#1 12-5-2012 5:16 PM

peaceyall
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7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

I had an earlier post about taking the SEA plunge and here I am! (ps - thanks for the previous advice.)

I leave at the end of January, flying in and out of Singapore, so have about 7 weeks ahead of me. Ideally, I'd spend time doing a mix of iconic cultural spots (e.g., Angkor Wat) and remote beaches and rainforests (e.g., Borneo) with lots of crazy food experiences everywhere I go. I am totally fine skipping tourist hot spots and crazy parties (e.g., Full Moon Party) since I want to relax and soak in culture.

Since I've got an open itinerary, I'd love help narrowing things down since I don't want to spend lots of time in buses and planes. I also want to take weather into consideration for this time of year to pick spots better for being outdoors.

I'm headed to Malaysia next for Melakka, then likely Penang and KL. Rest is open. Note, I haven't chosen any cities because I'm planning as I go. Makes things exciting smile.

This is what I'm thinking so far:
Thailand - 3 days in BKK to get a visa to Burma
Burma - 1.5 weeks
Thailand - 2 weeks
* Delhi - 5 days
Cambodia - 2 weeks
Laos - 1.5 weeks
Return to Singapore to go home

Other places that I could substitute in include Vietnam, Indonesia, and Borneo with the latter two for rainforests and beaches.

Now is where I'd love some expert opinions as I don't know much about any of the countries. I'm not trying to see it all this trip but realistically, don't know when I'll be back and it would likely be a couple weeks instead of a couple months.

Given what y'all experts know, should I change things up? And where would you recommend in each of these countries?

* Possible side trip to a last minute invitation to a friend's wedding at the end of Dec and am seriously thinking of going. When else will I have a chance to go to an Indian wedding??? It does throw a kink into travel planning though, and I could seriously spend 1 month in India, but will save it for another trip if I make it to the wedding.

Okla. Looking forward to your advice!

 

#2 12-5-2012 6:41 PM

slayerspike
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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

How are you getting between countries?, if your using Public transport you may want to shuffle the order around abit.
Can you get the Visa for Burma in Chaing Mai?.
Where do you fly into?

Plenty of different Routes you could take: This is an idea, their is good public transport to most places.
Chaing Mai - Burma - Thailand - Laos - Cambodia - Thailand - Malaysia - Singapore

Also need to look at where you will be when the wedding is to weather you can cheaply and conviently fly from their to Delhi.

Thailand - 3 days in BKK to get a visa to Burma
Burma - 1.5 weeks
Thailand - 2 weeks
* Delhi - 5 days
Cambodia - 2 weeks
Laos - 1.5 weeks
Return to Singapor

 

#3 12-5-2012 6:46 PM

altmtl
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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

Burma 1.5 weeks too short - cut it
Delhi 5 days - why bother - cut it unless you plan to spend a month

Considering the visa hassles, spend more time in the other places.  Just my 2 cents

Last edited by altmtl (12-5-2012 6:47 PM)

 

#4 12-5-2012 8:21 PM

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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

You can't travel around Burma if you enter on ground transportation.
They won't allow you to leave from certain area if you're arriving on land. Definitely take a flight from KL/BKK/Singapore etc.

As Jim says, 1.5wks for Burma is too short, but I don't recommend to cut it.
It's such a beautiful country and changing so drastically in the past one year. It wasn't so touristy when I visited and I really loved it, but it can become very touristic country after a year.

I agree with Jim about cut Delhi as your schedule is already tight enough. But I don't agree with the part "if you're not visiting for a month". I enjoyed India very much even I had only 8 days x twice. 
I don't think I enjoyed less than those who are lucky enough to take 1 month holidays. You can plan something great even in short holidays anyway.

 

#5 12-6-2012 6:09 AM

peaceyall
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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

Now I'm thinking of 2 weeks in Burma, maybe 3 and spending less time in Thailand (1-1.5 weeks) or even cutting it since it's touristy and will always be there.

Still in the air about Delhi. I could do Burma, Delhi, Cambodia, Laos if I skip Thailand. Seems so contrarian to skip Thailand though since its such a backpacker haven. But maybe I'll more than make up for it going the road less traveled.

 

#6 12-6-2012 6:20 AM

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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

Might be difficult to skip Thailand as that is the usual hub for traveling in South East Asia/Indochina. Shortest flying time to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.  You can transit though Bangkok, but you will need to purchase tickets in advance.

If you'd decide on the southern part of SEAsia, Singapore can be your hub (albeit expensive - but you mentioned you'll be flying in and out of there). From Singapore, Indonesia (Jakarta, Bali), Malaysia (Johore Baharu, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur) are within an hour's flight or drive. Myanmar would be a bit expensive from Singapore because of the distance. Or make Kuala Lumpur a hub and fly out using AirAsia, that would be a more cost effective alternative.

I think your original plans are OK, just adjust the number of weeks you'll be spending in the various countries. If you can return to India on a separate trip, just dedicate a few weeks to India alone. It's a bit  far from South-east Asia to make a side trip, unless you really have to attend that wedding.

 

#7 12-6-2012 6:34 AM

peaceyall
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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

nolan wrote:

Might be difficult to skip Thailand as that is the usual hub for traveling in South East Asia/Indochina. Shortest flying time to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.  You can transit though Bangkok, but you will need to purchase tickets in advance.

If you'd decide on the southern part of SEAsia, Singapore can be your hub (albeit expensive - but you mentioned you'll be flying in and out of there). From Singapore, Indonesia (Jakarta, Bali), Malaysia (Johore Baharu, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur) are within an hour's flight or drive. Myanmar would be a bit expensive from Singapore because of the distance. Or make Kuala Lumpur a hub and fly out using AirAsia, that would be a more cost effective alternative.

I think your original plans are OK, just adjust the number of weeks you'll be spending in the various countries. If you can return to India on a separate trip, just dedicate a few weeks to India alone. It's a bit  far from South-east Asia to make a side trip, unless you really have to attend that wedding.

Thanks. On skipping Thailand, didn't mean that I wouldn't enter the country smile. Just wouldn't visit it aside from flying in/out of it. I haven't looked into which city would be the best home base but I don't think I'll need one. I likely won't hear back to Singapore until I end my trip so KL or BKK are great options. Are there other spots aside from BKK to apply for a visa to Burma?

 

#8 12-7-2012 8:14 AM

trekkearl
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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

If I had 7 weeks and I was heading to Burma, I'd spend all 7 weeks there.

 

#9 12-8-2012 3:19 AM

peaceyall
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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

Anyone know if it's possible to obtain a visa from Chiang Mai or Laos (as US citizen)? I've read it's possible. I'm now thinking of just going to Burma and Laos, so if I can get a visa from Laos that might be ideal.

 

#10 12-9-2012 12:22 PM

slayerspike
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Re: 7 weeks Dec/Jan. Love trekking, outdoors, food, culture. Advice please

You used to be able to get a visa for Burma in Chaing Mai but as mentioned if you go overland your only aloud into certain parts of the country so you really need to fly in. You can get a visa for Laos on the border crossing between Chanig mai / Chaing Rai and Laos.

Personally I would shorten Thailand to a week and spend most of that in the North as chances are you will go back to the south of Thailand on a separate trip. You can then use that week in Burma.
You trip would end up looking like the below which is a good timeframe for each place.

Burma - 2.5 weeks
Thailand - 1.5 week
Cambodia - 2 weeks
Laos - 2 weeks

 
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