Looking for an Itinerary for 6 month travelling Southeast Asia?? Look no further! I spent months planning my 6 month trip and so would love to spread the love and pass on my findings on the best way to travel this region.
With 6 months you can travel fairly slowly to make the most of each place, whilst still seeing a LOT of the best parts of Southeast Asia.
One of the things to take into consideration when planning is to decide WHEN you want to be in each place, depending on whether you want high or low season. In my experience I found high season was a much better option as that is when the weather is not too hot, and when most people will be around to make the atmosphere rock! Of course it will also mean slightly higher prices (although this is still one of the cheapest parts of the world!!), busy tourist attractions and booking ahead for the best hostel’s will be a must!
If you are clever and follow this suggested route you will follow high season all the way! Simples! Alternatively, if you want low season all the way just reverse it 🙂
You want to start in January
I left the UK on the 2nd January and my timing was perfect for 99% of my trip to get the best weather and the best atmosphere from each place. The only time I strayed off my plan and experienced low season was in April & May (after Songkran) when I decided to stay in Thailand for longer than planned (thanks to a certain someone) as well as visiting Laos.
Although Thailand rocked and it meant cheaper prices, there was a distinct lack of atmosphere in most places and there just seemed to be no-one around! Now, this might be exactly what you are after but I think one of the best parts of travelling is meeting other people, so for that reason I would say this wasn’t the best time to be in Thailand or Laos.
Anyway here is my suggested route:
– Fly into Bangkok and familiarise yourself with the area (stay around the Khao San road area). You will pass through Bangkok quite a few times so it will soon start to feel familiar.
– Spend a month exploring the Thai Islands; Koh Chang, Koh Wai, Koh Phangan for the first Full Moon Party of the year, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, and Railey are must do’s.
– From February get the bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap in Cambodia to see the infamous Angkor Wat.
– Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, could be your next stop before a couple of weeks down on the beach in Sihanoukville and Koh Rong, then Kampot & Kep (if you like crab!).
– When March comes around you want to be moving on to Vietnam which you will need to get a Visa for in Cambodia.
– As you travel up Vietnam the seasons will change, and if you play it right you should follow the sun up north. I would recommend spending the entire month of March in Vietnam, perhaps getting off the beaten track a little; Ho Chi Minh City, Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Danang, make sure you go to see the views from the Hai Van Pass, Hue, Dong Hoi for the Phong Na caves, Hanoi, Halong Bay & the Machu Picchu styled Sapa.
– Now, you want to be back in Thailand for April so you are there for Songkran around 14th/15th, and I would suggest spending those 4 days in Chiang Mai, the Songkran epi-centre! Then travel to Pai where most travellers will go after the madness of Songkran.
– Now I skipped Malaysia as I decided to spend longer in Thailand, but May would be the time to start exploring that country. My original itinerary included Penang, Langkawi, Pulau Perhentian & Kuala Lumpar (you can fly home from Singapore so can see that last).
– By your sixth and final month you want to be in Indonesia where high season will have started. There is so much to see here but I would focus your time on Bali, Gili Islands, Lombok & Nusa Lembongan.
– Fly to Singapore for a few days before heading home.
Now, this is just a suggested route but I think the general timing and direction is a safe bet. If you have less time I would suggest you cut out Malaysia and spend less time in Cambodia & Vietnam…easy done.
I’m more than happy to help if you have any further questions, just drop me a comment below or contact me via my contact page