Visiting a large variety of places in just 2 months -- possible?
Hi there, myself and a work colleague are planning a 2 month trip to SE Asia, initially starting in Hong Kong, then traveling to Taiwan (Taipei), Philippines (Manila + Boracay), Singapore, Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur + Georgetown), Thailand (Bangkok), and also brief flying visits into Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
I'm not a very experienced traveler myself but my colleague is (although not where SE Asia is concerned).
To me this all seems like a hell of a lot to cram into a 2-month period. The idea being that a couple of weeks be spent in the Philippines with particular interest in the rice terraces, and a couple of weeks in Thailand and the rest just a few days in each place.
So my question would be, is this achievable in our time frame or should we consider shortening the list of places to visit? I have no idea how long it should take to cover all that distance with a combination of ferry's, buses, trains and flights.
Only resorting to flights when the trip on land would be in the extreme time wise, which actually brings me to another question, should we be planning out exactly which methods we should be using each time we move onto a new destination or can we just make up our minds on the fly while we're out there?
Sorry for the wall of text, and thanks in advance.
Hey Jon, thanks for contacting me. Let me get this straight: you're basically asking if visiting 9 countries in 2 months is doable?
My immediate answer is: yes (if you like speed-traveling and will be flying a lot).
Will it be exhaustive? yes.
Frankly, spending only a few days (except Thailand and Philippines as you mentioned) is too short. You'll need the time to stress down when you arrive at a new destination, but you won't even have time for that.
Should you consider shortening your list? If you like to take things easy and relaxed, I would suggest that yes.
If I was you I would almost halve the list, and maybe concentrate on Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. I would visit Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam another time because there are just so many things to experience here. In Laos, you could easily spend 3 weeks, Cambodia -- 2 weeks (to cover the most important places -- Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville), Vietnam -- at least 3 weeks.
Malaysia is just great, relaxed, beautiful, so spend more time there. You won't regret it. "Should we be planning out exactly which methods we should be using each time we move onto a new destination or can we just make up our minds on the fly while we're out there?"
If you're going to stick to your original itinerary, I would suggest to arrange the flights now, but take the border crossings/buses as you travel. Find overnight trains and buses to save time!
to fly from Hong Kong, and from Philippines to Singapore, so you might as well buy the tickets in advance to get cheap tickets.Search for cheap flights
From Singapore you can just take a short bus ride to Malaysia -- no need to book in advance there since there are many buses plying this route. The same when traveling in Malaysia. From Malaysia to Thailand you can just border cross to south Thailand (take the train or bus -- up to you). Train schedule Malaysia to ThailandSuggestion itinerary:
--> Hong Kong (4 days)
--> Taiwan (3 days)
--> Philippines (2 weeks)
--> Singapore (3 days)
--> Malaysia (2 weeks)
--> Thailand (2 weeks)
This itinerary gives you an OK margin for transportation.