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South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

8 posts
South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

Hi all!!

I am starting to plan my sabbatical in SEA and I would like to ask for recommendations on how to connect within the countries, what would be the most convenient way. And if you think I will be in an unnecessary rush.

My high level idea is:

I will start beginning of September so considering the rainy season I am thinking on something like this:

September: 3 weeks Indonesia then fly to Singapur for 4 days and then 4/5 days to Malaysia

October: Philippines (will be end of rainy season, will it be fine ?)

November: 3 weeks in Vietnam and in the middle go to Cambodia for a week and finish in North Vietnam

December: 1 week in Laos and 1 week in Myanmar and around middle of the month go to Thailand for a month till mid January or so.

I will definitely go with the flow but still want to plan some basic things 😅

What do you do think?

- 3 weeks in Indonesia to short?

- Also do you think I should ditch some of the smaller countries like Laos, Myanmar, Singapur or Malaysia ? And add some days to the others ?

- does the connections makes sense ?

Thanks a lot!!!


13 replies to this topic
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel, Houston
Level Contributor
23,816 posts
177 reviews
131 helpful votes
1. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

**What do you do think?**

It really doesn't matter what I think. What matters is that you planned it. What a reader is missing is the context regarding the choices and the attractions or things you want to do in each location. If your plan suits your needs, then go for it!

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
26,707 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
2. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary


Sorry, i havent been to SEA yet. And for your question, i would have to do the work.

but you can also post your quesiton about the specific countries in the appropriate destination boards.

Note that TA isnt so great about what i call....."country hopping" where you do ALOT of cross boarder travel. But the way i see things, is that "travel is travel". all you are doing is to "connect the countries".

I would have to ask...i dont need to know your answer, but something you may want to consider is that did you look/use a map? Does the "PATH" make since? Or are you criss-crossing all over the place and along with backtracking? To me that is what you need to do to answer the question ....".. does the connections makes sense.." this is what i do.

Do you know what Round Trip tickets are? How about Open Jaw/Multi City? again, i dont need to know your answer, its something YOU need to know. Its YOUR trip.

to me and my way of travel, you plan is too vague. The way i plan, i dont travel to "countries" i travel to "destinations" such as where in those countries. I get it if you dont want/need a plan and just want to "wing it" and be a free spirit and go where the wind blows you, but my time and money is limited so i do more planning.

Something you may want to also consider if you havent. Again, i dont need to know the answer, but you do.

> do you need any VISAs. Some places you may have to apply in advance.

> and then you have VACCINATIONS. some places you may need or want . And depending on your home country, and it would be nice if you added that to your location, you may need certain vaccines to enter or even go home.

good luck

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2,264 posts
3. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

Out of curiosity, what do you mean by high level? I’ve seen it written on TA recently, can’t remember which destination, but didn’t ask as I had nothing else to offer. You want to stay where movie stars and bitcoin billionaires stay? Happy with simple 5 star? Or something else entirely?


Most convenient way of moving from country to country is often flying but there may be better alternatives depending on your eventual itinerary. Some of those countries can be done with land crossings if your destinations are close by.

3 weeks for all of Indonesia is way too short. Might be fine for 2 or 3 select locations. Depends how much you wish to see while there.

4 days will be ok to see highlights in Singapore, not nearly enough for Malaysia unless you want to visit only one city or region. I have only visited Penang in Malaysia and spent 8 nights there.

I know almost nothing about Philippines except they have some nice beaches.

North of.Vietnam can get cold late in the year, I would be inclined to fly into Ha Noi and work my way down south. Weather was very good in Saigon and Mekong Delta around Christmas time when I visited. You should ask on Vietnam forum for more specific weather questions. You could travel to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

I have not yet been to Laos, really must get around to visiting.

A month in Thailand is a good amount of time. So much to explore and it’s very easy to get around. I prefer to self drive but they have extensive train and bus infrastructure. Along with flying around of course.

I have not been to Myanmar and won’t likely visit in the near future.

Enjoy your trip, I’m jealous of the time you have.

