Southeast Asia round trip: tips, ideas, routes


The countries of Southeast Asia can be perfectly combined. Below I have put together tips, ideas and routes for a trip of several weeks. You can organize your own tour or book it with a tour operator.

Southeast Asia is the destination of countless travel fans. Once on Krabi's beaches , explore the underwater world of Indonesia or walk through the fabled Angkor temple - many dream about it.

Southeast Asia round trip: planning, tips and ideas

Most tourists prefer to go to Thailand first, before focusing on neighboring countries after a few repetitions. Because these are as appealing as a view of the most beautiful beaches of Southeast Asia proves.

No longer just backpackers set themselves the goal of immediately experiencing several countries as part of a journey. So here are a few tips for planning your Southeast Asia tour .

Before you begin with the specific organization, you should start by clarifying how long you can travel, what travel period you are eligible for, and how much budget you have.

Then you can create a list of places that interest you. Suggestions can be found, for example, on Asian blogs or in travel guides. There are a few books that do not focus on a single country, such as Southeast Asia. The island world « or » Southeast Asia. The Mekong Region « .

In my article, "Everything You Need to Travel," I'll mention other useful tools to help you work out possible routes.

When planning, consider which travel time in which country is most suitable for you. Although you can travel to most countries year-round, there are many things you should know about the weather, the climate, and the pros and cons of high season and low season.

Depending on the region, the rainy season is different. Some areas can still be well traveled, if a short shower does not bother you in the afternoon. For other areas, such as the Philippines during the typhoon season, plan the best two-track alternative option.

Inform yourself before you book, for example, about the best time to go to Thailand , the weather in Malaysia or the climate of Indonesia .

There are some sites that have completely specialized in the optimal travel time of each country. Keep in mind, however: Even in Southeast Asia, the weather no longer adheres to old traditions.

Incidentally, I've been to Thailand Co. several times during the rainy season. I've always liked it because it's still warm in many places, and the showers are often short-lived. But lure the hotels in the off season with cheap prices and popular tourist destinations are not so crowded.

Very different are the entry requirements. Depending on which country you want, you need to get a visa in advance. The good: In many states, you have the opportunity to enter spontaneously. You will receive a temporary residence permit together with the stamp in the passport.

Here you will find an overview with all visa and entry requirements for Southeast Asia . But beware: The requirements for, for example, the Thailand visa , the Vietnam visa or the Indonesia visa have been frequently updated in recent years. It can not hurt to check the homepage of the embassy again as the journey approaches.

Almost all Southeast Asian capitals have direct flights, but these are usually slightly more expensive than, for example, the stop-over connections offered by Arab or Chinese airlines.

Often Southeast Asia travelers fly to Bangkok first, even if their actual destination is not Thailand. There are countless scheduled flights from Europe, so the chance for a cheap flight is greatest here.

From the two capital airports Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Mueang (DMK) you have a huge supply of connections to the neighboring countries. It usually continues with the regional low-cost airlines.

Other hubs are Changi Airport in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Of course, the choice of the destination depends primarily on the country in which you want to start your round trip.

You do not have to go back to the starting point at the end of the journey. For example, you can fly on the way to Bangkok with a fork-lift flight and later return to Singapore.

Southeast Asia: locomotion on the ground

Southeast Asia has an excellent network of flights. A whole range of cheap airlines competes for the favor of travelers. Domestic flights are with luck already from 30, - Euro, but also the connections to neighboring countries are usually not expensive. Flight search engines help you plan the trip, as long as you know which airport is near your destination.

You can move very cheaply if you do not fly. Whether minibus or modern biplane: you have countless lines available. There are special offers along the tourist destinations.

The train network in the individual countries is usually very manageable, but in countries like Vietnam or Thailand a good option.

Ferries run regularly to all touristically developed islands.

Tickets are available on the following platforms:

If you do not want to organize all stages yourself, you have the possibility to participate in organized tours. You do not necessarily have to plan the entire trip with an organizer.

But you can, for example, book certain stages as travel building blocks. Suggestions can be found here:

Although guided tours are a bit more expensive than organizing the trip on your own, you leave the planning to experts who are knowledgeable locally and you do not have to worry about anything.

In addition, you can see so much in a short time, because the processes on site have been perfected over the years.

If you are interested in a guided tour but the prices are too high, you may be able to book a Southeast Asia group tour .

Southeast Asia Round Trip: Route

Many travelers make the mistake of over-spending their planning. It is not advisable to rush through four to five countries in three weeks or to see all of Southeast Asia in two months. Of course, in some places an overnight stay is enough, before it goes on again. On average, you should plan at least two to three nights per destination. And for a complete country - excluding the small states such as Brunei or Singapore - I would calculate three to four weeks. And then we are still talking only about the absolute highlights.

