We leave for Southeast Asia on Wednesday, after a life of wanting to go! We have five weeks, before my school starts back up and Johanna’s vacation days run out, but it already feels like a brisk visit.
Why is it so difficult to limit oneself to one place? It looks like travel will be more expensive than we imagined (the cheapest hotels are still ~$18 / night in Bangkok!), and language more difficult (we gave up learning the alphabet after the fifth ‘kh’). And yet, after feeling sure we would be happy spending our time mostly in northern Thailand with a 10-day taste of Burma, we discovered Lonely Planet’s 1-2 month, seven country route, and everything is back on the table.
Below is our best idea itinerary for now. We’ll each be working ~4 hours a day, so we don’t want to move more than every other day, which leaves us about 15 locations to explore.
Wednesday, 7/27: Leaving from Newark at 11am
Thursday, 7/28: 4 hours in Tokyo, then arriving in Bangkok at 11pm
Saturday, 7/30: Fly to Rangoon, Burma (300 ft gold stupa)
Monday, 8/1: Pagan (ruins)
Wednesday, 8/3: Inle Lake (island monasteries)
Friday, 8/5: Mandalay and surrounding old cities
Sunday, 8/7: Fly to Bangkok
Monday, 8/8: Ayuthaya or Lapburi (for ancience and art)
Wednesday, 8/10: Khao Yai National Park
Thursday, 8/11: Phimai (Khmer temple)
Saturday, 8/13: Nong Khai, Thailand / Vientiane, Laos
Monday, 8/15: Luang Prabang, Laos
Wednesday, 8/17: Boat on the Mekong River, or Luang Nam Tha or Muang Sing
Friday, 8/19: Chang Mai, Thailand (weekend market)
Sunday, 8/21: Pai or Mae Hong Son (culture and diversity)
Tuesday, 8/23: Sokhothai (ruins) or Phitsanulok (Buddha and noodles)
Thursday, 8/25: Bangkok
Saturday, 8/26: Fly to Phuket, then bus to Khao Sok National Park
Sunday, 8/27: Khao Lak (beach)
Monday, 8/29: Fly to Bangkok
Tuesday, 8/30: Leaving Bangkok at 11pm
Wednesday, 8/31: 8 hours in Tokyo, then arriving in Newark 5 minutes before we leave
With luck, we’ll be visiting a mother of a friend of mine in Rangoon. We’re bringing a bunch of books with us to hand out as gifts in Burma (and we’ll be refilling that space with purchases from our travels).