Southeast Asia. The land of majestic views, awesome beaches and unimaginable adventures. You’ve decided on a trip to Southeast Asia and now you’re wondering where and when to start. Don’t worry: we have picked our favourite places and created three awesome Southeast Asia travel routes for you to pick from.

Whether you’re a beach lover, a culture addict, an adventurer or someone who’s just keen to see a little bit of everything, here are three one-month Southeast Asia travelling routes to help you rock your trip.

By Sophie Ritchie

Travelling Southeast Asia Route 1: The Beach Lovers’ Dream

Southeast Asia has more beaches than you could ever visit, even if you were travelling for a year and not a month. It’s a beach bum’s paradise. But which beaches do you choose? Here’s a one-month Southeast Asia travel itinerary with the best beaches on the sub-continent. As they say, life’s a beach.

Day 1-3: Ho Coc Beach, Vietnam

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(DiepAnh Vu (DemiCat) on Flickr)

How to get to Ho Coc from Ho Chi Minh City?

Fly into Ho Chi Minh City, and make your way to Ho Coc Beach Resort. The cheapest way of doing this is to hire a car, which will take around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Why go to Ho Coc?

Ho Coc Beach is a beautiful beach on the southern coast of Vietnam, with golden sands and crystal clear blue waters. Try to visit in the middle of the week when it’s much quieter and you will have the beach to yourself.

Suggested Stay:  Sanctuary Hoh Tram Resort Community

Check accommodation prices in Ho Coc Beach.

Day 4-6: Phú Quốc

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How to get to Phú Quốc from Ho Coc

It’s an early start today to and drive your car back up to Ho Chi Minh City. You then need to take  a bus or taxi to Ho Chi Minh Mien Tay, and then jump on the Kumho Samco Bus to Rach Gia. Once there, take the ferry to Phú Quốc and head onwards to your hotel. This route will take you a little over 9 hours, if you time things right. 

Why go to Phú Quốc?

You should go to Phú Quốc as the island has some of the best beaches that Vietnam has to offer, including its most popular beaches, Long Beach and Star Beach. Sink down into the golden sand and admire the swaying coconut palms (maybe accompanied by the delectable martinis from the beach bar). Make sure that you stay on the beach for sunset at least one day- Phú Quốc is famous for the dazzling light show it puts on every evening.

Suggested Stay: The Shells Resort & Spa

Check accommodation prices in Phú Quốc.

Day 7-10: Koh Rong Samolem and Pineapple Island, Cambodia

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(Nguyễn Võ Lâm on Flickr)

How to get from Phú Quốc to Ko Rong Samolem

Catch the ferry from Phú Quốc to Hà Tiên, and then take a taxi to the Kampot. From Kampot, take a bus to Sihanoukville, and then a ferry to Koh Rong Samolem. This route should take about 9 and a half hours.

Why go to Ko Rong Samolem?

Koh Rong Samolem, only 9km long and 4km wide, is one of the main beach destinations  in Cambodia. There are great places to snorkel, kayak, mountain bike and even jungle-trek all over the island.  Not to mention sun-bathing on the island’s beautiful beaches. They also hold Full Moon parties at Good Vibz Camp on the island during the high season.

Suggested Stay: Sok San Beach Resort

Check accommodation prices in Koh Rong Samolem.

Day 11-14: Ko Samui and Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand

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(Dr Papillon and Hoedic on Flickr)

How to get from Ko Rong Samolem to Koh Samui

First things first, get up early – you’ve got a long day of travelling to do! Although the distances when you are travelling Southeast Asia are relatively small, this is one that involves a lot of connections.

Catch the ferry back to Sihanoukville and get a taxi to the airport, and then get a flight from Sihanoukville Airport to Bangkok Airport. From there, then take a flight to Koh Samui Airport, and then a taxi to your hotel. This could take up to 12 hours, after waiting for your connecting flight.

Why go to Koh Samui?

It’s been a long day of travelling, we’ll give you that. But Koh Samui is more than ready to reward you for your efforts with some spectacular beaches.

