Which Places to Explore or Not in Whole South-East Asia Tour?

My journey is starting soon in July and I really didn’t want to plan anything. Now my German side is coming out and I did make a plan. Help! I know you shouldn’t but I can’t handle this situation.????
This is my plan:

19 – 22 July: Bangkok – Overnight Bus

23-25: Chiang Mai, Thailand

25 – 29: Pai, Thailand

29-30: Chiang Mai, slow boat to Laos

1 – 3 August: Laos – Where?

3 – 4: Thanh Hóa, overnight bus to Sa Pa

4 – 6: Sa Pa, Vietnam

6 – 8: Hanoi, Vietnam

8 – 10 – Halong Bay, Vietnam

10 – 11: Ninh Binh, Vietnam

11 – 13: Ninh Binh to Hội An

13 – 15: Hội An, Vietnam

15 – 17: Da Lat, Vietnam

17 – 19: Mekong Delta Tour (Can Tho), Vietnam

19 – 22: Phú Quốc, Vietnam

22 – 25: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

25 – 28: Siem Reap, Cambodia

28 – 30: Way to Bangkok

Please let me know if I stay somewhere to short or too long. What are your recommendations? I know it’s a lot but I want to see all of it. Please, I need your help. The German would feel much better ????

Question Geography | Location: South East Asia
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Asia 28 Answers 1139 views 6

Answers ( 28 )

    3

    I did this in like almost 3 months. I think you want way too much in the short time you have. It is always good to have a little bit of a plan and to keep it in the back of your head. But enjoy the moment. Part of the beauty of traveling is just going with the flow and see what happens, who you will meet, which places you fall in love with and get stuck way too long!

    Don’t throw away your plan but keep it more as a list of options instead of everything you MUST see. You will be in a hurry and see crazy many busses in a short time! Tip tho: easiest way to travel is the night buses/trains. That way you won’t lose days. Enjoy and Good Luck.

      0

      Did kind of the same thing, but then in five months. I think you want too much and won’t be able to enjoy it. What is what you really want to see? You have to count 1 day for traveling from one place to the other (especially crossing borders). I will advise you to skip at least one country and spend more on the others. It will save you money, energy and you will have more fun.

    1

    I did the same when I travelled for the first time and I ended up following 25% of what I had planned.???? Don’t worry about it. Things just make sense when you get there. Don’t try and fit everything in for the sake of Instagram! The only recommendation I would give is that plans very quickly you’ll go out of the time window. Get a feel for how much time you have left and where you wanna go.

    0

    Night trains from Bangkok to Chumphon I recommend and then hop on an island ferry to visit Koh Tao (best place for scuba diving), Koh Phangan (full moon party if that’s your thing) and Koh Samui (plenty of tours to do from this island like going on the blue lagoon tour). I also wanted to go see Chiang Mai but never made it up there because I fell in love with other places! Just enjoy the unexpected.

      0

      Diving in Tao is cheap, but it is far from “the best”

        1

        I meant the best place to dive in that area where I suggested in between those three islands. It’s incredibly cheap! I completed my divemasters there. It still hosts some very nice dive sites and Koh Tao is known as the diving island with over 70 dive shops! Where would you say is better in Thailand to dive?

          0

          I made my owd+aowd there 5 years ago and when I went there again 2 years ago it was super dirty and crowded, I had better divings even in Ko Pha-ngan.

            0

            hmmm Ko Pha-ngan, in my opinion, wouldn’t trump Koh Tao. Maybe certain dive sites but places like Chumphon and Koh Lanta cannot be beaten in Thailand.

    0

    Laos: Luang PrabangPhnom Pehn: 2 days enoughYou should do 4 days in Luang Prabang! Really a wonderful small UNESCO city, so nice and Good food too.

    1

    If you plan to stay 2 or 3 days in Laos, then don’t even go. Head to Cambodia & visit Siem Reap or Phnom Penh and cross the border to Vietnam there.

      0

      Thank you! but how do I get from Thailand to the North of Vietnam best?

        0

        Start from South Vietnam and then fly from Hanoi to Bangkok (Air Asia should be very cheap if you book now).

          0

          Already booked flights to and from Bangkok.

            0

            Probably you would need a visa for Thailand – in my case only single entry was allowed without the visa. You will have two entries to Thailand… I’ve landed in Hanoi, went to the south, from there to Cambodia and home from Bangkok.

              0

              The double entries tourist visa does not exist anymore… she will get a visa exemption stamp. For her – as a German – it’s 3 entries within 6 months, I guess if it has not changed. so no visa required.

                0

                1 year at least. The only way you can get a multiple entries Thai tourist visa is by applying the application in your home country… at the moment… and show proofs of employment and a bank statement… you will get 6 months. The double entry or triple entry tourist visa does not exist anymore.

