Figure out the best place to stay on Khao San Road in Bangkok and where to escape when you've had enough of the mayhem. From Singapore Slings to the changes in Bejing after the 2008 Olympics, gab about it all here.

Trying to hop around south east Asia

San Diegan

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Location: Solana Beach

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Tags: thailand, vietnam, laos, cambodia
  • Added on: October 28th, 2009
Hi all.
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?
Have you seen white hot metal lately?

elAdi

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Joined: December 27th, 2002
Location: Currently cycling from Indonesia to India

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  • Added on: October 28th, 2009
So you travel without time restrictions for 45 days, hu?

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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Yiddogray

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  • Added on: October 29th, 2009
I'd agree with that,

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...
"I love lamp"

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San Diegan

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Location: Solana Beach

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  • Added on: October 30th, 2009
elAdi, no sweat. I was probably asking for it the way I worded that.

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.
Have you seen white hot metal lately?

Nomadic Matt

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Joined: May 9th, 2008

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  • Added on: October 31st, 2009
I'm going to third this is.... 45 days is not a lot of time for SEA. If you are flying in and out of BKK, then you want to stick to thailand and one other country. Thailand is huge- you'll need a month there and then spend the 15 other days in Laos or Cambodia.

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.

Yiddogray

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  • Added on: November 1st, 2009
They only have a percentage on sale and then bang the prices up. If you need to get somewhere then you'll pay the price. Strange really as i'm used to companies in Europe trying to sell the plane out buy dropping the prices.

Maybe you'll get a taste for somewhere this time round and want to come back another year to do it properly?
"I love lamp"

RTW Trip

San Diegan

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Location: Solana Beach

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  • Added on: November 1st, 2009
We came to the conlusion we'd either need to go "Thailand and north" or "Thailand and south" to not have an unreasonable itinerary.

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.
Have you seen white hot metal lately?

Yiddogray

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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2009
Have a look at AirAsia now and get some flight booked. There's also some sort of multi-stop ticket that you can buy from Thai-Air (I think) that makes lots of trips cheaper. I know that KL being the hub of AirAsia is the place to be for flight, maybe use that as a base for trips further afield?
"I love lamp"

RTW Trip

travellingLite

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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2009
there are overnight tourist buses in vietnam which are fairly comfortable. i would definitely suggest taking buses even if they take a day or so, you dont want to go to SE Asia and be flying everywhere. half the fun in that area is taking local buses (the overnight buses in vietnam don't count :) etc and sharing food with the locals or letting them listen to your ipod ;)

San Diegan

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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2009
I finally got my flight from Bkk to Han paid for today. Thats four days after getting registered, booking it, lots of live chat customer assistance,a new phone card, a few calls to Malaysia, and then a call back from them to run my credit card over the phone.

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"?
Have you seen white hot metal lately?

San Diegan

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Posts: 11
Joined: June 28th, 2007
Location: Solana Beach

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  • Added on: November 3rd, 2009
Oh, I forgot to mention one of my more interesting live chat sessions.

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. :D
Have you seen white hot metal lately?

travellingLite

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  • Added on: November 4th, 2009
i rephrase: vietnam sleeper buses are very comfortable..

heres an image after searching google for an image
http://images.travelpod.com/users/hilar ... er-bus.jpg

Shannon080

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Joined: October 6th, 2008
Location: Florida

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  • Added on: November 4th, 2009
I traveled Laos and Cambodia earlier this year and am so glad that I did not try to push in too many countries. Rather than try to hit all of them just give yourself a first destination and let it go from there. Truly, you don't have to plan way ahead, you may meet some cool backpackers and want to totally abandon your previous "plan"

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!
~~~~~ http://ALittleAdrift.com ~ My RTW Travel blog ~~~~~~

San Diegan

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Joined: June 28th, 2007
Location: Solana Beach

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  • Added on: November 5th, 2009
Now that looks like a doable bus ride. Thanks for the picture.

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?
Have you seen white hot metal lately?

travellingLite

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  • Added on: November 6th, 2009
don't remember seeing them in cambodia or thailand but i am sure, they are there somewhere esp in thailand.
they are in china as well, if you are planning to go there.

not sure about the price from hanoi to hue. but its pretty cheap


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