I have done two SE Asia trips so far and have visited these cities:
SE trip #1) Bali, Indonesia -> Bangkok, Thailand -> Phuket & Phiphi, Thailand -> HongKong -> Macau
SE trip #2) Singapore -> Hanoi, Vietnam -> Halong Bay, Vietnam
Based on my SE Asia trip planning, here are a few tips:
1. Decide which cities/countries you want to visit.
This is the first thing you should do for any trip planning, because everything else for your trip planning will be based around where you are going. Other things you should consider when you are choosing which cities/countries to visit are the Visa requirements, a lot of SE Asia countries require a visa and depending on the type of visa they require for your nationality, you might need to factor in the time it takes to get a visa approval before your trip. But this all depends on the country you are visiting and what your nationality is. For first SE trip, my friend and I didn’t have time to look into all the visa requirements, so we decided to avoid countries that require a visa before hand. For Indonesia, you need a visa, but you can get a visa on arrival (meaning you just pay when you get to the airport in Indonesia and they give you the visa right away – so there is no preparation you need to do in terms of the visa other than having the cash ready).
2. Apply for visas and look into immunizations/vaccinations
If the countries you are planning to visit require visas, make sure you apply for the visa in advance and have all the documents before you leave your home country.
Also, for some countries in SE Asia, it maybe a good idea to get immunizations/vaccinations at a local travel health clinic. For details of the travel health advisories for each country, please click here (for Canadians).
3. Book your transportation
Similar to Europe, there are a lot of low cost airlines that fly within SE Asia.
One of the good low cost airlines is Air Asia. When you search for flights in search engines such as kayak.com, it won’t show results including Air Asia, so you have to visit their website directly to search for flights. Click here to go to the Air Asia website directly.
If you have more time, then you can use other methods of transportation such as buses and trains.
But for me, I found that flying was the best since it saves travel time (therefore, more time to spend in the new city) and the low cost airlines had good deals on flights.
4. Book your accommodation
Once you have figured out your transportation, the next step is to book your accommodation. It’s best to book 3-4 months in advance, especially if you are looking to go in the peak season.
For hotels in Asia, I like using www.agoda.com, as this website has a good list of hotels and sometimes offers prices lower than other travel websites or the hotel website. Another good thing about Agoda is that every time you book with them, you accumulate Agoda points, which translate into dollar credits to use towards your next booking with Agoda.
5. Plan the details of your SE Asia trip
Once you have all the logistics figured out, it’s time to plan the details for your trip!
You can visit various SE Asia posts in my blog during your trip planning process ;)
6. Enjoy your trip!