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Tight-Lines

South East Asia Travel

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I am planning a trip to South Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and ending in Singapore for April of next year and would like anyones opinion on a few basic things.

-General Budget (I'm comfortable at around 35-45 dollars a day)

-Housing (Thinking mostly Hostels in big cities, huts on islands)

-Modes of transportation (Plane/Bus/Train)

-Cool fuckin' places to go (anywhere)

If you have anything to add please feel free. I'm making the trip with the lady for my quarter life crisis... so I want to exprience as much weird shit as possible. No Thai ladyboys though.

Thanks

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I haven't been to any of these places myself, but I would love to go. The Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia looks amazing. In general, I think there are many fantastic Buddhist temples in these countries that are worth visiting.

When it comes to transport, I think railway services are limited in some parts, so you might have to go by bus. River boats on the Mekong river also looks like an option, though one should be careful with over-crowded boats.

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-General Budget (I'm comfortable at around 35-45 dollars a day)

-Housing (Thinking mostly Hostels in big cities, huts on islands)

-Modes of transportation (Plane/Bus/Train)

-Cool fuckin' places to go (anywhere)

There's an old thread from when I went to Cambodia for 8 days, a few people chimed in with bits and pieces of advice: http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/random-crap/2965-anyone-been-cambodia.html

35-45 dollars a day is going to be loads for Cambodia based on what you're suggesting you're after. On that budget you won't be able to stay in Raffles or eat in the expensive western-style restaurants that the expats and khmer elite frequent, but everywhere else should be good. I'm getting hazy on prices, but I think you could get a can of beer for 1-2 dollars most places, although, again, if you walk into an air-conditioned western-style bar you might pay twice that. I'm pretty sure a khmer style curry with meat, in a middle of the road restaurant, was about 4-5 dollars. If you ate at a real neighbourhood-style place with wooden planks for tables and empty gas cannisters for seats it would be even cheaper.

Travel-wise the best way to get around is probably on a tuk-tuk, most trips were a handful of dollars, and you can haggle with the drivers. You could rent your own bike, but unless you're a really good (or perhaps resilient is a better word) driver I'd suggest it's quite dangerous given the way they drive.

If you're going to Siam Reap and then Phnom Pehn (or vice versa) then there's not really a 'good' way to make the trip. We thought about the river boat, but from what I gather it's ferociously boring, with not a lot to see. Going on the road is a bit like a cross-country drive, there are pot-holes that you could swim in when it rains. Oncoming traffic also likes to play chicken with you, so the first hour or so is quite white-knuckle until you make your peace with possible death. The up-side is that you see a bit more of the countryside and there are some pretty cool roadside restaurants to stop at.

If you change your dollars for local currency you'll pay slightly less for things, provided you see what the local price is, but the locals are so poor that there came a point where I didn't want to be screwing them out of a marginal profit on me. Saving 1-2 dollars might not mean much to me but it made a big difference to them.

Things I would recommend:-

-Angor Wat and the whole temple circuit outside Siam Reap - just amazing, allow a day for Angor Wat and find someone who can show you 1-2 of the temples that the jungle has reclaimed.

-S21 and the killing fields

-The royal palace in Phnom Pehn

Bring lots of the strongest mosquito-repellent you can get your hands on. My foolproof method of avoiding food-poisoning while I was there was to drink only cooked food and drink only beer or bottled water. No ice, salads, fruit that I didn't peel myself etc.

Enjoy...

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If you go through Bangkok, never use a tuk tuk, use a normal cab and insist that they use the meter. If they refuse, just take another one, every third car in Bangkok is a cab.

Where are you going in Thailand and what do you want to experience?

Oh, the ladyboys are everywhere on Thailand, but if you keep away from certain areas, they wont bother you at all, and as a first timer you wont even know its a ladyboy half the time.

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As a first timer you wont even know its a ladyboy half the time.

Ha, classic.

One of my co-workers got his first tattoo from a monk in Thailand for a pack of smokes and a case of beer.

(darn it! We're not supposed to discuss prices here!)

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@RoyQ Thanks for the write up on Cambodia! That was perfect. All the places you recommend going are on my list currently! I'm pretty scared of diving, so I wont want to do any of that business. The Temples are my primary reason for going to Cambodia since I hear that there is nothing else quite like that in the world.

@Slester Thailand is going to be mostly a relaxing stop during the trip. I dont want to stay in a big city like Bankok for any longer than I have to. The Islands are what I am looking into now as my main get away for that area.

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I have been to Thailand a few times just island hoping. I wen to Ko Phi Phi (both Don and Le), Ko Chang, Phuket, Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, Ko Tao, Ko Lanta, and to Gillhams fishing resort. If you have any questions about any of these just PM me and I can let you in on my experience or maybe help you decide on which place would be right for your trip.

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