Our favourites are Choeng Mon, Taling Ngam (which is the best for the sunset), and Bang Po. The latter has a reputation for being the most laid-back beach in Northern Samui – and we can’t disagree.

By now, after spending pretty much two weeks travelling Southeast Asia on a quest for the best beaches, you should be pretty relaxed. While there’s plenty of scope for more of the same in Koh Samui, take one of your three days to catch the 20 minute ferry ride to Koh Pha Ngan. Pha Ngan doesn’t really need an introduction: the beautiful island is renowned for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and of course its huge full-moon party.

If you have more time, take a detour to Ko Tao, the diver’s mecca and one of the cheapest places to get your PADI qualification in the world.

Suggested Stay: Moon Cottage, Choeng Mon Beach

Check accommodation prices for Koh Samui.

Day 15-16: Railay Beach, Thailand

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(Wikimedia)

How to get from Koh Samui to Railay

From Koh Samui, take a ferry to Don Sak Pier. Grab a taxi to the Lomprayah Donsak Pier, and then get a bus to Krabi. Walk 9 minutes to the Krabi Town Pier, and then get a ferry to Railay Beach. This journey should take about 6 and a half hours. Once there, if you’re not too tired, head straight to the beach!

Why go to Railay?

Though it’s increasingly on the tourist radar, Railay has lost none of the chilled out vibe and friendly atmosphere that attracted travellers in the first place. This paradise is surrounded by warm blue sea, golden sand and lush jungle – not to mention all of the karst rocks rising from the sea and in the surrounding areas. The area is a rock-climber’s dream and a great place to test your vertical skills if you can peel yourself off of your beach towel.

Suggested Stay: Sand Sea Resort

Check accommodation prices for Railay Beach.

Day 17-19: Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

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(Wikimedia)

How to get from Railay to Koh Phi Phi?

Take the ferry from Ao Nang Pier to Phi Phi Island, which takes about an hour and a half.

Why go to Koh Phi Phi?

You didn’t really think we could make an itinerary for you beach lovers without including THE Beach did you?! The Phi Phi island group is made up of 6 islands, but the two main ones are Phi Phi Don and the uninhabited Phi Phi Leh. Not heard of Phi Phi Leh? How about Maya Bay, where Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Beach’ was filmed? Thought so.

These picture-perfect islands, with their tropical beaches, amazing rock formations and colourful marine life are pretty close to paradise on earth. Just don’t blame us if you don’t want to leave.

Suggested Stay: P.P. Blue Sky Resort

Check accommodation prices for Phi Phi Island.

Day 20-21: Ko Lanta, Thailand

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(Wikimedia)

How to get from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lanta

Take the ferry from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lanta, and then take a taxi to your hotel. This journey should take around 2 and a half hours. Now it’s time for you to explore…

Why go to Koh Lanta?

There are plenty of beaches on Koh Lanta (which is actually several islands), but we recommend checking out Long Beach and Klong Dao Beach, on the north of Ko Lanta Yai.  Both have huge stretches of beautiful white sand with clear water, which make them perfect for swimming. Koh lanta’s got a really cool vibe overall, just one of the reasons we’ve named it one of the top places to go in Thailand.

Long Beach has got something of a reputation as the island’s trendiest beach: head there for a (slightly) more upmarket vibe and lots of people spotting.  

Suggested Stay: Lanta Pearl Beach Resort

Check accommodation prices for Ko Lanta.

Day 22-23: Ko Lipe, Thailand

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(Wikimedia)

How to get from Ko Lanta to Koh Lipe?

Take a taxi to the Ko Lanta Port, and then jump on a ferry to Koh Lipe, which should roughly take around 3 and a half hours.

Why go to Koh Lipe?

Koh Lipe is what everyone thinks of when they think of travelling Southeast Asia.

The island has 3 beaches: Sunrise Beach (our personal favourite with great views of the sunrise of course). There’s also Sunset Beach, a quieter beach with views of the sunset, and Pattaya Beach, the liveliest beach on the island, with great bars, restaurants and nightlife to entertain you.

