Southast Asia for a Month?
MHGatorman wrote:My Wife and I are planning a trip around SE Asia for a month. We will be traveling from early January until early February. We have traveled Europe for 2 months and S. America for 3 months and like to move at a lightning pace. I was wondering if anyone has done this and what path they took to see the most.
Isn't moving at lightning pace & see the most an oxymoron? Just sayin'!
You haven't provided info about your budget, or what you're actually interested in seeing, so it's hard to give a proper answer.
I'd concentrate on 3 countries maximum, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam. So fly into Bangkok, spend a couple days there seeing the sites and experiencing that city, Grand Palace, different Buddha temples, markets, etc. Then catch a bus to one of the islands, [West] Phuket and/or Phi Phi /[East] Koh Tao and/or Koh Samui (from here you can also take a tour of Ang Thong Marine Park), spend a couple days, snorkeling or scuba diving. Khao Sok National Park is also worth seeing, but you'll have to judge your time accordingly. Head back to Bangkok, and take a train to Cambodia border, then taxi from Poipet to Siem Reap. Spend 2-4 days in Siem Reap, checking out the different Angkor temples. Bus to Phnom Penh, see S-21 and perhaps the killing fields. Bus again to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for a couple days, see the Cu Chi Tunnels, the biased war museums, etc. From HCMC, go to Hoi An & Hue, Head up to Hanoi via train, check out it out for a couple days, go to Halong Bay and relax. Fly home from Hanoi.
Keep in mind, travel will more than likely take 1 day between places, as bus travel isn't quick, even if the distance by birds-eye is short. You will get frustrated by this, if you like to move fast. Transport is also, rarely on time, so plan for this.
With this plan, you'll cover a lot of ground, see the main tourist attractions, and experience the local cultures from a spectators point of view, but not first hand.
South East Asia moves at a relaxed pace, and should really be experienced that way, in my opinion.
If you want to see bits of here and there then why not. I like to travel quickly and get bored of seeing too much of the same kind of thing.
Plus, there is nothing stopping people going back later and seeing different parts in countries they find interesting.
I would say that three countries in a month is about right. Things often take much longer than you'd expect in S.E.Asia.
I live in Indonesia so if you get this far say hello.
FWIW, I'm also planning a month in SEA some time from now. My route will work like this:
Arrive in Hanoi, two weeks spent in Vietnam, traveling mostly by rail. Stops in Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An. End the rail journey in HCMC.
Bus to Phnom Phen, a couple days there, bus to Siam Reap. 4-5 days there.
Cross the border into Thailand - spend a week in and around Bangkok. I'm flying out of BKK. (not home, actually, but headed elsewhere.)
I think that's a pretty reasonable itinerary. I've been to India before and spent a small amount of time in Thailand already. If I was a complete newcomer to Asia I would probably reverse that route and start in Bangkok for the ease factor. But after six weeks mucking around in India I'm confidant I can handle Hanoi.
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