                  0

                  It doesn’t exist anymore?? Do I need a visa if I would fly into Bangkok and stay at the airport until my flight home?

                    1

                    Relax you will get 30 days for free in Thailand… but if you plan to stay in Vietnam 15 days or more you will need a visa… you can apply online and get it at the airport.

                      1

                      Ok just asking as I need to go back to Bangkok to catch my flight home. But that means I need to enter Thailand a second time.

                        2

                        You will get 30 days for free again.

                          0

                          Oh ok. Thank you 🙂

    2

    I would skip Laos and concentrate more on Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand as you’re planning only 4 days for Laos, further I would suggest you fly directly to Hanoi from EU, then Sa Pa, Ha Long, then moving from North to South of Vietnam, skip Phú Quốc, flying instead from Saigon to Sihanoukville and take a rest on Koh Rong Samloem, than Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and at the end Thailand and going home from Bangkok.

    0

    Start from Hanoi, move slowly to Ho Chi Minh, take a $10 air-conditioned spacy bus to Phnom Penh, from there a bus to Siem Reap, where you can take a bus to Bangkok.

    2

    Take night buses to save you time and accommodation!

    I would probably leave Laos for another time, I went there for 2 weeks and it wasn’t enough. With that said, Add another 2 days in Da Lat – plenty of activities! Make sure you get some rest too.

    1

    By Laos (where?) you mean Luang Prabang, and beware of the trip from there by bus to Hanoi, some call it the Ride from Hell as it takes more than 24 hours in a bus without a toilet.

      0

      The bus has a toilet. Least the one we took did. And it wasn’t as bad as the shorter bus journeys we had within Laos believe it or not!

    0

    I would skip at least half of your list. it’s only six weeks.. so slow down and enjoy getting stuck somewhere with some nice people and/or locals, and taking a deep breath while watching the scenery and others rushing past you 🙂

    1

    We bought a motorbike and are doing the same like you want to do but to be honest we decided to slow down now after one week and skip some stuff as it was too much to do it in 6 weeks. We can always come back when we have more time 😉

    0

    Sounds good 🙂 I was thinking of adding Ayutthaya in, though. it’s a bit different than Siem Reap, maybe take the normal train there and night train to Chiang Mai from Ayutthaya. You don’t even need to spend the night then, just rent a bicycle and check out the 3 main great temples.

    0

    That is a lot for only six weeks. Four countries… to actually enjoy it, you’d need 3-4 months. Distances are long and the buses are slow and the roads are bad. You’ll spend a lot of time on public transport and at borders. Be prepared.

    0

    In north Laos head to Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang, also, try and go to Phong Nha in Vietnam, I loved it there, stay in Easy Tiger.

    2

    Consider changing your itinerary from Thanh Hoa -> Ninh Binh -> Hanoi -> Ha Long Bay -> Sapa -> Hanoi -> Hội An -> Da Lat. Because when you travel from Thanh Hoa to Hanoi, Ninh Binh is on the road and Hanoi and Ha Long Bay to Sa Pa will be easier.

    3

    A plan like this will kill your journey… no space for meeting people and being spontaneous, changing plans to travel with others etc. Book first night at first place, no more.. like this you can also stay at home and travel using Google Maps.

    If you feel you need to plan then do it on the way and follow the recommendations of other travelers. But I bet you will regret that list within your first week. Also, you didn’t consider the weather at all, it can be very rainy in some places you have to see when you are there 😉

      0

      Totally agree. Knowing what’s available is good, but planning to the day will kill your travels. You may want to spend more time in a place (or less) you may meet someone and travel with them… Don’t limit yourself, but do be aware what’s available. Take it slow, enjoy

    2

    Don’t listen to everyone saying to stay longer if you know your own pace. I wouldn’t call this “too much” at all and personally, I’d actually cut days from Pai, Hoi An, Dalat, Phu Quoc, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to fit in more destinations. I am a very active traveler, on my feet all day and enjoy the transport of it all so I enjoy it way more than staying in place for longer than I can cover the things I want to see there.

    For example, you can spend a half day in Hoi An and see everything. It’s really small and in 3 hours you can walk every single street. But there will always be people who prefer to linger and say that your pace isn’t viable and you will enjoy it less which isn’t true if it is actually your preferred pace.

    0

    I would skip Ninh Binh and from Da Lat & would prefer going to Ho Chi Minh and then Phnom Penh… I agree with skipping Laos as well and I would start from Hanoi going in Thailand, you can take your time on the way and if you will run out of days you can leave Thailand for the second time, there’s so much to see there!