We recommend staying at Sunrise Beach, because it has got all the best bits of Pattaya without the crowds! And a tip – if you go to the top of Sunrise Beach, you can see the sunrise and also the sunset from the same spot – it’s out of this world.

Suggested Stay: Salisa Resort

Check accommodation prices for Ko Lipe.


Looking for more inspiration for a beach holiday? Our beach destination guides and tips are filled with ideas galore.


Day 24-26: Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

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(Wikimedia)

How to get from Koh Lipe to the Perhentian Islands

You’ll spend most of the day travelling but it will be worth it. First take a ferry to the Pakbara Pier from Ko Lipe, and then take a taxi to Padang Besar. From there, get the train down to Sungai Kolok. Take a taxi or rent a car to Kota Bharu, and then take a bus to Kuala Besut. From there get the ferry to the Perhentian Islands. Although this route is long, taking about 12 hours, it is by far the cheapest.

Why go to the Perhentian Islands?

Simply to get away from it all. There are 2 main Perhentian Islands, Kecil, which is popular among the backpacking crowd, and Besar, which is more relaxed, full of blindingly white sand and crystal clear water.

While not as party-orientated as their Thai neighbours, you can usually find a beach party on the Perhentian Islands, and there’s always a bonfire. They’re like the Thai islands 20 years ago – all beauty and chill.

Suggested Stay: Perhentian Island Resort

Check accommodation prices for the Perhentian Islands.

Day 27-29: Tioman Island, Malaysia

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(Tom Coelho on Flickr)

How to get from the Perhentian Islands to Tioman Island

From the Perhentian Besar, take a ferry back to Kuala Besut. From there, take a bus to Mersing, changing at Kota Bharu, and then take a ferry from Mersing Jetty to Tioman Island. This route will take about 13 hours, so make sure you get up early.

Why go to Tioman Island?

Tioman Island is still something of a hidden gem and you should put it onto your Southeast Asia travel route before everyone else does. It’s only 20km long by 11km wide, and the surrounding emerald sea is a perfect place to swim, snorkel and even dive. And it doesn’t stop there – there are cascading waterfalls, thrilling jungle hikes and laid-back island villages to bring out your adventurous side. You’ll never want to leave… Unfortunately though, your Southeast Asia travel adventure is almost over. On Day 30, head to Singapore Changi Airport to depart for home.

Suggested Stay: Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort

Check accommodation prices for Tioman Island.


Want more Southeast Asia travel ideas? Check out our collection of Southeast Asia travel guides, articles and commentary to help you plan your trip.


Travelling Southeast Asia Route 2: A Cultural Odyssey

Southeast Asia has incredible architecture, ruins and monuments, all oozing with culture (not to mention the perfect Instagram opportunity or two). This month-long Southeast Asia travel route will take you to the best of them. You can thank us later.

Day 1-3: Hué Monuments, Vietnam

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(falco on Pixabay)

How to get to Hué from Hanoi?

Fly into Hanoi (if you have time – spend a day or two here checking out the best things to do in Hanoi, which has more than a few cultural sites of its own), and then get a 1 hour flight to Hué. Alternatively, you can take the (much slower but more panoramic) train from Hanoi to Hué. It’s one of the classic Southeast Asia travel experiences and worth it if you have the time.

Why go to Hué?

The complex of Hué Monuments are a UNESCO world heritage site, and are located in and around the city of Hué. Designated as the capital of unified Vietnam in 1802, the huge complex features a number of monuments and ruins, such as the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City, and royal tombs, pagodas and temples. Rich in architecture and with a beautiful landscape surrounding, a visit to the Hué Monuments is definitely worth a visit if you’re on the lookout for some of the best cultural sites in Southeast Asia.

Suggested Stay: Cherish Hué Hotel

Check accommodation prices for Hué.

Day 4-5: Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, Vietnam

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(Nickolay Pirogov on Flickr)

How to get from Hue to Mỹ Sơn

From Hué, take a bus to Da Nang, and then take a taxi to Mỹ Sơn. This should take about an hour and 40 minutes, but it’s best to stay in Hội An, as it is the closest big town to Mỹ Sơn.

Why go to Mỹ Sơn?

