My first international trip - planning to backpack in Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia
Question: Hi! I am a 23 year old girl from India and have been backpacking in the country for a few years. I am planning my first trip outside the country in March-April 2012. As I have a very limited budget, I want to cover only 3 countries for now - Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia - in about 30-40 days' time.
I want to know what's the best way to get in and around these countries, which are the must-see places and must-do things, and any other useful tips you might be able to offer. Since its my first international trip, I am a bit lost on how to go about it, so any suggestions/tips are welcome.
For all my local trips, I plan minimally and mostly just set out and take things as they come (and that works just fine in India :)). But I know I will need a bit more planning to travel outside the country.
Hey Poornima, "I want to know what's the best way to get in and around these countries, which are the must-see places and must-do things (...)"
The route depends entirely on what transport you want to take and can afford. And which country do you want to depart from when you're done?
In a chronological way, you should fly from Mumbai to Jakarta in Indonesia, travel around, then fly to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and travel around the country. Or if you're planning on visiting Indonesian part of Borneo, you can border cross from that part to Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo, then a domestic flight to KL.
From KL you can fly to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh in Cambodia. If you want to go border crossing from Malaysia, you HAVE
to stop by Thailand to get to Cambodia.
You can do the other way around also, but I believe that flight tickets from India to Cambodia are more expensive than India to Bangkok. Many long-distance international flights that fly to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, stop by Bangkok anyways.
What must-see things are is very
hard to answer, because it's subjective and it depends entirely on your preferences and interests... Angkor
is of course a must if you're in Cambodia, as well as Killing Fields and the Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh.
In Malaysia, there are way too many things to see there. Penang
has fantastic food and it's a truly cultural destination, KL has many impressive mosques and museums and great shopping, Perhentians
are the most beautiful islands in Malaysia in my opinion. Then you have Malaysian Borneo; where you have trekking and caving in Sarawak, and lots of museums in Kuching, diving near Sipadan island
in Sabah, and visiting local markets in Kota Kinabalu.
I don't know about Indonesia since I haven't been there. Maybe others have some input on this?
Since you're new to international trips, I would recommend
to follow these tips:FAQ - I'm new to backpacking, and I want to backpack in Asia. Where should I start?
Dec 07, 2011