Camberley, United...
Level Contributor
1,748 posts
17 reviews
4 helpful votes
4. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

What do you mean by "how to connect" in the various countries?

Don't miss Singapore, I think it is an amazing place and if you have any kind of love for animals make sure to visit the Night Safari. It's nearly half way round the globe from me and I've been fortunate enough to visit this small country on a handful of occasions and wish I could go again this year.

Malaysia is full of contrasts from jungle to industrial areas and tourism/holiday resorts (e.g. Langkawi and the north of Penang island, with the south being generally industrial), so plenty of variety there depending on your interests. Again, been there a few times (my mum was born on Penang Island when it was Malaya, not Malaysia). I don't have enough experience of other SEA countries to be able to comment but check travel/visa/stay duration regulations, requirements for vacinations etc

Destination Expert
for Puerto Vallarta, Seattle, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
87,782 posts
23 reviews
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5. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

I am also curious about the term "high level".

To me the itinerary sound exhausting and I wouldn't want to be on the road for 5 months myself. But that's me, not you :)

This Solo Forum can help with tips for traveling alone, but your questions will be better asked and answered in the various Destination Forums here on TA for each country/city/destination.

Good luck/happy planning!

New Hampshire
Level Contributor
3,479 posts
15 reviews
7 helpful votes
6. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

When you refer to Indonesia. What is your plan? Indonesia has soooo many islands. I think 3 weeks is quite short. Some people spend 2-3 weeks in Bali alone. If you plan on going to Java, Jakarta, Lombok, the Gili islands, etc definitely add more time there.

Instead of trying to shove as many countries in as possible. Identify the ones you really want to go to. Do you really need to go to Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar all in this trip? The weight of traveling there for a couple days to a week may outweigh the benefit. Also are you a beach/island person? Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand all have very similar experiences in terms of beaches. You may get bored going to all of them.

I was a fan of Thailand and would advocate a full month there. Wasn’t the biggest fan of Bangkok but Chiang Mai is lovely. Didn’t get a chance to go to the islands but they’re supposed to be very nice. Might be redundant as mentioned with other countries beaches.

And please define “high level” for us. Does this mean kayaking, scuba diving, cliff jumping or visiting a new temple/sight each day?

Remember to pace yourself and leave time to breathe.

Also remember that the sanitary conditions of Southeast Asia is far different from the west. My first trip to Asia I got incredibly sick. I was in my hotel for 5 days. Expect to get sick and make sure your itinerary isn’t fully booked day to day. Leave room for changes just incase

Level Contributor
6,623 posts
22 reviews
25 helpful votes
7. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

Fede - By high level I'm assuming you just mean you haven't yet detailed your itinerary.

I've traveled throughout SEA plus extensively in mainland China and was going to make some recommendations but then I looked at your profile, which shows you've made 6 posts (including this one) asking for recommendations to various destinations but not once have you replied back,not even with just a thank you, to any of the many who replied to your 6 topics, so I've decided to not reply to yours.

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
26,707 posts
2 reviews
3 helpful votes
8. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

some hints...

> Try using a map. if you have access to google maps, you can create your own digital map to use. you can also use it off line. I travel for 1 month and i will city hop. thats usually 1 city per country too. So i make my own map for each city.

> you can also buy a map too. Or if you have access to a printer, print some off google maps.

> Plot the COUNTRIES you wish to visit and then look for some path to take.

> you will have to find ports of entry or airports to use or land crossing. this is where the DETAILS will help. travel isnt about just having "ideas" in your head, but its really about details too. Sorry, the world works on details. There are also laws and VISAs and VACCINATIONS you have to consider.

> someone mentioned to cross post on the individual boards. you can, if you want.

good luck

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
Level Contributor
20,838 posts
31 reviews
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9. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

"Hi level" generally means someone has narrowed down the countries they want to visit and time of year - rather than started drilling down to exact towns, cities, dates, flights etc. So just starting with the broad idea to get a picture of it.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2,264 posts
10. Re: South East Asia 5 months high level itinerary

Thanks PP, the cat is now satisfied.

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