Itinerary help for New Zealand/Australia/Southeast Asia
Question: Hello, I'm hoping to travel to these places in the near future, New Zealand/oz/Malaysia/Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos..... Starting Dec/Jan I figured I'd spend 5/6months in NZ/OZ, then carry on to Malaysia (Singapore) and make my way north. What would be the best route for me to take? I would like to avoid very touristy routes and high peak seasons.
Answer: Hey, how long are you going to travel in Southeast Asia?
You might try this route: From Malaysia --> border cross to South Thailand --> Bangkok --> Cambodia via border towns of Aranyaprathet and Poipet --> carry on eastwards towards Vietnam (daily buses to Saigon leave Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville etc). If you're planning on traveling all the way up to Hanoi, you can border cross from Northern Vietnam into Laos. There are several border crossings. Never tried these crossings, but found this post for you:
Thorn Tree: Vietnam-Laos border crossing: best place?
From Northern Laos, you can return to Bangkok via Vientiane, or via North Thailand.
If you arrive in Malaysia in June, it's actually the start of the peak season. I traveled in Malaysia whole of June last year (2009) and thought it was crowdy, but it was manageable. Had to be patient when it came to accommodation booking, but otherwise fine.
The peak season in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam is from November to January/February. Depending on how long you're going to stay in Malaysia and the other countries, you'll probably be traveling during off-season...
To avoid very touristy routes, you should avoid the tourist peak season (aka Nov to Jan/Feb). For Malaysia, the peak season is: June to August.
Hope this helps!
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