asia! You can budget on $150AUD / £100 per week each, or maybe £120 to travel a bit more luxuriously. But really dont try to cram too much in.... Thailand is an amazing country and if you are going to see it well (ie: not just the Koh Phan Ngang / Chang Mai / Bangkok circuit) you really should let yourself take 6-8 weeks. Cambodia can be done well in 3-4 weeks, (make sure you get up north!!) and Laos should definitely take 6-8 weeks, if you are going to see Southern Laos and Northern Laos well. Cambodia has amazing accomm -really good quality for US$6-8 / night for 2 people so is very cheap apart from the cost of touring temples around Angkor (but obviously this is a must!)

Vietnam needs only a month, but if you trim a week off here or there you could manage Myanmar or Malaysia too, but really dont do more than that otherwise you will be only skirting to and from tourist checklist points and not experiencing the rest (and more amazing) parts of the countries.

vinn

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2013
Here's how I'd do something like that...

Start in Bangkok, and start heading your way south. Ko Tau, Ko Phangon, overland through Semarang, Khao Sok, Krabi, Railay, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lanta and Ko Lipe if the ferry is still running. If the ferry isn't running, go Ko Lanta to Hat Yai. Take the ferry from there to Langkawi, Malaysia. Ferry from there to Penang, over to Butterworth, possibly spend some time in the Cameron Highlands, then down to Kuala Lumpur.

Now.. from there you have options. Malaysia will most likely be the most expensive country you go to, so you may want to minimize your time there. Maybe jump a ferry to Sumatra and back just to get a flavor for Indonesia. From KL or Sumatra you can either continue on to Indonesia, or since AirAsia is based in KL, you can fly anywhere - Phillippines or maybe even Myanmar. I'd figure that piece out... then...

End up back in Chiang Rai, Thailand (possibly by flying into Chiang Mai and going overland by bus). From Chiang Rai hit the border at Chiang Khong, cross into Laos, and take the slow boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang. Continue down through Viang Vieng and to Vientiene. Then continue overland either by traversing all the way down through Laos or cutting back into Thailand with the intention of getting to Siem Reap. Do the requisite tour of Angkor Wat and then head south to island hop a bit through the southern islands in Cambodia. End up in Ho Chi Minh City. Then begin working your way up the coast to Hanoi making stops at least in Hoi An, maybe Sam Son.

We absolutely loved Vietnam and the best beach towns are not the ones in the guidebook. In fact, most of the towns we went to weren't in the guidebooks and were fantastic - Thap Cham, Sam Son, Tuy Hoa, Dien Chau. We bought motorcycles and road the whole country - it was a fantastic way to see the country.

Regarding China, check visa prices. If they're super expensive, you may find it's not worth going there unless you have a lot of time.

Flying in SEA can be both a blessing and a curse. The route I outlined above minimizes the number of flights - it's probably the smallest number you could do unless you wanted to start in KL and do the whole thing overland and by ferry. Thailand and Malaysia are simple countries to travel through compared to the others. I think it'd be best to start there.

nurseandrea

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  • Added on: January 18th, 2013
Thanks SO much for the replies!! Plans have changed slightly in that a friend is getting married in Ireland around the time we`d be heading home. So! I think that means we definitely won`t be trying for China. We also have to sort out something to wear to the wedding, so finishing the trip in vietnam would also work as we could have some clothes made there. The stop in ireland may cut our trip in asia short by a couple weeks depending on how long of a leave I can manage from work...so well see what ends up getting cut..probably time in indonesia.
Anyways! Any further suggestions are greatly appreciated :)

(excuse the poor punctuation, my keyboard somehow switched itself to french and all of my keys are messed up)

busman7

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  • Added on: January 19th, 2013
nurseandrea wrote: We also have to sort out something to wear to the wedding, so finishing the trip in vietnam would also work as we could have some clothes made there.


Personally I would get clothes made in Bangkok & fly to Ireland from there.

I had some made there price was good, quality/workmanship excellent & they keep your measurements on file, just email your order in & they'll ship anywhere in the world. 8-)
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mankindmatt5

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  • Added on: February 17th, 2013
The tailoring in BKK is pretty good, but to be fair the Vietnamese tailoring is absolutely superb. You get incredibly good quality over there. I even bought a suit from a tailors who were a little bit dodgy, but still the silk lining is the sort of thing you would pay hundreds for back home. I got a 2 piece suit, shoes and a shirt for $100USD, amazing.

If you're thinking of having a dress made, it's even better - you can pick from hundreds of catalogues but have it perfectly tailored to your body, or even design something yourself. Come prepared.

busman7

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  • Added on: February 18th, 2013
mankindmatt5 wrote:The tailoring in BKK is pretty good, but to be fair the Vietnamese tailoring is absolutely superb. You get incredibly good quality over there. I even bought a suit from a tailors who were a little bit dodgy, but still the silk lining is the sort of thing you would pay hundreds for back home. I got a 2 piece suit, shoes and a shirt for $100USD, amazing.

If you're thinking of having a dress made, it's even better - you can pick from hundreds of catalogues but have it perfectly tailored to your body, or even design something yourself. Come prepared.


The tailoring in Bangkok is more than "pretty good", saw some nice tailoring in Phnom Penh as well so it's pretty safe to say that you will find excellent tailoring most anywhere in SE Asia for considerably less than in the west. 8-)
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justish

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  • Added on: March 3rd, 2013
Yeah that's plenty of money. But be careful to keep to a budget. It's easy to get carried away thinking everything is so cheap... then you buy so much little stuff that you run out of money.

That being said, I would not recommend China in the mix. But you can do some other spots. Indonesia and Malaysia definitely. Philippines if you can. No idea about Myanmar but Laos I have heard is really really good. Singapore is a good place for flights (and a respite from the chaos if you need one) but otherwise KL, Malaysia is perfect for all the budget flights taking you everywhere.

You're gonna have a blast :)

For the whole tropical SEA beach life, Perhentian Islands, Boracay, Tioman Island, Redang, Gili Islands.
Those are places that have people raving after they return home. There's the obvious places in Thailand, but these are a little more quiet



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