Therefore, include time buffers on your route. It would be a shame, if you discover a dreamlike place, but have to travel fast, because the next destination is already waiting.

For decades, backpackers have been connecting travel destinations in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Thanks to the many bus connections, this can easily be done by land.

Since the onset of political reform in Myanmar, Thailand's neighboring country is increasingly being put on the itinerary. However, as only a few border crossings are open to Europeans, entry usually takes place by plane.

Another popular route leads from Thailand via Malaysia to Singapore. If you fly to East Malaysia, you can get to know a completely different world in the sultanate of Brunei and its capital, Bandar Seri Begawan .

Indonesia and the Philippines are island states, which almost always require a longer journey by plane.

If you have only 14 days left, you should plan your route particularly well, to spend as much time as possible in beautiful places and as little time as possible in any means of transport.

Popular with those who only have two weeks to spare, the combination is Thailand + Angkor (Cambodia) or Vietnam + Angkor. Both can be combined well with each other.

Also Laos + Thailand, Laos + Vietnam and Laos + Cambodia offer themselves as Kopmbination for a round trip.

Another possible round trip is from Bangkok via Malaysia to Singapore. That too can be done well in two weeks.

If you want to see a lot in a short time and do not have to pay attention to every cent of the travel budget, you can book a guided Southeast Asia tour . This is organized by experts and includes all transfers and on request also (German) guides.

Actually, the time is too short for a real round trip. However, it is possible to combine at least individual countries. Here are two examples from countless options:
Route A: Thailand Cambodia

Route B: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore

There are even more options if you are traveling for four weeks. Here are two suggestions.

Route A: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

Route B: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia

In two to three months you have the opportunity to gather a lot of impressions. A good option is the route over northern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Pai, Chiang Rai) to Laos (Luang Prabang, Muang Ngoi Neua , level of clay jugs) and then to the north of Vietnam (for example, Sapa , Hanoi and Halong Bay ).

Then you can travel comfortably from Hanoi along the coast to the south of the country to Saigon (stopovers: Hue , Hoi An , Mui Né ). From there we continue to the Mekong Delta to the floating markets and to Phu Quoc . Then you leave Vietnam and have time to visit Cambodia (eg Phnom Penh, Angkor, Battambang , Sihanoukville or Koh Rong ) before returning to Thailand.

Of course, as part of your tour you can also focus on the beaches in the south of Thailand (eg Phuket , Krabi , Koh Lanta ), then travel through Malaysia ( Penang , Cameron Highlands) and later fly from Kuala Lumpur to Vietnam or Cambodia.

Also, a trip from Bangkok to Myanmar is recommended. In two weeks, you have the chance to visit there, for example, Yangon , Bagan , Mandalay and Inle Lake .

Southeast Asia Round Trip: Tips

Finally, a few more useful tips to help you plan your trip.

  1. Take care early on what vaccinations are recommended for your travel destinations. The best thing to do is to consult with a doctor with a degree in tropical medicine three months before the start of your journey.
  2. In addition, it is recommended to take a few medications for an emergency. Here you will find tips on the first aid kit for Southeast Asia .
  3. Do not take too many things with you! Especially if you travel often, it will be annoying if your suitcase or backpack are too heavy. I have created a packing list for Southeast Asia that takes into account all contingencies. Just put away the things you do not need there.
  4. Buy a SIM card on site. In most Southeast Asian countries, you can easily buy a prepaid SIM card. This gives you the opportunity to make cheap calls and - probably more importantly - to use the internet for less.
  5. Apply for an international driver's license if you want to travel by car (this is not possible in all countries). You will receive this for 15, - Euro at the Road Traffic Office. He is valid for three years.
  6. Save money with the right credit card. In some countries, banks charge high fees for cash withdrawals that are only reimbursed by a few domestic credit institutions. Which ones are, I tell in my text to the best credit card for Thailand and Southeast Asia .
  7. I have put together many dream destinations in the region in my Guide Backpacking in Southeast Asia .

Better informed, experience more!

Whether classic or insider tip: find the most beautiful destinations and routes .
Keep up to date on how you can save money on the go and get useful tips and information for your trip .
Be inspired and collect new ideas . Get now with one click the best Southeast Asia news regularly in your mailbox!

Here you will find information on data protection, analysis, revocation.

Better informed, experience more!

Whether classic or insider tip: find the most beautiful destinations and routes .
Keep up to date on how you can save money on the go and get useful tips and information for your trip .
Be inspired and collect new ideas . Get now with one click the best Southeast Asia news regularly in your mailbox!

Here you will find information on data protection, analysis, revocation.