We are about 5 weeks away from our trip to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia and finally, some details have fallen into place. I heard from a few friends who have visited Southeast Asia for months at a time to keep the itinerary as open as possible, but I couldn’t help myself…I had to plan out transit between cities and start booking accommodations, especially as we’re trying to squeeze in seven cities in three weeks.
Here’s how we’ve decided to slice and dice 3 weeks (things are still moving around slightly, but this is 85% final):
4.5 days in Bangkok (split between the beginning and end of the trip)
3.5 days in Chiang Mai
3.5 days in Hanoi
2 days in Halong Bay
1.5 days in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
2 days in Hoi An
3 days in Siem Reap
Not really sure why this post will be interesting or that useful, but I guess I’m just excited to finally feel like there is more shape and form to the nebulous three-week block coming up in October.
If you are curious or are also potentially planning a trip, here are the things that at about 2 months out I started looking into:
- Asking for recommendations and narrowing down what cities we’d try to visit in three weeks
- VISA entry requirements (Vietnam especially!)
- Vaccines and shots (have you had a Hep A shot since you were a baby? Get on it!)
- Prescriptions and medicines you may need abroad
- Local flights—prices don’t seem to fluctuate that much, but if you’re interested in planning around a flight you may want to check what times that specific connector flight is available (for example, a flight from a smaller airport in Vietnam may only leave to Cambodia at one time per day).
- Culture, history, and basic etiquette of each country
Some things that are on my to-do list about a month out:
- Backpack and packing list
- Travel sized things (especially with my eczema issues…how will I fit all my lotions!!)
- Walking shoes/hiking shoes
- DEET bug repellent (not a big item, just don’t want to forget!)
- Who will watch my pups and gecko!
- Brush up on some phrases that might be helpful in Thai, Vietnamese, and Khmer
In the next few weeks I hope to:
- Finalize accommodations
- Firm up options for day to day sights, places, and experiences in each city (nothing 100% set)
- Get hyped!!
Some resources online that I’ve found helpful in this planning stage (beyond Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet):
- Into-Asia.com was a helpful starting point for basic info about language, culture, getting around, things to look out for, etc.
- Seat61—a website that gives pretty clear and helpful guidance about train travel in both Thailand and Vietnam
- NerdNomads—Their “where to stay in Bangkok” post was so helpful in figuring out how we wanted to tackle Bangkok, as it is notoriously very traffic-heavy and hard to get around
- Hostelworld Reviews—Technically not every accommodation on there is a hostel, but the reviews have been super great to cross-check with other booking sites like Agoda
- You! Thank you for leaving your tips and recommendations on my last post about this trip. I appreciate the time it takes to type out those kinds of recommendations. Truly!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh *excitement squeal* hope you’re having a safe and happy week. I shall continue planning. Hope this wasn’t the most useless post I’ve ever done…
Much love friends.