    5

    My new plan is not better. haha. At least I skipped one country. Thank you all for your help. So everyone is different and I will see what I like. Probably I will not follow the plan in the first couple of days away. New Plan:

    19 – 22 July: Bangkok – Overnight Train – Get Visa for Vietnam

    23 – 23: Chiang Mai, Thailand

    25 – 28: Pai, Thailand

    28 – 5 August: Thai Islands South

    6 – 8: Pattaya or Trat, Thailand

    8 – 9: Siem Reap, Cambodia

    9 – 11: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    11 – 13: CanTho, Vietnam (Mekong Kampot Delta Tour)

    13 -14: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    14 – 16: Da Lat, Vietnam

    16 – 17: Mui Ne, Vietnam (Desert)

    17 – 23: Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, Huế to Hanoi, Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng or wherever

    23 – 25: Halong Bay, Vietnam

    25 – 29: Hanoi & Sa Pa, Vietnam

    29 – Flight to Bangkok – One Night Bangkok

    30 – Flight to Home

    Best answer
      0

      This is totally doable now, good that you have included Koh Rong! You can apply for Vietnam visa on the internet to not losing time on the border.

        0

        Don’t spend too much in Phnom-Penh, it’s much better to add days in Siem Reap or Kampot-Kep and Koh Rong.

    0

    It’s a personal thing but I used to cram a lot in and then end up getting sick from travelling too quickly. Now, I generally use the 3-night rule as it allows for chill time and means at least 2 days in a place. Also, I’d take the overnight train to Chiang Mai over the bus, the difference in money is totally worth it.

    1

    70% of your time you will spend sleeping or in buses. It won’t be the holidays… it’s gonna be moving from one spot to another. If you like it, go for it. We’ve spent 3 months in Vietnam and we feel its not enough time to see the country and know the culture. Think about it. Maybe choose one country or fewer places to see.

    0

    Don’t bother staying in Chiang Rai, take transport from Chiang Mai to the slow boat with travel hub – you get to stop off on the way at the white temple.

    1

    This is such a bad plan. Should you maybe just choose 2 countries? 4 is was too much for this amount of time. You will be driving and sitting on the bus for half of the time of your holidays.

    Choose 2 and take the time to visit each city. Cause like this you will be in a rush all the time 🙂 If you go to Cambodia don’t miss Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem. These 2 islands are amazing. And Koh Tao in Thailand is amazing as well. If I were you I’d choose Thailand and Cambodia 🙂

    1

    This type of traveling isn’t to learn more about people and culture. This Time is enough for one maybe two countries! You should travel for yourself, collect wonderful experiences and not make as many crosses on a world map as possible.

      2

      Take into consideration that some people don’t have time to travel for half of the year…, we are employed, and we must fit traveling in 3-4 weeks and we want to have the best of it… I’m one of those, not a hippy, parents are not paying me for the trips, like to majority of travellers that I’m seeing across south-east Asia… we must be real, not dreaming about saving the world on behalf of others finances!

    1

    You should go to Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng in Lao, skip Thanh Hoa in Vietnam, just go to Ha Noi, Ninh Binh, and night bus from Ninh Binh to Phong Nha. Phong Nha is the must place to see, then bus to Hoi An.

      0

      Hanoi is freezing right now, so in Laos. I was in Hanoi in April and it was getting cold then… Its now rainy season and heavy rain every day up north!! She is definitely better off heading south from Bangkok, southern Thailand, Southern cambodia, Southern Vietnam etc & also put a lot less in her itinerary, to give time to explore and appreciate each place.

        0

        29c in Hanoi at the moment – doesn’t sound too freezing lol. Even though forecast says rain every day we found that it only rains for a short time and then clears up. Definitely not cold.

    1

    My advice is to know the first, maximum the second place you want to visit and then follow the advice of the people on the way and your mood. In the short time, you have visit maximum two countries. I did five months in five countries and didn’t visit everything but met a lot of nice persons and took the time in every place.

    0

    One recommendation for your trip: Da Lat is a very good choice but the way to go there quite long and on the bus will be cold, take care, Ha Long bay: you should NOT. By the way, Bai Tu Long Bay is perfect or Cat Ba island also beautiful, try to read about it. Good luck !

    4

    Slow down!
    Those places are not going anywhere for the rest of your life. Take some time to breathe in the air and feel the places you visit.  I would seriously cut two/thirds off that trip.

    Come back in a couple of years and do another part (slowly) and maybe a few years later, finish it off.

    So much about travel is trying to understand people and cultures. It’s not about racing from one bus stop to the train station so that yet another meaningless, hollow picture can be posted to social media.

    I’ve been traveling on and off, since 29 years ago and I seriously recommend slowing down and engaging with humans of all different colours and creeds, faiths and beliefs; it’s what makes travel worthwhile and makes travellers better people.
    ( just my opinion)
    Enjoy it anyway… ????

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