Now I know that travelling is all about ‘being a free spirit’ and going with the flow, but I am a planner, through and through. I like to get things organized and know that the wheels are in motion. I have therefore, (much to every free spirited travelers dissatisfaction) compiled a very structured plan of my 3-4 month travelling experience. This is likely to change frequently, the number of days in each place will vary, I may not do all the activities and any feedback/recommendations I receive may change my mind, but I’ve based this around much of the advice/tips on travelling websites and blog posts I have researched over the past couple of months. Please take into account that most of these bullet points are not my own and have been taken from sources listed at the bottom of this post. Please feel free to correct/change/offer any alternatives or advice on the below recommend any places to add/avoid. I’m as open as a book.
London to Bangkok on 30TH NOVEMBER arriving in the evening.
BANGKOK (2 Nights)
- Visit to Wat Po Temple, Khoa San Road which is popular traveler hub full of roadside pop up bars, restaurants, food vendors, shopping and awesome nightclubs.
KANCHANABURI (4 Nights)
- Immerse in the culture and history of Thailand.
- Ethical Elephant Experience, visit to Erawan National Park beautiful Waterfalls and a visit to the Bridge over the River Kwai that had a huge historical impact in World War 2.
PHUKET (2 Nights)
- Largest island of Thailand with gorgeous beaches, a buzzing nightlife & no shortage of things to do.
KOH PHI PHI (4 Nights)
- Views to die for, awesome restaurants, beach bars, and beautiful tanned people.
- “The Beach” was filmed here
RAILAY (4 Nights)
- Beautiful scenery on this small peninsula
- Caving, sea kayaking through mangrove forests, & viewpoint hikes
KRABI (3 Nights)
- Thai culture
- Kick back, relax and enjoy some authentic Thailand.
- Palm Oil Plantation Tour, Waterfall Hike, Rubber Tree Plantation Tour, Hot Springs
KOH SAMUI (2 Nights)
- 3rd largest island in Thailand, known for its beauty, great beaches and vibrant nightlife.
- Pool parties and fantastic restaurants
- Koh Samui also has great beach front bars.
(Takes me up to the 21st December, adding an extra few days to play) On the 24th December myself and friends have booked 3 nights in a plush beach resort, ready to celebrate Christmas away in style. The full moon party this year also happens to fall on Christmas Day – winning! KOH PHANGAN (3 Nights)
- Full Moon Party, Yacht Party and Pool Party
- The worlds party people!
- Traditional Thai Massage
KOH TAO (5 Nights)
- Made famous for being an excellent location for snorkeling, scuba diving and its gorgeous views.
- Sunset on the beach steps away from your bungalow
- Snorkeling, beach parties, tour of Koh Nang Yuan and viewpoint hikes
- The Ayutthaya temples, the Chao Phraya River and Chinatown
- Chatuchak Market and Siam’s shopping area and the floating markets
CHAING MAI (3 Nights)
- Thailand’s 2nd largest city nestled into the foothills of northern Thailand with down to earth charm, & overflowing with Thai culture.
- Overnight Trek into the surrounding foothills to visit the long neck Karon Hill Tribe, and lazy river tubing on the beautiful Mae Ping river.
- Bamboo rafting and elephant riding
PAI (1-2 nights)
- Visit memorial bridge and see the sunset from Pai canyon, night in Pai
- Visit the caves of Tham Lod and sunset from Phra That Mae Yen Temple then back to Chaing Mai
Head to Chiang Khong to cross border to Laos… Muang Pakbèng/Luang Prabang (1 night) · Continue down the Mekong for most of the day. · Guided tour of the Pak Ou caves before arriving in Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang (1 night) · Tour of the Ethnology Museum and Kuang Si waterfalls. Luang Prabang/Vang Vieng (3 nights) · Cooking classes, temple visits, massages, night market shopping, bike riding, and hiking · Traditional Laotian food · Explore the countryside by bicycle or kayak in Vang Vieng. Vang Vieng/Vientiane (2 nights) · Explore the capital of Laos · Opt to visit temples, see the National Museum, explore highlights of the town. Vientiane/Hanoi (1 night) – Fly from Vientiane to Hanoi. (Until 17th January)
HANOI (1-2 Nights)
- Explore bustling Hanoi.
- History of Vietnam with city tours including the war prison, Hanoi Temple of Literature, temple of the Lake Hoan Kiem
- Vietnamese cuisine
SA PA (2 Nights)
- North mountains of Vietnam– unbelievable views
- A 2-day trek across the rice fields that line the mountain sides
- Local hill tribes village.
HA LONG BAY (2 Nights)
- UNESCO World Heritage site – pristine emerald waters, 1,900 limestone peaks & amazing backdrops this planet has to offer.
- Spent one nigh on one of the islands
- A night can be spent on a ‘junk’ boat
- Booze cruise, snorkeling, kayaking, and beach parties
PHONG NHA (1 Night)
- Discovered in 2005 – 70 kilometers from the town of Dong Hoi lies Paradise Cave (Dong Thien Duong,) a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (The longest cave in South East Asia!)
