I technically went to six different countries over the 38 days I spent in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. I spent about 11 days each in Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali, 3 in Cambodia, 2 Laos, and about 2.5 hours in Myanmar.
I LOVED Southeast Asia. The people there are so nice and there’s so much to see and do there. I have no doubt that I’ll be going back and taking all my friends. I feel like I’ve been missing out all these years I’ve spent not going to Asia.
I definitely pick favorites, and Thailand takes the cake on this trip so far. I got to see five cities – Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Rai, and Chiang Mai – and lots of beautiful countryside in between. I now absolutely understand why all travelers seem to spend months and months in Thailand; it’s just an amazing place.
I only spent a few hours in Myanmar, but it was a really fun few hours so I felt like it deserved a mention in this post. We just rode around the town and saw some local markets, but it was fun enough that I’d like to go back and see more of the country.
Luang Prabang was a really sweet place and felt much more relaxed than anywhere else we stopped on the tour. We only got a day and half there, but it seems like the kind of place that would be nice to stay at for a while. Unfortunately for Laos, the way the tour was designed made me feel like the two nights spent here were just time taken from seeing more in Cambodia. It was a really good day spent in Luang Prabang though. Laos is another place I’d like to go back and spend more time in, though I’d probably try a different city.
I wish I had been able to spend more time in Cambodia. I could have definitely used another day or two in Siem Reap seeing all the ruins. We saw Angkor Wat (of course) and two other ruins (one temple and the city Angkor Thom), but there were definitely more that I would have enjoyed.
Angkor Thom was, I think, the coolest thing we did in Siem Reap. I also found the water buffalo cart ride and floating village to be thoroughly enjoyable.
I apparently threw too much shade at Vietnam in my post about it, according to a Talia. It’s a very different place from the rest of Southeast Asia with a different history, and should be explored separately from places like Thailand. Vietnam doesn’t have the same historical sights that its neighbors have, but it does have its charms.
It really was a nice country (I especially liked Ho Chi Minh City) and the people were so sweet (as they were everywhere but Bali really). I got to talk to a bunch of University students while in Hanoi and another girl while in Hue and felt like I got to know the country a little better that way. Halong Bay was also absolutely worth the drive from Hanoi to see.
So while Vietnam isn’t exactly #1 on my list of countries to go back to, I didn’t actively dislike it and I wouldn’t be opposed to it if my family wants to go someday.
Oh Bali. See that blog post for my Uber trauma there. We loved the beach, but honestly could have done without our stay in Ubud – it just wasn’t worth the stress. People just weren’t as nice in Bali as they had been elsewhere and it was quite a stressful place to walk around in.