If you had 6 months to travel and $20,000, where in southeast asia would you go to and for how lond would you stay in each place?
I am a 29 f who is planning on going backpacking as from April next yr around southeast asia. I plan on going for 6 months and will have around $20,000 saved for the trip (hopefully i wont spend it all and will be able to travel for months on end). Originally i was going alone but now have a f friend that wants to join (although i wont hold my breathe on this).... So I have the time to go and the money for it but I have no clue whatsoever where to go to and so would very much appreciate some advise here......
I am looking for places with beaches, not really a party animal so not bothered about going to places with no nightlife. Was thinking about chosing 3 or 4 destinations to stay a month in each and then divide the rest of the time with other destinations. Places I really want to visit are: china, phillipines, thailand, vietnam/cambodia.... However, i am open to any place really and truly.
Thanking you all in advance! xx
Great budget. The world's your oyster really. My only advice would be not to overplan. Explore! Stay in the places you like and move on from the places you don't. You could easily decide as you go and spend some time on the beach researching the next country. Read lots of blogs on this site to get inspiration. You seem to have a good idea of places already. The only possible additions are Malaysia (which we love) and maybe Indonesia. 6 months is plenty of time to really explore SE Asia.
Apart from this site, Travelfish is also an excellent resource with some great articles, reviews and guides.
As an idea, you could spend some time as a volunteer at the Orangutan Sanctuary in Indonesia ! I am thinking of doing it soon. Have a look:
The Borneo Marine and Sea Turtle Conservation is also tempting:
I agree thats a great budget, you could easily extend to a year if you felt like it. My first RTW I spent 6 months in SE Asia and covered a lot of ground without feeling the least bit rushed. I started in KL because I got a cheap flight there. I flew over to Borneo (Sabah) for some jungle and diving, down to Indonesia for a month (max visa at that time) back to KL then traveled overland up through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam then down through Laos and back to Thailand to fly out to Egypt. On another trip I came to the Philippines and have now spent over two years of my life here on different trips.
The first thing I did tho when I arrived in Malaysia was head over to Tioman Island and take a scuba diving course, by far the best move I made. Diving changed my whole trip, SE Asia is the place to do it. Gives you great reasons to go places, meet a lot of people as well, especially if you are traveling alone (which I highly recommend). You might want to get an underwater housing for your camera before you go if you think you might like diving, the ability to take photos really enhances the diving experience for me.
Indonesia is big and diverse - if you get the chance try traveling out east to Flores, Komodo Island was a highlight for me. There is also Borobudur and Mt. Bromo on Java, Bali of course, Indo is very cheap and beautiful only downside is getting used to the touts - my advice is just be friendly and joke with them, tell them you already have 10 of what they are selling. If you are rude they will only bother you more, they really have nothing better to do.
Hanoi was also a highlight for me, crazy food, boat trip on Halong Bay...Angkor Wat in Cambodia...Cameron Highlands in Malaysia...Southern Thailand beaches...Bohol Island in Philippines...really there is so much to see here. I still want to visit Myanmar, one of the few places still on my list.
First of all - thank you all for the great and very much helpful tips!
I'm still doing some research (muchhh more to go) in my free time but still a bit undecisive... For now the plan is to go to Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam-Phillippines-Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand (and maybe Myanmar in between) - all in due of 6 months, with Thailand and Phillippines being the countries that I stay in the longest (all depending on how long the visas are valid for as i still haven't done that bit of research.
I'm really thinking of extending it for a year instead though. Now ill have to look for places that i would like to visit in the mentioned countries, so thanks for all the suggested places too!... I'm a very unorganized and undecisive person so ill probably just end up "going with the flow" and if i like one country stay there longer than "planned" and if not, just move on to the next or previous.
I would have to return home after 6 months for 1 month due to a family compromise, which is when i was originally going to end the trip.... but now i think that for the 1st 6 months ill go to the mentioned countries and for the 2nd 6 months maybe choose my 2 favourite destinations to go do and stay 3 months in each.
For now I'm planning this as if i were going alone as people easily say "yeah i wanna go too" but its a different story at the time of truth, but tbh i think i would prefer just going alone and doing whatever I wanna do during MY experience.
I'll look into all the places that you guys have mentioned too. If you can think of any other places preferably within the countires mentioned above, please do let me know.
If anyone else has any tips/advise, I would very much appreciate it.