Travelling around South East Asia
Continued from "Actual budget"
Do's and don'ts?
What we/or others recommend whilst taking on an adventure like this.
Do take a pocket guide book, this will orientate you on the go.
See Tip 0341 Pick up a handbook
Do eat with the locals. Find eateries where the locals eat and try out the street markets. Have an open mind in your diet. Try not to get stuck in the only eat in hotels and restaurants syndrome.
Do be flexible. Allow time in your itinerary to stray a little, this is where your surprises happen. Change isn't bad, just a new adventure.
Do take your time. Take time to savour the moment. To many are looking for the pot of gold and miss the rainbow. You may never return so consume everything.
Do ask advice from the staff at your accommodation, they want you to have a good time and either come back or recommend others. I very rarely have been given misleading information from accommodation staff, in fact this is where you should always be enquiring. Yes the odd one or two may have a vested interest in sending you somewhere but in general, they want you to be satisfied.
Don't be afraid to ask. For some reason many people seem to be too afraid to ask question, or enquire. This will save you time, money and energy.
Don't impose yourself, wait to be invited. Many cultures are different and self inviting or imposing yourselves, can and invariably will lead to issues.
Don't leave your purse on top of your carry bag and this is not just for this area of travel. This is just common sense.
Don't get too drunk. You will get into trouble either by getting ripped off or worse. Yes have a great time but always be aware of your circumstances and surroundings. If you get to drunk, you can't possibly look after yourselves.
Places of interest, well known or otherwise.
Places to see and this is just a quick snapshot
Hanoi. Walk the city, parks and Hoan Kiem Lake. Dodge the traffic and immerse yourselves. Checkout the puppet theatre.
Mountain valley trek with at least one home stay is a must do. You will be amazed with a fairyland of experiences.
Ha Long bay,
At least one night on board ship and go for a morning swim. You won't miss anything here on board the many Junk boats.
Any of the East coast of Vietnam is beautiful. Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and all the way down to Ho Chi Minh.
Make sure you visit the Chu Chi Tunnels and mind your head.
Hoi An should definitely not be missed.
Angkor Wat. Go for the morning sunrise. Get a two day pass, this is sufficient to see all you want.
Krong Preah Sihanouk
Occheuteal Beach. When in season is beautiful. A great place to chill for a while.
The city, S-21 School (a real eye opener), Killing Fields at Choeung Ek, not for the faint hearted.
Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri.
To the far east of Cambodia, little visited but well worth the trip for a trek in the jungle. The waterfalls here are the best and is a great diversion into the base of Laos.
In the very south of Laos is an archipelago like no other. Definitely try and get here. Here is very cheap to live, eat and soak up the atmosphere.
In the south of Laos such a pretty place to visit. Waterfalls and river so beautiful. Bolavan Plateau a must do trip and not far to go south to the 4000 Islands if you are coming from the other direction.
The national capitol with Buddhist temples like no other. Go to Buddha Park or Xieng Khuan for an eye opener. Plenty to do and see if you enquire and do your research properly.
Yes you've heard about this place. Tubing but be careful, (great fun though). Let the local kids steal your tube at the last bar, for its deposit and float down to town in the river after dusk.
My pick of the country but then I am biased from my work here. This ancient capital of the province has much charm and is quite large. A great base to explore. Mount Phousi overlooks the whole area you can see the mighty Mekong, airport and so much more. The night markets are not to be missed and eateries tucked in the streets here there and everywhere.
The 451 meter tall Petronas Twin Towers and the KLCC gardens at night. Wander around the city and shops Bukit Bintang.
Another great place to stop and full of duty free goods but be careful. Sadly I didn't see the Sky Bridge or many of the pristine beaches I heard about but I will return one day.
More protected by Sumatra The sea is somewhat calmer, again my time was cut short and will revisit this beautiful place and explore.
We could quite literally write a book on each country but wanted to bring you a little of what I personally sampled as I got to see a little more of South East Asia.
Well we hope this information is of some use and enthuses you to getoutgotravel this wonderful region of the world.
If you are thinking of travelling to South East Asia and would like to know more about my travels, or have any questions. Feel free to email me Dougie
Or contact us either on our Forum or Facebook page.
Closest main town to northern Laos a great base to explore the north. Ancient temples are in plenty and neighbouring ethnic hill tribe villages are only a short trip/excursion away.
Further up from Chiang Mai, maybe 120 kilometers. So many people miss this little gem. Hire a scooter and just go. Get out in the countryside and explore. Thailand is full of Wats and there is nowhere that is the exception. With any mountainous range, comes waterfalls, there are many hidden ones to find that not many people know about
Nearing Bangkok, less than 100 kilometres, this is the Mecca of temples. There is no getting around it Ayutthaya is condensed and jam packed full of ancient ruins. A full day of walking is needed and your feet will ache at the end of it. With a market by the station, stock up on water and snacks to get you through the day. You will need it.
Tiger temple if you feel the need if it is still open but also where you will get to the famous bridge over the River Kwai.
You either love it or loath it, personally it's a must do and certainly step away from the city and you are in the real Thailand. The floating markets are a must do and apart from the usual visits to the Grand Palace and many Wat's dotted around the city, try and venture further afield. If you are young at heart then stay in Khao San Road foraday or two.
Walking Street seems to be on most people's list and again this is a great base to get about. Jomtien beach is very popular and there are excursions galore to keep you occupied but if you are here make sure you get to our next place Koh Chang!
This still fairly unspoilt island and is high on my list. Stay on White Beach. Not to be confused with (Ko Chang) on the Andaman side of Thailand where personally I think the diving is far better. If you want accommodation right on the beach with palm swept trees to jump over, then you have found your paradise.
Another favourite for many but this is also a great stepping stone for many other nicer places and islands. A trip to the old town should be taken and a night along the beaches as the Flying lanterns set off into the nights sky, is a sight to be seen. There is so much to do and see here and with all the islands around you are spoilt for choice. James Bond Island, Phi Phi Island, Canoeing, you name it you can do it here.
Koh Pi Pi.
Another favourite of mine, try and stay here for more than a day. Get over to the other side of the island. This island was decimated during a tsunami in 2004 and has taken a while in reconstruction and you can still see the evidence today. Another photographers paradise and sunset boat trips are a must do.
There are three beautiful islands all close together on the gulf of Thailand try and get to Koh Tao. A divers island but very pretty too and a walk up to the top of the island is a must do. Get down the other side also, for some great free diving spots.
There are so many islands and each one has its own charm. They also have the vegetarian festival with bizarre body piercings, not to be missed. This is a large island with many beaches and things to do and see. Spend a while here if you can and eat at the markets.