I will be backpacking in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia, so any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Trinergy to travel & transportation (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Plan - I plan to travel from around end of Feb or Early March until June-July.
I want this trip to be full of relaxation, sight seeing, self exploration, and most likely not as much technology/partying.
Budget - My budget is going to be 5000$ Canadian dollars. I want to try many things such as cooking classes, yoga, meditation, art classes, beach relaxation, ride elephants, see animals, TREKS; essentially experience as much Asian culture as I can w/ the least amount of exposure to the typical partying and etc.
I will first be going to Taiwan to visit my family for a week or two before I depart.
With that being said, my friend recommended my first stop at Thailand and to make a few backpacker friends and hopefully plan a trip with them that way.
Route - Do you guys think it's necessary? or would it make more sense to arrive at North Vietnam? Based on the geography, I think it might make more sense to start at North Vietnam then make my way down South, then Cambodia, then Laos, then North Thailand, then South Thailand to Malaysia Singapore, then crossover to Brunei.
To me, 3-4 months seem to short and I am afraid of running out of money, so I feel like maybe Malaysia might be a little too much? Thoughts?
Transportation - Since I am backpacking, I don't have a STRICT itinerary, but I do want to experience the culture and live at these places more than spending a majority of my time moving around. So would the scenery from buses and cars be worth it?
Experience - I am aware that mileage may vary, but what are some highlights of your trips and what are some places or sites that you think wasn't worth the commute because of the sights or food etc.
From what I have read so far, Plain of Jars in Laos wasn't really THAT worth it. And Cambodia's Angkor Wat was the best attraction, but anything else could be easily replaced by Thailand.
Aside from that, I hear a lot of great reviews about Laos and Vietnam.
Based on what I've read so far, these are the things I've found interesting:
Vietnam - Halong Bay, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, hoi an, Sapa (rice fields), mui ne (sand dunes for sand boarding and beaches), Phong Na-Ke Bang park (limestone stights), hue (citadel).
Cambodia - Angkor Wat, Phnom PEnh, mondulkiri (elephant trekking), Koh Rong Islands (beach), Kampot, Kratie, Battambang,
Laos - Luang Prabang, Tham Kong Lo Cave, Gibbon Experience, Nam Ha Park, Nam Ou River, Si Phan Don.
Thailand - Bangkok, Ko Tao (diving), Mae Hong Song (experience Myanmar influence),ayutthaya, surin and similan islands, SongKran, Full moon Party, Ko Samui, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, khao sok, phetchaburi, kanchanaburi, phanom rung, Ko samet.
Malaysia - Mt Kinabalu, Taman Negara, Palau Perhentian (snorkelling), beach hopping, food markets!!
A lot of these are highlighted in Lonely Planet and also quite well reviewed on tripadvisor, I was just wondering what you MeFites think as well as what other suggestions do you have that are off the beaten path?