24 days for 4 SEA countries

Winter holidays can’t come soon enough. Looking forward to 24 days of travel in mild South East Asia!

The first time

When I was younger, I actually went to parts of South East Asia with my mom. Since at that time my mom wasn’t yet the seasoned traveler that she is now, she booked a 2 week, 3-country South Asia trip through a Chinese agency. I think I must have been 15 or 16 at that time when we went on that whirlwind tour of Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Since it was one of those typical Chinese tours, we really never stayed anywhere for long as we were shuttled from one country to the next.

So I did manage to find some pictures that I took in 2004…but man they were horrible…

Lady boy show back then in 2004! (Look at my bad camera skills)

This time around

Going back was also one of those things I always wanted to do. My husband was indifferent about it therefore it was always something on the backburner for us as we traveled around the rest of the world. When I came back from India we started talking about Christmas break and where we should go. The choices were between Australia, Japan/Taiwan, and South East Asia. Then I heard the magical words – “Yeah, let’s do South East Asia”. And since then, vacation planning Shot mode has been activated and I’ve been pouring over which cities we could do with such limited time and where we would stay so that we can see everything we want to.

Royal guards at the Royal Palace in Bangkok (another blurry shot)

South East Asia – you really can do everything and to really see everything properly, you will need way more than 24 days. On the different travel forums, people usually tell others to focus on one country for 3 weeks (max 2)…but I can’t. When I travel, I want to see everything, do everything, eat everything all within the shortest time frame. Also, for me, I know my stamina and how much I can accomplish within a day. My itinerary manages to pack the highlights of the different countries while balancing between city, beach and cultural travel.

The itinerary

  • Day 1: Frankfurt to Dubai
  • Day 2: Dubai to Hanoi, arrive around noon
  • Day 3: Hanoi
  • Day 4: Hanoi to Bai Tu Long Bay for a 2D1N cruise
  • Day 5: Back to Hanoi from Bai Tu Long
  • Day 6: Hanoi, then evening plane to Hoi An
  • Day 7: Hoi An
  • Day 8: Hoi An
  • Day 9: Morning plane from Hoi An to Saigon
  • Day 10: Saigon
  • Day 11: Saigon
  • Day 12: Morning plane from Saigon to Siem Reap
  • Day 13: Siem Reap
  • Day 14: Evening plane from Siem Reap to Bangkok
  • Day 15: Bangkok
  • Day 16: Bangkok
  • Day 17: Bangkok
  • Day 18: Bangkok
  • Day 19: Noon flight from Bangkok to Penang
  • Day 20: Penang
  • Day 21: Evening flight from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
  • Day 22: Kuala Lumpur
  • Day 23: Kuala Lumpur
  • Day 24: Evening flight from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai
  • Day 25: Arrive early morning in Frankfurt, straight back to work

So all the flights have been booked, but I’m thinking that maybe we’ll stay in Penang for an extra day. Funny thing is Penang was actually not on the original itinerary. Originally, I was conflicted between going to Krabi or Phuket. But when my gluttonous ass learned about Penang, I knew that that was the destination that I needed to go to! After all, it’s known as the the street food capital of South East Asia. YES! I must go there and try the foods there instead of lying on a beach.

Time to go recapture pictures! (hopefully not blurry ones this time around)

Next Steps

Visas still need to be applied for. It feels like there’s still a lot that we need to do before the trip though. Let me get my checklist in place and then start checking things off that list. Let the countdown start!

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