The cheapskates guide to SOUTH EAST ASIA


For 3 – 4 weeks the best way would be as usual fly into Bangkok and do just Thailand Laos Cambodia and then back into Thailand for a few days on beach before Flying out

For 4 – 8 weeks add Myanmar or fly into HK or Kumming. Cheap flights airasia from Chiangmai to Chengdu Guangzhou then China Guandong or Yunnan into Laos overland Mohan border –laos- Cambodia – Beach northern Thailand fly out

For 3 – 6 months Chiangmai- Laos- Cambodia-Vietnam- China – Myanmar – Bangkok beach then fly home for longer then 4 mths add Malaysia (fly airasia into KL and head for Penang) Sumatra Medan – Jog Jakarta- Bali – Suluwesi- to Borneo east Kalimantan – Sabah – Kuching – Singapore /KL and Bangkok etc

These are just suggestions to your planning your own itinary,

Visas and medications vaccines etc: In 20 years of travelling Sth East Asia I have never bothered with them maybe hepatitis but as for antimalarials I have never bothered just use Deet Autan max33% deet. where mozzies present early evenings if eating outside. Dengue is from daytime Mozzies and there is no preparation for that one just paracetamol to keep temperature down.

What to take in your Back pack

What do you need for essential travel amounts to around 4kgs

  1. small day pack 45litres is best as its acceptable as hand luggage on most flights + room for those tourist tat you buy en-route, I laos carry a very lightweight fold & zipp holdhall just in case lol this you can pack with stuff you don’t need and leave with GH in Bangkok etc
  2. small wash kit soap/ shampoo/ toothpaste + smellies
  3. 4 T shirts 4 pairs underpants 2pair socks 1 for trekking 1 for flight home
  4. lightweight waterproof (type that packs into tiny bag)
  5. small alarm clock/Mob phone with alarm (for those early am flights buses etc etc
  6. flip flops travel on flights with pair of Teva style sandals or trekking Trainers for trekking climbs etc
  7. small towel and light weight sleep sheet / sleeping bag liner
  8. lightweight fleece for mountainous regions + air con buses where it can be cold
  9. small medical kit comprising small tube antiseptic cream, a few various sized plasters, some lint+ cotton wool, small bottle Iodine, paracetamol tabs couple of strips (these are essential if fever as brings temp down also for usual headaches and only medical treatment for Dengue.) small bottle Deet anti mozzie spray buy in Bangkok pharmacy 33% for most effective not higher deet content.
    Wash T shirt and underwear in shower each day with soap and shampoo, 4 is for days when unable to because travel won’t allow to dry.
  10. I phone or tablet/small lap top for wii fii free at most Gh’s


Thailand: visa exemption upon arrival 28days for most nationalities when you fly in, (don’t worry about proving by onward flight details as most leave Thailand overland. Again Visa exemption when you arrive overland for G7 countries ie UK USA etc 28 days now, others ie Italy Belgium etc 15 days, but things do change.

Laos: VOA (Visa On Arrival) 28days most countries ie UK $35 make sure you pay in US $’s as they will rip off on exchange rates lol

Cambodia: VOA $20 US only + often will try and charge you $5 extra again US $’s only

Vietnam: you need to get visa in advance! ie Bangkok Wireless road Sky train, Ploenchit

China: Visa in advance ie London takes just a couple of weeks check the Embassy web sites of all above for details Myanmar: Bangkok is easy. River bus to Sarthorn then sky train 1 stop to Surusak and wlk further up past school turning left. Get early ie 8am and 500m further up consul side st copy shop for Visa forms 5 baht , 2 passport photos needed. 856 baht 3 days 1265 baht same day collection.

Malaysia: Visa free

Indonesia: VOA

Singapore: Visa free entry for most countries

Philippines: Visa free


Itinary for over 4 weeks say 2mths to 6mths to include ie Myanmar 2 -4 weeks, Vietnam 3-4 weeks, and Yunnan or Guandong China add 3- 4 weeks. Suggested routes as follows:

If coming from Canada or West coast USA maybe fly into Hong Kong then bus to guanghzhou and Guillin back into Vietnam, overland then Cambodia into Laos and Thailand and Myanmar OR

Bagan SEA Itinary for Itinerates 1,3 to 6 mths
Why? cos we answer this every day so its easier this way, as a suggestion only, but just do as you are told OK!

One mth Basics & cheapest routes
Bangkok –Changmai 3 day trek ethnic minorities elephant ride bamboo rafting onto Changkong/ Houyxai,
Laos maps VOA $35 speedboat Luam Phrabang/ waterfalls Palace & palace theatre –Ponsivon Plain of Jars-Vang Vianne tubing + reclining Bhudda cave- Vientianne , overnight bus Pakse –Don det-
Cambodia VOA $20-Phnom Pen te sleung Russian mkt National museum –Siem Reap Angkor wat and old mkt minivan – Thailand Visa exempt 15 days but count 14 as 15 includes day of arrival and overstay 500baht per day OK – Koh Chang white sands beach etc If you can spare 2 – 4 weeks more add Burma (Myanmar) 28 day Visa BK

3 Months Basics
Bankok – Siem reap (Angkor wat) – Phnom Pen (Get Vietnam visa here) – HCMC- Hanoi with Open tour bus stopping Dalat – Nhatrang (afternoon enough for some if time ltd) – Hoi An tailoring and beach by bike – Hue citadel perfume river – Hanoi see uncle Ho water puppet theatre – overnight trip Halong Bay – Hanoi overnight to Sapa – then choice either return to Hanoi for fun bus$23 to Vientianne or alternatively bus to Dien Bien Phuu and cross to Laos VOA Muang Khua boat down to Mong noi/ Nong Khiaw and from Nong Khiaw to Luam Phrabang Alternatively bus to Oudamsai and onto Nong Khiaw/ Mong Noi – LuamPhrabang – Ponsivon – Vang Vianne-Vientianne – Changmai 15 days visa exempt =14 days –BKK-Islands etc Add burma 2-4 weeks

6Mths basics; now from Sapa enter
Yunnan China (Lao Cai to Kumming) visa BK, PP or on way check out first. Kumming –Dali lake trip, cable car stay old town –Lijiang snowy dragon Mtn cable car 5,300m, -Shangri La (Xongdian very Tibetan) –Chau Tau Tiger leaping gorge trek- Kumming overnight bus to Oudamsai Laos VOA Mohan/Boten border down through Laos as above.
Plus 2 -4 weeks