- 2 kilometer trek up to and through the Paradise Cave
HOI AN (3 Nights)
- Beaches just a short bike ride away
- Ancient quarters to wander around
- Noodle making demonstration and tailor-made clothes
- Cooking class, riverboat trip, bike ride, beach time, tailor visit or My Son ruins.
NHA TRANG (2 Nights)
- With beautiful beaches, buzzing nightlife and plenty of activities to choose from
- Mud Spa, and some beach time.
DALAT (1 Night)
- Favorite vacation spot for many Vietnamese
- Full day canyoning and abseiling trip
HO CHI MINH CITY (2 or 3 Nights [depending on train schedule]) Formerly know as Saigon
- Just outside the city explore the Cu Chi tunnels where people lived underground in this system of tunnel ways during the Vietnam War
- War Remnants Museum
- Enjoy a boat cruise through the villages, islands, and markets of the Mekong Delta, and visit traditional candy factories.
Ho Chi Minh City/Phnom Penh (1-2 nights)
(maybe add Sihanoukville)
Travel day with border crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia. Enjoy a cyclo tour through the city to benefit a local organization.
Phnom Penh (1 night)
- Guided tour of Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison) and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields).
- Visit the Royal Palace, the National Museum or the Central Market.
Phnom Penh/Siem Reap (2 nights)
- Drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, the home base for exploring incredible Angkor Wat.
- Guided tour of Angkor Wat temple complex.
- Opt to visit Tonle Sap floating village and Angkor National Museum.
Siem Reap/Battambang (2n)
- Siem Reap on to Battambang then over to Bangkok
(15th February – adding some extra free days to wander) All advice welcome especially from this point as I am unsure where to go from here… what do you recommend? Option 1, 2 or any proposed option 3s? Option 1 Fly BANGKOK TO BALI then work WEST THROUGH INDONESIA Bali KUTA (3 Nights)
- shopping in local Markets, surf lessons , exploring Kuta
- Beach which includes bars, restaurants, food vendors, shopping and awesome nightclubs.
UBUD (4 Nights)
- major arts and culture centre.
- lush rice paddies and steep ravines setting the stage for breathtaking scenery.
- A visit to the sacred nature reserve Monkey Forest, white water rafting, waterfall, and a hike to the top of a volcano for a stunning sunrise above the clouds.
LOMBOK (3 Nights)
- With beautiful beaches, the large, looming volcano of Mount Rinjani combined with relatively few tourists
- paradise tropical island
- Tour of local village
GILI AIR (2 Nights)
- remote island experience.
- Kick back, grab a hammock and relax!
- This island offers excellent diving and snorkelling.
- Yoga classes are available.
GILI TRAWANGAN (5 Nights)
- divers paradise and scuba diving open water course.
- relaxing to the max, and catching sunsets from beachside bars.
- Snorkelling trip in a glass bottom boat, bicycle trip to explore the island, & stand up paddle boarding on the crystal clear calm waters, and glorious beach days.
KUTA (1 Night)
- Travel to Pemuteran via hot springs and pristine cascades
- Opt to take a snorkelling or diving trip to Menjangan Island.
- beach with time to relax or explore the national park.
- Enjoy an early morning hike to view the enchanting moonscape of Mt Bromo.
- Take a scenic journey to Bromo Tengger Semeru NP.
- beautiful walk through small villages and farms from Tawangmangu to Yogyakarta to explore the Prambanan temples, then opt to continue on to the Sukuh Temple with its erotic carvings.
- Spend free time visiting local sights such as the Buddhist Borobudur temple complex, Javanese temples, or Mt Merapi.
Yogyakarta to Bandung (1n)
- Travel from Yogyakarta to Bandung on a scenic train journey.
- Enjoy an orientation walk of the sprawling city of Bandung, then take some time to explore independently.
Bandung /Cianjur/ (3n)
- Venture to Cianjur via Bogor, visit the floating villages, and opt to teach English to local children. Experience local life by spending the night at a homestay.
- Free day to explore. Fly to Singapore
- harbour crossing
- busy nightlife
- Border crossing from Singapore to Malaysia.
Melaka /Kuala Lumpur (1n)
- Opt to tour the canals of Melaka by boat.
Kuala Lumpur / Cameron Highlands (2n)
Full day in Kuala Lumpur. Explore the city, head out of town to visit the famous Batu Caves or the Orang Asli Museum. Opt to visit the Petronas Towers or check out the Islamic Arts Museum.
Full day in Cameron Highlands. Take a walk along one of the many well marked trails, visit the tea plantations or just relax and enjoy the cooler temperatures!
Walk around town and opt to take a tour of the highlands. Be sure to have afternoon tea here in this tea plantation-rich area then fly home (or fly home from Kuala Lumpur) (Up to 15th March) Option 2 Fly Bangkok to Penang (From 15th Feb) South to Cameron Islands, Kuala Lumpur down to Singapore, Fly from Singapore to Jakarta, Work west to Bali, go home for 15th March My main sources of influence have been: Myfunkytravel.com STAtravel www.LBWtravel.com These are all sites I’d definitely recommend to help you plan the right route