The Mỹ Sơn Hindu Sanctuary is a cluster of more than 70 partially ruined Hindu temples, devoted to Hindu Gods and Goddesses, especially the God Shiva.

The intricate temples contain grand stone sculptures and towers in lush, tropical jungle settings. We would recommend getting there in the morning, before it gets too hot and before the crowds arrive, and then returning to Hoi An in the afternoon/evening, so you can explore its Ancient Town. An increasing number of those travelling Southeast Asia visit the temples, but they’re still a relatively quiet spot.

Suggested Stay: Green Heaven Hội An Resort and Spa

Check accommodation prices for Hội An (Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary)

Day 6-7: Temple of Preach Vihear, Cambodia

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(Wikimedia)

How to get from Mỹ Sơn to Preah Vihear?

Take a taxi to Danang Airport and then take a flight to Siem Reap, which should take around 2 hours in total. In order to get to Preah Vihear, the easiest method is to rent a car, which should take about 3 hours. Preah Vihear is a temple situated on the top of a 525m cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, dedicated to the God Shiva.

Why go to Preah Vihear?

Dating back to 11BC, the site’s architecture and carved stone ornamentation is very high quality, and so well preserved for its remote location. Stay in a hotel in Preah Vihear for the night and then carry on exploring in the morning, before heading back to Siem Reap for night seven.

Suggested Stay in Preah Vihear: Preah Vihear Boutique Hotel

Check accommodation prices for Preah Vihear

Suggested Stay: Ladear Angkor Boutique

Check accommodation prices for Siem Reap.

Day 8-10: Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Having spent the night in Siem Reap, head into Angkor Wat, a 5 minute taxi ride away. We’d recommend hiring a tuk tuk or bike to get around between the temples as some of the distances between the less visited ones are quite far.

Why go to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom?

Simply because it’s one of the most fascinating architectural complexes on the planet. Angkor Wat is a complex of temples which also happens to be the largest religious monument in the world. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, this huge and incredibly detailed temple is awe-inspiring.

Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Khmer Empire, and was a city with the residences of palace officials, military and priests inside, enclosed by a 12km high wall and a moat. Some of the best attractions and most important monuments in Angkor Thom to check out are the Royal Enclosure, Baphuon, Bayon and the Terrace of Elephants. We recommend spending about 3 days in the Angkor complex to see everything in depth.

Suggested Stay: Ladear Angkor Boutique

Check accommodation prices for Siem Reap.

Day 11-13: Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

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(Wikimedia)

How to get from Siem Riep to Bangkok?

From Siem Reap, get a bus to the Bangkok Mochit Bus Terminal. This will take about 7 hours, so after arriving, head to your hotel and then explore Bangkok for the evening.

The next morning, take a short taxi ride to the Grand Palace Bangkok, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the old city.

Why go to the Grand Palace in Bangkok?

The Grand Palace is a huge complex of ornate buildings, that have been the official residence of the Kings of Thailand since it was built in 1782.

There are 35 sights to see in the Grand Palace Complex, including the Phra Maha Monthian and Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, the two oldest, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which contains a Buddha Statue over 2000 years old. The beautiful complex of buildings is a must-see on your cultural sites itinerary.

The Grand Palace also features in our pick of the best things to do in Thailand – here’s why.

Suggested Stay: Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok

Check accommodation prices for Bangkok.

Day 14-15: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

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(Wikimedia)

How to get from Bangkok to Ayutthaya?

Get the train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya Station, taking only about 1 hour, and then get a short taxi ride to Ayutthaya.

Why go to Ayutthaya?

Founded in 1350, Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom, after Sukhothai, and is an island at the meeting of the Lopburi River, the Chao Phraya River, and the Pa Sak River.

The ancient city continued to flourish until it was attacked in 1767 by the Burmese Army, and today the site boasts incredible ruins, such as the Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the largest temple in Ayutthaya, and the Phra Chedi Suriyothai, a white and gold chedi built in memory of a past queen.

Suggested Stay: iuDia Hotel

Check accommodation prices for Ayutthaya.

