Trying to hop around south east Asia
A friend and I will be traveling through south east asia and I was looking for some feed back on our rough itinerary. Our trip will be for 45 days starting feb 3rd 2010. We fly into,and depart from, Bangkok.
I'm kind of a restless wanderer when I'm on the road, so I've loosely planned on spending some time in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and, if the budget permits, Borneo.
I can hear you guys, already, to much in to short of a time. Which is probably true, but it's just a thought so far. The premis of the trip is to float around with out any timelines.
After reading some of the posts from you guys it started to sound like moving from one country to the next wasn't to big of a deal if the person is prepared to seek out visas on the spot.
So what do you guys think? Is seven or eight days too unreasonable in each country?
Sorry, couldn't help it.
45 days is not much at all. I'd limit my time to one, max two countries. It's better to see less and enjoy it than seeing plenty and rushing through everything, constantly being bugged by how slows things can be in Asia and thinking about the next bus/flight to catch rather than enjoying where you are.
Definitely strike Borneo of the list right now (or go just to Borneo). All the good things in Borneo are off the main road and it takes time to get there and it takes time to get the best out of it.
It's stick with either a Thailand/Cambodia or Thailand/Laos combination, if I were you. There's a reason why most people spend 3-6 months in that region.
Less is more.
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If you wanna all those experience places you'd need to fly, and to get the flights cheap you'd need to book in advance and if you did that - you'd find somewhere you'd live to stay for longer and have to leave.
I'm doing similar in Feb also, in 3 months, but flights to and from BKK for me are about £500 so i'll be going back in 2011 again to spend more time...
Yiddogray, the availability of flights "on the spot" was my next big question. From the little I'd researched, they're either sold out or ridiculously exspensive.
You guys have brought me back to reality. It's painfull, but I know it's for the best.
Travel in Asia is not "easy." if they say a 20 hr bus ride, its like 25 hrs. You have to really prepare for that and if you are packing everything in, you'll just be frustrated.
Less is more.
Maybe you'll get a taste for somewhere this time round and want to come back another year to do it properly?
So far, the plan is to fly from Bangkok to Hanoi a few days after arriving. From there we will meander down the coast to HCMC on overnight trains(when they're available). Then it's back to Bankok through Phnom Penh/Siem Reap. Maybe sneak a flight in somewhere if the price is friendly and time permits.
We're not trying to see everything in every country by any means. Just looking for a decent cross section to get an idea where to invest time for future trips.
The whole process was probably a good warm up for how to approach making travel plans in the future. By U.S. standards it would be labled a hassle, but over all I got the impression they were sincere about being helpful.
As for buses, I can't handle more than 4 or 5 hrs at a time. I used to have to ride greyhound from san diego to Mammoth for 12hrs to visit family. It left a permanent aversion to extended bus rides. The half day rides seem very doable, but that overnight stuff make me cringe.
Can we define "fairly comfortable"?
After reserving my flight and trying many times to re-enter my credit card information properly I decided to actually give the live help option a whirl. The operator wrote that my three options were to call my bank to see if the account for my card was open, call customer service in Malaysia, or keep trying to re-enter my card.
I then asked if the problem of being billed more than once could arise. To which the operator replied, and I quote, "I suppose you must be feeling insecure".
It was, with out a doubt, one of the funniest "customer service" interactions I've ever had. Touché my Malaysian operator friend, touché.
heres an image after searching google for an image
http://images.travelpod.com/users/hilar ... er-bus.jpg
An added benefit of just two countries is that you don't have to consider the flights and if you're going slowly you might not be stuck on the never-ending 20 hour bus rides across countries!
My suggestion is to pick your first stop out of Bangkok and leave the rest up to whimsy!
Are these common through out south east asia, or are they mainly found on the vietnam north/south trek? Also what might the fare be between, say, Hanoi and Hue?
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