Lonely Planet South East Asia
This South East Asia Lonely Planet itinerary served as the backdrop of our South East Asia travel plan. Although we certainly did not follow it verbatim we found its recommendations to be a great general guide as we navigated the region. You can see our gap year travel itinerary here.
- Start off in Bangkok and follow the eastern seaboard to forested Ko Chang, cross the Hat Lek– Cham Yeam border bound for Sihanoukville’s collection of scruffy and sublime beaches.
- Stop in Franco -influenced Kampot and its nearby hill station.
- Turn inland to Phnom Penh to pay your respects at its genocide museums then
- Bus to Siem Reap and the monumental splendour of Angkor.
- Board a flight to Pakse, gateway to the easy river living of Si Phan Don.
- Bus to Vientiane and on to Vang Vieng then Luang Prabang.
- Trundle to Nong Khiaw for tribal trekking.
- Follow the rugged, revolutionaries’ trail through the Na Meo border, a remote and adventurous crossing to Hanoi.
- Work your way through Vietnam, sampling history, culture and beaches.
- Fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok and slide down the Malay Peninsula, swimming and diving around Ko Pha-Ngan in the Gulf of Thailand and around Krabi in the Andaman Sea.
- Slip into Malaysia for the street eats of Penang.
- Cross the peninsula for the peaceful beach retreat of Pulau Perhentian.
- Pick up the Jungle Railway to Taman Negara, a wilderness preserve.
- Detour to the mist-shrouded hills of Cameron Highlands and then alight in Kuala Lumpur.
- Fly to Jakarta (Java ) and immerse yourself in the cultural city of Yogyakarta and the Unesco treasure of Borobudur.
- Bask on the beach in Bali, escape the beach crowds in Flores, and go dragon -spotting on Komodo. Return to Bali and catch a flight to Dili in Timor-Leste, a fledgling tourist nation. Alternatively, from Jakarta fly to Banjarmasin (Kalimantan) for a jungle excursion into Borneo .
- Catch another flight to Pangkalan Bun with connections to the orang-utan research camps of Tanjung Puting National Park.
- Fly from Banjarmasin to Pontianak and
- Then bus to the Entikong– Tebedu border to Malaysia’s Kuching, a gateway to more Borneo nature reserves and former headhunting cultures.
- After a cheap flight back to Kuala Lumpur, catch a connection to Yangon (Myanmar) and its Buddhist temples and isolated people, or to
Manila (Philippines) and its Catholic population and volcanic setting.
- Bus to the mountains of North Luzon, then
- Fly to Cebu, gateway to the Visayas beaches.
If you opt for the Philippines route, you can then hop into East Asia (China or Japan) without having to backtrack.
Source: Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet Southeast Asia