Day 16-18: Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand

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(qimono on Flickr)

How to get from Ayutthaya to Sukothai?

From Ayutthaya, get a 6 hour bus journey to Sukhothai, and then get a short taxi ride to the Sukhothai Historical Park.

Why go to Sukothai?

Sukhothai Historical Park contains 193 ruins of Sukhothai, the capital of the Kingdom in 13th-14th century.

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, inside the park sits the remains of the Noen Prasad (the Royal Palace), Wat Mahathat (the most impressive and important temple in the park), and our favourite, Wat Sa Si, which is beautifully situated in the middle of the Traphang-Trakuan Lake.

Suggested Stay: Sawasdee Sukhothai Resort

Check accommodation prices for Sukhothai.

Day 19-21: Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang-Prabang-Laos-a-Cheap-Luxury-Destination

How to get from Sukothai to Luang Prabang?

Get up early because you’ve got a whole day of travelling to do! Get a bus from Sukhothai to Phitsanulok, and then a bus to Loei. All in all this should take about 15 hours, so we recommend heading straight to your hotel and resting before you start exploring tomorrow.

Why go to Luang Prabang?

Luang Prabang is an ancient town in Northern Laos, which lies between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town is well known for its beautiful and ornate Buddhist temples and monasteries, including the Wat Xiang Kong Temple, and also for its natural sites, such as Mount Phou Si and the Kuang Si Falls.


Laos is also one of the cheapest countries in the world and the perfect destination to help your cash go further. Check out the full list of affordable holiday destinations for a luxury trip.


Suggested Stay: Indigo House Hotel

Check accommodation prices for Luang Prabang.

Day 22-24: Chiang Rai, Thailand

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(Jonny_Joka on Pixabay)

How to get from Luang Prabang to Chiang Rai?

From Luang Prabang, get a bus to Chiang Kong, and then another bus to Chiang Rai. This in total will take about 13 hours, so head to your hotel when you get there. The other option is to take a two day slowboat from Luang Prabang up the Mekong river to the Thai border, cross into Thailand and then get another bus to Chiang Rai from there.

Why go to Chiang Rai?

Chiang Rai is a big city in Northern Thailand, and it is home to some of the best sights in the country, such as Wat Ming Meuang, Wat Phra Singh and White Temple. But one of our favourite things was going up to the top of Buffalo Horn Hill – the views over the city were incredible.

Suggested Stay: Maryo Resort

Check accommodation prices for Chiang Rai.

Day 25-27: Chiang Mai, Thailand

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(Mariamichelle on Pixabay)

How to get from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai?

Get a bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai, which takes about 3 hours.

Why go to Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand – it’s comparable to Bangkok, but with far fewer people. There’s a vast array of things to see in the city, including Wat Phra That Doi Kham, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, and if you want a more relaxed day, it’s also the kind of place where you can just leisurely walk and take in the Thai atmosphere, sampling some of the local cuisine. And if nature is more your thing, take a short scooter or Tuk Tuk ride out of the town into the rain-forested countryside, which is interspersed with beautiful waterfalls.

Suggested Stay: Anantara Chiang Mai

Check accommodation prices for Chiang Mai.

Day 28-30: Bagan, Myanmar

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(vinatourist83 on Flickr)

How to get from Chiang Mai to Bagan?

Fly from Chiang Mai to Yangon, the Myanmar capital where you will connect onto another flight to Nyaung-U and get a taxi from there to Bagan.

Why go to Bagan?

Bagan is an ancient city in Myanmar, known as the temple town, and home to 2,229 temples and pagodas. Bagan is guaranteed to be one of the highlights on your cultural Southeast Asia travel route.

We recommend seeing the Ananda Temple and the Shwesandaw Temple, also known as the ‘sunset temple’ – head here in the evening to see the fantastic Bagan sunset.

On your last day, head to Mandalay Airport to get a connecting flight home.

Suggested Stay: Royal Bagan Hotel

Check accommodation prices for Bagan.


