Southeast Asia is one of the most popular places to travel long-term because of it’s low cost and how easy it is to hop between countries. I had never taken this long of a trip before and especially not one without planning where I would sleep every night and how I would get everywhere.
I had never taken this long of a trip before and especially not one without planning where I would sleep every night and how I would get everywhere.
Every travel blog that I read and everyone who I knew that had traveled Southeast Asia assured me that booking as I went was the way to do it and that I wouldn’t have any problems. I was pretty nervous about it but in the end everything worked out and there were only a couple of frustrating moments finding places to sleep (mostly occurring because of our heavy backpacks).
Before I left on my trip I had only a hotel booked in Bangkok and two one-way flights: NYC to Bangkok and Singapore to NYC. The rest I either booked a day or two ahead of time online or figured it out when I arrived in the city. This was my 5-week Southeast Asia Itinerary.
New York, USA
Transport: Delta Airlines flight via Japan NYC to Bangkok
Bangkok, Thailand (2.5 days)
ZZZ: Atrium Bangkok *Recommended (The only hotel that we pre-booked beforehand. A little out of the way but it had a nice pool and was close to the train.)
Transport: Flight Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand (3 days)
ZZZ: Kamala’s Guest House *Recommended
Transport: Flight Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang, Laos (5 days)
Recommended: A class at Ock Pop Talk
ZZZ: Villa Champa *Recommended (Guest house we found wandering and it ended up being perfect. $25/night for a double room.)
Transport: Flight Luang Prabang to Vientiane
Vientiane, Laos (1 day)
ZZZ: Vayakorn Guest House (Hotel recommended by our tour book.)
Transport: Flight Vientiane to Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam (1.5 day)
ZZZ: Thaison Grand Hotel *Recommended (We actually met a girl on our flight to Hanoi and followed her to a hotel she had researched and booked ahead of time.)
Transport: Van arranged by Hotel Tour Hanoi to Halong Bay
Halong Bay, Vietnam (2 days)
ZZZ: Overnight boat tour arranged by our Hanoi Hotel (Approx. $350 USD for two people, including transport)
Transport: Van back to Hanoi and then the overnight train to Danang. Taxi Danang to Hoi An.
Hoi An, Vietnam (1.5 days)
Recommended: Morning Glory Restaurant
ZZZ: Nguyen Phuong Hotel (Newly opened guest house run by a friend of our taxi driver.)
Transport: Flight Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (2 days)
ZZZ: La Felix Hotel
Transport: Flight Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2 days)
ZZZ: Safari Hotel
Transport: Van Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Siem Reap, Cambodia (3 days)
Try: Fish Pedicures on Pub Street
ZZZ: Hotel Somadevi Angkor Resort & Spa *Recommended (Splurge but we were able to negotiate with the front desk.)
Transport: Flight Siem Reap to Phuket via Bangkok transfer
Phuket, Thailand (2.5 days)
ZZZ: Hotel we found via booking.com
Transport: Flight Phuket to Singapore
Singapore (1.5 days)
Recommended: An double decker bus tour
ZZZ: Holiday Inn Express Orchard Road (We were so exhausted from traveling with our bags we splurged.)
Transport: Flight Singapore to Bali
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (2 days)
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia (3 days)
A FEW NOTES
*We procured all of our visas on arrival except for Vietnam which we got ahead of time in NYC. Make sure you bring some passport size photos and USD with you for your visas on arrival.
*If you’re unsure about whether you want to stay somewhere feel free to ask to see the rooms before you commit.
*I brought along Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a shoestring (Travel Guide) and their recommendations were usually spot on. It was also great to have the book to reference more information about different sites we visited.