Miscellaneous, Places Travelled
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How To Do Southeast Asia In 1 Month

If Southeast Asia is world’s top backpacking location then there’s a reason for it. It is perfect for millennials, who neither have money, nor time. The kind of people falling in my category. Here, the visas are cheaper, or not required at all, travelling through one country and another is possible by land, and flights cost as low as flying in your own country!

And if you just happen to be someone who needs visas for Southeast Asia, please note that right now is even better to do so, because to increase the tourist inflow, Malaysia and Thailand have just cut slashed their visa costs, and they’re particularly focusing on the Indian market. [I’ve just grabbed my 15-day Malayasian Visa for less than INR 1,500. Read: Malaysia eNTRI visa]

For Southeast Asia,  all you need is a bit of planning, a little bit of time and you can do (almost) the entire continent in a bargain.

If I had one month, and wanted to cover as many countries as possible, in a budget, this is what I’d tell myself…

Don’t Touch Philippines or Indonesia

You fly to Philippines, you fly back. You fly to Indonesia, you fly back again. So why even do that and bleed unnecessary money, unless you really want to do the two countries. Rather, cover a few others in the mainland Southeast Asia.

The Mainland Southeast Asia

Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore (if you’ll call it a country, I don’t!) make the mainland Southeast Asia and offer you a lot of freedom while travelling between them. You can travel by land inside them, without having a need to fly. Moreover, the visas to all of them can be obtained electronically or on arrival. The only problem, however, can be long distances and a limited time (you need more than 1 month for them). So, rather focus on 4 countries, namely, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, the distances between them aren’t brutal

4 Countries | 7 Highlights | No Flying

Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok offer the city highlights in Southeast Asia. Both capital cities are safer to travel, cheaper to eat, and entertaining to spend some time. I totally loved Thailand for its ease of travelling. You name a thing and Thailand will provide that. Malaysia, on the other hand, is a little sophisticated and offers a better place for grown-ups. If you want something more wild and raw, you have Cambodian and Vietnamese capitals. Siem Reap is all about history and people. And Phuket, a party city. The seven cities, altogether, moreover offer centuries old history and a rich cultural experience. You stay in Phnom Penh a few days, and you understand the country from inside out. Same thing applies to the rest too, making each one of them a must-see and a know-it-all city.

Use Kuala Lumpur And Ho Chi Manh As Your Entry/Exit Port

Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Manh have always been one of the two major highlights in Southeast Asia keeping their airports among the busiest airports on the continent (alright Bangkok has busier airports, and two of them, but its location doesn’t suit us). And because Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Manh are busy, flying to and from them is always a comparatively cheaper and better deal. From India, and in India, from Chennai or Kolkata, you can fly to either of the two in under 7,000 INR, with Ho Chi Manh being a comparatively expensive deal, but still a bargain!

If You Had A Little more time

Traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, overland, is a highlighted and an awesome route, with tons of incredible places to see along the way. So if you’ve at least 20 more days to spare. I’d suggest Travel from Malaysia to Thailand exploring a few places in between. The route offers you a chance to see the best of hippie beach culture and some gorgeous islands — a kind of journey to cherish. As per my proposed route, and from what other people recommend, this may just be your ideal route map starting from Kuala Lumpur… Cameron Highlands, Langkawi, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan, Bangkok.

Also Read About: Thailand Visa On Arrival | Cambodia Visa On Arrival

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Filed under: Miscellaneous, Places Travelled

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Shortly after my first real nine-to-five job, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in my backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to stay in one place. I believe that with a little courage and inspiration, everyone has the power to follow their dreams. Just as I've followed mine!

5 Comments

  1. Hi Dev, thanks for sharing such an informative post. Never thought travelling to South east Asia from India is this easy. I am a budget traveller, so what would be the best time to visit this region in a much lesser expense. There would be definitely a tourist season and we can save some extra money if we avoid peak time.

    • Hi Jithin, consider any time of the year (except for winter) not the best time for a budget traveller because right now (as I am in Malaysia) I can assure it’s too hot to walk the cities. And being a budget traveller you’ve to do that a lot. But winter can raise the travel cost because accommodation becomes slightly expensive. So, visit during winter, pay a little extra, but have a good time. Or visit now, suffer a bit, but save a couple of grand.

  2. ahh man, you missed some nice places in Vietnam like Hanoi, Cat Ba, Cao Bang & Hoi An. Vietnam is really more satisfying for a traveler than Cambodia.

    • Hey Atria, it’s definitely on my list. Next year perhaps. Have so many friends to see in Philippines.

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