Travelling Southeast Asia Route 3: Adrenaline + Adventure

Adventure opportunities abound when you travel Southeast Asia, so if you’re an adrenaline-seeker, this is the place to go. Whether you’re into diving, hiking or climbing, this continent’s got it all. This is your Southeast Asia travel route for ultimate thrills.

Day 1-2: Sandboarding at Mũi Né, Vietnam

mui ne

(Josefine Olson on Flickr)

How to get to Mũi Né

Fly into Ho Chi Minh City, and then from there take a bus to Phan Thiet, and then a bus from there to Mũi Né. This all in all should take around 4 hours. On your first day, we’d suggest heading to your hotel for an early night before your month of adventure begins. Of course, it’s completely up to you whether you take that advice or not and you could start your Southeast Asia travel itinerary with a bang.

Why go to Mũi Né?

Mũi Né is a beach resort town in Southern Vietnam, famous for its Saharan-like white and red sand dunes, which are perfect for sandboarding down. And if you want something even more upbeat, try the quad bikes or the dune buggies.

Suggested Stay: The Cliff Resort and Residences

Check accommodation prices for Mũi Né.

Day 3-5: Spelunking (Caving) at Hang Sơn Đoòng, Vietnam

Zip Line - Flight of the Gibbons

(deportes alvares on Flickr)

How to get from Mũi Né to Hang Sơn Đoòng

Get up early, as you have a long travel day ahead. From Mũi Né, take a bus back to Phan Thiet, and then take another bus to Nha Trang Dien Thuan. Take one more bus from there to Dong Hoi Quang Binh, and then take a taxi to your hotel.

Why Visit Hang Sơn Đoòng?

Located in the middle of the Vietnamese jungle in the Quang Binh Province, Hang Sơn Đoòng is the world’s largest cave – it’s 3 sizes of Wembley Stadium! And inside there is even a fast-flowing subterranean river. One of nature’s most incredible natural marvels, you can’t miss this on your Southeast Asia travel route.

Suggested Stay: Riverside Hotel – Quang Binh

Check accommodation prices for Dong Hoi Quang Binh.

Day 6-8: Rock Climbing in Vang Vieng, Laos

Rock climbing in Vang Vieng Laos

(Julianna Barnaby)

How to get from Hang Soon Dong to Vang Vieng

Get the bus to Dong Hoi airport, fly to Luang Prabang and then get the bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng.

Why go to Vang Vieng?

Vang Vieng is a tourist-oriented town in Laos. Originally, it’s known for its bars, partying and tubing, it’s a cool destination in itself. Rock-climbing is Vang Vieng’s hidden gem. The small town is surrounded by beautiful cliffs overlooking idyllic greenery and rice paddies. So clip on your gear and hold on to your ropes – there are cliffs for you to climb!

Check out our guide to rock climbing in Vang Vieng.

Suggested stay: Silver Naga Hotel

Check out accommodation prices for Vang Vieng.

Day 9-11: Hiking from Luang Prabang to Ban Hadkhor, Laos

How to get to Luang Prabang from Vang Vieng?

Catch a direct bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang, which takes around 6 hours. Then it’s time to get your hiking boots on.

Why Hike from Luang Prabang to Ban Hadkor?

This two day hike starts at Luang Prabang, passing through Ban Hadkhang, Pha Theung, and finishing in Ban Hadkhor. We love this route because you get to see a massive area of jungle landscape, as well as walk through local villages and trek across rice paddies. Camp on the riverbank overnight and then kayak to the Holy Pak Ou Cave on the second day, before heading back to Luang Prabang. It’s fabulous.

Green Discovery Tour from Luang Prabang to Ban Hadkhor

Suggested Stay: Indigo House Hotel

Check accommodation prices for Luang Prabang.

Day 12-17: Hiking, Ziplining and Waterfall Abseiling in Chiang Mai, Thailand

hike chiang mai

(Suhai_hilal on Flickr)

How to get from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai?

The easiest way to travel from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai is to take a direct flight. The much slower and more scenic way is to take a two day slow boat from Luang Prabang to Chiang Khong and then get the bus from Chiang Khong to Chiang Mai.

What Adventures Should I try in Chiang Mai?

