South east Asia backpacking route

I thought that this week I’d share the route that we have been taking so far…it’s literally been a perfect route in my opinion, all thanks to Mat who has literally mapped out all of travels…how amazing is he! So far we’ve enjoyed jungles, beaches, forests, cities and everything in between. If anyone reading is considering traveling or is definitely going traveling, then this post is for you, feel free to follow it totally, or add/take away bits depending on your interests and time!

I’ll just be including the country and then the stops we did within it, as well as a memorable activity we’ve done in each! Pt.2 of the trip route will be written once we’ve arrived into Australia!

This blog post comes because throughout my travels I’ve had people ask me where abouts in world we are, where we’re going next and generally everywhere we’ve been and really enjoyed and where we are planning to go next. For the most part of our travels we haven’t done anything crazily off of the ‘backpacker trail’ but we have definitely been to some places not many go to, and away from all the generic backpacker stops.

Whilst the popular and I use the phrase politely ‘generic’ backpacking spots are great, because they’re used to travellers, there’s lots of accommodation options, and communication is generally easy. The further into our travels we get the more Mat and I realise that we prefer being off the main backpacker path. Why? For many reasons, but some of the main being that you really feel like you’re ‘traveling’… not just following an article you’ve read online or going to places just because they seem to be where everyone else goes. By going to quieter, less well known places you make the trip your own, and the places that you go where others haven’t, generally end up being the most memorable places. Secondly when you go to the generic places, you tend to have a less authentic experience, you’re in an area designed for the tourist, surrounded by other tourists, bars, cafes and hostels. But by going even just slightly off of the beaten track, you interact with the locals more, you understand much more about the culture and you’ll often stick out like a sore thumb, leading to people wanting to speak to you, say hi or even take pictures and ask to film and interview you for their school project! The third and arguably one of the best, is that it’s often MUCH cheaper. The prime example being that we recently traveled East Java before heading into the extremely travelled and popular ‘Bali’ and neighbouring islands. We were eating for a pound as opposed to two plus pounds, half the price! We found that everything else such as grabs, supermarkets and transport were generally cheaper too. So next time you find yourself traveling, look on a map, see what’s near by that you haven’t heard of, and give it a visit!

Anyway I think that’s enough pre(r)amble for this blog post…let’s get into the route!

Thailand

  • Bangkok, 3 nights – the markets
  • Chiang Mai, 2 nights – elephant Sanctuary
  • Pai, 4 nights – the waterfalls
  • Chiang rai, 2 nights – temples

Laos

  • Luang Prabang, 2 nights – Kuang si falls
  • Vang vieng, 2 nights – Tubing
  • Vientiane, 2 nights – not a lot, Patxuai victory monument

Vietnam

  • Hanoi, 2 nights – cooking class
  • SaPa, 3 nights – trekking/home stay
  • Ha long, 1 night – theme park
  • Cat Ba, 3 nights – ha long bay boat trip
  • Hanoi (not a mistake) we came back here after Cat Ba, 3 nights – stay at the little charm hostel it’s beautiful!
  • Ninh Binh, 2 nights – river cruise
  • Phong Nha, 2 nights – caves
  • Hué, 2 nights – abandoned water park
  • Hoi an, 3 nights – bike the hoi van pass there
  • Da lat, 2 nights – roller coaster through the Forest
  • Mui ne, 2 nights – fairy stream
  • Ho Chi Minh, 2 nights – soul burger

Cambodia

  • Phnom Penh, 3 nights – killing fields
  • Kampot, 2 nights – Banteay srey spa
  • Rabbit islands, 1 night – snorkelling
  • Kampot, 2 nights – la plantcian
  • Otres, 1 night – only used as stop before koh rong
  • Koh Rong Samloem M’pai bay, 2 nights- snorkelling
  • Koh Rong island, 3 nights – trek to long beach
  • Koh Rong Saracens bay, 1 night – beach
  • Siem Reap, 3 nights – Angkor Wat
  • Battambang, 2 nights – Bat cave

Thailand

  • Koh Samui, 2 nights – beach
  • Koh Phangan, 2 nights – full moon party
  • Koh Tao, 6 nights – diving
  • Phuket, 1 night – we really didn’t like Phuket so we just walked around a mall!
  • Phi phi, 2 nights – boat trip
  • Ao nang Krabi, 2 nights – boat trip
  • Koh Lanta, 3 nights – beach hopping

Malaysia

  • Penang, 3 nights – walking tour
  • Perhentian Islands, 2 nights – beach day
  • Taman Negara, 2 nights – trekking the jungle
  • Cameron Highlands, 2 nights – Boh Tea estate
  • Kuala Lumpur, 3 nights – Forrest walk
  • Malacca, 2 nights – jonker walk

Singapore

  • 1 night – Gardens by the bay

Indonesia

  • Jakarta (Java), 1 night – national monument
  • Yogyakarta, 2 nights – Prambanan temple
  • Probolinggo, 2 nights – Mount Bromo
  • Banyuwangi, 1 night – Kawah ijen
  • Kuta (Bali), 2 nights – surfing
  • Nusa Lembongan, 2 nights – beaches
  • Canggu, 2 nights – surfing
  • Ubud, 3 nights – Rice terraces
  • Amed, 2 nights – Diving
  • Gilli T (Lombok), 3 nights – snorkelling
  • Kuta Lombok, 3 nights – waterfalls
  • Gilli Gede, 2 nights – beach
  • Kuta (Bali), 2 nights – Bali sea turtle centre

Let me know if there’s a certain country you’d like a detailed plan/itinerary for or review of and I’ll definitely do that!

Until next time,

Megan

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