Itinerary advice and transportation to Southeast Asia for 6 months starting from Australia

by Paola Orosco
(Adelaide, South Australia)

Hello, me and my friend (Peruvian and New Zealand girls) want to travel from December 2012 for 6 months. We both live in Adelaide, Australia, so we are going to start from here. We want to go to Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, China ,Hong Kong, and India. Can you give us tips where we can start our trip, we want to save money in our trips, and we want to catch the full moon party in December in Thailand. thanks a lot.

Answer: Hey Paola, you can start your journey from India so you're finished with India and can concentrate on east and southeast Asia. From India, fly to Bangkok. Travel to south Thailand and go island hopping. The Full Moon Party dates for December 2012 are:
- December 25, 2012
- December 28, 2012
- December 31, 2012

When you're finished in south Thailand, make your way back to Bangkok, and travel to north Thailand to go trekking around Chiang Mai and/or just chilling in Pai. From Chiang Khong in Thailand, you can border cross to Huay Xai north Laos. From Huay Xai you can either make your way to Luang Prabang by slow boat or speed boat, or take a bus from Huay Xai to Luang Namtha. And then from Luang Namtha to Muang Sing - the backpacker town in far north Laos.

From North Laos you can border cross to Vietnam. There are several entry points to north Vietnam. If you're planning on visiting Hanoi, you might try the border crossing by Phonsavan (Laos) or Sam Neua (Laos). If you're going straight to central Vietnam (Hue, Hoi An), you can border cross near Vientiane or even better, from Savannakhet (south Laos). You can make your way to south Vietnam and visit beaches, then border cross to east Cambodia, via Moc Bai crossing to Phnom Penh or via Ha Tien Crossing.

If you choose the Ha Tien crossing, you get straight to south Cambodia. Kep and Kampot are worth the trip, travel south to the beaches of Sihanoukville, then travel to Phnom Penh, and then Siem Reap for the Angkor temples.

Return to Bangkok for flight to the Philippines, or you can fly from Vietnam to the Philippines (check out flight prices to see what's cheaper). If you choose Vietnam, you can return from the Philippines to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City and then border cross to Cambodia as explained above.

I don't where and what you want to do in China. Northern China is supposed to be good in the spring, but cold in the winter.

There are several options:

1) You can border cross from Laos to China. If you choose to border cross from Laos, you'll miss out much on Laos or have to backtrack.

2) Another option is to border cross from north Vietnam to south China (after you've been in north Laos), travel where ever you want in the country, border cross to Hong Kong, fly from Hong Kong to Manila in the Philippines. From there, fly onward to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh city and then travel to Cambodia as explained above. But this might mean that you'll miss out on central Vietnam, and you have to apply for Vietnamese visa twice (first time from Laos to Vietnam and second time from Manila to Saigon).

When you're done with Cambodia, return to Thailand by land. PS: You have only 15 days visa-free days by land crossing. Make your way to south Thailand again, border cross to Malaysia, travel around the country. And then fly from Kuala Lumpur to Australia! ;-)

Hope this helps!

Amanda (editor and admin)

Posted: April 2, 2012

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Apr 02, 2012
amazing advise
by: paola orosco

thanks a lot for your advise! you are awesome!

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