First off, head into the jungle for a three day hike. This trek allows visitors to hike all over the landscapes of Chiang Mai, swim in waterfalls and walk in the jungle. We don’t recommend taking a tour that visits the Karen Hill tribes, thanks to the questions of exploitation and ethics that surround these, nor do we advocate any treks that involve elephant riding. We think that hiking through the Chiang Mai jungle is an adventure enough though, so you should definitely do it.

Next up is ziplining. Nothing says adventure like zipping through the sky at fast speed. Chiang Mai’s ‘Flight of the Gibbon’ zip-line is not only the first in Chiang Mai, but the first in all of Asia! It features 5km of zip lines with 33 platforms, as well as abseiling and sky bridges.

chiang mai waterfall

(Tamer Habib on Flickr)

If you’re not exhausted from your days of thrills, it’s time to go waterfall abseiling. After trekking in the forest and jungle, you can abseil down a 100m rocky waterfall in the middle of the jungle. If you want an adrenaline rush paired with some beautiful scenery, this is the one for you.

Suggested Stay: Wing Bed

Check accommodation prices for Chiang Mai.

Day 18-20: Scuba Diving in Ko Tao

scuba diving in Thailand

How to get from Chiang Mai to Ko Tao?

From Chiang Mai Airport, fly to Koh Samui. From there, take the ferry to Ko Tao. All in all, this should take around 6 hours.

Why go to Ko Tao?

Ko Tao is a fabulous place to scuba dive, with over 20 different dive sites, and we recommend using Crystal Dive as your guides. If you’ve ever thought about getting your PADI diving qualification, Ko Tao is the place to do it. There aren’t many places where your first dives will be in such spectacular sites. Crystal Dive offer normal dives and also wreck dives for the more adventurous among you, with all sites boasting stunning reefs.

Suggested Stay: Mango Bay Boutique Resort

Check accommodation places for Ko Samui.

Day 21-23: Rock Climbing at Railay Beach, Thailand

rock climbing Railay

(Julianna Barnaby)

How to get from Koh Tao to Railay?

From Koh Tao, take a 2 hour ferry to Koh Samui, and then take a bus to Krabi. Take a short walk to the Krabi Town Pier, and then get a ferry to Railay Beach. This journey should take about 6 and a half hours.

What’s the Best Adventure in Railay?

Around Railay Beach is a rock-climber’s paradise – all of the rock is limestone and part of the world’s largest coral reef. With over 700 routes around Railay Beach, ranging from beginner to extreme, there’s something for everyone. And if that’s not enticing enough, the views of the beautiful beaches should have you hooked. We recommend climbing with Real Rocks Climbing School.

Suggested Stay: Sand Sea Resort

Check accommodation prices for Railay Beach.

Day 24-26: Scuba Diving in Andaman Islands

Scuba Diving - Andaman Islands

How to get from Railay to the Andaman Islands?

The last stop on your adventurous trip is probably the longest to get to, but it is probably also the best – so don’t stop now! Go to Krabi Airport and then get a flight to Port Blair, stopping at Bangkok and Madras, taking a total about 17 hours.

Why go to the Andaman Islands?

Diving in the Andaman Islands is some of the best in the world. The islands are very remote and so have excellent areas for diving with stunning turquoise waters. There are hundreds of deserted islands to explore, a chance to snorkel with swimming elephants, and dive site at a live volcano with beautiful marine life, near Barren Island. What more could you want?! We recommend diving with Original Diving. After you’ve finished your scuba diving, fly to Delhi, where you will you make your trip home, until next time.

Suggested Stay: Sea Lounge Bed & Breakfast

Check accommodation prices for Andaman Islands.

Useful Resources

Travel Currency

UK travellers can take advantage of the fee-free Monzo pre-paid card. Spend your money on cocktails and hotels, not on bank charges.

Guidebooks


 

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Three awesome Southeast Asia travel itineraries to help you plan the perfect trip. Read the full travel guide now #travel #backpacking Photography I Itinerary I Landscape I Food I Architecture I Laos I Thailand I Cambodia I Myanmar I Malaysia I Vietnam.

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