Travelling from Singapore out of Bangkok from July - September/October

by Maria

Question: Hi! I'd like to know what you'd recommend as the best possible itinerary from Singapore up through Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I will be travelling for 3 months (could push it to 4) from July, starting from Singapore and flying out through Bangkok. (Would I have time for Cambodia too?)

I'd like to visit Melaka, Koh Pha Ngan and Ko Phi Phi - but I am not sure this is the best time of year with regards to the monsoon season. Are there similar places on the east coast?

I'd also like to visit Vang Vieng in Laos, Hanoi and Halong bay in Vietnam.

I'm still researching other places I'd like to visit but there is just so much out there!

I'm probably more interested in seeing nature/culture/mountains/beaches, but do of course want to visit the main cities and experience the buzz and nightlife there. I'd also like to go somewhere with great sea-life for snorkelling/diving.

I will be travelling alone so it would be great to go places where I know I'll meet other backpackers.

Thanks, Maria

Answer: July-October is the monsoon season in many parts of Southeast Asia, in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. You've probably read the news - there have been floods in Thailand since September this year. I don't know if it will be the same next year, but it's still the monsoon season.

The climate is different in Malaysia and Singapore; actually from June to August/September is the best time to visit the east coast of Malay Peninsula and Sabah on Borneo.

What does this mean? It will be the monsoon season in Phi Phi and Phangan. In practice, this means short rain showers during the day/evening. From May to September Koh Phangan gets a little afternoon rain showers, but the weather is still enjoyable and the seas calm and clear.

Climate in Phi Phi

So you can visit Phi Phi and Koh Phangan, but don't expect constant sunshine. During this season, it's probably better to visit islands in Malaysia, like Perhentians, Redang and Tioman (all on the east coast in the peninsula). There's fantastic diving opportunities in Borneo (Semporna island). There's also some trekking around Kota Kinabalu. I've visited Perhentians and Sabah in June-July and it rarely rained. The temperature was nice.

Visiting Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in 3 months is short. It's OK for 4 months. If you want to speed it up a bit, 3 months is doable. If you're speed traveling, you might have time for Cambodia.

3 months: Singapore - 4 days, Malaysia - 3 weeks, Thailand - 3 weeks, Laos - 2,5 weeks (17 days), Vietnam - 2,5 weeks (17 days), Cambodia - 1,5 week (10 days)


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